Krav Maga

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Attack is the best form of defence. Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art created for use in real-life situations. It’s all about deflecting an attack, disabling the attacker and escaping the combat situation as quickly as possible. There are techniques for dealing with both armed and unarmed attackers at close-quarters, making it an ideal form of self-defence training for men and women alike.

How does it work?

We all hope we never need self-defence, but it’s reassuring to know how to keep yourself safe no matter what situation you find yourself in. Krav Maga teaches on the principle of no-rules realistic survival; this means learning moves that make the most of your instinctive reactions and combine defence techniques, such as breaking a stranglehold, with immediate attack.

Some of the situations you’ll learn to deal with in a Krav Maga class include defending yourself from attack in a corner, with a blunt instrument, knife or gun, in poor lighting, from a sitting position, when approached from behind and when your attacker is bigger or heavier than you. So, if you’re worried about that shady alley you on your way home, you can learn a few things that’ll put your mind at ease.

A typical class will start with a warm up, often moving on to exercises to improve core bodily strength. The defence techniques will be demonstrated to the group by your instructor and then you’re likely to split into pairs to practise. Most classes work on improving your kicking, elbowing and punching power too, using punchbags and pads for sparring. Unsurprisingly, the more brutal moves, such as eye gouging and ‘below the belt’ blows are mimed rather than actually performed in class.

A typical class will be 60 to 90 minutes long and, although it’s very much technique-based, Krav Maga is enough of a work-out to have you puffing and panting by the end of it.

Is it for me?

Krav Maga is both good for your body and good for your confidence. When it comes to a challenging work out that’s designed to be useful for everyone – young or old, gym bunny or couch potato – Krav Maga takes no prisoners.

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