Self Defense – My Krav Maga Journey

Everyone that is serious about self defense knows, or at least should know, that guns aren’t the only thing you need to carry. You also need to carry with you a defensive mindset. A fighter mindset. Not every time will you be able to use your gun – maybe the attacker is in close and you won’t have time to draw and get a shot off. You need to be able to defend yourself hand-to-hand whether or not a knife is involved. Maybe you’re somewhere you can’t carry – at work for instance, or you said to yourself, “Hey, I’m only going to get gas, I can leave it at home for this one errand.”

So I decided to look for another way to “arm” myself (bad joke – or dad joke?). After researching many forms of self defense I decided to try krav maga. From my perspective, you’re not going to use something like taekwondo in a street fight, and I was turned off to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Hapkido was more throws than “ending the attack,” so I decided on Krav. Krav Maga is a form of self defense created by the Israeli Defense Forces derived from a combination of techniques sourced from boxing, wrestling, judo, aikido, and karate. Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and its extreme efficiency. It was derived from the street-fighting experience of Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld.

Marine Corps Martial Arts (MCMAP)

I’ve got martial arts experience from my youth taking karate classes, and in the Marine Corps with their MCMAP program, however martial arts is like firearm training, or baseball, or any other sport – if you don’t regularly practice you’re going to get rusty.  If you played baseball as a teenager and you’re in you’re now in you mid-30’s and haven’t played since, you’re not going to be the same as you were when you regularly played as a teen. Same thing with guns – if you take one gun class and only practice once a year, you’re always going to be mediocre. To be truly proficent you need to practice – a lot. Same thing with martial arts. Just because I took taekwondo as a kid, and MCMAP in the Marines, I’m way out of practice. I’m not as “new” as a lot of other students who just got into it, but I’m no pro either. I need to re-harness those skills.

Why is Krav Maga good with firearm training? Because Krav starts from a “de-escalation” point. Hands up, “No, I don’t have any money”, etc… and when you’re carrying concealed de-escalation is typically the first thing you want to do. The last thing you want to have to do is draw your gun or be forced to use it. If you can de-escalate the situation with words or even fists, it’s better than having to draw.

Whatever your reason – personal safety, keeping your family safe, it’s part of your job – it’s up to us, the fighters, the warriors, the protectors of the world, to be proficient in self defense – armed and unarmed. Whether it’s Krav Maga or some other form of self-defense, look one up and start training. Do your homework – just because it’s the closest one to your house doesn’t mean it’s the right one. What is the instructors background? Under what school were they trained? Do they do this because they’re true believers in it or just because it’s “a way to make money”?

I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman – get out there and get trained. You are the only one responsible for your personal protection. If you’re a woman and on the fence or intimidated by the “macho guys” in the class, don’t be. Every class I’ve been to at different schools has had a mixture of men and women in the class. True men, not the macho assholes, love having women in classes because we find it awesome that women are serious about self defense.

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