By Amy Horn
“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” -Ben Franklin
In Krav Maga we’re taught to react in an instinctive way to an attack and either beat the attacker until they are either no longer a threat or, the safer alternative, escape the situation. Now seeing as we have training partners and not enemies, it makes it more difficult to realistically train for the unexpected. So we do our best to do “real-life scenarios” and improve our technique and form in hopes that if we, God forbid, find ourselves in a bad situation we might be able to execute our training.
I think we train too often on what we think will work in a fight. I catch myself ALL THE TIME telling my training partner “I just punched you in the face twice! Let go!” How do I know my punch would be that effective? As I said above, adrenaline has a strong affect on people. What if my punching them just makes my attacker angrier and they come at me harder? The point being that we can never know for sure how our reactions in a situation will be received and the best thing we can do is prepare and train as effectively as possible. At the advanced levels of Krav Maga, live stand-up sparring and live rolling (ground fighting) against a resisting opponent is a required part of training and promotion. The reason is it forces you learn how to be successful with these techniques against a resisting opponent. That’s the only way you will get 100% confident that the techniques work.
At Krav Maga Worldwide, we don’t require live training at the beginner and intermediate levels because the students at the level are still having trouble perfecting the technique. This is why we also have a Fight program/class so students can test their skills in live training. When you practice Krav Maga you are encouraged to think in real life scenarios. That is what makes Krav Maga so effective and sets it apart from other systems. Krav Maga is made for real life. It is intended to be effective on the streets. If we don’t train our minds and bodies to think and act in accordance to that mentality I don’t believe we are reaping the full gamut of benefits that Krav Maga offers.
I’ve listed a few things you could incorporate into your training to help gear your mind in that direction:
- Create obstacles: move a table into the middle of the training floor. Set up chairs as if you were in a classroom. Crowd the room with as many people as possible and fight an opponent while trying to keep others out of danger. Use the training pads as object you could use to your benefit in a fight. The more varied your training ground, the more prepared you are.
- Give em hell: when practicing combatives, once you’ve gotten the technique down, punch and kick as hard as you possibly can. If you don’t hit hard in class where you’re hitting pads and mitts, what makes you think you will hit hard in a fight?
- Get back to basics: As you practice Krav Maga more and more, you’ll find that aside from the initial technique, you always come back to your bread and butter. Knees, punches, kicks, hammer fists, etc. The list goes on. These are the fundamentals that the techniques are built on. It’s my opinion that if all else fails and you forget the technique to getting out of holds, getting in a few solid elbows or knees to the groin in will increase your chances of success against an opponent.
- Participate in our fight program: Since live, stand-up sparring and advanced ground fighting are found in the higher levels of Krav Maga, beginners do not always participate in these exercises. If you want to get better at “live fighting,” this is the place to go. At our studio, we have a class on Wednesday nights. This gives everyone, from advanced to beginners, a chance to practice the skills and technique they learn in their classes.