KravMaga, more than just self defence.
KravMaga might seem like a male dominated activity, with its boisterous warm ups and pugilistic training format, but it is for anyone who needs to improve their confidence, push themselves physically while learning a new skill. I had one main reason for undertaking KravMaga Classes, and that was to improve my dormant self defence and martial arts skills, but it has give me so much more. As a Warwickshire Police Special Constable it has sharpened and honed my tactical communications as well as my self confidence in confrontational situations which has meant that I deal so much better with conflict, and made me much more aware the myriad of potentially harm causing situations that I can find myself in. The officer safely training that is received as part of my police training prepares me for a set of probable and common confrontations and how to deal with them in a Home Office approved format, but unfortunately, people the police end up encountering are normally not trained in a Home Office approved format.
This is where KravMaga comes in, just in the first year of training we have covered nearly every conceivable form of personal attack, with weapons, multiple attackers, ground attacks, outside attack scenarios in the dark and street fighting. All of these are presented in a realistic format, and practiced until they are second nature. Working these techniques while in an adrenalin enriched environment has made me reaslise my own physical and mental potential and preparedness.
KravMaga stands apart from a lot of the other martial arts in that it can adapt it for my diminutive height and fairer gender. There is always an alternative, it might look like it is for fit, big men, but it is just as easy for me to effect the same outcome, with some small adjustments. One thing that is extremely important with KravMaga is that you are physically fit, you will only be letting yourself down if you aren’t. By working on your cardio vascular fitness, means that you can give 100% effort in each class, from the warm up through to the ‘Kida’ at the end. To only do KravMaga as a form of fitness means that you will always be just able to do the minimum, in a real life or death situation your fitness might make the difference and give you an advantage. I do exercise three times a week regularly at a high intensity in a circuit based format which prepares me better for the intensity of the classes. Short bursts of activity, teaching your body to work optimally while under stress. This also helps control adrenalin as a stress response, making it much easier and quicker to recover, which in a real life stressful situation will shake off the red mist tunnel vision and reduce your heart rate so that normal function can return quickly. It is not just the CV training that is so important when ding KravMaga, but to reduce the risk of injury, like in any high intensity and medium to high impact activity protecting muscles and joints from injury mean that resistance training is also very important. In my capacity as a Sports and Fitness Therapist and level 3 special populations trainer, I work with people with specific sports requirements and Krav Maga is no different, increasing the muscular integrity around each joint will better prepare them for the fast, unpredictable and dynamic moves that KravMaga requires. After a while muscle memory will alleviate this, but while learning new moves or just starting out, reducing risk of injury is very important.
The day to day benefit of KravMaga, for me, is that it means I am not a victim, I exude the self confidence that reduces the risk of me becoming a victim of crime or being physical threatened, and there is no better feeling.
Kimberley Warwick BSc, Ad Dip Fitness Therapy, ADLH (Oxon)
01926 774 139
I am a Psychologist and a Sports and Fitness Therapist, who specializes in Activity Injury management, and Sports and Remedial Massage. I am also a GP Referral Consultant with specialties in High Risk Category clients, also trained by the World Amateur Body Building Association as a Fitness and Gym instructor, specializing in Body Building and Weight Training. At the moment I am finishing my Masters Degree in Health Psychology, with ambitions of a Doctorate in the next few years, endeavouring to tackle the challenges of obesity in adult populations.