Is it really possible to teach yourself a complicated fighting style like Krav Maga? It can be intimidating to watch those Krav Maga sparring sessions on YouTube and anyone can say that it’s almost impossible to learn those moves on your own.
The keyword here is “almost impossible,” which means it is not impossible to learn it all by yourself.
So, at least now we’re getting somewhere and quite frankly, yes, Krav Maga can be self-taught as it was designed for the average man or woman to learn it quickly and apply it in real combat situations in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
How to Learn Krav Maga
Krav Maga has been the backbone of the IDF since the 1940s and so far the Israelis have proven that this method works in major wars and skirmishes as well as in their secret missions to avert attacks planned on Israel before their enemies move into action.
It places their intelligence operatives behind enemy lines in most cases and they’ve successfully got in and out of enemy territory on multiple occasions thanks to their Krav Maga skills.
Today active and former members of the IDF, as well as Israel’s intelligence agencies, teach Krav Maga to civilians and since it was more practical to learn than most Eastern martial arts, it became a trend in American, and then the rest of the world.
It’s actually very easy to find Krav Maga schools as they are now almost everywhere and you could get lessons in any of these schools for a fixed rate fee of about $120 – $200 a month. Most of the KM instructors are legit monsters when it comes to fighting, so you can be assured that you will learn the best martial arts techniques from them.
Pros and Cons of Learning the Krav Maga Survival Skills
While we do not say that Krav Maga is the perfect fighting style for effective self-defense, we do emphasize its advantages. Still, I can guarantee that it is quite an effective survival skill even if it isn’t the best martial arts in the world.
But why do some Krav Maga instructors consider it more of a survival skills than a martial arts technique? Well, simply put that’s what it actually does – help you survive in sticky situations when you would be done for if you don’t know how to fight your way out of it otherwise.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of Krav Maga before we talk about how it is a good survival skill.
- Most practical self-defense system in the world
- A good workout routine that will help you lose weight and get fit
- The fighting techniques are reliable as they teach you how to defend yourself from common attacks
- You will learn environmental and situational awareness which are very important skills for surviving street fights
- You will learn to use everyday objects and convert them into lethal weapons to fend off an aggressor
- You will learn the “hit and run” fighting techniques which will allow you to take down multiple enemies as you engage one opponent at a time while keeping a distance from the other attackers until you have dispatched them all completely.
- Sparring sessions will get you closer to real combat scenarios more than any other martial arts techniques will
- You will learn the psychology of aggression and how to spot it in people on the streets, so you can immediately react to their aggressive behavior towards you or preemptively attack to prevent them from executing their attacks and successfully defend yourself.
- Training every day will help you improve that you will reach a point where you need to precisely adjust your attacks depending on the threat you’re facing, because if you’ll go full strength, then you could kill them.
- You would be clever enough to find ways to disarm aggressors no matter what kind of weapon they’re wielding and at what range they’ll decide to attack you from.
- You will always exercise humility and be able to control yourself and not be a bully, because you know that you are strong both physically and mentally.
- You’ll get more for your money’s worth because Krav Maga teaches more than just self-defense. It also teaches self-confidence, sportsmanship, camaraderie, discipline, friendship, defending the weak and helpless and other good virtues.
- No competitions – can’t prove yourself like in MMA or BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and can’t look at a school’s record
- Some Krav Maga schools are not as good as they claim to be
- The training is very physically demanding and those who are not accustomed to heavy physical activity or live a sedentary lifestyle may find it difficult
The pros of Krav Maga as highlighted above explains why it is a survival skill as it helps keeps you alive in tough situations, albeit this definition is exclusive in combat situations only. Of course, in the IDF the soldiers learn how to survive in the desert, jungle, mountains, the Arctic and other different terrains and climates.
Those other survival skills you can learn them separately, but then again if you live most of your life in specific places like cities and countryside, then you don’t really need to learn jungle survival skills now, do you?
Ways to Learn by Yourself
We as a society have always traded our time for money and we cannot escape this paradigm which dictates the system in which all things revolve around. People normally put in 40 hours a week of work, but in the United States and Japan some people work for 50 hours a week or more!
And it is as bad as it sounds, I mean, you just can’t sugarcoat it; however, it is this kind of industriousness that helps the country become productive. Having said that, it doesn’t change the fact that the people who work like this may no longer have time for leisure and fun; much less time to learn Krav Maga.
If you’re one of those unlucky few and you want to learn self-defense like Krav Maga, then you can teach it to yourself.
Here are some ways to do it:
1.) Through Online Krav Maga Courses
Websites like BlackBelt.com and Krav Maga Worldwide Academy are just among the many sites that offer online courses on this self-defense. You can learn Krav Maga from the comfort of your own home by watching video streaming lessons that are taught by professional and certified KM instructors.
