Back in January I had my first taste of Krav Maga; an un-armed combat and self-defence system based upon various fight techniques that was initially developed for the Israeli military. I don't disagree that that sounds absolutely terrifying, but I urge you to read on...
Before my first session I was a bit nervous as the only kind of combat or martial arts that I had experienced before was a couple of kick-boxing sessions when I was still at school (I assume that experiencing Anthony's Karate reflexes during games of 'jumping out from behind stuff to make your boyfriend jump' don't count) and I have really never taken much of an interest in that kind of sport. However, during the 3 hour session with Krav Maga Elite I felt strangely at ease. This was partly due to it being a women's only workshop, but also due to the fantastic instructor. Dave was so approachable and explained not only what techniques we were learning and how to execute them, but also in what scenarios they would be effective and why.
While the session was a brilliant workout (my arms and shoulders ached from holding the punchbags alone!) not all of what we learnt was contact-work. Unlike traditional martial arts, Krav Maga focuses on threat neutralisation and defence rather than fighting, so we also learned about awareness, and the use of voice and body-language.
I think what I like most about Krav Maga is that the style is modern and refreshing; everything is based on natural reaction and instinct, making it fairly easy to get to grips with. This defence-system isn't 'showy' as you may expect if you've watched a few too many action movies, but instead uses really simple, functional movements that have a very practical application - think Sandra Bullock's S.I.N.G. demonstration in Miss Congeniality, rather than Jackie Chan.
I found it really interesting that Krav Maga's incredible effectiveness came about due to the compulsory enlistment of women in the Israeli military, making the efficient use of natural strength, regardless of size, vital. So ladies, the Krav Maga techniques are ideal for us!
I would love to fit in some more Krav Maga sessions around my other training and university work as I can tell that the more the movements are practiced, the more instinctive and effective they are.
I genuinely believe that women should take responsibility to ensure their own safety (and fitness!) and this is a fantastic way to do it.
Have you ever tried Krav Maga?