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What is Krav Maga?

Krav Maga could save your life. It is currently one of the deadliest and most popular hand-to-hand combat system for self-defense. Training is based on following natural instincts and learning to use your body as a weapon; this includes striking, kicking, defense against weapons, and some grappling. One of the biggest advantages of Krav Maga is that it is designed with possible real-life scenarios in mind. It deviates from other forms of martial arts by not having strict forms, rules, or set combinations, preparing the individual for fights outside of a ring.


Despite its lack of formalities, there’s a lot to learn from Krav Maga. First is that violence is always the last resort. Krav Maga training includes avoiding fights in the first place, and provides mental conditioning to improve split-second decision-making skills under stressful conditions. It helps you improve focus not just for safety but in any situation or task.





If you can, take the time to observe an ongoing class in a gym that offers Krav Maga near you. This will give you a good idea of what really goes on during training. For now, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions:  


  • Where did Krav Maga come from?
  • Is Krav Maga violent?
  • Who can learn Krav Maga?
  • Do I need to be fit for Krav Maga?
  • Do I need martial arts experience?
  • What should I expect in Krav Maga classes near me?
  • Are there belts or ranks?
  • How often should I train?
  • Can I learn Krav Maga online?
  • Where do I find Krav Maga near me?


Where did Krav Maga come from?

Krav Maga was founded in the 1940s by renowned gymnast, boxer, and wrestler Imi Lichtenfeld. When the Jewish communities in Czechoslovakia (present-day Slovakia) were being targeted with discrimination and violent attacks by anti-Semitic groups, Lichtenfeld formed an underground defense organization. He gathered small groups of Jewish people to patrol the streets and protect those attacked by Fascist thugs.


Despite his formal training in sport martial arts, Lichtenfeld needed combat skills for real street fighting. This often involved factors such as multiple attackers and weapons such as knives and sticks. He thus used his martial art knowledge to develop self-defense techniques and strategies for neutralizing a threat and getting away alive.


Israeli military leaders eventually saw Lichtenfeld’s potential in combat and teaching. He was placed in charge of training the Haganah and Palmach, which today we call the Israeli Defense Forces. Lichtenfeld also created a modified version of Krav Maga for law enforcement and civilians.


With this history in mind, there is no doubt of Krav Maga’s effectiveness for self-defense!


Is Krav Maga violent?

The most important thing you’ll learn in Krav Maga training is to avoid violence. Though you’ll be learning a lot of self-defense moves, the best way to survive a fight is to avoid being in one in the first place! Promos for Krav Maga may seem violent, but the moves you often see are meant to be a last resort. It’s better to know it and never need it than to need it and not know it.


Remember that the biggest priority in Krav Maga is safety. As far as Krav Maga and personal safety is concerned, situational awareness is your first defense to keep out of harm’s way. Training emphasizes learning to assess a situation and environment to help you recognize a potential threat before it gets to confrontation. With sharpened senses and constant awareness of surroundings, your ability to detect danger increases.


Short answer: yes it can get violent, but it won’t make you violent. A real attacker won’t take it easy on you, so you need to learn how to defend against that and retaliate when needed. However, Krav Maga will also train you to avoid conflict escalations.


Who can learn Krav Maga?

Krav Maga is for everyone who wants the ability to defend themselves. It doesn’t matter if you barely reach 5 feet or weigh 90 pounds. As long as you are mobile (able to stand on your own without difficulty) and do not have any severe health conditions, you can start training regardless of size, strength, or level of fitness. Its inherently aggressive nature makes Krav Maga classes primarily for adults, although some schools offer Kids Krav Maga.


Do I need to be fit for Krav Maga?

Yes and no. Certain aspects of fitness such as balance, flexibility, stamina, and endurance are incredibly important to fully progress and benefit from Krav Maga training. But if you haven’t been hitting the gym as regularly as you should, don’t be discouraged from signing up for classes. Expect to get stronger as you progress in your training.


Everyone has a place in Krav Maga classes near you. In fact, there are those who didn’t start training until they were over 50! And don’t worry, there’s no shame in sitting out if you reach a point where you need to rest. Give even one class a try and you’ll see exactly what you need to improve on in terms of fitness.


Do I need martial arts experience?

No experience in martial arts is necessary to become proficient in Krav Maga.


What should I expect in Krav Maga classes near me?

Each class runs for about an hour. Though the specifics vary from class to class, it typically starts with a warmup, power drills, and forms of cardio and strength training. This is part of the conditioning to improve not just fitness but also grit.


Partner work is also a vital part of the process. Sparring with other students will help sharpen your skills and build muscle memory. Practicing with different partners will provide you with a genuine experience of adapting your techniques to different types of people.


Are there belts or ranks?

There were no belts in Krav Maga before it was commercialized. Today, there are six belts: yellow for beginners, orange, green, and blue for intermediate, and brown and black for advanced. Krav Maga practitioners can naturally progress up until Brown Belt with consistent training over a period of approximately 1 year. Testing for Black Belt is by invitation only and requires a minimum of 12 months of practice.


How often should I attend classes?

We recommend Krav Maga training at least twice a week. You are more than welcome to train more than that if possible! The more frequently you train, the quicker you progress.


Can I learn Krav Maga online?

We discourage wholly relying on self-study to learn self-defense. We encourage everyone to learn Krav Maga from accredited instructors and institutes. If there are no Krav Maga classes near you, stick with authentic online programs that can provide feedback.


Where do I find Krav Maga near me? 

Once you’ve decided you want to learn Krav Maga, it’s important to find the right school or instructor for you. Do your research or ask them outright what certifications they have obtained. Learning from certified instructors will ensure that you receive quality education.


Type in Krav Maga and your location in the search bar above to find the schools and instructors nearest to you. Take your time browsing through their profiles and reading what they have to offer. When you’re ready to book lessons or have any questions, send them an inquiry!

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