Krav Maga Hitting and Being Hit
By Moshe Katz
Martial Arts Instructor


When we train there are many things that may not make sense to us, at the time. It did not make sense to me at my brown belt test why Itay had everyone try to demolish me so brutally, it did not make sense to me why we had to train when we were so tired that a strong wind could knock us down, it did not make sense to me why I should train when I felt I should be lying in bed.

It did not make sense at the time, but now it does, and I would not have it any other way.

It makes sense to me that I should learn to hit hard. That is fairly obvious, but why should it be good for to be hit by others?

I am going to say something rather unpopular, but well known in what is now called "Reality Martial arts"; namely, that most martial arts are quite useless in real life violent encounters. It took me a long time to realize this.

Now when you sign up for Krav Maga lessons, or Taekwondo or Jujitsu, for the most part you are not thinking "I want to get a good beating". You do not realize that this is good for you. Years ago I read an interview in Black Belt magazine with Karate Legend Totsumi Oshima of JKA Shotakan, he said; "I am very grateful to all the students who beat me up every day in my early days of training in Japan."

Again, we all enjoy doing the hitting but very few enjoy getting hit, and yet we must, why?

We must know how it feels, we must experience the fear, the terror, of having a stronger opponent charge towards you and land heavy punches upon your head and body. Of course we take precautionary measures, of course we make sure we are all safe, but we must have that contact. We must experience in our training something that resembles real life; those rapid fire punches or kicks coming towards your precious and vulnerable body. You must feel the fear and be able to respond inside that fear, inside that chaos. As Hock Hochheim says, "Thrive within the chaos". In IKI Krav Maga that is how we train, (once you reach the level that you ready for it), we train for reality.

Receiving the technique is just as important as dishing it out. If you want to train in knife defense you must also take a turn as the attacker (less fun indeed). This will help you understand the nature of the attack and the effects of the various types of defense. Your training would be incomplete if you only played the part of the defense. When people come to train with Itay Gil in Jerusalem they learn how to defend themselves, but they also always take a turn as the attacker. You must know how it feels when someone does the bursting knife defense to your forearm (most unpleasant), you must understand both offense and defense.

It is important to go to the range and learn how to use a hand gun; this will help you in your hand gun defense. You must see both sides of the coin. You must experience both sides of the attack. In IKI Krav Maga we believe in honesty, truth, this is part of our training. It is not always pleasant, it is not always pain-free, but it is real.

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