How long does it take to become good at it?
Actually, this question approaches the subject from the wrong angle. You don’t become good at it, you become better at it. The difference between doing a few hours of Krav Maga and nothing is a significant one.
From the moment you start training regularly you will become steadily better and better even if you don’t notice any change.
Do you need to be of a specific body type or fitness level to do Krav Maga?
No. Physical fitness is of course hugely beneficial in terms of self defence, but is not a requisite. Regular Krav Maga practice does not require any particular level of fitness; we start off slowly at the beginning of the year and pick up the pace gradually.
Is it enough if I can only make one class per week?
The more you train the faster you will improve. Certain individuals attend 5 or 6 classes every week, others can only make it to one. The time you dedicate to training contributes directly to improving your technique.
Everyone has their own pace and their own schedule; training once a week will not stop you from improving. That being said, classes are structured on the basis of 2 classes per week.
Why do we hear so much about Krav Maga these days?
Krav Maga has won its acclaim due to the speed with which it grants technical proficiency and its recognition- and use by the GIGN (a special operations unit of the French Armed Forces, founded by Richard Douieb) and other elite units around the world.
Nowadays more and more people wish to benefit from the same training that these professionals receive; to feel more secure and to learn simple self defence principles.
Is Krav Maga intended for use by women and children?
Yes, even more so than many other kinds of activity…
Krav Maga is based on reflexes. Its movements are simple and direct.
Power is not one of the principles upon which Krav Maga is based. Intensity, surprise, determination and precision are the qualities that are required. As a matter of fact, a growing number of women are discovering the joy of easily being able to learn a realistic system of self defence without seriously injuring themselves such as Jennifer Lopez, Kristina Lokent, etc….
Krav Maga is even taught to young children in certain schools. In France, most Krav Maga schools permit adolescents from the age of 16 to join.
Does Krav Maga have a belt system?
Yes; it is the same as in Judo: yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black.
In the first year, students take two belt examinations. Afterwards, the progression is one every year.
Are there competitions in Krav Maga?
No. There never have been and there never will be. Competitions impose rules and the whole point of Krav Maga is to have none.
Do you need to do something in addition to Krav Maga to be effective?
Krav Maga is a complete system of self defence and doing another martial art or sport alongside it is not necessary. This being said, focussing on one particular aspect of combat (British boxing, Judo, wrestling, kick boxing, Muay Thai, etc.) can enrich a person’s technical abilities so long as one does not lose sight of the principles of Krav Maga.
Disciplines that mesh very well with Krav Maga are other hand & foot fighting systems and grappling systems (Judo, wrestling, Brazilian Ju-jitsu, etc.).
This is why Krav Maga instructors remain open to other disciplines and encourage their students to enrich themselves with all the available knowledge that will permit them to improve their effectiveness.
Let’s not forget that the founder of Krav Maga was himself a wresting and British Boxing champion.
Furthermore, as the objective of Krav Maga is improving effectiveness anything that contributes to this goal is considered in line with Krav Maga mentality.
I already have a black belt in another martial art. Do I have to start from the beginning?
Krav Maga is not a “blending” of multiple martial arts. It is based on its own principles. Many people from martial arts backgrounds come to practice Krav Maga and regardless of their level in another martial art, all must start at the beginning. Of course it is likely that these individuals will advance more easily and more swiftly but it is necessary that one start with the basics of Krav Maga.
Do you do sparring?
Yes, from the start of the first year students participate in combat (starting with semi-contact and progressing in later years to full-contact under controlled conditions). Protective gear is worn at all times during combat