Checking out Krav Maga: tips?

Checking out Krav Maga: tips?

This is a discussion on Checking out Krav Maga: tips? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Apologies if this should be in off-topic. I found a Krav Maga studio in my area and am going to try to check it out ...

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Checking out Krav Maga: tips?

    Apologies if this should be in off-topic. I found a Krav Maga studio in my area and am going to try to check it out this week. The guy seems legit and is registered with stateside Krav Maga organization. My wife and I both carry, but I know there are times when we can't or maybe we'll just get caught off-guard, so I don't want to get to the point where we rely completely on our firearms and forgo other defensive techniques. You can't take a firearm everywhere, but you can always carry your skills.

    Having no previous martial arts training, does anyone have any tips? What sort of expectations should I have from a Krav Maga professional so I know I'm not going to be learning some off-the-wall, useless garbage?
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    If he will do private lessons that would be great. One on one is very good. It also skips the exercise portion. If you want the exercise take the full course with him. As for the art itself, IMO it is one of the best, if not the best for defense.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    Member Array boatman's Avatar
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    great stuff. I have seen drills where someone takes the others weapon in a blink of the eye. wish i had a camera to super slo mo it.

    also, great exercise. At the end, you will have trouble just pushing the door open ;-)

    In all of these, it is highly dependent upon the trainer. Just remember, just because the trainer is a 52nd degree with a black belt with 9 black stripes is meaningless about how well they can teach. Usually, you can watch or take a trial session prior to signing up. I suggest at a minimum you watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    Apologies if this should be in off-topic. I found a Krav Maga studio in my area and am going to try to check it out this week. The guy seems legit and is registered with stateside Krav Maga organization. My wife and I both carry, but I know there are times when we can't or maybe we'll just get caught off-guard, so I don't want to get to the point where we rely completely on our firearms and forgo other defensive techniques. You can't take a firearm everywhere, but you can always carry your skills.

    Having no previous martial arts training, does anyone have any tips? What sort of expectations should I have from a Krav Maga professional so I know I'm not going to be learning some off-the-wall, useless garbage?
    You can get this book:Complete Krav Maga Levine and Whitman It covers Level 1 through III. You can use it
    as both a self-study and a guide book, and as a way of checking on the authenticity and accuracy of what you are being taught.

    You can also get this book: Black Belt Krav Maga Levine and Hoover. It is very heavy on gun disarms and I think if any of us
    actually got into one of those situations it would be beyond prayer time.

    Do the exercise too if you can, or to whatever ability you can bring to do it.

    My own view is that Krav is quite interesting and useful in a very practical minded sort of way. I do not think it is
    more than a good starting point; but a very good starting point it is.
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    Senior Member Array MotorCityGun's Avatar
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    In any martial art studio/dojo/school it is important to know up front what you are signing up for or commiting to. Here are some initial questions I would ask:

    1. Do/Will they require you to sign a contract in order to join?
    2. Will they allow you (and your wife) to watch a class(es) before you join?
    3. Are they bonded/insured?
    4. Is there only one instructor or others who instruct?
    5. Have you done a background check on the instructor(s)?
    6. What is their student fall out rate?
    7. Do they incorporate other physical activities or warm up exercises in their classes?
    8. How long does a typical class last?
    9. Does their (typical) class incorporate repetitive training?

    That's a start. I'm sure you will have other follow up questions once you begin to get the answers to these.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    I did talk to him for a few minutes when we were there. He's a fireman and only runs classes twice a week but he happened to be there. He doesn't do contracts, just $10/class. We're going to visit for one class and see how it is and we'll go from there.
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    Hello from Tulsa.

    I have taken a Krav Maga class in Tulsa years ago. Good stuff, very practical. My instructor was a fireman named Kent, ( I think). If it's the same guy, he's very good. Good luck, wrap your hands well, it's a heck of a class..

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttowndeputy View Post
    I have taken a Krav Maga class in Tulsa years ago. Good stuff, very practical. My instructor was a fireman named Kent, ( I think). If it's the same guy, he's very good. Good luck, wrap your hands well, it's a heck of a class..
    Yep, that's the guy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyss View Post
    One on one is very good. It also skips the exercise portion.
    Depends on the instructor and your purpose and wishes. I've benefited tremendously from spending about 15 minutes each
    session working on flexibility, agility, balance, cardio, and light weights. In practical terms these are actually
    more important to my quality of life than the Krav techniques, which though very interesting and worth knowing,
    contribute nothing to keeping my old body working.

