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Top discussion on Self-Defense, Krav-Maga, and competitions

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

In this article we will go over: Why are warfare and competition in the DNA of mankind? What is the importance of Self-Defense awareness? What is Self-Defense in Israeli Krav-Maga? Why are Self-Defense competitions important? How to test a suitable Self-Defense club? How important is personal protective equipment when practicing Krav-Maga?


Why are warfare and competition in the DNA of mankind?

Thai boxing competition hitting with a leg while jumping
Thai boxing competition hitting with a leg while jumping

Fighting is rooted in the DNA of all human beings. All the known history of mankind, of all peoples, is accompanied by stories of heroism and war, victories and failures. When humans have fought, are fighting now and will fight to eat and survive, to reach a good position at the expense of others. As time progressed and humans evolved, peoples around the world develop fighting styles that suited them such as Karate in Japan; Thai boxing in Thailand, Kung fu in China or wrestling in Greece, etc ... They are meant for a single purpose - to be a perfect tool of attack. Although these arts were primarily used in warfare, in times of peace the instinct in DNA motivated people to create competitions in various martial arts. And the main goal was to find out what the best fighting style is, and who is an invincible champion in that style.

What is the importance of Self-Defense awareness?

Before starting learning any technique, one should understand why he needs it? One has to imagine vividly what goals he wants to reach and then search for different ways of realization. If one wants to achieve sports results and become a champion, it supposes one way. If one wants to strengthen his health – he will choose another way. If one wants to get joy – this is the third way. If one wants to master the self-defense methods, he has to choose the fourth way and so on. In this article, we will discuss case four - when our goal is to learn self-defense. One should know that performance under pressure is always tricky. In fact, a lot of martial arts practitioners worry about whether they’d actually be able to execute their skills in super-stressful situations. Competing at a tournament or performing at belt tests can be stressful. But the scariest high-pressure situation of all is a self-defense scenario where you and your family are being threatened. We frequently ask the question, of why we should teach self-defense at our gym. To answer this question one must delve into the true differences between competition and self-defense.

What is Self-Defense in Israeli Krav-Maga?

Self-defense in Israeli Krav-Maga is an instinctive response to a specific scenario. That is, you are taught what to do if you are attacked without a weapon, and with a cold or hot weapon. The main target of self-defense is to be easy to learn and effective in real-life scenarios. That is, those that have happened in the past and may have happened in the future. The fact is, that good to be able to defend yourself, but the obvious problem with this is what techniques are taught in those groups? I mean is there any evidence that they worked in reality? For that matter, Israeli soldiers and security forces of the State of Israel have more than once proved the applicability and usefulness of the method of Krav-Maga. When in the Israeli army and police there are competitions in this combat method ... the main goal is to improve the system. Admittedly, there are schools around the world in Israeli Krav-Maga whose instructors have never served in the Israeli army or police. Also, they have never competed in competitions in any existing method as karate, combat sambo, etc ... As a result, techniques that teach are controversial, will they really work in reality? No matter how hard you practice the knife protection technique, you cannot effectively simulate if someone approaches you with the intent to harm. You practice these techniques in a safe and controlled space where you have no fear or adrenaline. As well as the lowest chance in your life that someone will come at you with a knife. You may be wonderfully skilled in the protections against knife attacks in the gym, but what if it actually happens?

Why are Self-Defense competitions important?

Competition by rules is not the same as a real battle! Competition has rules and regulations to keep competitors safe, which does not exist in a real battle. As a result, it leads to the creation of certain techniques that will not be usable in combat mode. When, a great example is Kyokushin karate, strong people with amazing punches and kicks. But according to the rules, there are no punches in the head, as a result, the protection of their hands is weak relative to the punch. And boxers do not know how to kick and both together do not know wrestling. And in each of these martial arts, there are laws, which stop the fight on one condition or another, which does not exist in real fighting! That is, in self-defense take into account risks that are not required in conventional competitions. Admittedly, competition is the highest form of combat training. Train to fight a trained opponent according to specific rules. This is the only way to seriously check the pressure and put yourself in real fighting situations. Competition training gives you the versatility to be effective both inside and outside the ring. As a result, it is very important to hold competitions in the fields of self-defense, such as Israeli Krav-Maga; Combat sambo, etc...

How to test a suitable Self-Defense club?

Sparring between two boxers