What is KravMaga?
KravMaga is a combat system devised originally for the Israeli military. In Hebrew KravMaga means ‘Contact Combat’
How is KravMaga different from traditional martial arts?
KravMaga is a ‘horizontal system’ which combines elements of various fighting systems. One will find –
- Kicking & Punching elements from Boxing, Karate & Muay Thai
- Ground fighting & Grappling from Judo & BJJ
- Holds & Takedowns from Aikido
- Defence against Knife attacks from Kali
- And also defence against stick attacks, fire-arm threats
Some instructors of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) or Kick-Boxing confuse the public, by claiming they are also a horizontal hybrid system. But they conveniently forget to mention that these systems were designed for rule-based ring fights and for one-on-one contests only.
KravMaga is NOT a martial art. It’s NOT a Sport. Krav Maga is a combat system for street survival
Why do you say KravMaga is NOT a martial art?
There are some major differences in the approach to self-defence by KravMaga
- There are NO choreographed movements like katas. Intricate and contrived movements fail during an unpredictable street situations. KravMaga is based on natural reflex and fast direct attacks using gross motor skills. NO Cosmetics.
- Kravists DON’T practice with outdated weapons –like Swords, Spear, Sai or Kama. In KravMaga we practice defending from normal weapons a street criminal carries – like Knife, Stick and Pistol. Also Aruval (Sickle) in TamilNadu. In Military & Police KravMaga, more relevant weapons like small arms and long fire arms are included
- The learning curve is steep in KravMaga. Right from day 1 techniques are taught.In KravMaga we are pragmatic to the reality that, in 21st century, very few have the time and inclination for sustained and long drawn out practice.
- In KravMaga, there is NO stress on zen elements. KravMaga is designed for survival in the streets or war-zone. We concentrate in equipping the trainee only for those crises. For that purpose, there is lots of training on anger management, handling stress and being aware in a crisis.
- Traditional martial arts were designed for warriors. Why teach them to ordinary civilians?!Why teach hard killing techniques to a Banker or a Computer Programmer?!It's enough they are taught how to handle a road rage situation or an eve-teasing scenario.
Why do you say KravMaga is NOT a Sport?
Some more key differences in the approach to Self-defence by KravMaga.
- Sport is all about scoring points and winning. Real life is about survival
- Sport training gives wrong tactical thinking while facing a real threat on the street.Suppose I chased away a criminal who was wielding a knife, but got stabbed in the tummy in the process, have I won or lost ?!
- There is NO referee to intervene and stop the fight if situation goes beyond your control. For instance if you fall down during a sport, the other fighter is asked to stop till you get up. Imagine what will happen if you fall down in a street fight!
- The ugly repercussions of violence is not registered in the mind of a sports practitioner. Suppose a girl is caught alone with a rapist. She is 50 kg and the rapist is 110 kg. Should she get into crane stance and wait for him to approach!
- What should I do if I am road rage situation, when I am with with my wife and kid? Four unsavoury characters, smelling of liquor get down from the other car. KravMaga prepares you for these extreme situations.
- In sport The Opponent, The Place, The Time, The rules are already determined. In real life everything is a fearful shock. When suddenly exposed to unprovoked violence the mind goes into a shock. KravMaga training factors this and prepares the body to react like a reflex action.
To know more about what happens to the system in shock read WHY SOME FREEZE IN A CRISIS AND HOW TO AVOID IT.
- KravMaga principle is “End the confrontation asap. Minimise engagement!”
Heroics look good only in movies. In real life, AVOID
an issue if you feel you cannot SOLVE that issue … and QUIT the place asap. Especially if its not your area / you are outnumbered / the opponent is armed / bigger / fitter / aggressive / drunk / drugged.
Who can learn KravMaga?
Anybody can learn KravMaga, irrespective of Sex, Age, Fitness level and Health
- The objective is NOT to churn out Bruce Lees. Its a more pragmatic one of equipping ordinary people to do something intelligent in a crisis.
- in fact, I often say its the average people who need to learn to defend themselves.
- Who is going to snatch the purse of a body builder anyway or sexually harass him! :)
- Anyway those not optimally fit need not worry, since techniques are taught to suit the profile of that person
- For instance why should a policeman learn fancy high kicks!? His job requires more of controlling aggressors, escorting them and facing common weapons like stones, knives and sticks. For a woman, controlling techniques of the police are irrelevant. She has to be taught only how to get out of a hug or hand-hold.
- Our oldest student till date was 66+. Many have been in 30 to 40 range. But almost 90% are in their 20s
As long as you have the enthusiasm nothing else matters much.
Does that mean Strength and Fitness are not required to learn KravMaga?
- The stress of KravMaga training is on using Body mechanics, Physics and some common-sense.If you have Strength & Fitness it is a Bonus.
