27 Reasons Why I LOVE Krav Maga (and 7 why I HATE it)
I guess it goes without saying I’ve pretty much fallen in love with Krav Maga. ;) Hence the blog, the Twitter account and the constant nagging at people to “come ooooon, at least give it one try”.
1. I feel really great about myself. This is sort of the end result from a lot of the things listed below, but it deserves the top spot. Feeling better, stronger and more confident makes me feel more in control of my life, which makes me more relaxed and happy. I love Krav Maga.
2. The techniques are easy to learn. You don’t spend months working on an obscure technique. You can pick it up and execute it properly within twenty minutes. Perhaps not super fast, instinctive or fluid yet, but it works. The results are immediate.
3. The techniques work. So, you’re facing a guy who’s taller and twice as broad as you? BAM! Kick to the groin, eye gauge and he goes down, because it hurts. You can’t take many hits to your sensitive areas and remain standing. A guy twice your size chokes you? Someone take you in a headlock from the side? BOOM! Counter technique works like a charm, for absolute newbie to veteran, for little ladies and manly men.
4. The techniques are easy to remember. The Krav Maga techniques are based on instinctive reactions. Because of the small alterations you make to your natural movements, these techniques are really easy to remember. Your body automatically makes half the movement, you just have to complete it.
5. The techniques become instinctive. Krav Maga trains under extreme and stressful circumstances and will constantly repeat certain techniques and moves. Because of the repetition and circumstances, your body is forced to learn these techniques as their new instinctive reactions in stressful situations. If someone tries to choke or grab me I’m half-way through the technique before I realize what’s actually happening. (A friend playing a joke.)
6. We fight dirty. It’s about survival. There are no rules on the street. Someone will come at you with intent to kill or rape you and you counter fully. No mercy. Fuck them! I guess I have some sort of sadistic streak, but I like that I have the knowledge to do some real damage to someone who means me harm.
7. The counters are quick and brutal – with the intent to flee. No time to think. You’re attacked, you counter brutally so the sucker goes down and then you RUN. It’s the efficiency and speed of your counter attacks which make me love Krav Maga. No bullshitting, you learn ways to take the other down fast and hard so you can run and survive.
8. “I know at least three ways to kill a man with my bare hands.” – Holy FUCK! How cool is it to be able to say this and MEAN it? I just feel so badass sometimes. ;)
9. I know how to make a fist and punch someone/something properly. For the first time in 23 years I’ve made an actual fist to punch something. It was scary at first, but it’s pretty cool to know my hands can deal some actual damage. Again, I feel so badass when I think of this. :P
10. Great physical conditioning & cardio work-out. I didn’t honestly think my condition had improved much in four months. Right up until I convinced a friend to train with us. Friend was out of breath and crazy exhausted after six minutes while I had a whole lot of breaths left in me. Four months ago, friend and I were at the same level condition-wise. A real eye-opener to the awesomeness of Krav Maga conditioning.
11. My abs have never looked better! The first time I wore a bikini since last year and HOLY FUCK. My abs have NEVER looked so good and non-pudgy! So relieved all those stupid sit-ups and crunches are actually paying off!
12. I can do push-ups no problem. To me this means so much. Four months ago, I didn’t have much definition in any of my muscles. Particularly my biceps and arm muscles looked flat and pudgy. :( Now, however? After a million push-ups my instructor (the sadist) makes us do? Defined muscles, baby. Oh yeah. Not hideously defined, but pretty defined, in a still feminine way!
13. I feel safer when I’m out and about. Krav Maga has given me the means to defend myself. And because I’m a girl, I’ll have the surprise effect of being able to defend myself. It’ll give me the time to deliver that crushing counter attack so I can get away ASAP. Knowing this makes me feel safer when I’m out on my own. (All the time, basically).
14. I’m more easy-going with strangers. Because I’m aware of how to defend myself, I am more easy-going with strangers. I am more relaxed, make eye contact more easily and don’t mind having a conversation. I actually really like talking to other people (I’m quite nosy and talkative) so being able to do so without being scared or worried means a lot to me. It just gives you more fun in life.
15. I don’t spook easily when a (creepy but well-meaning) stranger talks to me. Just the other day, this random creepy guy walked up to me and said “You look absolutely gorgeous today!”, smiled and then walked on. I was a bit bemused, but not really creeped out. Before Krav Maga I would have been rattled and semi-afraid. Now I just smiled, thanked him and continued on my way, quite pleased with the compliment.
16. I have a better attitude, which results in better interaction with people. I’m more confident. I’m happier. I like walking on the street during a great day. I love being alive. This is the attitude I project when I walk on the streets. People notice this and react correspondingly with an equally positive/happy response, which makes me happier. :) A good cycle!
17. I’m not so easily intimidated anymore. I stand up for myself and I stand up for others. Before Krav Maga I’d generally just shut up and observe things. Now I speak up (in moderation, without getting into a fight) in an appropriate manner. Because what’s the worst that could happen? In my mind, that was always a physical attack because I was so unprepared. Again, now that I know how to do the initial defense, counter and follow-up I’m no longer so intimidated. Also, as it turns out, people are not actually very keen to get into a fight. ;)
18. I know how my body can be a weapon. Even if you’re in a situation in which you’re unable to perform any of the official Krav Maga techniques, I’ve learned how my entire body can be used in a fight. How your elbows, feet, your fingers, forehead and even your mouth are weapons to defend yourself with. Better yet, I know how to use my body when a guy twice my size has me pinned down tightly and I’m pretty much stuck. (Urgh!!)
