Krav Maga

Anyone here taking Krav Maga? I took my first class last night. It was kind of cool. I think there are some flaws to the class, as it seems to be set up as a fitness and self defense class. And some of the things they want you to do don’t seem worthwhile when trying to learn real-life self defense. I like the concepts, but I won’t be paying to join the class. I’ll use my one-month free card, but there is no way I’m going to pay $1,500 for a year-long class/course on Krav Maga. Anyone have any thoughts on this stuff? Do you take it? Have you used it in real life? Any recommendations?

My personal opinion is that most of the martial arts classes are more geared to the general populace that want to “lose weight, get fit”. I guess they have to, or else there’d be no business.

And I say "most" because there are a few schools/gyms out there that desire to provide a sound training environment. Kinda like the place that Ko and I will be training at come September.

But from what I've seen, Krav Maga is pretty cool - and the basis of the series' "ALIAS" lead character's combat skills. Isn't there a way that you can receive personalized training from this Krav Maga specialist? Hmmm, that'll probably be a nice penny, too.

I took a krav maga class and it was all fighting - wrestling for an object on the ground, kneeing someone wearing pads in the balls, chops to the throat. Couldn’t afford to keep taking classes, but I found it was way more fight oriented than most martial arts. Depends where you study, i guess.

Its a great hybrid style (it was designed for the Israeli military), but like any martial art, its only as good as the person teaching it.

Most krav maga schools are just karate mcdojo’s with the name changed to fool people but I’m sure there might be the occasional school that might be good.

I went to the Krav Maga center here in La and agree with Patricia. Looks like a great cardio workout. However, what was being practice is not what I would recommend in a street fight. What is my background? I was a bouncer for three years when i was in college at a bar that was like the movie “roadhouse.” To break up fights, I used head locks, take downs, quick stickes etc. If you do not know how to throw a kick, then don’t bother in a real fight. Anyone with a ground game will take you down so fast and pound your ass into oblivion. Krav Maga looks great for a workout, however what I saw was not too practical for a real fight. Of course, I only went there once, so I might be way off.

I don’t know how someone with one class can make an educated opinion on the validity of a system of self-defense. First, of course it is a good cardio workout. So is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Wrestling and others like it. And since this is Testosterone workout is what it is about. Second, I have been taking self-defense since I was very young and each system taught me one thing…the conifdence I could take anyone in a fight. Now obviously I don’t think I can beat anyone in the world but I have the confidence to make a good showing of myself. Krav Maga has been taught to IDF forces for years with combat results. Last, to the guy who was a bouncer in college at a “roadhouse” like bar. Been there, Done that! I have been glassed, stabbed, and bitten by bar patrons who did not like the last call at night. I had many guys try and take me down and some did. But none beat me up because of their “ground game”. I have been taught by Rorian Gracie, Rigan Machado, Darren Levine and Tony Lopez. They all taught me something that could be used on the street. I also learned much in the military that has helped. None of these systems are a panacea to keep you alive. Keep looking for what you are comfortable with and keep taking it until you can effectivly use it in your life. Cheers

Here is a tried and true axiom of streetfighting: 90% of the time the guy who walks away is the guy who lands the first good shot.

Any fighting style that purports to be "street based" must keep this foremost in students' minds. And as Ko said, it all depends on the teacher. A great instructor will have great students; a mediocre one may have a few, if they're lucky. Shop around.

I’ve found that a good martial artist will use any technique they find situationally useful. If you are looking for the ability to defend yourself and cripple someone try multiple grapling arts. I’d suggest jujitsu, akido, and regular boxing. Also improve your understanding of the human body. Get some med books and study general physiology. Once you get a concrete understanding of how the body works and is created you will have a better understanding of how to take it apart. But please refrain if possible… :slight_smile:

It’s good that Nate is going to continue, though. I say use up that free month, and they will more than likely corner you when it’s time for you to “sign up”. At that time, I hope you tell them your issues with their classes and maybe once they see you are more “serious” about this than their average trainee - that might help.

But it is exactly as Ko said - and he's usually right about this stuff (which is why he has the Black Belts in our household). Hey, doesn't this school have a Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced styles of classes? What type of Martial Arts background do you have, if any, Nate?

It’s all about punching someone in the throat. :slight_smile:

Krav in G’ville, boy the town is getting mainstream! I have a good friend who has been taking Krav classes out in Orange County for close to a year now, and he loves it. The class is billed as providing real “street” training. One month into it, he was doing a scenario where he was in a bathroom and got jumped by two guys. Of course, in these scenarios, you know what is going to happen, so they aren’t perfect, but like I said, he really likes it. I am currently taking jiu jitsu (Shinto Yoshin Ryu) and think it is awesome. We are not learning competition moves, rather it is geared towards real combat situations (the sensei works with local SWAT teams and other law enforcement as well). I really enjoy it, but as others have said, you every system has its good points and its flaws. First, you need to find something you enjoy (and can afford). Next, you need to stick with it for awhile until you gain some level of mastery. Then, you need to start all over again with a different system to learn its tricks. Good luck.

Well, I currently teach Self defense at a martial arts studio and have had some experience with Krav Manga, I wasnt REAL impressed, but again, I think it was the instructor, not the art. My background includes Aikido, Gracie Ju-Jitsu, Shotokan and Goju Karate, Japanese Jujitsu , Judo and Hapkido, So Ive seen a lot of different techniques for a lot of different situations. My advise, would be to take the class, learn what you can, take what you like and disregard the rest. These days, there arent very many pure stylists around, anyone with martial arts background has studied differnt things and most would say they are better off for it. Go for it if you enjoy it, but dont let them tell you it’s the be all - end all martial arts system. Just my .02 .


