It seems that these two TV shows, Human Weapon and Fight Quest, introduced a lot of people to Krav Maga, either for the first time, or, in a way they never saw it before; the raw Israeli way. What I am glad about is it gave many people a glimpse into our lives here in Israel, the harsh reality we are forced to live with. This is a point I try to bring out during my international seminars; Krav Maga is a reflection of Israeli society. If you don't understand our lives here – you can't understand Krav Maga.
Life here is unpredictable, and as such, Krav Maga must be trained in a way that deals with the unpredictability of a real attack. As one fighter wrote in a forum: "Yet another showing on how Americans are the babies of the world. Throughout the whole episode we heard constant, "I'm not used to. . . ." WHO CARES?? What the heck is the point of being a "professional fighter" if you feel like things should be kept more to a script? Here's the point of Krav Maga, there are no rules, someone comes to take you on, you take them down first. Simple. You never know what/who is coming up next. Stop trying to compare."
Point well taken.
The point of these shows is to explore various fighting styles. What we hear a lot of is "how this is different than the coddled styles of fighting people are taught in America.", as one fighter wrote in.
As "The Human Weapon" states;, 'Israel is a war torn country', and has been since before its inception. With its aim of surviving real life encounters it draws from all martial arts and modifies the techniques to make them simple and effective.
Krav Maga is not defined by one type of technique.
Another aspect of Krav Maga that these shows highlighted was getting trained not only in techniques but in being prepared for real life attacks, by "getting pounded without getting killed, so they'd freak out less when they really do get mauled and stabbed by a crowd of angry street people"
"The training itself was very different from what we've seen so far, as most of it consisted of Jimmy and Doug (the two visiting American fighters) facing multiple attackers under less than optimal conditions. You could see this for instance with Jimmy's time learning with the IDF, as he was constantly being yelled at and constantly having to deal with more than one opponent. His first day going up against that one huge crowd of IDF soldiers reminded me very much of the news reports of Middle East riots you see on CNN."
Another viewer wrote in, "The one thing that I love about both MCMAP and Krav Maga is that they are built around natural reactions to situations rather then calculated counters. Hence the difference between sport fighting and hand to hand combat."
It appears to me that these are educated viewers/fighters, who understand what they are witnessing.
Both shows illustrated that unlike other martial styles "where the art served as a means of controlling aggression and learning to face conflict with a bit more of a calmer attitude" and, "fighting was held within the confines of a controlled setting"; with Krav Maga the fighters channeled their aggression in a constructive way, rather than 'controlling' their aggression. The Krav Maga training they went through showed how "one had to be chaotic in order to face chaos." In fact, Krav Maga teaches aggression in order to survive very aggressive situations. Aggressiveness training is part of Krav Maga.
I also found people's attitude about Krav Maga women very interesting. It seems they still expect 'lady like behavior'. Many people wrote in to forums about the female instructor, Avivit Cohen, saying things like "That female instructor was one tuff cookie, lol" or, "Avivit was scary as hell " or, " I think we can all come to a common consensus and say that this woman is insane! Loved it how she constantly told Doug "You are dead now Doug, you are dead!"
"She had her funny moments, calling Doug a "tough American" for wearing socks in the Dead Sea, but at the same time, I think she gave off the vibe that, even in a calm state, the craziness was just waiting to bubble up to the surface. " or, another common reaction, " Ah, I think I'm in love".
Well said, dear writer, but the truth is that describes many women I have trained with in Israel. Avivit is not 'insane', this is the Middle East and she is trained to deal with violence. I have seen lots of women like that in my Krav Maga classes. Most go on to do some pretty serious stuff in the Israeli army.
Other Krav Maga newcomers wrote about how they finally found an art that deals with real issues, like overcoming fear. "I wanted more of an emphasis on practical self-defense, and I got it and more. The psychological part of it is truly amazing. You work on losing fear of getting hit and being attacked by many people at once. It's truly an amazing experience!"
I can echo those feelings; I often found that when I was in a fight; getting hit was the trick to losing all fear. Once I was hit once, I no longer feared anything, it became like, 'Is that all you can do?'
One of the key aspects of Krav Maga training is will power; the desire to survive. Viewers wrote in that the training seemed very "different in that their test was strictly physical, to demonstrate the "power of will". Viewers also picked up on the "mental conditioning"
Application of Techniques
The idea is to increase the students understanding of the application of a technique, not just memorize specific techniques for specific situations. In a real fight you might face a situation you have never practiced before, but, you can still apply techniques and concepts you have mastered.
From the first day of training we try to instill in our students the sense of intensity; I don't apologize if a student has a bit of aches and pain or a bruise, been there, done that, no big deal, so don't complain.
One of the viewers wrote in about Avivit Cohen, "Her methods of instruction were equally intense. Seeing Doug's beat down by all of those students reminded me of those clips of schoolyard and street fights; savagely brutal . Furthermore, the whole segment was a huge lesson in the freedom of combat of Krav Maga. I myself didn't think to use sand or the sticks as weapons until Avivit showed me. "
I think both Fight Quest and Human Weapon did a fine job of presenting some of the uniqueness of Krav Maga, and Israel.
Become the Human Weapon yourself!
Come to Israel and train in Krav Maga, visit the fortress of Masada, float in the Dead Sea, and train in every aspect of Krav Maga.
What is the training worth to you and your family?