What are the benefits of Krav Maga?
The decision to start Krav Maga training involves different factors for every person. Some people start training purely out of curiosity. Some people have a specific goal in mind, like progressing through the Krav Maga belt system. For some people it’s about changing their current workout routine. For some people the decision to start self-defense training comes from fear or trauma. All of these reasons to start training are valid and important. The benefits of Krav Maga fit all of these forms of motivation.
Krav Maga Worldwide® training is about making people safer and stronger. The benefits of Krav Maga and particularly the benefits of Krav Maga Worldwide® self-defense training are wide ranging but can be looked at in terms of three major categories.
Fundamental & effective.
Easy to learn.
Easy to remember.
Easy to recall under stress.
The first major category of benefits of Krav Maga is self-defense skills. To really understand what kind of skills you can and will be learning, you should understand a little more about Krav Maga. Many people are curious about things like Krav Maga vs bjj, Krav Maga vs Muay Thai, and Krav Maga vs. MMA. If you are one of those people, great. That’s a great place to start.
So, what is Krav Maga? Why are the benefits of Krav Maga unique? Krav Maga is a self-defense system that was developed in Israel by a man named Imi Lichtenfeld at the end of WWII. Israel was a newly formed nation and needed to build a military in order to defend its borders. Unfortunately the majority of people who were immigrating to Israel had no real hand-to-hand combat experience and were not prepared for military service. Imi however had grown up boxing and wrestling, and during WWII he was heavily involved in the Nazi resistance movement. The Israeli government asked Imi to develop a system that would train everyday people to become proficient in hand-to-hand combat in a short period of time. The system that Imi developed was Krav Maga and the Israeli military that he helped build is known today as the Israel Defense Force. Krav Maga remains the official hand-to-hand combat system of the IDF.
This is one of the unique benefits of Krav Maga. It comes from a military mindset and it is a no holds barred system of training that is all about survival. It’s not an esoteric art form that involves ceremonial or traditional elements like other martial arts. When Imi was implementing Krav Maga and training people for military service there simply wasn’t time for ceremonial practices.
Krav Maga will teach you to use punches, kicks, knees, elbows, eye-gouges, throat strikes, and more to defend yourself and the people who are most important to you. These striking skills are referred to as “combatives” in Krav Maga. Krav Maga combatives like punches, kicks, and knees are the exact same techniques that are taught in other forms of combat sports. The difference is that Krav Maga is not related to sport or competition. It’s all about defending yourself so you can neutralize a threat or attacker, and survive. As a result of this mentality there is no technique that is considered “dirty” or “illegal” in Krav Maga if it means the difference in surviving an assault. This is another huge benefit of Krav Maga. Students are taught to target areas like the groin, eyes, and throat on an attacker because strikes to these targets illicit an involuntary response that can also impede functions like breathing, seeing, standing, etc.
Check out this video below to see all of the techniques taught in Krav Maga Level 1.
Skills like these are applied and developed through increasingly complex and stressful real-world scenarios as you progress through the Krav Maga belt system and Krav Maga levels.
How to be more aware of your surroundings.
Experience builds awareness.
The benefits of Krav Maga also include the development of situational awareness. This is one of the major and unique benefits of Krav Maga training because, similar to physical self-defense skills, it is derived from a military background and survival mindset. One simple step you can take is to “tune in” to your surroundings in a general, geographical, sense. If you use apps like Citizen or Next Door you can get an idea of what the danger level of your surroundings are from a geographical perspective.
This sort of overview and reporting on criminal activity will help you improve your situational awareness and learn to be aware of your surroundings simply by learning about what is going on around your home, or any area you might be traveling to.
Knowing what’s “out there” and around you in a broad sense fundamental to being more aware of your surroundings. Simply put, if you know there are dangerous places or neighborhoods around you, you won’t go there.
Realizing what sort of danger might be physically close to you when you are out and about comes from training. The way to think about it is that experience builds awareness. Krav Maga levels deal with various threats and attack scenarios that increase in intensity and in complexity as you progress through the Krav Maga belt system. In lower levels students learn to defend against common attacks like punches, kicks, chokes, grabs, headlocks and bearhugs. In higher levels of the Krav Maga belt system students learn to defend themselves against pins and mounts while on the ground, as well as defending against attackers armed with blunt objects, knives and guns. Students also begin to integrate sparring and full contact fight training in higher levels.
Any level of material that students train on in the Krav Maga belt system, gives them the knowledge of how these attacks occur. Training also gives the students the experience and ability to fight back against these attacks. When a student is accustomed to these things, their awareness level is raised. Their experience builds their awareness. For example, if a student understands the distance from which they can be grabbed in a bear hug or choke, and they have trained on how to defend that bear hug or choke, they will be able to recognize that anyone who comes within a certain distance of them could be capable of grabbing them or choking them. That distance will change depending on the size of the other person but if the student has trained on making the defense with a variety of training parters they are going to be able to recognize that size difference as well as the spatial relationship from which the attack could occur. The overall result is that they are more aware of being grabbed or choked in any given situation. Progression through the Krav Maga belt system and Krav Maga levels builds this sort of awareness in relation to increasingly stressful and dangerous situations, like armed attackers, multiple attackers, etc.
Like any skill, situational awareness should be continuously sharpened and developed by consistent training. The best way to increase your level of situational awareness, and your ability to be aware of your surroundings is to be training at a Krav Maga Worldwide certified training center. It is a synergistic effect and is one of the major benefits of Krav Maga.
Health and Fitness
Get in the best shape of your life.
Build lean mass.
Wholistic benefits for quality of life.
The last major category to consider when thinking about the benefits of Krav Maga is health and fitness. Training at a Krav Maga Worldwide® certified training center will get you in the best shape of your life and help you reach any fitness related goal (like weight loss, or increased lean mass) you might have. Krav Maga Worldwide’s® approach to Krav Maga training is to make people safer and stronger. That’s the vision that Imi Lichtenfeld had for Krav Maga.
Krav Maga is a system that was meant to be easy to learn but classes are meant to be challenging and to put you under stress at times. If you’ve never trained in martial arts or self-defense before, you can expect to do things in Krav Maga training that your body simply hasn’t done before. It’s this sort of applied resistance that makes the physical changes in your body.
Krav Maga training will increase your level of strength, it will improve your dynamic flexibility, it will boost your metabolism, it will help you burn fat, build lean mass, and benefit your overall fitness level. All of these things are going to have a positive impact on your health and quality of life. Things like lower blood pressure, reduced levels of stress, increased cardiovascular endurance, stronger joints and bones are all ancillary benefits of an increased fitness level. So the benefits of Krav Maga aren’t just about physical appearance but about your health and lifestyle in general.
The reality is that a person who is in better shape will be more capable of fighting back and winning in the case of an assault. In order to fight back against an assault or an attacker for any given period of time, and to be effective at fighting back, takes training. Now, a lot of other factors go into a self-defense situation but knowing how to fight back and having a body that is capable of fighting back are two factors that you have total control of.
Benefits of Krav Maga can be gleaned from even just one class. You’ll get an incredible workout and you’ll learn skills that you keep for life. Consistent training will amplify all of the benefits of Krav Maga. Training at a Krav Maga Worldwide certified training center is key to maximizing the benefits of Krav Maga training because our certified instructors have truly dedicated their lives to training in our system and to helping others become safer and stronger.
To get the benefits of Krav Maga for yourself, start training at a Krav Maga Worldwide® certified training center near you. Many of our certified training centers will let you take a trial class for free in order to see what we’re all about. To find the certified training center closest to you click here and enter your zip code into our searchable map or call us at 800-572-8624 we’ll help you.