You may have to buy Krav Maga equipment though, in order to train effectively and you may also ask the help of a KM practitioner to help you spar because sparring is a key aspect in self-defense, especially in Krav Maga.
2.) Through YouTube Videos and Other Online Resources
There are tons of YouTube videos on learning Krav Maga and if you’re patient enough, then you can search for YouTube channels that feature such content and start your KM lessons at home.
For example, a web article has compiled a list of 20 best Krav Maga YouTube channels for you to subscribe and get free lessons from, while this blog post gives you good KM resources/sites where you can find free information on learning KM self-defense.
3.) Through Books, DVDs, and Other Training Materials
You can also purchase books, DVDs, e-books and other media about Krav Maga online on sites like Amazon and eBay as well as other websites that deal on the subject. There are training materials that combine written instructions and video tutorials plus commentary on how to teach yourself Krav Maga.
Sometimes you can get rare and exclusive information about how to train in Krav Maga from people and organizations that do not publish or sell their products on the web, so if you’re lucky enough to meet such people, then learn from them as much as you can. The fee they’ll charge you is often worth it as you will learn fighting secrets that are not taught anywhere.
Getting Tips from the Pros
As you learn from whichever source you’ll get your training from (i.e. Krav Maga online courses, DVD and other video tutorials, or reading paraphernalia) you will progress slowly, but steadily provided that you are consistently training.
Be that as it may, it wouldn’t hurt to visit Krav Maga schools and set an appointment with the instructor of that school to interview him. From your interviews get the key points that will help you improve on your skills as maters knows best after all.
Incorporate what you’ve learned from the experts and adapt your offensive and defensive maneuvers, then try asking a representative from the schools you’ve visited to spar with you in order to determine whether or not you’re doing well in your Krav Maga self-taught training.
Also read: what to do to defend against weapons
Creating Your Own Krav Maga Moves
Naturally, you will start as a novice; however, as you’ll progress in your training, you will improve. As a matter of fact, online Krav Maga courses offer courses for individuals who wish to become KM experts or masters, therefore we’ll need to talk about you getting creative in the process.
Krav Maga is a continuously evolving system (reflecting real-world experience) and so it is not clear cut to specify a universal curriculum, as may be the case for example within some eastern martial arts.
Even though most of the techniques in Krav Maga are similar there is always room for improvement and that is the point of learning this martial arts technique in the first place – to surprise your opponent with radical and efficient fighting style.
Start with the Body’s Anatomy and Range of Motion (ROM)
If you want to get ahead of your enemy, then you’ve got to anticipate their attacks before they have the chance to execute them. How to do this?
I’ve just watched the semi-biopic of Bruce Lee in that new film about him Birth of the Dragon and during the final fight scene, both he and Master Wong Jack Man used some kind of intuitive-precognition thing that they could visualize each other’s movements in milliseconds and immediately develop their counter-attack.
To be honest this is NOT that. No, this is practical as even I haven’t reached that level of enlightenment yet, so we will only deal with what we can perceive with our five senses.
In human anatomy and biology, there is this thing called “range of motion” (ROM) where each of the human body’s limbs (i.e. arms and legs) has been studied and documented to have their maximum range of motion.
This also includes the ability of the elbow, hand, knee and ankle joints to bend and extend to a certain level of movement. Based on this study you can know the approximated number of ways your opponent can attack you and vice versa.
Also every time your opponent will attack he/she will always inhale first to gather up strength and energy to perform the attack. So from these two key principles, it can be determined therefore from which angle your opponent will attack you and the exact moment he sprints into action.
You then formulate a blocking move which is followed by a counter-offensive or several to ensure that you will be able to hit him while you will not allow any of his attacks to connect. So no matter which limb he’ll use to attack you, you will always have the upper hand as you would be able to see it, block it and then counter it.
Develop Fighting Movements that is Both Efficient and Purposeful
Punching someone straight in the face may be effective; however, you need to understand that your opponent will not just let you punch him in the face. No, in fact, he might have some blocking and counter-maneuvers of his own that will surprise you!
You have to think with a purpose. Will your punch just be a jab or a hard one? Do you have a backup plan in case your attack fails? Does your fighting stance keep you in balance? Or will your fighting stance allow you to block, deflect and counter your opponent’s attacks?
These are the kinds of question you must always entertain to come up with excellent solutions on how to deal with all forms of attacks. Your fighting stance needs not to be complicated and it must be efficient enough to receive and deflect attacks and allows further movement for you to overpower your opponent.
If it strains you a lot, then change it and come up with a more efficient fighting stance and improve upon it daily.