By: Jeremy Brown (Treadstone Defensive Tactics)
In the Krav Maga world, you will often see portraits of Imi Lichtenfeld (the founder of Krav Maga) with one of his mottos "So one may walk in peace". This is one of our underlying goals. We hope to never be forced to use the fighting aspects of Krav Maga. Unfortunately, we don't always have the choice whether or not to fight. Yes we train so that we may walk in peace but we also train so that if attacked we can prevail. The only way to do this is to learn how to fight.
There is this conventional wisdom that says if you use the words “Fight” or “Fighting” on your marketing material, that you will lose 90 percent of your female clients and a percentage of your male clients. Bring out the word “Sparring” and you lose even more people. Most people either do not like the idea of fighting or sparring, or they find it intimidating and scary. Knowing this, why do I say that our approach to Krav Maga is a fighter's approach?
Something that is missing from many “self-defense” schools, is training to actually fight. There tends to be lots of situational training (ie: here is the technique to get out of a headlock, here is how you deal with a knife attack, etc.) but it tends to stop there. This is fun and necessary material to work on, but is it enough?
Are you getting faster?
Are you getting stronger?
How is your reaction time?
How comfortable are you when sparring?
How tough (mentally) are you?
A violent attack is exactly that, Violent! I tell my students, if you are in a fist fight, you are going to be punched. If you are in a knife fight, you’re gonna be cut. If you are in a gunfight, you’re probably gonna be shot. That is one of the ugly realities of self-defense. It is rare to get out of any fight unscathed. Accepting this truth, you can better train to handle and survive an attack. Once you have learned that, you can train to excel and minimize your own damage.
Professional fighters train to be faster and stronger. They train to have better timing and reaction time. They are disciplined, and work hard to develop the necessary skills to win a fight. This includes being able to handle the stress and pain of a fight.
Krav Maga (as it was meant to be) takes this fighter's approach to training.
ProTip: Train like a fighter
Build specific skills.
Timing and Rhythm.
Speed, Accuracy, and Power.
Combination of strikes.
Footwork and body movement.
Be well rounded (Jack of all trades).
You need good groundwork.
You need good standup.
You need weapons training.
Make sure your body can perform what is needed.
Increase your speed.
Increase your strength.
Increase your flexibility.
Increase your conditioning.
Increase your mental toughness
Train to be comfortable in sparring, both standing and on the ground (yet maintain an urgent need to escape).
Spend most of your time training the fundamentals (see ProTip: “Train like a Professional”).
Be disciplined, work hard, and insist on improving!
A fighter's approach shouldn’t scare us. If we are true to our goal of self-defense then we have to embrace the reality that we are training to not only survive but to excel in a very violent fight.
Train Hard and Be Safe.