Old, Rusty? Out of Shape? - Krav Maga Training

Sometimes people look at Krav Maga techniques and say, 'something is missing', it just looks too simple. And then they try it.

It works.

Comments from practitioners have included remarks such as;

" I think Krav, with its emphasis on natural responses, is good for me. I think Krav and Paul Vunak's version of JKD are the best street systems, but I think that Krav is more likely to be usable when one is rusty. JKD trapping when not in good practice? I don’t' think so."

" I read recently somewhere that WW II Commandos could still execute the combative they were taught forty years after the fact and without having trained in those forty years. Those techniques (which I have made it a point to learn about and learn) are simple and effective, if a bit limited in scope.."

I, in fact, heard a story about a Russian WW II veteran, walking through the park and being threatened by two young punks. The two young punks, drunk and fully deserving of a good beating, tried to humiliate the old veteran. He reacted as he had been trained years ago in the Russian army, with a clutching grip on one man's throat and another man's testicles. He squeezed hard, and then casually walked away as calmly as before.

Simple training stays with you, even years later. It becomes hard wired into your brain.

When I was teaching in Halifax, Canada, I heard a story about an old man being assaulted while taking a walk with his wife. The man was a former Green Beret. This fact was unknown to the aspiring young thug. The courts ruled in the old man's favor and dismissed the murder charges. Another stupid young punk paid with his life. Don’t' mess with an old guy.

Krav Maga uses the same approach; simple, limited, uncomplicated techniques. Even years later people have been able to rely on their military krav maga training, which they learned during basic training, to save their lives.

"I personally dislike the emphasis on belts and learning new techniques which most people involved in learning the martial arts are wound up in. I understand the impulse...the learning becomes an end, a hobby, in itself. This is not bad, but not for me. "

It is also not effective self defense.

In Krav Maga we resist the urge to get more complicated and keep adding, we do the opposite. As Bruce Lee advised, we simply eliminate all superfluous movement and actions. We drop complicated techniques. We'd rather have "Ten techniques that work for us rather than one hundred that work against us."

The "What if" Syndrome.

"There is also the 'What if' syndrome...a constantly escalating concern with ever more exotic attacks/defenses based upon a fear of what a bad guy might do and ignoring the fact that most bad guys are not trained fighters."

I agree, when you are training in the dojo this 'what if' syndrome often takes place. I say, number one: There is no end to the 'what ifs'; I can say, 'What if my grandma had a machine gun, What if my brother showed out with his tank.' So we do our simple drills and we train ourselves to react and adapt. That is how they train in the Israeli army and that is how we do it in our Krav Maga training. We keep it simple, direct, natural.

"I like the basics of Krav, practice the ones which I can accomplish physically with some ease (a round kick higher than about twelve inches is impossible with my hips) As I think I may have said to you the very first time I wrote, I do not go in harm's way, so I'm fairly free of the fears that many who live in urban settings have to deal with."

Again, I am in agreement; no need for fancy high kicks which most people over 20 years old have trouble with. Stick to the basics, and yes, by all means, rule number one – avoid trouble as much as possible. Do not go into Gaza City looking for a beer.