- KravMaga techniques should not depend on Strength alone; because, there is always somebody stronger.
- In fact a technique is evaluated on the criteria, “Will it work for a smaller girl against a bigger man?”
Is previous martial arts experience necessary?
Previous martial arts experience is NOT necessary. It's the job of the KravMaga instructor to ensure the physical and mental skills are absorbed according to the profile, motivation and fitness
What about woman learning KravMaga?
- Women have been practising KravMaga for decades.
- The techniques taught to women are more focused on handling sexual harassment scenarios
- We in Chennai conduct lots of workshops for women to create awareness on personal safety.
- Contact us to attend/arrange Corporate workshops
Do women learning KravMaga become muscular and macho?
- NO! Again in a Capital NOOO! This is a misconception.
- You see many strong women, who do physical labour for hours; on the fields, construction sites and road work. Have they become masculine?!
- Why can't women become body-builders like men? Testosterone is the main hormone responsible for increasing muscle size, and since women produce much less testosterone than men, their chances of gaining bodybuilder-style muscle mass and definition are low.
Can kids learn KravMaga?
- Yes, KravMaga is taught to kids, but again the curriculum is different
- The problems of Kids are different, and so is their comprehension
- KravMaga for kids is more of games and fun based, to making learning suitable for their attention span.
- Kids KravMaga is more focussed on Physical, mental co-ordination, Flexibility improvement and Character building.
Will I get hurt while learning KravMaga?
- NO! Rule No1 of KravMaga is “AVOID INJURIES”
- Injuries can put back a person by months or years. Also once there is a break in training its very hard to resume.
- So, maximum possible attention is given to prevent a trainee injuring himself or others
- When contact SPARRING is done, it’s done only with protective gear and strict supervision.
But I have a physical problem. Can I still learn KravMaga ?
YES as long as you fullfill 2 conditions;
- You will talk to your Doctor and get his advice for commencing training
- You will inform us about your problem and assure us you will avoid doing movements which can jeopardise your condition.
Do you have belt system in KravMaga?
- In IKMF India we have only a LEVEL SYSTEM, NO BELTS are awarded.
- In some countries belts are awarded; especially to kids, since they love these external manifestations of recognition
What are the levels of proficiency in KravMaga?
The LEVEL SYSTEM is as follows;
- PRACTITIONER – Level I to V
- GRADUATE – Level I to V
- EXPERT – Level I to V
- MASTER – Level I to V
How long should I learn KravMaga?
- For a Civilian, PRACTITIONER level V is sufficient to handle threats faced in daily life.
- 45 to 50 hours of learning and practice is required to sit for grading in each PRACTITIONER level. Grading will be done only by our Country Head.
- Levels above PRACTITIONER are for professionals like Police / Security / Bouncers or those who aspire to become Instructors
Which organization do you represent? What's your Qualification?
- We are associated with the International KravMaga Federation (IKMF)
- To become an Instructor we have to undergo 3 Levels of CIC (Civilian Instructor Course) .Then after a period of evaluation one is allowed to teach.
- Apart from this every year all Instructors have to undergo a refresher camp.
- IKMF has qualified Instructors globally.
So your grade will be accepted worldwide and you can continue learning in any country.
In Chennai, how long you have been teaching KravMaga & where?
- Classes in Chennai started in 2008.
- At present we have classes in Besant Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Velachery and Kilpauk
- We also teach a different curriculum for SAG police commandos, TamilNadu Special Police, Chennai City L&O Sub-Inspectors & TN Prison Dept. Warders
- For Civilian class schedules view Locations section.
How do I join? What is the fee and other formalities?
- You need to bring ID & address proof, with a photo for our records
- The fee can be paid as cash / cheque. See the fee structure HERE
- The trainee will give an Indemnity that he won't claim any damages from the Instructor or his organization, in case of an injury and that he will take enough precaution to avoid injuring self or third parties.
- In case the trainee is a Minor, he/she has to get a No Objection from the Parent
Can I take a trial class?
- YES! You can take a trial class.
- We don't charge fee for the trial class
There are some others who claim to teach KravMaga! Whom should I learn from?
- We are qualified instructors of IKMF
- If an instructor claims he can teach various arts, AVOID him. Even though many of us have qualification in other fighting systems, we don’t teach them.
- Find out the instructor's credentials.
- Qualified KravMaga has a fixed curriculum for every level. Unauthorized / unqualified instructors will give you a vague reply if you ask for the curriculum.
- KravMaga is NOT taught in open places where public can be an audience. If the instructor is teaching on open grounds and parks avoid him.
- IKMF will never misguide with fantastic claims. AVOID any Instructor who promises to make you a Blackbelt in 3 months !