I am a pretty passive guy and avoid fights if at all possible, but I am looking for a good fighting style to not get my ass kicked. Most fighting situations I would find myself in would be in or outside of a bar, against one or two guys. Is Krav Maga the way to go (not the cardio-oriented kind)? Should I think about taking boxing classes or another martial art? I live in Chicago, so I should have access to just about any style I would think. What would y’all recommend? Thanks for the advice.

Personally i think 99.9% of all martial arts is junk, ill first propose one question - Do you take strength-training advice from a wheelchair bound 350 lb eccentric pschyo with the brain development of a 1 year old? well, thats pretty much what most of what your doing if you take a lot of martial arts classes which are based on “tradition” and not “truth” the bottom line is if they havent actually used the techniques they present as gospel , then they shouldnt be teaching period, hint if you wanna really learn how to fight, learn from those who actually fight and as for jiu-justu, i think they are some inherent problems with a “grapple at all costs” strategy especially in hostile areas with many ppl around,just like the Mike Mentzer philosphy, it may be part of the puzzle but its the totality of the fight that matters the most, ive been in a couple fights myself and they didnt usually last more than 15-30 seconds just cuz i didnt give my enemy any advantage

Yes, I know that Krav Maga (or any other martial art or self defense system) is not the be-all, end-all to all programs. Most effective self-defense techniques take from a variety of other sources. I’m only taking the class because 1) I have one month free 2) I’ve read about it and heard about it from various sources and it seems like a legitimate self-defense course.

Now, from my first session, I saw the following. 1) There is no beginner, intermediate or advanced class. I was welcome to join the class that night and at that point in their training. So I was doing some stuff (front kicks, round house kicks) that I wasn’t taught how to do properly. If I’m going to learn, I should be taught how to execute everything correctly, not just throw kicks at my partner holding the pad. 2) They still use some of the typical stuff you see in martial arts classes with the bowing and addressing of the teacher as “sir” or whatever. I’m not there to learn disclipline or the history of martial arts. I’m there for one reason only. To learn an effective self-defense system without the stupid martial arts formalities that most use to teach their students discipline and respect. 3) The cost is outrageous. They want $1,500 for a year’s worth of courses (100 sessions, 2 each week). This is way more than I would pay for a gym membership or any type of self-defense course. And they don’t offer any one-on-one training or shorter courses. 4) It’s a mix of a cardio/fitness workout and self defense. I don’t need to go for a fitness workout (But, I don’t mind the extra workout). I want to learn tried and true techniques that work anywhere in any situation. And I want to try them in the class using full force against someone who is padded up for obvious protection reasons. This way, I can learn what works and how it works.

I’m not interested in learning only one system or a mix of various systems. I’m taking it because it appealed to me and it seems like it would work. So I’ll take what I can get from my free month. And I can even practice it at home and teach my girlfriend what I learn. I’ve thought about ju jitsu and wrestling, but ideally, if you’re in a fight, only knowing one system can get you killed. Tim Larkin and another guy (mike mahler interviewed him for intensity magazine) seem to have better systems for self defense. That’s all they teach, and they are real techniques, and no they are not pretty. If I get into a fight, I’m fighting for my life. I’m fighting dirty, and I’m trying to end it quickly. Which means, I will gouge eyes, bite, scratch, go for the throat, nose, groin and whatever else using whatever possible (fists, elbows, knees, forks, keys, beer bottles, etc).

So yes, I will get a good workout, and I will learn some simple techniques, but I will only go for a month and hopefully learn something useful. And like someone else said, I think the confidence you gain helps tremendously as well. If you feel confident, then I think you are less likely to be a victim of an attack because you show confidence. Most “thugs” look for people that appear easy to prey on. So I’ll have fun, get a workout, learn some stuff and figure out what to do next! Thanks for the input!

Kevin H- I agree. I wasn’t suggesting jujitsu only, its just that most people do not know how to deal with inside fighting and need to learn how to grapple especially in street fights where many unclean blows are thrown. I do think though that a pure martial artist and good fighter will have studied many crap and real arts as well as committed to an understanding of the human body and your own natural fighting instinct. A real fighter already knows in his soul how to fight though they may need practice to bring themselves up to speed.

Sometimes martial artists are dogmatic about a style like some lifters are with their favorite training method. Fighting is an athletic event where speed, stamina, technique and power rule. Do some renegade training and for tried and true techniques try to train boxing, thai boxing, wrestling and brazillian jiu jistu or submissions with as many different people as you can. Train with quality instructors who work the basics. There are millions of techniques but a good punch, leg kick, double leg takedown and a choke will put you ahead of most people.
Work the basics hard, try them on fat guys, stronger guys, tall guys, little guys, the more experience you have the better. Also you want to find open minded coaches… I would avoid people who tell you their system is best.
Training makes a fighter not a style.
Demo Dick is right, he who lands the first bomb usually wins your local street brawl. So train to hit that chin fast and hard. And train some grappling too in case he’s a better bomber.

if you live in chicago, I’ve heard good things about I have not tried it myself, but it is a combination style. Maybe if there’s anyone here from chicago they can comment since I was thinking about it myself, once I recover from my lasik surgery.

gwpeacemaker - “I am a pretty passive guy and avoid fights if at all possible…”

That’s probably the best self defense of all.