Walking into a Krav Maga training gym can be a daunting experience at first if you are new to Self Defence Training. If you are on the wrong side of 40, this feeling can well be amplified somewhat; I recall the night when I first entered my local Krav Maga training centre. It was quite busy, Krav was and still is quite popular with several classes running throughout the day. What i noticed was both training drills that seemed pretty hard core and people lining up with partners punching and kneeing the bags. It became obvious straight away, that many people there enjoyed the hard physical training being offered.
New students to Krav sign on and do the introductory lessons where basic training drills and some basic techniques are explained and practiced over several weeks. People that had prior training in other martial arts were given an upgrade to the main group straight away. At the conclusion of the course an interview is held with the leadership of the gym and you are given an opportunity to sign on and commit to training. – and you get a T Shirt 🙂
90% of the students in the classes were under 40, full of energy and enthusiasm, yet there were also Over 40’s and even one gentleman over 70. Like any club or training centre over the next few months people fall away and you are left with the group that go on to be the core members.
If you make enquiries at a Krav Maga training centre, you will usually be told that anyone can do Krav Maga. In a sense this is true, there are techniques in Krav Maga that anyone can do. Yet its my view that you will struggle to go the distance with Krav Maga if you are not prepared to take on physical training and be in a position where you are working towards presenting yourself to training at the correct weight for your BMI (body mass index). Like it or not, physical fitness runs parallel with Krav Maga. Krav is a military derived fighting system and its expected of israeli soldiers that practice it that they should be able to drop and give 100 push ups upon request from a senior officer at any time. If you wish to persevere with Krav Maga and move on into the training structure, physical fitness will be required of you.
Krav Maga does however have some advantages also for older members. Krav tries to focus on realistic training and a part of that is both staying calm in the face of an attack and developing the capacity to look at your opponent and they way they telegraph their moves. Older members can often prove to do well in this area. In respect to fitness, several Krav Techniques work on explosive fitness where you use a large amount of energy in a small amount of time to disarm your opponent, again this is another area that Over 40’s can tend to do well in also.
It is easy to walk into a Krav Maga training centre and be overwhelmed by what you see, yet bear in mind that everyone else there was a beginner at some stage and there are likely going to be people there that are older than you and who started their training in Krav at an older age than you. There is a wise saying that I would like to leave with you as you consider taking up training in Krav Maga and it is – “old ways do not open new doors”. Krav Maga might be just exactly what you are looking for if you are willing to give it a go!