Recently, a friend told me about Krav Maga…
She’d just finished an introductory class and she was so fired up about it that she called to rave all about it.
She wouldn’t stop going on about how I HAVE to do it so that I can do an upcoming 30-day challenge with her, and this left me – to be honest – scared.
For the better part of my life, martial arts has intimidated me…
I’m a petite, 5”1’ petite woman.
I’ve largely been scared that I’m not strong enough and that I would just get beat by everyone else in the sport, and I’d never even heard of Krav Maga.
By that same logic, it’s the primary reason that I should pick up Krav Maga or any other self-defense technique. God forbid — but it would be useful for potential real life scenarios.
Boasts Confidence and Security
My girlfriend who had just gotten back from her first Krav Maga session said, “I know you love to think that everyone in the world is good — and they are!
But you’d love the fitness aspect and you will totally love the security it gives you — just in case.”
What can I say -. I love fitness. I love to be in charge of my body and life.
So far, I’ve fancied that, in the off chance that someone would attack me, I am so fast, I would get away.
If the options are fight or flight — to date, I’d choose flight.
Effects of Self Defense Training
IMPACT Self Defense of Chicago shares a study that presents women with some kind of self-defense training — “56% knocked-out or disabled their attacker, 34% escaped from their attacker or he ran away, 6% lost property, and 4% submitted to a rape because in their judgment it was the safest choice .”
Self-defense for women is smart.
I did as my friend requested.
I took the same trial class she did and — do you know what — I start the 30-day challenge with her next week.
What is Krav Maga?
Krav (cr-aw-v) Maga (mag-gah) was developed by the Isreali Defense Forces as a self-defense and fighting system.
The technique is intended for up-close “combat” and real-world scenarios.
Because men and women are eligible to serve in the Israeli military, Krav Maga was made to be suitable, effective, and efficient for anyone — regardless of gender or body size.
In reality, the ultimate goal of Krav Maga is to debilitate your opponent as quickly as possible.
Purpose of Krav Maga
In practice, the ultimate goal of Krav Maga is to physically and mentally prepare you for any threatening scenario that might come up.
It’s important to note and be encouraged that Krav Maga, unlike other martial arts, does not necessarily take years to master.
While you could become a master in about 3 years, which is more similar to progressing through the levels of Karate or Taekwondo, the basic techniques are meant to be learned and become instinctive reflexes quickly.
My 30-Minute Intro
Yesterday, I went to my 30-minute introductory class.
It was one-on-one so the instructor could really break down what the technique is and (of course) sell me on the benefits.
It was nice to have that extra bit of attention as we delved into some of the key moves — especially as someone who has been nervous about self-defense, fighting, and martial arts forever!
What We Discussed
We reviewed basic scenarios like; if someone grabs your hair, tries to choke you, punch you or even just approaches you aggressively.
If an opponent really did get up close and personal (please God, not me), there is an array of horrifying things they could do.
You can find me quivering in the corner just thinking about it.
But, my logical self, knows that the best action is preparation.
Prepare Physically and Mentally
In my brief 30 minutes, Krav Maga instilled quick simple moves to defend yourself and get out of a threatening scenario.
The instructor showed me how to grab an opponent’s arm and twist it in order to break a wrist.
I had two thoughts:
- “You want me to get closer and touch them?”
- “Oh, that seems so basic.”
These two ideas are precisely what Krav Maga training is for.
While simple, much of self-defense is not an automatic impulse — at least for me.
Krav Maga training is meant to familiarize yourself with potential, true to life scenarios so that SHOULD it happen, you don’t need to spend time in panic mode.
You just hit muscle memory mode and know a few sure fire techniques to confidently use.
Sold on Krav Maga
With my one – wrist – breaking – move and my eyes wide open to how useful this would be, I signed up for the 30-day challenge.
I can’t wait to feel more empowered and sure of my own capabilities!
Ladies, Do It for You.
Honestly, you won’t regret it.
Take just one class to get just one trick in case you find yourself in an unfortunate circumstance.
This is an obvious one for any fighting technique.
I did a quick survey around my friend group and it turns out, not that many people know how to defend themselves.
Only 3 of 10 of us had ever stepped into some type of self-defense class (martial arts, kickboxing, or straight up self-defense).
Of the 3 of them, they’d attended exactly one session and they said they didn’t really recall much.
They remembered the quote from Miss Congeniality more…
“Just remember to SING — S – I – N -G.
Solar plexus. Instep. Nose. Groin. SING!”
Color me SHOCKED. We would all be damsel-in-distresses.
Suffice it to say, my 30-day challenge is going to be filled with my gaggle of girlfriends.
The instructor can thank me for my sales later.
But I don’t even need the thanks — I really believe women need this.
It’s Better To Be Prepared
Even if you are NEVER in a threatening moment, and I truly hope you aren’t (most people really are good!), Krav Maga is a great technique to have in your back pocket just for the sake of confidence and trust in your abilities.
No doubt about it, practicing Krav Maga and having the moves live in your muscle memory will allow you to feel more in control, relaxed, and less fearful as you go through your day-to -day life.
Even though it’s a quicker technique to hone, it is recommended that you start training 3-4 days a week in order to get the movement into your body and make it a second-nature reflex.
Beyond that, you will need to keep practicing.
Well-trained and experienced students can get away with 2 days a week to keep the practice going and improving.
Like learning and speaking another language fluently, you have to use it or you lose it!
Strength and quickness are the primary qualities derived in Krav Maga.
You’ll develop your upper and lower body muscles. It’s a great workout!
Plus, training strength and speed means power.
Power in the body is a huge asset.
The seemingly little moves in Krav Maga really pack a punch, without throwing one.
You’ll be strong and nimble — true, functional fitness qualities.
Like most martial arts, Krav Maga develops practitioners’ focus, self-discipline, and self-awareness as well as instincts.
You will feel clear and on fire in class while you hone in your skills.
So fire that you’ll be looking to cultivate that same kind of focus, discipline, awareness and intuition in all the areas of your life.
Find a Krav Maga Gym in Your Area
I definitely recommend you try out Krav Maga.
Even if you are a little intimidated by it all — like I was — that’s more reason to go.
The confidence that you have just knowing how to defend yourself is worth it.
The fitness, toned arms and booty, and mental clarity and fortitude are just cherries on top.
*If you have questions about Krav Maga, women’s self-defense or other fitness practices, hit me on Instagram. I’d love to connect with you!
In the meantime, check out more of my other articles on fitness, mindset, and women athletes, such as this review of the best CrossFit shorts for women or this article about the perfect gifts for weightlifters.