Interview with Ron Engelman
founder of Krav Maga Defence Institute
Why have you decided to bring Krav Maga to Australia?
I believe that as a community we have a responsibility to look after one another. Our police force is doing the best they can to keep us and our families safe but now more than ever people need to take responsibility over their safety. I came to Australia as a student after completing my service in the Israeli army and it was important for me to do my part by bringing these skills that I learned in Israel and help to promote awareness about personal safety.
What benefits do you see for ordinary people in learning Krav Maga?
After training on how to disarm a knife wielding attacker, everything else in life starts to seem a but more chilled out in comparison. It’s almost like someone reaches out and turns down the volume and your tolerance to stress improves. Krav Maga is unapologetically practical and Krav Maga practitioners learn practical self defence skills without the bells and whistles. I have also witnessed countless people get into peak physical condition and fast training in Krav Maga since it offers a full body workout in a more engaging environment than your average gym. But the number one benefit in my opinion is the freedom that comes with knowing that you can handle yourself anywhere you go. Teenagers training in Krav Maga develop leadership skills, build confidence and learn constructive tools for dealing with bullying. Krav Maga women’s self defence programs provide a safe positive training environment teaching defences for the most common threats that women can face.
What specifically will people learn?
In Krav Maga practitioners learn to use their natural instincts to defend themselves against all common types of violent attacks. Krav Maga is not a martial art and it is not a sport. There are no rules and nothing is off limits so we must prepare for anything. At the beginner level we teach how to defend against common holds, chokes and grabs, how to defend against an opponent armed with knife or how to defend effectively if you are jumped by several attackers simultaneously. At the more advanced levels we teach how to use objects in our environment for self defence, how to disarm an opponent armed with a gun or how to take down a hijacker in a hostage situation. We also simulate realistic situations and environments such as fighting in a car or on public transport. If it can happen in reality - we train it.
What would you see to people who are nervous or intimidated about giving Krav Maga a go?
We have trained literally thousands of people in Krav Maga over the last ten years. In an industry that can sometimes intimidate newcomers, we have made it a point to provide an inclusive and safe environment. Friendly and helpful instructors help welcome newcomers to our community. In Krav Maga are all on the same team, training together for the same goals. Krav Maga is different in that it is not focused on achieving perfect form or winning matches. Krav Maga is about getting the job done and going home in one piece. Because of this we also tend to attract good people who are more interested in learning practical self defence that works than they are in winning fights.
Krav Maga is instinctive and anyone can pick it up. To anyone new I would say - give it a try. I guarantee it will by like nothing you have ever experienced before.
Ron Engelman is the founder of Krav Maga Defence Institute. He is a Master Sargent with the IDF and 5th dan black belt Krav Maga instructor.
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