Why Krav Maga is Just Like Learning to Play Poker
Guest blog
By Maria Drozdova

July 20, Spain

We all encounter hurdles and bumps in the road to overcome as we grow up in life. Sometimes in order to forget about our problems, we need to immerse ourselves in the challenge of staying fit and protecting one another. Krav Maga has been and always will be an excellent choice for anyone seeking practical self-protection skills. It’s an approach that keeps things simple, teaching us to protect ourselves as quickly as possible within the boundaries of the law. The system is even being taught to women in the U.K. to repel the threat of street attackers.

Learning this fast-paced, dynamic form of self-defense is akin to another fast-paced, dynamic pastime that many of us love to enjoy: poker.

Arguably the quickest and most effective way to refine your Krav Maga skills is to train with those who know what they are doing. Our Tour and Train program facilitates this perfectly. It’s the same in poker — sitting around the table with seasoned professionals is the only way you’ll be able to pick up the tools of the trade and learn from your mistakes.

The techniques of Krav Maga are designed to expand upon your natural instincts as a survivor, heightening your awareness and reactions as a result. Awareness and natural instincts are some of the key components of any successful poker player, too; as is the ability to read the minds of other players and problem solve.

Let’s take a look at some of the other skills and techniques that crossover between our much-loved hand-to-hand combat system and the thrill of Texas Hold’em Poker:

The ability to keep cool under pressure - Under no circumstances is Krav Maga taught to individuals as a way of encouraging aggression or violence. It’s not considered a martial art — it is merely a simple and effective method of surviving and escaping the risk of threat or harm. At the poker table, you’re required to keep your head while those around you are losing theirs in order to the extract maximum profit from your best hands.

Working with brutal efficiency - While some martial arts focus more heavily on rituals, Krav Maga is about being brutally efficient with every move. It’s exactly the same as a poker pro in a multi-table live tournament where they have to bide their time in the early stages of an event and when they do make a move, they must do so quickly and painlessly without hemorrhaging chips.

Clever use of body language - Body language is an incredibly vital component in the safe and effective utilization of Krav Maga. Not only are you trained to de-escalate any threat verbally, you must also use your body language and stance to desensitize any situation. When the pressure is on at the poker table, you need to perfect that “poker face” and give your opponents a nasty surprise at showdown!

The art of self-preservation - Overall, this much-loved hand-to-hand combat system is solely focused on protecting you and those that are closest to you. Self-preservation is a natural instinct that both Krav Maga and poker unleash in equal measure. The former ensures that you survive an attack and the latter ensures you’re alive and kicking at the business end of a poker tournament.