Why Do We Practise Krav Maga?

Image credit: BrBen

Image credit: BrBen

It’s late on a Friday night and you’re walking home. You’ve been out for a few drinks with colleagues after work and now the buzz of those five ciders is beginning to kick in.

Across the road you notice a guy in a hoodie who seems to be watching you. About to turn the corner, you’re second-guessing your decision to go down that dark alley.

“It’s probably nothing,” you think. “At least I practise Krav Maga twice a week.”

 

Discovering your reason for training

Most people have certain expectations when they come to a class in Krav Maga. These expectations usually centre around getting a good workout, learning some practical skills and perhaps a cool trick or two.

Rarely do we talk about the soft-skills of Krav Maga: the de-escalation strategies, the avoidance, the situational awareness. None of this stuff releases endorphins like a good multiple attacker drill with knives and sticks.

Yes, the high intensity and sometimes technical fighting is absolutely essential to your training in Krav Maga. At some point, though, you have to ask yourself a question: Why am I practising Krav Maga?

The answer will vary, but for many it’s simple. To get myself and those I care about home safely.

This is why I practise (and teach) Krav Maga. It’s not about showing off who’s the stronger person. It’s not about massaging your ego.

I hope you’ll never have to use the things I teach you.

Not sure I understand what you're trying to say here, and it seems a bit contradictory to the point you're trying to make.

 

Fighting is the last tool you want to use

In reality few of us will encounter something like a high-pressure terrorist attack. No, the situations we might find ourselves in are of the aggressive-driver, drunken-bar-fight, creep-following-you-home variety.

If our goal is to get home safely, these encounters often have many opportunities for us to achieve our goal before we even have to fight. Fighting is truly the last resort.

Sergeant Rory Miller in his book Facing Violence illustrates this point nicely:

“It is better to avoid than to run. It is better to run than de-escalate. It is better to de-escalate than to fight. It is better to fight than to die.”

 

Our egos get us into trouble

Okay, so far, we’ve established that avoidance is the best option, then running, then de-escalating. Where we run into trouble is when the ego gets involved. Our egos are responsible for us not taking the out.

I spoke with Krav Maga International Australia’s Lead Instructor, Jarrod Krafcyzk about the role of the ego in confrontations, and he seemed to agree with my thoughts.

“Unless it comes down to an actual attack, there’s no reason for you to get into a physical confrontation. None whatsoever,” he says.

“So, it’s about identifying your triggers and then addressing them. Realise that if you’re easily insulted you begin to wonder why and then [take steps to] get past it.”

If someone tries to start something in a bar, and we take it personally and respond in kind (getting the ego involved), are we avoiding the situation, or ratcheting up the intensity to get closer to a fight?

 

Objections to avoiding confrontation

Image credit: Lifehacker

Image credit: Lifehacker

“But Luke, doesn’t it make me a pushover if I don’t stand up when someone confronts me?” you might ask.

Remember your objective: to get home safely. Who cares what some random guy in a bar thinks of you? Sure, in the eyes of the aggressor you might be a ‘pushover’, but do you value your ego more than your safety?

The question becomes more complicated when it comes to muggings and situations where you’re giving something up. A potential way out would be to hand over the goods, perhaps earning the label of pushover. This may be a safer option than de-escalating, which would involve talking with the person, trying to understand their point of view and calm things down. You’re trying to keep your stuff (and your life) while reasoning with the other person.

 

Putting it in perspective

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons

The steps preceding violence and force are incredibly complex. There are so many factors at play. What environment are you in? What is the state of the attacker? Do they have a weapon? What state are you in? What are they asking? What options do you have?

Fighting by comparison can be much simpler, albeit a much higher risk. It can then be tempting to gravitate toward the fighting, missing the opportunity to get out of the situation early. There’s a sense of comfort and confidence in the Krav Maga training you’ve done.

If my attacker throws a haymaker, I’ll block it and punch them in the face. That punch will flatten them, giving me time to run. But is it ever that simple? What if you muck up your block? What if your punch doesn’t land or is ineffective? Because we train, fighting can seem like the simplest part of an encounter, but really it’s just as intricate as avoiding a situation or de-escalating. However, the price of serious injury or imprisonment is a much higher one to pay.

It’s an important reminder when continuing your training. These skills are to be used in a worst-case scenario –they’re just one of the tools in your arsenal.

Luke.

