why people do not train in krav maga

by Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

December 27, 2014, Israel 

This afternoon I was having lunch with a friend. She has known me for years, her children trained with me and Esther in Krav Maga, and yet...the following statement came out, "I am afraid to train in Krav Maga." 

We were discussing the recent break-ins and the possibility that a break-in can easily turn violent, even life threatening, thus the need for everyone to learn at least the basics of Krav Maga.

My friend is a petite woman, highly intelligent, successful, and fit, and yet...afraid of Krav Maga, despite knowing that am a nice and gently person. 


Lets' take a look at the image the marketing experts have created for Krav Maga (starting in America and now worldwide), and how while it may be good for business it is really bad for people, people who need to defend themselves.

I have written extensively on the Krav Maga culture of "Bad Ass", Tough Guy, IDF military Macho Zohan type, and why I consider this counter productive. But let's take a look at the reasons "the common man" or woman, do not train in Krav Maga.

Now I am not discussing people who have no interest. I am discussing people who want to train, who need to train and who talk about training, but yet never actually begin their training. They are not quitters, they have not even reached that level. 


The young men, recent graduates of the IDF, sell their youth, military experience, and muscles, as "Authentic Israeli Military Krav Maga." The truth is they have; 

1. Limited training

2. Limited experience,

3. Experience only with young athletic soldiers between the ages of 18 - 21.

They themselves are young and immature, and have no idea how to teach the general public. For me, this first contact with such instructors leaves a bitter taste. The result is that those who can really benefit from Krav Maga training will never join. They will never get the benefits of training.

Krav Maga for ALL

Why People Do Not Train

Lets' take a look at why people who want to train, do not train. These are reasons I have personally heard from friends and neighbors.

1. I am afraid I will get hurt - Can't tell you how many times I have heard this, and it makes me sad. Young, fit, men tell me this, or they tell my students privately. Sometimes it comes out like this, "I have seen guys coming of those classes; bruised and beaten up. I can't take that kind of punishment." Or, "I saw a show on TV about Krav Maga, I would love to learn it but all those guys look so tough, I am afraid I will get hurt, I am not so tough. "

2. I am not fit -  People associate Krav Maga with the LA style of "lost weight by training in Krav Maga and look great". "Great into the best shape of your life with Israeli combat training". Krav Maga actually has nothing to do with losing weight, although that could be a side benefit. For weight loss see a personal fitness training and a nutritionist. 

3. I am not so coordinated - Martial arts in general are associated with stunts like you see on TV (Thanks so much Hollywood). People think that in order to defend themselves they must be highly coordinated.

4. I am not as young as I once was - Well, actually none of us are as young as we once were.  

For all of the above reasons IKI Has chosen a different path of Krav Maga.

1. We do not cultivate the tough guy/Bad Ass image. We are all just regular people and we come in all shapes, sizes and ages. 

2. We try not to hurt our students, physically or emotionally. We believe that every student who walks into our doors, or even calls or writes, is worthy of our respect. That phone call took courage!!

3. Our techniques are: Easy to learn, Easy to apply in a variety of situations, and easy to remember. We stress concepts over memorization of techniques. 

4.. Once a concept is learned and understood, the student can apply that concept to an unlimited number of situations, more than we could ever possibly cover in class. This shortens the amount of time it takes to become able to handle difficult situations. 

5. No special athletic ability or level of fitness is required.

6. All movements are built on natural body movements that your body already knows.

In a word, we are a user friendly Krav Maga organization. We have trained people from all over the world, presidential guards in Ukraine, American Special Forces, college students, kids and older folks. We believe that all people deserve to live in peace and with dignity.

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