Want to Learn Krav Maga? All Beginners Start Here with a Complete Step by Step Tutorial
I have had more fun (and felt more empowered) when training in krav maga classes than anything else. It can be hard to feel like a badass while throwing a knife hand block in the air during a kata (nothing against TKD or Karate, as I love it also); but this tough guy feeling comes up often when beating the snot out of pads krav-style.
Krav Maga is a very simplified martial art. The overall premise is to do whatever it takes to save your life, be aggressive (proactive), and use your instinctive reactions. The goal of your Krav training should be to develop INSTINCTS. I really think that you can boil it all down to that.
If you develop the instinct of automatically grabbing someone’s hand as they grab your hair, and thrust forward with strikes and knees that is an instinct. If someone puts you in a choke, and you immediately break free while adding combatives, this is an instinct. But, the truth is, in a fight or flight situation, your brain is not working, you cannot remember which move to do — you’ve gotta have instincts.
Let’s get started, here are my top 4 tips for beginners in krav maga.
1. Learn what KRAV is really about.
Above, I gave you a brief idea. But before you start training (at home or in a training facility), you need to wrap your mind around the concept. If you have previous martial arts experience (such as Judo, Karate, TKD), this may even be more important – in order to break your past paradigms and conceptions. Here are some ways to LEARN about krav:
- Watch some youtube videos of Krav experts and masters demonstrating techniques
- Read a great Krav Maga book, such as “Complete Krav Maga” by Darren Levine, or “Krav Maga: An Essential Guide” by David Kahn.
- Do some more research on the web, but watching it in action is really your best way of learning
2. Set Your Training Goal – Why Do You Care about Krav Maga??
Without a goal, you are destined for failure, or even worse, mediocrity. Are you training to feel safer? Are you training to someday become a teacher of Krav Maga? Are you training to get in better shape? Are you training just for fun, as a hobby? Write down what you want to achieve.
For example: I will complete my Level 1 Krav certification in three months.
Or, I will attend 3 classes a week, and lose 10 pounds by September.
Or, I will earn my black belt level in Krav Maga by XX/XX/XXXX and open my own class.
The point is to know where you are going. You obviously are motivated by something, or you would not be reading this guide.
3. Find a Local Training Facility (or get some DVDs)
The most effective way to train is at a local training center. By training in person you will: have external motivation to be consistent (someone telling you what to do is better than you telling yourself…as human can have a lack of self discipline), an expert to correct your mistakes, a group of friends to practice with and whom will encourage you (as well as kick you in the groin).
Here are some things to look for in a Krav Maga training facility:
- A safe and clean facility – do they have nice mats for training? Clean and new looking equipment? Does the instructor wear deodorant and shave? These questions can mean you either being healthy or contracting a disease, as a great deal of body fluids will be transferred in this type of training.
- Impressive Students – how good are the students that are currently traning there? Come in and watch a class (or do a free trial class). The quality of the students speaks volumes about the instructor.
- The Instructor(s) – what experience does the instructor have? It is not just about their Krav experience, but their TEACHING experience. Many Krav Maga instructors have the credentials, but may not be as great at transferring that information as a teacher.
- Take a Free Class – just about every facility should allow you to take a free class. Also, many schools will ask you to take a free private lesson, 1-on-1; I recommend that you demand to be with the group class. This will give you an actual idea as to what is going on.
- Does it feel right? – Choose a school that gives you the right vibe. Of course, Krav is an aggressive art, but should not be taught in a down-right evil manner. You don’t want the instructor ripping jokes about beating people up, or boasting, etc… (unless you ‘re into that ego-jerk stuff).
To be most effective, you will also need someone to practice with. Hopefully you have a training friend or a family member that you will practice with you. Your DVDs and books will be worthless unless you setup a training schedule and actually ‘act as if you were a student’ at a facility. I recommend my set of Krav Maga DVDs to get started. These are designed purely for the beginner, and are meant to help you learn the foundations of Krav Maga: self defense techniques, reactions, and combatives. The DVDs also include angle breakdowns, the application, and even a home practice drill for each move.
4. Punch Through Your Opponent – & Practice at 100% Percent!
This is a very important tip. If you have a traditional martial arts background, you have developed a bad habit, which is very counterintuitive to your krav training. When doing one step sparring, kumite, katas, or even sparring – you most likely throw out techniques, but stop an inch away from your opponent. This is done to show control and demonstrate the art of the technique.
Krav is not about flashy techniques or even perfect execution, the brash reactions, and aggressiveness is more important. When practicing punches to the face, for example, punch through the top shoulder of your partner, having the hand go past the distance of the back of their skull, with the forearm rubbing through their shoulder. This allows for you to do the full sped, full power extension, without harming your partner.
Remember, how you practice is how you will use your techniques in a real life situation.
So check out our Krav Maga DVDs at www.ultimatetrainingdvds.com . As far as comments, does anyone here have experience training in Krav Maga?