    Everyone is different and so try to tailor things to your needs as a student; even if it isn't private lessons some things still can be
    tailored to your individual needs based on age, strength, etc.

    I'm not in all that good a shape, so I was quite surprised at how winded a 20 something young man was after boxing
    with me for two minutes. He was strong, but had just not worked on cardio.

    Here's how we schedule things. Mondays-- 4 rounds of kick boxing; cardio exercises and weights; all preceded by about 10 minutes of warm ups which emphasize flexibility and balance.

    Wed. Same warm ups, less cardio work, more attention to techniques, e.g., ground fighting, stuff that is outside of krav such as bo-staff; Arnis; jj. Finish with some sort of exercise. Sometimes light weights, sometimes climbing stairs, sometimes swinging a sledge hammer; combos of these; elastic bands.

    Friday. Whatever, review, kubaton, knife, techniques from outside Krav.

    Friday.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    I'm not too worried about a fitness portion, though I wouldn't really turn it down unless it turned into a fitness class based on krav maga. Almost took a kickboxing class in college until I realized it was "aerobic kickboxing." I'm a pretty fit guy. One can always be sharper, faster, stronger and more fit, yes, but I can do cardio and weights on my own time without having to pay anyone. I definitely understand the need for a warm-up tailored to what you're doing, but I'm not in it to get in better shape. I'm in it to learn hand-to-hand combat.

    As I stated, I did get a chance to talk to the guy with my wife for a few minutes and walked around the place. It's a very low-key place. Not a big, modern gym. Looks like something you'd see in a Rocky movie. Kent Stockstill is the guy's name. He's a firefighter in the area. Surprisingly soft-spoken fella. During our conversation I mentioned the area, and how it almost seems like he picked the place just to make people nervous enough by the time they get to it that they feel like they need to take the class. He laughed and said he was originally at another location but was getting a lot of suburbanites and not enough serious students, so he moved it to hopefully pull in the kinds of students he was looking for. I got the idea that he didn't want to train soccer moms how to keep someone from stealing their purse or minivan, but rather people who are truly interested in pushing themselves.

    He seems like a pretty OK guy. I know he's still recovering from a broken neck after a mountain biking accident. Apparently he was biking alone with no cell phone, flipped over the handlebars and broke his neck in a way that didn't cause paralysis. Carried his bike down the mountain and drove himself home. That was just under a year ago I think, and he still shows signs of partial nervous system damage. You can tell he holds his left arm a little awkwardly, but he's still active in firefighting, so I'm sure he's capable of teaching the class. He also mentioned that he gets about a dozen students per class, and sometimes has to turn people away. He knows the limits of how many people he can effectively teach, so that seems to be a positive.

    All that to say, I'm going to check him out tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. I have high hopes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    I'm not too worried about a fitness portion, though I wouldn't really turn it down unless it turned into a fitness class based on krav maga. Almost took a kickboxing class in college until I realized it was "aerobic kickboxing." I'm a pretty fit guy. One can always be sharper, faster, stronger and more fit, yes, but I can do cardio and weights on my own time without having to pay anyone. I definitely understand the need for a warm-up tailored to what you're doing, but I'm not in it to get in better shape. I'm in it to learn hand-to-hand combat. {deleted stuff for brevity}

    All that to say, I'm going to check him out tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. I have high hopes.
    I understand. I was just making the point that everyone's needs and interests are different.

    Make sure your instruction focuses on what you want and need. As I posted earlier, you can see if he follows
    a reasonable curriculum by comparing it with the books I mentioned.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Been meaning to buy at least one book. I'll see about getting one or both. Thanks for pointing them out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    Been meaning to buy at least one book. I'll see about getting one or both. Thanks for pointing them out.
    Get the print version not Kindle. There are lots of diagrams and illustrations which are simply now well rendered on
    electronic versions. Start with the first book I suggested. It really is the core curriculum through Level III.
    And pay attention to the Bas Rutten introduction. Find some of his youtube vids too. They guy is funny as heck and
    has lots of good things to teach us about SD in the real world; and fitness.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Ah, makes sense since the Kindle is only monochrome. Hadn't thought about that. I may just have to place one big order with Amazon. Also planning to purchase some Mainstay rations and Celox.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Well the original plan was to go to a class myself Wednesday, then take my wife on Thursday but the Thursday class got cancelled. So here's Wednesday:

    Found the place again, parked in an empty mud-filled lot nearby. Locked the M&P .40c in my Jeep's lockbox as I'd forgotten to bring a bag in which I could store the gun while in the studio. No biggie this time. I still had my pepper spray, knife and my 4Sevens I could use as a kubotan, and I was only a few dozen feet from a building full of krav maga students and an instructor. Next time I'm bringing a bag though. I like keeping things in sight.

