Krav Ma-Wha? What Krav Maga Is REALLY Like (For Women)

Girl knees groin

Bam! Knee to the groin! Picture from

What is Krav Maga?
So you’ve stumbled upon this blog, curious about this thing called ‘Krav Maga’. Krav Maga is an Israeli self defensive system based on your body’s instinctive reactions. Therefore it’s easy to pick up and remember during stressful situations. It’s not considered an official (competitive) sport as we fight ‘dirty’. We go for the vulnerable areas of the body: the eyes, nose, throat, groin and knees.

Why? Krav Maga’s most important goal: to survive during a violent encounter. How? Preferably by running away. Sadly, this is not always possible. In those cases, the techniques Krav Maga offers are effective and destructive. They’re easy to learn by both men and women.

I’m a woman. Can I learn Krav Maga?
 So you’re a woman and you’re eager to learn Krav Maga? Good for you! Krav Maga techniques are efficient and simple to learn. Because Krav Maga targets the weak areas of an attacker’s body (eyes, nose, throat, groin, knees) you do not need excessive force to overcome an attacker. Perfect if you’re not super strong (like 99 percent of us) and you want to learn to defend yourself.

When I started Krav Maga, I couldn’t really find any info on what Krav was like. Sure, you’d get the usual testimonials, little snippets/quotes in interviews, as well as the standard ‘it’s so easy to learn’ comments (which is true, btw). But I couldn’t find info on what it was really like.

First of all: it’s mainly a guy thing. I entered the class and was confronted with about 20 guys and 1 woman (who’s married to one of the guys and only occasionally shows). Don’t panic, take a deep breath! While initially a bit intimidating, it’s great to train with a group consisting mainly of guys.

What is Krav Maga really like?
Slowly but surely I’m learning. Not just Krav Maga. I’ve learned so much more about myself. I’ve learned how the human body works. I know what the weak spots are. How you can hurt someone in a dozen ways, even without using Krav Maga. How fragile the human body is. How shouting helps. Why running away is the most important things. Why hurting others is never fun or easy, but necessary. Why you can’t hold back if you’re in a serious fight. And how frightening it can be to overcome your moral objections to violence — even for just a few seconds.

How it’s good for you
I’ve become more confident of myself, of my abilities. I’ve become more assertive. I feel safer when going home at night. I am healthier, my body looks pretty good and I feel right at home with the group I train with. As a matter of fact, I wrote down 27 reasons why I love Krav Maga, as well as 7 why I sometimes hate Krav Maga.

How it can be scary
I’ve hurt myself, bruised myself, exposed myself to horrendously stressful situations.

I realised I was sheltered — before I started Krav Maga I had never actively formed a fist to punch someone in my life. It felt weird, awkward and unnatural. The intent to harm: nasty. The emotional turmoil: all over the place. I discovered some things about myself I had no idea about. I unearthed stuff buried deep in my psyche, which I’m now dealing properly with.

I couldn’t find any of this info on the internet.  Not any of the brutally honest emotional stuff. Yet I would have liked to. I would have liked to have someone tell me how awful the feeling of a tight choke around your neck is when you feel it the first six dozen times. I would have wanted to know how invasive aggression drills are to your normally calm state of mind. Above all, I wouldn’t have minded someone else to discuss this with. The guys experience this differently, and to explain it to my friends is difficult.

Because make no mistake: Krav Maga is mentally just as tough as the physical aspect. Perhaps even worse — yes, I find the mental aspect worse than the physical pains I suffer.

Is it worth it? 

For me, it totally is.

Luckily for you,  you’ve found this blog, so you’ll be better prepared! If you have questions or comments, just post them and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. If you want to share your story or experience, I’ll heartily welcome those, from both guys and girls. ;)

This blog isn’t to teach you the techniques for Krav Maga, although I will use descriptions in my posts. If you want to learn Krav Maga, find a qualified instructor and take a course. In fact, I heartily recommend it!  Do it now. Noooow!

Why do we practice Krav Maga?

“So that one may walk in peace.”

 For more information:
Krav Maga Global (KMG) (organisation led by Eyal Yanilov)
International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF) (organisation led by Avi Moyal)

One Response to “Krav Ma-Wha? What Krav Maga Is REALLY Like (For Women)”
  1. Good article about Krav Maga, you get more confident by training and it’s also good for your mentally aspect.

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