Get the KMDI Mobile App

The KMDI App is now available 

Download the Krav Maga Defence Institute App today to plan and schedule your KMDI classes! From this mobile App you can view class schedules, sign-up for classes, view ongoing promotions, as well as view the KMDI studio locations and contact information. You can also click through to our social pages! Optimise your time and maximise the convenience of signing up for classes from your device! Download this App today!

 

Krav Maga on the Morning Show

Saar and Jarrod featured earlier today on the Morning Show. Things started to get out of hand when Larry Emdur put Kylie in a choke hold but luckily it ended well. Well done to our boys and hopefully they won't be leaving us anytime soon to start a career in Hollywood.

Krav Maga is the go to fighting style used by military and police around the world. Developed in the Israeli army, it has also become increasingly popular among civilians due to its practical approach to self defence.

Member of the Week: Jesse Benson

Hi Jesse, can you tell me what you do for a living?

I work as a Marketing Manager for an Advertising Agency in North Sydney!

Why did you start Krav Maga?

I started Krav Maga around 7-8 months ago and have enjoyed every moment!

What do you like the most about it?

Besides being taught key defense/combat strategies the fitness achieved through Krav Maga compared to anything else I have done is unbelievable

What are your hobbies?

Fitness would be my number one hobby, followed closely by travel and being bit of a socialite

Could you tell us something that no one at Krav knows about you?

I actually have two baby brothers aged 5 and 7 that love the idea of having a kick ass big brother that they can try and wrestle with

Facebook & Instagram Competition

KMDI // BASTILLE DAY COMPETITION

@studiocanalaus would like to offer you 10 double passes to the Sydney preview screening of BASTILLE DAY starring Idris Elba, in cinemas May 12.

➡ HOW TO ENTER:
[1] Like our page
[2] Share this picture of KMDI's Bastille Day poster with the hashtag ‪#‎BastilleDayKMDI‬

We'll offer 5 double passes on Facebook + 5 double passes on Instagram (account @kmdikravmaga), so enter the competition in both social medias to maximise your chances to win!

Krav Maga is making waves in Hollywood. Stars such as Daniel Craig, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Ashton Kutcher, John Mayer, and Hilary Swank are all learning Krav Maga to stay in shape and to prepare for films.

MORE INFO:
• Date: Wed May 4 at 6.15pm
• Trailer: www.bastilleday-movie.com.au/trailer
• Synopsis: Michael Mason (Richard Madden 'GAME OF THRONES') is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba 'LUTHER'), the field agent on the case, soon realises that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24hr thrill ride ensues, the unlikely duo discovers they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy. BASTILLE DAY hits cinemas May 12

• Social: @studiocanalaus @kmdikravmaga #bastilledaymovie #bastilledayKMDI

Winners will be contacted on Thur April 28.

KMDI Member of the week: Irina Andreev

Hi Irina, can you tell me what you do for a living?
I work in Digital Marketing


Why did you start Krav Maga?
My best friend started to train and asked me along. Then I got hooked!


What do you like the most about it?
The fitness and confidence you get from being able to defend yourself.


What are your hobbies?
Gaming and swimming


Could you tell us something that no one at Krav knows about you?
I am half Buryat (Largest indigenous group in Siberea)

KMDI Xmas Operating Hours

Please note that all KMDI locations will be closed on the following dates:

  • Dec 24 (Xmas eve)
  • Dec 25 (Xmas day)
  • Dec 26 (Boxing day)
  • Dec 28 (Boxing day public holiday)
  • Dec 31 (NYE)
  • Jan 1 (NY Day)

We will have limited operating hours the following days:

  • Tuesday Dec 29th  
    • No CBD Classes
    • Surry Hills.  all classes mixed level. 12:30 17:45, 18:45, 19:45.  (no 7am class)
  • Wednesday Dec 30th  
    • No Shire Classes
    • Bondi open as usual
    • Surry Hills.  all classes mixed level. 12:30 17:45, 18:45, 19:45

Business will be back as usual from Saturday Jan 2nd.

All the KMDI Team wishes you a great holiday and a happy new year! 

Krav Maga Gradings

All members eligible for Grading have been emailed.

Gradings will be from levels 1 - 4 from 9am - 1:30pm. Please note that on that day, regular classes will not be running.

Grading is a great opportunity to test your skills and challenge yourself outside the format of a regular class setting. You will receive specific feedback from the instructor team to help you progress and take your skills to the next level. Grading is the pathway to move into the intermediate and advanced classes, it may not always be easy, but it is definitely rewarding.