    Walked in and dropped $10 in the till. A few introductions and a few minutes of walking around feeling out of place. The other attendees included a girl a couple years younger than myself. It was apparently her first time, but she seemed to know a couple of the others. An older gentleman, probably in his 60's, but who seemed to be pretty fit; wiry but he apparently bikes a lot to stay in shape. A shorter, middle-aged fellow who was a firecracker. A couple muscle-bound, "6-foot-a-lot-more-inches-than-me" guys who I'm pretty sure could break me in half.

    Everyone did their own warmups and stretches, then the instructor got everyone together for 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, 20 squats and a one-minute plank. No problems except the plank. I got a little tired right before we hit the end. Haven't done those in a while. From there we moved straight into punching exercises. There were eight of us, so four put on focus targets, I believe they're called, and we others put on gloves and went to work. First up was a set of jab-then-cross punches, for about 3-4 minutes. I required an explanation of what the various punch names were. We rotated partners and switched to hooks for another 3-4. Rotated again and did a set of uppercuts, then on the final rotation we did a set of jab-cross-hook-uppercuts, by which time I, having no previous experience with such workouts, began to get pretty tired. Despite having no experience I was asked by a couple partners what training I'd had, and they seemed genuinely surprised that I'd had none. That eased my mind a little.

    The next exercise was simple enough: groin kicks. One partner holding a pad, the other kicking it. First set was from a non-combative stance, second was fighting stance, front foot, third was fighting stance kicking with the back foot. This was no problem for me, being a soccer player. I was paired up with the older gentleman and was genuinely worried about knocking the pad out of his hands and hitting him, so I kept them fairly light. After that was knees. One partner holding a pad to their chest, the other controlling the head/shoulders and throwing knees into the pad. This was the most abusive of the exercises on the partner holding the pad. The final of these exercises was elbows. One partner holding a pad to one side of their body and the other throwing in elbows. My partner for this was the middle-aged short fellow, who is quite a capable fighter it seems. He again asked what training I'd had, and after I assured him I'd had none he made a comment to the instructor I didn't quite catch, but it included a comment about a baseball bat.

    The final portion of the class was spent on two gun disarms. One from the front, and one from behind with the defender pushed against a wall. The frontal defense was a pivoting movement to the assailant's gun-side, one hand grabbing the slide of the gun and spinning it to the inside of the assailant, while the other slapped the inside of the gun arm to loosen the grip. This was particularly hard for me to master, possibly because I was having to resist the urge to use another gun disarm I'd been taught by a police officer. That one involves again pivoting to the gun-side, but with the left hand grabbing the forearm and pushing it inward with a slight twist forward, then with the right hand grabbing the slide and continuing the twist while forcing the front of the weapon upwards and back. This one is pretty much guaranteed to break the assailant's finger if it's in the trigger guard. The second disarm was a spin to the right for a right-handed assailant, throwing the right arm up and over his, putting it into a lock against your body, continuing the spin to pin them against the wall while going for the gun with the left hand. This one was easier for me to get better at, though I was tempted to ignore the gun at times in favor of using the left arm to pin the attacker's arm in a position from which it could easily be broken.

    Overall the class seemed pretty good, if nothing else for the improvements to strikes I was able to make, as I had zero experience in that area beforehand. I'm looking forward to going back with my wife. It may be a good thing the class last night got cancelled after all, because today I'm sore as heck in the upper body. My muscles haven't been worked out that way before and I'm definitely feeling the effects. I had a fit of sneezes a few minutes ago and thought my ribcage was going to collapse. I now understand why boxers look like they do. I think my wife and I are going to buy her a set of gloves, as well as a set of focus pads and a larger pad so we can work on those strikes at home.

    Does this seem pretty good for a krav maga class? Obviously I'm expecting to work on other things in future session, and the instructor said he doesn't usually have a plan or agenda, and just plays things by ear a lot. Hoppy, I did purchase the first book you mentioned. The wife and I looked at it together and made it through the foreword and introduction to KM philosophies.
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