Top 5 Reasons we teach Krav Maga at Hendersonville Martial Arts

Top 5 Reasons we teach Krav Maga at Hendersonville Martial Arts


by Justin Swanson


Why do I teach Krav Maga? There are a lot of different types of martial arts out there and I have a tremendous respect for most of them. Even arts that are not as practical for self-defense can still be tremendously rewarding for the aesthetics, culture, discipline and athletic benefits they can offer. One of my struggles is that I have a limited time on this planet and there is only so much time to try and master the skills required to become an expert in a martial art. With that in mind, here are the top 5 reasons I chose to focus on Krav Maga personally and offer it as the sole self-defense system we teach Teens and Adults at Hendersonville Martial Arts.

First, it is well rounded. If you had 6 months to prepare an untrained person to step into a cage and fight in a mixed martial arts competition, what would you teach them? Would you ignore striking and focus solely on the ground? Would you ignore the ground and focus solely on striking? I think most would agree the best approach would be to teach them fundamentals in all ranges of fighting. You’d want them to start to get comfortable with a striking system like Muay Thai that has punches, elbows, kicks and knees. And at the same time, you would work on the clinch, takedown defense and (of course) some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with an understanding that strikes on the ground are a factor along with submissions. Now let’s replace the MMA fight for a self-defense scenario where there are no rules, no referees and no weight classes. There could be multiple attackers and weapons can come out of nowhere. Krav Maga does not ignore any aspect of self-defense. We strive to train our students in solid fundamental striking, striking defense, takedown defense as well

as how to defend all types of chokes, grabs and headlocks. We also deal with abduction scenarios and ground defense. I also believe Krav Maga is one of the most proven systems when it comes to dealing effectively with threats from knives, blunt objects and firearms.

Second, Krav Maga is a system that has been proven to work in real situations. Krav Maga comes from Israel and was honed in conflict under the harshest conditions. They needed a system that could work for men and women of all ages and athletic abilities and get them proficient in hand to hand self-defense quickly. After decades of refinement, it made its way here to the United States and has been used successfully in military and law enforcement agencies all over the world. Techniques are tested and have to be able to remain effective when defenders are tired or under the duress of a real life and death struggle. There are a lot of techniques that look really cool. Yet not all techniques hold up when the heat is on and an opponent is not cooperating or hitting you back. Krav Maga discards techniques if they are too complicated or simply require too much fine motor skill to work reliably in a real fight. If you train to become proficient with a technique at our Krav Maga school, you should have confidence that it will have a high probability of success in a real situation.

The third reason I choose to teach Krav Maga is that I believe it can work for everyone regardless of age, gender, size or athletic ability. More than half of our Krav Maga students at HMA are women. We aren’t training our students to get in a fair fight with someone twice their size. We are training them for a sudden burst of violence where they can do enough to neutralize the threat and get to safety. If a technique can’t be relied on to work consistently against a bigger stronger attacker, we will not focus on it. We have seen many people of all ages, weights and builds reach advanced levels at our school and they have all been able to make it work very effectively.

My reason number four is that Krav Maga is efficient and can be learned quickly. Krav Maga was designed to bring people to a high level of proficiency in self-defense in a short period of time. Most people don’t have time to train every day and most don’t want a system that takes years to get a handle on. If people train consistently multiple times a week, they can get pretty proficient in hand to hand self defense with Krav Maga with in 4 - 6 months. In a few years they can get very well rounded skills including ground defense and dealing with weapon threats. Most of the students we bring to black belt average two classes a week through most of their training. Most of them are busy professionals, parents or students (or some combination of those) who are juggling a lot in their lives. They need an outlet where they can get a great workout while learning valuable skills. Our Krav Maga program offers very effective teaching methodologies where we can build our students up through specialized beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. This helps to get people into a habit to train while building their confidence and preparing them for new levels of training as they progress.

And finally, the last reason I teach Krav Maga is that it is a system that evolves. As we learn more about what works better in self-defense, we continue to adapt the system. Many Krav Maga Instructors (including myself) are regularly cross training in things like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Stick and Knife Fighting as well as regular firearms training. As we learn more, we bring that knowledge back to our students and (when necessary) we adapt or change the techniques that we teach. With the explosion in popularity of MMA, we have realized that attackers may have a greater understanding of ground attacks and submissions than they did 20 years ago. So Krav Maga has made many adaptations to make sure our students have the tools to better handle these types of threats.

In conclusion, I have a lot of respect for most martial arts and martial artists. I am constantly amazed at all the things the human body and mind can accomplish through martial arts. The more I learn, the more I try to approach this journey with humility and respect. I am not going to say Krav Maga is the ultimate martial art. It’s just the most efficient, well-rounded system for pure self-defense that I have encountered. It’s also a system that I believe can help lots of different types of people come together and experience the tremendous benefits of a martial arts lifestyle. That is why I am proud to be a Krav Maga student and a Krav Maga Instructor.

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