Friday, March 12, 2010

What is Krav Maga? Is it Best for Security, Police, Military, Me?


Krav Maga is the official system of hand-to-hand combat and self-defense employed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).  Litterally translated as "contact combat" or "close combat", Krav Maga is an eclectic hand-to-hand combat system developed in Israel which involves wrestling, grappling and striking techniques.  It was derived from street-fighting skills scientifically developed by Imi Lichtenfeld.

I am a proud practicioner of Krav Maga and have studied with Darren Lavine, Bas Rutten, Amir Perets, John Whitman, Paul Reavlin (my Revgear friend) and others. My school USA Martial Arts hired Wade Allen (Jennifer Lopez and SWAT trainer) to train our staff and students here in Phoenix Arizona.

You can see clear influences of the Krav Maga on my teaching, the USA Martial Arts system as well as our NTS / Nottingham Sword & Shield Security training courses.  I can attest to the fact that all Krav Maga is not the same.  Darren and his team have my utmost respect and I consider them a valued resource for my own growth and training.

Krav Maga training focuses on teaching simple (not to be confused with easy) techniques which are specifically designed for reality based attack scenarios and specifically developed to produce skilled individuals in a short period of time.

The guiding principles for Krav Maga are:
  • Neutralize the threat 
  • Avoid injury 
  • Go from defending to attacking as quickly as possible 
  • Use the body's natural reflexes 
  • Strike at vulnerable areas 
  • Use any tool or object nearby
  • No rules 
You'll find these in almost any practical and scientifically tested hand to hand or hand to weapon combat system for close quarters battle.  These principles are well ingrained pillars in my NTS training systems as well as what I teach the military and security/law enforcement.  (VIPER, RAT, PFS DOM and many other programs.)

In Krav Maga, students will learn to hit any area that is available on an opponent as well as use anything at their disposal within their reach to their advantage. A student of Krav Maga is also taught to deal with the most important or most dangerous threats first and to keep the opponent or attacker from continued attack. Krav Maga teaches the student to utilize the body’s own responses and abilities to move quickly from a defense position to one of attacking or striking.

Is Krav Maga the best for me?

That depends.  Being physically and mentally prepared to handle confrontation is why hundreds of law enforcement agencies and civilians around the world train in Krav Maga. Based on scientific principles and instinctive movements, this reality-based system is designed to teach real self defense in the shortest possible time. You'll learn to defend against common chokes and grabs from all angles, punches and kicks, and weapons such as guns, knives and sticks. Just as important, Krav Maga will teach you to function under the stress, shock and adrenalin rush of a sudden, violent encounter.  

Having said that, Krav Maga is extremely physically demanding and carries risks people should consider. Numerous clients reporting to me that they were injured or simply couldn't keep pace or recover with their demanding profession, lifestyle or physical abilities.  Krav Maga takes an intense level of commitment to practice because it is designed as a short term, quick learn immersion training system for young, fit, full-time military personnel.   I love, practice and teach elements of Krav Maga but that isn't what I offer the public at my martial arts school.  I draw on elements of Krav Maga and other sources to tailor training to my individual students needs.


Frankly, KM isn't for everyone and has a chronically high drop out rate, even with the best instruction and optimistic intentions.  It favors young, athletic and aggressive individuals with durable bodies and an intense work ethic.  Yanking peoples feet out from under them and going full contact comes with a higher risk than many of my clients are prepared to take (while I love this personally and would use it to train certain military  or SWAT personnel.).  Put simply, it is difficult to maintain it as a lifestyle or ongoing lifestyle fitness program for most of us.  Despite how it has been marketed by some, it is not a martial art, Krav Maga is a military combatives system.  

The key to Krav Maga, as with any instruction in my view, isn't the system as much as it is the instructor.  A skilled teacher can adapt the principles and concepts to the practitioner and their individual needs.  This is especially important if the individual is law enforcement, security or a profession with a clearly defined mission and use of force liability concerns.  Krav Maga get's my highest recommendation for military, a cautionary recommendation for law enforcement and a strong caution for civilians.  As with most things, I've seen it taught well and I've seen it taught horribly.  The bottom line is finding the best instructor for your goals, mission and one who can bring out your best.

NTS Nottingham Training Systems
Nottingham Sword & Shield Security
NTS training offers context and mission specific solutions to military, law enforcement, government agencies, various institutions and individuals.  Our team integrates our background in military, law enforcement, security (bodyguards) and martial arts to efficiently tailor training to the needs of our clients.  We draw on a variety of sources as well as scientific research for our methods.  For more contact

IMPACT : Our version of Krav Maga and unique blend of Fitness and Self Defense
Intense Mental Physical Applied Conditioning Training

Krav Maga not a perfect fit for you?  That's why my team developed IMPACT.  Impact is a program designed to incorporate the winning strategy, tactics, drills and skill of Krav Maga, JKD and Mixed Martial Arts Kick Boxing as a recreational fitness program.  The atmosphere is designed to be comfortable for a variety of ages, fitness levels and tailors well to individual goals.  We have a ton of fun and even integrate Yoga to heal old injuries and balance the body with flexibility and stress management.

You can try IMPACT MMA Fitness Kick Boxing Self Defense for free as my guest to see if it's right for you. 

In the United States, personnel from various Federal, State and Local law enforcementagencies regularly train in Krav Maga, JKD and now MMA concepts, including the FBI- Federal Bureau of Investigations,United States Marshals Service, ATF- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, DEA- Drug Enforcement Administration U.S. Treasury Department, INS-Immigration and Naturalization Service, State Department, CIA Central Intelligence agency, United States Coast Guard, and police and sheriff's offices in New York (NYPD), Illinois, Texas, Alabama, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, and Maryland to name a few.

If you or your organization are interesting in our force and mission specific training options contact or

No comments:

Post a Comment