Pure Krav Maga - Highly recommended,
November 14, 2012
By kovnov - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pure Krav Maga - Self Defense Mastery (DVD)
It was sometime this summer that I decided to get back into martial arts and self-defence training. I had dabbled in the past in some kung fu as well as in a few varieties of Krav Maga and decided that I wanted to resume training.
Of course, any time I start looking at various martial arts schools Krav Maga is always high on my list given it's reputation as an efficient, effective and simple self-defence system.
I spent quite a bit of time researching and reading about the history of Krav Maga, it's techniques and various federations etc. I eventually settled on a civilian Krav class that was close to home.
While I enjoyed the classes and found that I was both getting fit and learning a lot, something still wasn't clicking for me.
What attracted me to Krav Maga was that it was supposed to be a no non-sense practical approach to self-defence. Krav Maga always comes highly recommended as a system that can be learned in a relatively short amount of time compared to other martial arts and self-defence systems. And of course there are always the stories of the first demonstrations of Krav outside Israel really impressing various law enforcement agencies, etc.
I was a bit surprised to learn that most civilian organizations have a 2 to 3 year curriculum when Krav Maga was described as a simple system that can be learned in a matter of months. I also found the curriculum broken down in a strange manner - it seemed that in many cases there was no confidence in the average practitioner, so a lot of techniques had evolved, and some had been watered down.
Furthermore, while I'm sure every school and instructor are different, and while I could see that what we were learning was indeed efficient and effective, I didn't see anything particularly special about it. We learned some techniques, did some striking, kicking and blocking, did some work on defence against weapons etc., but I still couldn't see what was so special about Krav Maga.
The kicks were regular kicks, the punches regular punches, and in reality while we discussed pressure points and striking of vulnerable points, we didn't spend a lot of actual time on the mechanics and techniques of striking and kicking and I couldn't see what had made Krav Maga so attractive and sought after when it was first introduced to the world outside of Israel in the early 1980s.
This couldn't be it - what we were learning seemed more like the basics of fighting on the basis of stripped down techniques from other martial arts.
I continued to research and eventually came across the debate on so-called "military" vs. "civilian" Krav. I eventually found this very interesting article ([...]) on the physics generated in self-defence techniques and systems and the differences between so-called "military" and "civilian" Krav. I was immediately interested in Krav Maga as it was presented in the 1980s, the system that had impressed so much in the 1980s.
Why did it impress so much - because of the physics the techniques allowed the user the generate.
I eventually came across Boaz Aviram's book "Krav Maga - Use of the Human Body as a Weapon Philosophy and Application of Hand to Hand Fighting Training System" and devoured the book. I learned more in the first 50 or so pages of the book than I had in several months of training at my Krav school.
The book provides excellent descriptions of the techniques, as well as how and why to use them.
Together with the Pure Krav Maga - Self Defence Mastery dvd's, one can immediately see that what is being described and taught is indeed Pure Krav Maga. This was the system that, with application of good technique, will allow the user to generate the physics needed to deliver fast and powerful strikes in addition to providing general strategies and tactics for self-defence and how to approach potentially violent confrontations.
Through Mr. Aviram's book and DVDs you can see Krav Maga as a series of specialized and stylized strikes that allow the practitioner to generate incredible physics as a result of the scientific application of human physiology and body mechanics to self-defence techniques - meaning one can learn to deliver fast and powerful strikes with stopping power relatively quickly - this is the system that impressed the world when introduced quietly in the early 80s.
Pure Krav Maga teaches one to use their body's mechanics and natural reactions, meaning the practitioner can use relatively few techniques in a wide range of situations, and builds a surprisingly efficient system of techniques and a strategy to be used in self-defence.
Both the book and the dvds present the original IDF Krav curriculum in a logical manner, with one technique and idea flowing into the next, with the student/practitioner eventually realizing that relatively few principles govern most of the techniques, such as momentum, acceleration and the shifting of body weight in conjunction with efficient use of limbs etc. in striking.
However, as Boaz says "Krav Maga is efficient and therefore simple. It is not efficient because it is simple."
You won't learn Krav Maga by just reading the book or watching the DVD. You'll have to train and practice - the dvd's being a good help in this regard and you get to watch as Boaz trains a student - you'll thus encounter many common problems and questions. Enjoy!
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