Though it was developed as an Israeli military mode of fighting, today Krav Maga is a popular combative and self-defense martial art.
It pulls techniques from other familiar martial arts including karate, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu, and even adds some boxing and wrestling moves into the mix. On top of this, Krav Maga prepares you for anything you might encounter in a real-life fight.
As a beginner, here are seven key things you should know about Krav Maga training before getting started.
1. Find Good Training Resources
When searching for a trainer, you’ll want to do your research. Here are a few important questions to consider: How long have they been training for? What are their certifications? How concerned about safety are they?
Another thing to enquire about is whether the school has a clear grading system in place, and if they are part of a respected organisation, which will tell you how organised they are.
A quick Google search will find locations in your area. Many will let you watch a class or participate in your first class for free, which will give you an idea of how your instructor operates and how well the lessons are structured.
If you haven’t, you also might want to consider finding online self-defense courses and training with friends at home. This is a good option if you do not have a good club nearby and have some friends that also want to train in Krav Maga.
2. Incorporate Weight Training into Your Workout
In addition to learning techniques and moves, Krav Maga has an emphasis on fitness and strength as an improvement in fitness can help you resolve combative situations. You might want to consider adding strength training to your regimen for a more balanced workout.
Building strength will improve your Krav Maga and take your self defence and fighting capability to the next level.
3. Your State of Mind
While there is certainly a physical aspect to Krav Maga, it’s also a way of thinking.
As you begin training, you’ll notice the development of a combat mindset.
You’ll likely hesitate during your first sparring sessions, not wanting to harm your training partner. Over time, though, you’ll develop an “attack your attacker” mentality. This is important because training for reality is what Krav Maga is about, after all.
Krav Maga has other effects on your mental state, as well. You’ll notice improved self-confidence and self-control.
You’ll also notice a heightened situational awareness. Additionally, you’ll develop the ability to stay cool and calm under pressure, even in highl stressful scenarios.
4. Don’t Always Train with Someone Your Own Size
When you’re first starting out, you’re likely to grab a sparring partner close to your height and weight.
This makes sense. Sparring is intimidating for a beginner and it’s more comfortable to work with someone your size.
But if you’re preparing for a real-world situation, like getting attacked on a dark street at night, think about who might be doing the attacking? It’s not going to be someone your approximate size. It could be someone much larger than you.
By sparring with a partner twice your size, you’ll be better prepared for real-life scenarios.
5. Safety First
Even when just sparring in class, Krav Maga is intensely physical. It’s important to always keep the safety of yourself and your partner in mind.
Hand wraps don’t provide much protection for either partner, and as a result are rarely used on their own when sparring. Make sure you purchase a pair of padded gloves for classes – and don’t forget the protective headgear.
A mouthpiece is another important piece of equipment anytime you train on the mat. Both men and women will also want to wear a groin protector during class as taking a knee to that area is common.
Remember there’s no shame in working at your own pace to avoid an injury. If you do have an injury or health concern, let your instructor know. They can adapt your involvement or you can sit out anything too stressful for your body.
6. Understand Your Goals
As you get started with Krav Maga, keep your personal goals in mind.
Ask yourself why you chose this over all other forms of martial arts? Have you recently faced a traumatic experience and you want to improve your self-defense skills? Or do you dream of becoming a competitive fighter?
Maybe you’re more interested in the physical fitness benefits of training than anything else?
As you begin training, keep these goals in mind. This will help you make the most of each lesson.
7. Rely on Your Instructor
Krav Maga is a technical martial art that relies on precision. If you don’t understand a technique, ask your instructor.
Don’t improvise or fake it. Otherwise, the move won’t work as intended while sparring, or worse, in a real-life attack. You’re also putting yourself at risk for injury by not doing techniques correctly.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t understand something right away. It takes time and practice to build the muscle memory required for many techniques.
Getting Started with Krav Maga Training
Krav Maga training might look intimidating, but it’s a welcoming community.
If you’re ready to give it a try, research local instructors.
If there is no qualified instructor in your area or you think you might benefit from virtual learning, consider online courses. Check our schedule of Krav Maga classes to sign up for our next lesson.