The mere mention of self defense, thanks to Hollywood, has the effect of mentally conjuring all sorts of complex moves that blend the amazing acrobatics of Jackie Chan, the flexibility of Van Damme and marksmanship timing of Jet Li.
As the average adult in the workplace considers the prospect of donning workout clothes and trying their hand at a self defense class, the concerns that they are not fit enough, young enough, flexible enough or strong enough immediately flood their mind. Simply stated, they become intimidated…This is the primary reason that self defense schools are mostly populated by young children and teenagers.
Adults just can’t see themselves breaking away from their busy schedule, to work at something they will feel physically inept at. They will sooner take a spin class or go through the physical challenges of Cross Fit, then prepare themselves for the possibility of a physical threat, especially if that preparation requires feats of physical prowess they don’t believe they have or can get to.
To all those reading this, who happen to identify with these sentiments, there is something to consider:
The self defense system of Krav Maga was created by Imi Lichtenfeld, a Hungarian Jew who witnessed the brutal attacks on his friends and family by the Nazis, with the following assumptions…
- the smaller,
- the weaker,
- the slower and
- the less flexible person in the fight
Krav Maga uses the body’s natural reactions and movements to react to a threat. You do not need to remember intricate spinning kicks, or have amazing flexibility to be effective. Indeed, Krav Maga believes that the only time you would ever kick to an opponent’s head is when he is already on the ground in front of you! The notion of “economies of motion” is the central theme of all your defensive and offensive moves…if you are confronted by a larger, stronger opponent, you can be comforted that your strategy for victory will be attacks to areas you can readily reach, using defenses that merely require off angle movements and blocks that not only require minimal power, but use your opponent’s power against them.
In my years of teaching Krav Maga, I have seen the full spectrum of students achieve proficiency:
from older grandmothers to petite women and even the physically handicapped. All of these students have found a successful outcome in fending off an attack. Strategies for success exist in all adverse situations, all you need do is train and trust the system.
I encourage everyone to truly explore self defense, especially the Krav Maga system. Once you have trained for a period of six to eight months, you will attain a level of skill that will empower you to succeed in most attacks from unskilled attackers; regardless of whether you currently move like Bruce Lee or Sarah Lee!