METRO PLUS

Kicking it with Krav Maga

Countering violenceDon’t feel helpless when attacked. Be prepared for an exigency

Countering violenceDon’t feel helpless when attacked. Be prepared for an exigency  

With a series of rapes being reported across the country, the focus is once again on how women can defend themselves against sexual predators. Pepper sprays and pocket teasers are recommended, but more important is to be physically and mentally prepared for an attack, and Krav Maga training provides one of the most efficient methods to do just that.

Krav Maga, meaning contact combat in Hebrew, is a combat method developed by Jewish boxer Imre Lichtenfeld and used extensively by the Israeli military. It incorporates elements of boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu and a range of other martial arts to create a street fighting technique that is honed to deal with real-world situations. Attacks are directed at the most vulnerable parts of the body like the face, neck and groin, and students are taught to defend themselves in a variety of hostile scenarios.

How does Krav Maga differ from other martial arts? Krav Maga instructor Franklin Joseph says: “Most martial arts are based on rules and regulations. But the problem is that criminals on the streets do not care about rules. They won’t follow the ethics of martial arts. Krav Maga is a self-defence system that does not focus on the art form or the rules, but on the individual, and provides quick and effective methods for individuals to counter attackers.”

Sapna, a Krav Maga student, says: “I was attacked twice in the last four years, once when I was with a group. I realised that I needed to learn to protect myself. I chose Krav Maga because it gives proper direction to the inbuilt instinct to fight, to resist attack, and builds endurance of the mind and the body.”

Krav Maga focuses as much on the psychological aspect of countering violence as it does on the physical. Software engineer Anusha Sharma says: “If a woman is attacked on the street, the shock and pain can leave her numb and unable to respond. Krav Maga training has made me mentally prepared for any violent situation and developed the pain-conditioning necessary to fight off an attacker.”

Joseph, who conducts corporate workshops on women’s psychological empowerment, says: “Any assault is a highly charged, stressful situation, and people forget all the tricks they learned. The first step in countering assault is to prepare people mentally to deal with stressful situations. Krav Maga does not encourage fighting -- in fact, it is supposed to be the last resort. Instead, people are encouraged to learn how to react to the situation, and get out of it with minimum harm.”

Anybody can benefit from Krav Maga training, be it a child who walks 10 minutes from her bus stop to her home, a lady who uses public transport while returning home late from work or a man travelling on a lonely road in the middle of the night. Krav Maga not only teaches one to defend oneself against attackers, but also develops the mental strength needed to fight them.

You can learn more about Krav Maga training in Bangalore at http://kravmagabangalore.in/

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