There you go. I've answered it right off the bat so you don't need to read any further.
Actually, that's slightly misleading, it takes a lot more. Let me explain.....
But first, a little background.
Last year I was on holiday, stomping around Morocco with my other half. Our first stop was Marrakech, an interesting place to say the least.
(Apparently it’s fine to mix mopeds, people and donkeys in very small spaces and see who comes out alive!)
What Marrakech has a lot of is... Thai Massage.
(And before you frown a little, I mean proper/real/traditional Thai massage!)
Keeping myself mobile is a big part of teaching Krav Maga, so regular massage is a sure fire way I keep moving, so I’ve had fair few in my time. So we set off to find a place that had been recommended...
After half an hour of wandering the streets, we eventually found the place we were looking for, on the fourth floor of an apartment block, in the middle of a suburb. We were a little concerned our research had been poor given our surroundings, but once we opened the door we couldn’t have been any more surprised…!
The place was amazing, from the greeting, the explanations and, of course, the massage itself.
(If a massage leaves me feeling like I’ve done 10 rounds with Tyson, it was a good one!)
Once we’d finished, we were giving traditional green tea in their relaxation room, and I sat there wondering, why the massage was so much better than pretty much every other one I’ve ever had...
I then turned to look left... staring right in front of me was the answer!
On the wall were the diplomas and certifications of all the people who worked there... and not one of them had done less than 150 hours of training!
150 hours of massage in an intensive course... now that’s got to be hard work!!!
There are so many cheap, short courses out there, in all types of skills or vocations, and all of them will give you a certificate.
But it’s not the certificate that matters, it’s the time it took to achieve it!
I’ve met so many ‘Krav Maga Instructors’ who have a certificate or a diploma to teach, but they got it in 3 days, or 8 hours...
You simply cannot get to a competent level of skill in that time frame, you are simply ‘buying’ the certificate.
That’s why I ensure all of our team at Elite have gone through the Official Krav Maga Global Instructor Certification Programme which is, you guessed it... over 150 hours
(180 to be precise!)
Not to mention their previous experience, their training and continued professional development. As a result, instructors who stay with Elite (and of course our governing body, KMG) are at the top of their game.
Some instructors qualify and then stop training themselves.
Believing you’re so good once you have that instructor patch on your arm that you feel you can actually stop doing what you did to get you there in the first place.
Becoming an instructor in any discipline is a lifelong commitment to ensuring you’re the best you can be – not just for yourself but also for your students.
And careful of those who have a ‘certificate’ in something who promote that they can help you, always do your research.
Search out those who have ‘put the time in’... and for those who continue to improve.
You might end up paying a little more to learn from them, but you can rest assured it’ll be good quality training.
When people stop me at events and ask me 'How long does it take to become a Krav Maga instructor?' I usually give them the long answer. And frankly, it's more than just time - it takes a certain type of person to go on this journey (and stay on it) and I'm happy to call those types of people my friends and colleagues.
P.S Morocco was fantastic and if you haven’t been already, give it some thought. It’s a great adventure.