The Grading is structured similarly to a normal class in that you will be paired with another student and asked at random to perform the various techniques you have learnt throughout your training at KMDI. The main difference will be that your Instructor will not demonstrate the technique first, and your skills and ability will be tested by a Grading Committee. The initial phase of Grading will contain technical, physical, and pressure drills with a heavy emphasis on striking and fighting ability - your ability to respond realistically with the appropriate energy and aggression levels will also contribute to your overall performance. The final 15 minutes of the Grading will consist of feedback which will be given in small groups by the Instructor testing you.

Member of the week – Emmilly Mendelevich

MemberOW-Emily1.jpeg
MemberOW-Emily2.jpeg

HI EMMILY, WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a Student Advisor at the University of Sydney Business School; I help students with their degree plans and make sure they get the most of out their time at university.

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE KRAV MAGA TECHNIQUE?

I really enjoying punching out combos and if it incorporates a bit of leg work I’m happy.


WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN OUTSIDE OF KRAV MAGA?

I’ve got an endless pile of books in my house; I love to kick back with a movie, usually something comedic and I‘m addicted to jogging outdoors; basically it’s important to keep moving and keep it fun.

 
DO YOU PRACTICE AT HOME ON YOUR MOTHER/FATHER/SISTER/BROTHER?

Haha. It’s temping sometimes…


WHICH INSTRUCTOR’S MUSIC PLAYLIST WOULD YOU RATHER LISTEN TO?

Ben has consistently played good hip hop on Saturday mornings, so that’s a solid win for me!

 
IF YOU COULD PLAN A CONDITIONING SESSION FOR THE INSTRUCTORS, WHAT WOULD YOU INCLUDE?

Ooh…I’d pick on their weakness and give them an hour of practice! But just for a visual, may be I’d encourage them do to a dance class?

This week at KMDI

KravMaga-KMDI.jpeg

This week in KMDI, the focus in class was on defense against armed attacks, with particular training given to knife attacks. Students were taught how to defend themselves against knife attacks through a variety of simulated scenarios in which they worked with their partner to deflect an attack and remove themselves from a potentially harmful situation.

 Did you know: A study by the Australian Institute of Criminology in 2010 established that knives/sharp instruments, were the most commonly used weapon in armed attacks in Australia. Knife attacks accounted for 47% of all armed robberies and were responsible for 43% of homicides.

The Buddy System

Another year, another resolution. Over 85% of which will fail. But those that succeed usually have one thing in common, the buddy system.

Now, we may not be talking about scuba or high wire courses here so call it what you will, but the principle remains the same: training with a friend or a group of friends almost always yields better results!

But here’s the kicker: they also need to be motivated, and motivated towards the same goal as you. Plus if you are really serious then there is one other must-have when it comes to choosing an appropriate training buddy, one which most people are too intimidated by: they need more experienced than you at the given task!

Although that last step is not 100% necessary, it will certainly accelerate your results and is highly recommended.

But perhaps you don’t have any motivated friends who want to improve their health and fitness? Well that’s a whole different article right there but don’t despair, there is a solution. In fact, there are a few.

Most people have Facebook and often have more ‘friends’ then they can remember but somewhere along the line you might have known those people and chances are there is someone doing something on there which interests you, all it can take is a post ‘Hey I see you go climbing, been meaning to get into that, want to catch up over a climb?’

Or go join some group classes and make some new, fit, active, motivating friends. This is often the best way to go and don’t be scared, those classes aren’t all filled with crazy fluoro short short’s wearing exercises junkies, you’ll be surprised how many people you will find in the exact same position as you. And often, you will make lifelong friends who are fun, motivated, and have the positive influence in your life that comes from shared common goals.

Of course, there is also always the option of getting a trainer. However, most people don’t see them as buddies (and rightly so) due to the hell they tend to put you through. The fact still remains that finding a good trainer can mean that outside that hour or two of hell a week, have gained a very motivating and experienced buddy to help you reach your goals.

So go for it, you certainly aren’t the only one who is looking to have a fitter, healthier 2014. Find someone else who shares those goals and ideally already has had some good results in that department and tag along. Reunite a friendship, make a new one, or invest a little bit of money in yourself rather than the car and don’t let another year pass you by.

Eating for Heat

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When I refer to “eating for heat”, I am not talking about the scorching temperatures we are currently experiencing across Sydney, but the inner heat generated by a good, thumping, healthy metabolism.

