May 20, 2019, Israel
I am always amazed by how things that should be obvious are somehow not obvious.
Today on Social Media I saw the following exchange; an individual was interesting in beginning Krav Maga training. He checked out a few studious (in America) and saw that of the 1.5 hour class at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes were devoted to cardio and fitness training. This somehow did not seem right to him.
A respected well known Krav Maga instructor commented that indeed this individual was correct and such Krav Maga schools should be avoided. This instructor noted that schools that devote half the lesson to fitness do so because they really do not have that many techniques to teach and thus fill the time with stretching, pushups, running and jumping.
I tend to agree.
Another individual came back with a scathing attack on this well known instructor (whom by the way I never met). This writer insisted that as with any such discipline the participants cannot possibly hope to succeed unless they are very fit, at the peak of their game, strong fast, etc. I responded with my usual spiel that this individual clearly has no idea what real Krav Maga is about, whom it is meant to serve, and what its ultimate purpose is. I expect in the coming days to receive a bombardment of insults.
So I shall make my case again. Let us take the NBA, the National Basketball Association. The "average" NBA player is not very average. He is 6 foot 8 inches tall, weighs about 220 pounds and is 26 years old.
The average American man is 5 foot 9 while in Holland the average is nearly 6 feet tall. Thus we can say that the average man on the street should have no illusions about joining the NBA. Not only that but their main distinguishing trait is their skill, which is far above average. So I think it is safe to say that most people have very little chance of ever playing in the NBA. And, those few who do, only play for an average of less than 5 years.
Therefore the NBA is a rather exclusive club, it is not for everyone.
We can make a similar argument for MMA, mixed martial arts. This too takes a certain type of physique, many years of training, and a certain kind of character. Most normal human beings do not voluntarily walk into a closed cage to fight a powerful bodybuilder with a penchant for violence. While some professional fighters have a gentle side many are simply maniacs who enjoy the thrill of violence.
This is not for everyone. Now Krav Maga, that should be for everyone, for everyone has a right to live in peace and in order to do that everyone should know the basics of self defense.
Our system of Krav Maga, which is not the classic Krav Maga but a much more user friendly system, requiring less coordination and less ability, is for:
People past their physical peak,
people who need it for their jobs; police, military, traveling businessman, store-keepers, real estate brokers who meet privately with clients.
It is for housewives, school teachers, it is for presidential guards and SWAT team leaders. It is for everyone!
You do not need to be 6 foot 8. You do not need to be in the top percentile of physical ability, and you do not need to spend hours per week on physical fitness.
The class: We have limited time in our classes. Most working people cannot devote hours per day to training. If a student can come twice per week for 1.5 hours, a teacher should consider himself fortunate. Thus we devote the bulk of our class to practical self defense techniques, We also devote time to understanding violence, and how to avoid it. We understand that our mind is our greatest defense. Doing 100 pushups will be of little help in a real situation, knowing how to spot and avoid violence, will.
Unlike the commentator on social media we do not expect our students to be Olympic athletes, although some of them are. We are the perfect system for imperfect people. If a perfect student happens to come along, good for him, he will find our system easy to learn.
True Krav Maga is not a sport, or an art, or a demonstration for show, it is a system for regular people to get home safely.