Author: Bret Gordon
Everyone wants to believe their system is the most effective when it comes to self defense. No system has made as many claims to this as Krav Maga, and I'd like to clarify something. True Israeli military grade Krav Maga is sweet! It's nitty-gritty, effective and for lack of better terminology, bad ass. Unfortunately, the majority of Krav Maga courses offered to the general public are nothing more than a glorified cardio kickboxing class with some partner drills masquerading as self defense and frankly, it will get you killed! "Civilian" Krav Maga is a joke, and is an insult to the name. Even LEO grade Krav Maga dances on the line between military and civilian, because while they do cover some of the more effective, combative techniques, their rules of engagement are drastically different when dealing with the public than the military's are dealing with enemy combatants. Especially in today's society, when everyone is recording police officers and filing excessive force law suits, who can blame LEOs for watering down their defensive tactics to not cause permanent damage? The problem is that's the whole purpose of Krav Maga: to teach someone in a very short time frame how to be deadly effective in hand-to-hand combat should they lose their weapon on their battlefield.
So if you're looking for an effective self defense program, and you're serious about putting yourself through the rigors of learning a reality based system, forget the name Krav Maga! It's just a name, and the name of the system is irrelevant compared to the type of training the instructor offers. The chances of you finding true Israeli Krav Maga are slim anyway. Does the school you're interested in offer not just choreographed counter attacks but the opportunity to free-style under duress? Do they address the psychological and emotional aspects of being attacked? Do they train with live weapons to get you accustomed to seeing such, or are they only using rubber knives and plastic guns? Remember, it's not the techniques that determine efficiency but the training methods. Safety is of the utmost importance, but ultimately you should be pushing the boundaries. The term "martial" refers to combat, and originally all martial arts had a combative foundation. Being a martial artist is a title of honor. What have you done to earn such a title? Are you prepared to face the realities of the world to come? I know my students will be, that's for sure.