So, you’ve decided that Krav Maga is for you. Excellent. But, you may have also know how important to choose the right training club. But why is that and how do you choose an excellent Krav Maga club?
Let’s begin by exploring what is it that makes Krav Maga such a powerful self-defence and combat system. Firstly, it is a modern self-defence system. Second, it is direct, intuitive and fast to learn. Thirdly, ANYONE can learn Krav Maga – regardless of age, size or gender. It was created by Imi Lichtenfeld for the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in the 1940’s and is designed to be an extension of natural, intuitive body movement. It is also designed to be useful to people of all ages, fitness levels and gender. And it is designed to be simple, efficient, direct and controlled. In fact, these four governing principles drive all Krav Maga teaching and practice and make Krav Maga a unique, clearly identifiable and evolving self-defence and contact combat system.
When watching a trained Kravist fight, these four core principles will be present in everything they do. And if they are not, it is not Krav Maga. Read our blog about the four governing principles of Krav Maga as a companion piece to this blog. For now, let’s focus on why and how to choose a great Krav Maga club.
By it’s very nature, Krav Maga is physically demanding and dangerous. That means that when we train safety, control and injury avoidance must be a priority at all times.
A good Krav Maga club will ask you about your physical health, any injuries you may have, your fitness level and why you wish to train before you start training. The instructor/s will have secure access to this information before your first class. Please don’t be put off by these questions. We are not being nosy or judgmental – we want to keep you safe, free from injury and appropriately insured so that you can train and have fun at the best of your ability for months and years to come.
Secondly, in Krav Maga we practice and execute highly effective – and therefore inherently dangerous – techniques. Good Krav Maga clubs implement clear safety measures with every single technique taught. Safety is built into the instructors’ core teaching method – both for your own safety and that of your training partners.
A good Krav Maga club will embody the values of Krav Maga and its founder; team work, inclusivity, humility and self-control.
Thirdly, a good Krav Maga club will embody the values of Krav Maga and its founder Imi Lichtenfeld; inclusivity, humility and self-control. Imi Lichtenfeld created Krav Maga “so that one may walk in peace”1 and you will experience that philosophy at the heart of any excellent Krav Maga club.
That brings me on to the fourth point. Is the club you are considering actually teaching Krav Maga? Sounds silly, right? This was something that was very important to me when I started my Krav journey and I’ll explain why.
Is the club you are considering actually teaching Krav Maga? Choose a club that is part of a recognised international federation.
Having “Krav Maga” in the name of a training club does not make it a Krav Mag club. There are excellent international Krav Maga federations that have direct lineage to the founder of Krav Maga Imi Lichtenfeld with high teaching and technical standards. For example, we are part of the FEKM (European Federation of Krav Maga under the direction of Richard Douieb, 6th Darga). Another good example would be the KMG (Krav Maga Global) under the direction of Eyal Yanilov.
Finally, I would say choose a club where you like the instructors and the team, have lots of opportunities to train in any given week, where you can have fun and feel motivated and energised before each class. If you skip a couple of classes and miss your Krav – that’s a great sign.
Happy training everyone.
1 Imi Lichtefeld (1910-1998)