Functionality/Viability of Krav Maga
by Joey A.
To maximize your training time and experience, training should consist of building a viable and functional skill set, one of the biggest advantages of reality based personal protection in general and Krav Maga in particular. When tactics become convoluted or complicated, they are no longer viable. There is a theory known as "Hick's Law" which basically states the more solutions you have to a given problem, the longer it takes to find the correct solution. In other words, less is more. Applying this theory to personal protection, if your training consists of twenty different ways to defend against a common assault, for example being choked against the wall or other stationary object, you will likely find yourself in a vulnerable position that's spiraling out of control as you attempt to identify the correct response to the threat. When tactics become complicated and you have too many responses to a given threat, it will take you longer to identify the appropriate response. Your skill set should encompass easy to retain, effective tactics to keep you safe in a variety of situations.
Another factor adding to the functionality of Krav Maga is that, unlike combat sports, this isn't a reciprocal fighting system with a "give and take" mentality between combatants. The goal is to go from prey to predator in ballistic fashion irrespective of weight differences, rules and timed rounds.
As responsible adults, bear in mind that we live in a litigious society and that a physical confrontation may be followed by legal action. A training program that instills that type of mindset and awareness is not only functional, but smart. The knowledge and discipline to change gears based on the situation is often over looked and rarely ever addressed. Krav Maga instills a mindset that you can always pull back your level of force and de-escalate your response, however you may not be able to catch up to escalating violence.
It is my personal belief that training should also be goal oriented and mission specific. While that may sound like common sense, there is a lot of information available out there and it can be confusing or even intimidating to a novice trainee. If your goal is to be a competition level fighter, whether it's a striking or grappling based art, there are a lot of great gyms out there to accommodate you. On the other hand, if your goal is reality based personal protection, understand that there are certain elements that combat sports don't encompass, even though many aspects of that type of training are viable. Multiple attackers, weapon based threats, and situational scenarios are all functional skills and part of the Krav Maga curriculum. These are realistic, modern day situations that many combat systems don't have the ability to adequately address.
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