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TOM GINSBERG

“Everyone has their own reasons: fitness; confidence; skill building; finding a community of like-minded individuals to train with”

Why do Krav Maga? Everyone has their own reasons: fitness; confidence; skill building; finding a community of like-minded individuals to train with. Krav Maga certainly provides all of those. For me personally, I had been keen to give some form of martial art a go, but I was picky – and I was never convinced that many of the commonly known, ‘traditional’ systems really work in a real-life situation. I reasoned: if I do a martial art, I want to know that I am learning a skill which, should the worst happen, would be valuable asset to protecting myself and others.
I wanted this to be at the heart of its design, and this is how I found Krav Maga. To this day, this is still what to me makes Krav Maga such a fantastic system and joy to learn. Things are done for a reason, namely their efficacy in real-world self-defence situations (truly, it’s strange how few combat systems actually do this!). Lessons revolve around improving skills in all key pillars of self-defence: strategic and tactical behaviour (for example, why seek out trouble if you can avoid it, or pre-empt earlier down the timeline in some other way?), mindset, techniques and physical conditioning. The more you learn, the more things click into place: Krav Maga is an integrated system that seeks to work on fundamental principles and techniques, with as few solutions to as many problems as possible. What this means is that as you move through the system and learn to deal with more complex situations of self-defence, the basic fundamental techniques and concepts are still very much in play and don’t change. If they did, it’s questionable how well they could be performed under the physical stress associated with an actual real-life event: something Krav Maga understands and seeks to manage.

“Everyone has their own reasons: fitness; confidence; skill building; finding a community of like-minded individuals to train with”

I remember my first lesson – now a few years ago – like it was yesterday. I came as a blank canvass: no prior martial arts or combat experience. My lesson was a one-to-one with our instructor Rick. It included having to close my eyes and react against bumps with a ‘melon’, a spherical punch pad (hence, ‘melon’) sometimes used for training. I couldn’t believe how uncoordinated and weak my counter-attacking was. I didn’t even know how to throw a proper punch (I’ve learned, meanwhile, not many people do!). So for the first few weeks, I wasn’t actually sure if this was really for me. But I kept going and as the weeks went by, started to enjoy myself and relax more into the learning experience. I quickly started moving from training once a week, to twice, to three times, to now where I regularly train three or four times a week.
I’m now looking forward to moving into the ‘Graduate’ stream of the system in the not-too-distant future: something that would be a great achievement and is a solid goal for anyone wanting to get serious about learning to defend themselves. I would recommend Krav Maga to anyone looking for those reasons I mentioned at the start of this account: and I would strongly advise them if they were looking for a martial art with a real-world application outside of the dojo.

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