Krav Maga: A New Era in Self Defense
The Israeli school of fighting is, quite simply, a style of close quarter combat that utilizes various strikes, holds, kicks, and blocks. It’s deeply influenced by wrestling and boxing and has drawn from several forms of eastern martial arts to evolve into what it is today. It has, in more recent incarnations of the style of combat, lineage in sumbo, boxing, muay thai, ju-jitsu and kung fu, among others. But its roots were in street fighting and boxing, skills an unarmed and oppressed populace could use against better equipped aggressors. In the Hebrew it means ‘contact combat.’
Nowadays, the Israeli Army teaches it as a fundamental of basic combat training and interest in it has grown exponentially since its inception in the 1940’s. To call it Israeli Krav Maga, although technically accurate, is actually misleading, as it got its start from the Jewish resistance against fascist aggression in Europe during the World War II era, when weaponry was scarce but the will to live deep and wide and earnestly felt. For all practical purposes, we will call it Israeli Krav Maga, as that is how it is perceived and thought of throughout the world.
The Israelis, ever the pragmatists, eschew the mystique and Hollywood grandstanding of today’s “martial artists” as the rubbish it is. The Israelis have purloined the best of many traditions of self-defense and have distilled the vital and most destructive elements of each into their very own, home grown martial arts school, producing a hard hitting, deadly, and ultimately usable form. As a discipline, it is a force to be reckoned with and Krav Maga training is not something to be entered into lightly. In fact, without very good reason, it is not something to be entered into at all.
Your instructor, if he’s at all reputable, or at least cares about his students, would interview the prospective candidate thoroughly in order to uncover any ulterior motives for undergoing the training.
For this school of martial arts, you see, is not a game. It is not an art form. This combatives system is serious, extremely devastating hand to hand combat which should be used in life or death situations, or most preferably, not at all. After all, it takes a bigger man to walk away from a fight, right? So, why would you need the Israeli form of death dealing, anyway?
Krav Maga emphasizes the value of avoiding a fight, whenever possible. One should not be eager to engage in fighting, for fun or otherwise. Secondly, and just as importantly, should the need for fighting ever come, Israeli Krav Maga teaches the basics of wining the fight with the least amount injury on the part of the student of this school of fighting.