19. I know how powerful a human body can be. Not only am I aware of the fragility of the human body, I’m also aware of the strength. The human body can take a LOT before it gives up. Knowing that I won’t go down with one hit or that I won’t go unconscious from hitting the ground hard (and being defenseless) did something really good for my self-esteem and confidence.
20. Pain no longer scares me. Oh man, I was such a wuss before Krav Maga. Pain scared the crap out of me. Now? I laugh in the face of pain. Hahahaha! No, seriously. After all the bruises and injuries, pain’s become very relative and it doesn’t scare me anymore. Because of this, I’m more assertive and no longer so afraid of being hit or attacked.
21. I’ve learned about my weaknesses. I never realized certain things in my life had made such a great impact on me. Some of those situations were repeated during Krav training where I learned that my emotional response sometimes overrules my physical response. I know this now, and I work on it during training. Also, I’m writing about it here on the blog so I can deal with some of the emotions associated with the response.
22. I won’t give up when I’m in a bad situation. Giving up could mean rape or death. Krav Maga has really cultivated my survival instinct and fighting mentality. No matter what, I’ll keep on going. I won’t give an attacker the satisfaction of giving up easily. He’ll have to be crazy-good in order to overpower my will. Because I’ll bet you that my will to survive is ten times stronger than his will to kill me. During training my instructor’s driven me to the brink, to the point that I gave up a dozen times, and then pushed me onwards and forced me to go. I keep on going as long as I need. The importance of the lesson was not lost on me. ;)
23. I’ve learned to accept my aggressive side. Krav Maga has focused a lot on pulling out every bit of aggression you have when you’re attacked and in a bad situation. This will help fuel your survival instinct and fighting mentality. It was hard at first, becoming so angry on command. Dealing with these negative emotions is not fun. But I’ve learned that it’s ok to become angry. Making the switch becomes easier (making the switch back to calm, as well). Aggression is a part of me that’s there (and boy, there was a lot of it) and it’s ok to feel it.
24. I know what it feels like to be attacked ‘for real’. Well, almost. But during Krav Maga training we train with actual force when practicing choke defenses, or when practicing defenses. I know what it feels like to have a man’s hands on my throat, squeezing so hard I can’t breathe. (AWFUL!) But: my counters have never so clean and fast as in that situation. I know what it feels like to be pinned down by a man, unable to move properly. (AWFUL!) And I know what it’s like to keep on going, to keep on fighting when in that situation. I’ve learned that there’s always something you can do, as long as you don’t give up.
25. I’m no longer scared to use force to defend myself. I won’t attack without reason, but I’ve overcome my initial doubts on using force during an attack. Because I’ve learned how the human bodies work, I’ve learned how my body works and my instructor’s been doing a good job of instilling a healthy sense of hatred against future (potential, but hopefully not!) attackers. It took a long time for me to accept that it is alright to use force in certain situations. My mom’s always ingrained in me that violence is never the answer. Well… sometimes violence is the answer.
26. Krav Maga is super effective and empowering for women! Already mentioned this, but whenever I think of my accomplishments I become so excited that I want everyone to witness Krav Maga and see how super cool it is. It works and there’s NOTHING more magical and awesome than seeing a guy go down after a good kick to the groin. Or watching him crumple after he tries to choke you in various ways. It makes you feel so empowered!
27. It feels crazy awesome to beat up multiple guys. Holding your own against multiple attackers is AWESOME and fricking badass. Even more so than knowing how to kill a guy or knowing how to land a proper (and powerful) punch.
BUT! I can hear you think I’m a hypocrite. There can’t POSSIBLY be only good sides to Krav Maga. Well, you’re right. There are negative sides too. Here they are:
1. Bruises and injuries. At first they made me feel bad-ass. Now that summer is fast approaching and I start wearing dresses, skirts and tops, they are getting really annoying.
2. Stress drills are really stressful. While I think the stress drills are great because they allow you to strengthen yourself mentally and physically, I hate undergoing them because of the stress. (No, duh!) I hate being placed in those situations because I’d much rather not think about being in them. Ever. I have a vivid imagination. :(
3. I’m becoming paranoid. I blame my instructor with all his talk of random attacks on the streets and knowing proper counters. It’s all about scanning and looking at your environment. I’m just not ready to be in a constant battle-ready state. I’m not paranoid all the time. But most of the times, I’m aware of my surroundings. Sometimes in a not so good way.
4. Aware of all the stuff I DONT know. God, the more I learn, the more I realise that I don’t know anything. Sure, I know counters A, B and C. But what if an attacker does D, E or even Z?! My imagination just runs wild sometimes, which has caused me quite a few sleepless nights already.
5. I’m sometimes too assertive/aggressive. Generally, after training my temper’s not so well controlled. I react more aggressively and immediately. The other day, during a party, this ended up with me going nearly (verbally) ballistic on one of my fucking slutty roommates. I had nearly told her to gtfo right then and there and thereby caused a huge scene, but I managed to vent against a different roommate. Didn’t make a scene, but the feeling wasn’t good.
6. Weary of men. This is really lame, and I actually blame some of my past experiences. However, Krav Maga’s making me hyper aware of all the bad things attackers could possibly do to me. And let’s be honest: the chance that I’ll be attacked by a man is probably about 90 percent bigger than being attacked by a women. I try to avoid mentioning Krav Maga whenever I meet new people (men) because I see it as my secret weapon. How sad is it to view the world in such a way? Yeah…
7. Loss of interest in my previous hobbies. This might not sound like a big deal, but it IS when my previous (current? D:) hobby is gaming (PC and consoles) and I’ve invested a ton of money in it over the years. Krav Maga and being athletic is so much more fun now. I actually like going out to exercise. WTF IS WRONG WITH ME?! o.o