Did you know that cold hands and feet, a tendency to feel the chill, and red/blotchy skin can be a sign of sluggish metabolism? When many people hear that their metabolism may be slowing down, their first step is often to diet harder, and train harder, which is highly likely to exacerbate the problem.

In order for the mitochondria in our body’s cells (the tiny organelle responsible for energy production) to function optimally, it needs adequate calories and an adequate representation of all three macronutrients in the diet: protein, fat, and the much maligned carbohydrates. A diet or exercise routine that significantly depletes carbohydrates or severely restricts one of these macronutrients can be very metabolically damaging, and lead to the tell-tale signs of metabolic distress mentioned in the beginning of this article.

A sluggish metabolism can also present with weight gain, dull skin and hair, fatigue, mood swings, low libido, poor digestion, and reduced fertility. Without the energy to perform every function optimally, your body will begin to make sacrifices on energy usage, and that is when these symptoms will begin to emerge.

So how can we keep our metabolism healthy? By eating enough, sleeping enough, actively trying to reduce our stress, and training smart. Training smart means exercising regularly, 3-6 times a week, but not to the point of absolute exhaustion or depletion each and every time. Eating enough means giving your body enough calories and enough of each of the macronutrients to perform all of its functions optimally and with ease. Sleeping enough tends to mean between 7 and 9 hours a night occurring between the hours of 9pm and 6am, with women actually needing slightly more sleep each night than men.

Actively reducing stress might mean taking up a meditative practice, seeing friends more, and removing toxic people from your life.
There is also the question of eating RIGHT, which I will have to cover in another article, but remember, a tired and slow metabolism will never be permanently beaten into submission by a heavily restrictive diet and over-training. These moves may lead to short-term success, but inevitably will result in burn-out and a return of the original problems, and then some.


Eliza is a 4th year student of Naturopathy and Nutritional Medicine and currently offers KMDI students free one-hour nutrition consults. These can be arranged for 2pm, Tuesday-Thursday by emailing eliza@kmdi.com.au

The Big 4

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If you walk into any standard globo-gym you will find yourself surrounded by a myriad of machines. Machines to work your quads, another to work your biceps, another to work the lower section of the left hand side of your right forearm. The list goes on and the machines get more and more ridiculous.

There are, in fact, just four basic exercises you can do that will work your entire body. And these 4 are just the basics.  And all you need is a barbell, a squat rack, some space to yourself and a pull up bar.

  1. The Deadlift
  2. The Back Squat
  3. The Push-Up, or Ring Dip
  4. The Pull-Up

A lift, a lower, a push and a pull.

 
 
The Deadlift

Lifting a weight up from the ground.

Without going into detail of every single muscle you use when doing a deadlift, I’ll just list the general areas.

Abdomen, Back, Legs (front and back), Hips/Glutes, Forearms.

Within these groups you are working various posterior and anterior muscles.  All from simply picking up something heavy, and putting it back down a few times.


 
Back Squat

Placing the barbell across the top of the back, squatting down so your glutes are lower than your knees and then back up to a locked out standing position.

Primary muscles used: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abdomen.

This can of course be done without weight and just using your own body weight with higher repetitions.


 
Push up, or Ring Dip

A conditioning and calisthenics staple.

A simple movement raising and lowering the upper part of the body using the arms.  But what most people don’t realise is that if done correctly a push up will work a lot more than just your arms and chest.

Keeping your core switched on and your entire posterior chain tight, your push-up will work from head to toe almost.

This can be made harder by different hand positions (closer together, further apart, higher or lower, stable or unstable flooring, single handed), raising the feet (all the way to a handstand position), or adding plyometric movements to different heights, adding claps etc…).


Pull-ups

Using muscular effort to raise and lower the body to and from a bar.

Ensuring the whole body is tight you will utilise the trunk, arms, shoulders, abdominals, pelvic floor, glutes, hands and forearms.

Pull ups are not just an arm and shoulder motion, if done correctly you are strengthening your entire body.

The 2 basic guidelines for this is that your chin goes above the bar at the top, and your arms are fully extended (but not relaxed, keep your shoulders packed) at the bottom.  Hands over or under do not matter, as this simply changes from a pull-up, to a chin up.  Simply targeting a few different areas (chin up will put more focus on the chest with the internal rotation of the shoulders).


Not hard enough?  Try these variations

Weighted, one arm, close or wide grip, clapping/plyometric, chest to bar, muscle up.

So forget all your fancy machines and equipment, and get back to the basics of strength and conditioning.


Jarrod