Be a Man: Martial Arts
- Speed, not strength, is the key to victory. During that first lesson, Rhon Mizrachi came over and told me, to my face, that I am very strong. While this is objectively true, I cannot tell you how honoured I was to have one of the world's deadliest men tell me this. He also told me, however, that strength can be turned against itself, and that it is speed and accuracy that are the guarantors of victory. From that moment on, I concentrated on getting the form right instead of just trying to power my way through the techniques being taught.
- As with any other aspect of mastering oneself, practice is absolutely key. If you begin learning Krav Maga as a complete novice, you must commit to a minimum of one class a week. I'm looking to start doing two a week now.
- Following on from this, one of Rhon Mizrachi's comments to the class really stuck with me. The very first techniques that Imi Lichtenfield taught his first students were: punching, kicking, and combat rolls. With repeated practice comes confidence, strength, and speed. The point of the Krav Maga method of instruction is to drill you so hard and so frequently in the basics that the simple techniques just become muscle memory- so that when you are attacked from behind, you don't even waste time thinking, you immediately know how to break a choke-hold or defend against a side attack.
- While there is supposedly no general fitness requirement for learning Krav Maga, you had damn well better be in decent shape before you even start. The first 20-30 minutes of a Krav Maga lesson consists of intense warm-ups, punching, kicking, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, and jumping jacks. After your first lesson, your body will be screaming in agony because you will have used muscles and tendons that you didn't even know you possessed. After your third lesson, you'll realise that actually, it's not so bad- after that first 20 minutes, that is. You WILL walk out of a Krav Maga session absolutely drenched in sweat and utterly exhausted- if you don't, you're being a candy-ass. Krav Maga workouts are brutal, but damn are they good fun.
- Krav Maga is about respect as much as it is about aggression. In order to get the most out of your lessons, you must respect the training room, your training partner, and your instructor. Never forget that the lessons you are being taught are designed to save your life in the event that you ever find yourself in a street fight. Every single technique taught in the art is taught with the aim of crippling or killing your opponent. Forget this even for a second and you forget the very purpose of the art. In every lesson I've taken so far, this has been hammered home repeatedly. Krav Maga is brutal. It is efficient. It is lethal. So you must never underestimate or disrespect the power that it gives you.
- Yes, Krav Maga teaches you how to defend yourself from knife and gun attacks. Yes, if you get into a situation where a gun is produced, you are still statistically likely to lose. That doesn't make the art any less awesome or worthwhile.
- As David points out in his article, after a few weeks of Krav Maga, you're going to feel like Jason Bourne. Rhon Mizrachi pointed this out in that very first lesson:
After a few lessons here, you're going to think differently, you're going to carry yourself differently. You're going to walk around and you're going to look at guys on the streetg and you'll think to yourself, "yeah, I could take that guy". And someone on the street will see you looking at him and ask you, "whatcha lookin' at?!" And you'll reply, "I'm lookin' at YOU."