Krav maga, Self Defense Workout Technique
It’s a well established fact that Fitness and Self defense are closely linked to each other, but have you ever heard about a workout that teaches you both? Well! Yes, a Self defense workout regimen called KRAV MAGA is very much a reality. It aims at teaching self defense techniques and keeps you fit as well. Sounds interesting, no? Read on to know more about it.
These defence techniques originated in Israel in the 1940s. The literal meaning of KRAV MAGA in Hebrew is contact combat. Although originally developed by Israeli defence forces as a self-defence mechanism, it later gained popularity among the civilians as a martial art style and defensive workout regime. Krav maga techniques are a blend of the moves from Boxing, Wrestling, Aikido Judo, Muay Thai and realistic fight trainings.
This Self defense workout system can help you against any attacker irrespective of his size, gender, strength and abilities. It basically focuses on using our body’s natural reflexes as self defense tactics and teaches us how to target physical frailties and vulnerabilities of our attacker. This way Krav maga can rescue you from even the highly stressed environments involving weapons like knives and guns.
Besides being considered as the world’s best self defense system, Krav Maga is gaining popularity in health and fitness domain too, in the name of self defense workout. Although the primary objective is always to learn self defense techniques but those who have undertaken this, swear by its results in toning muscles and burning calories. For them it is a distinctive kind of total body workout which boosts their defense skills while keeping their body in shape. Sounds like a dream workout, doesn’t it?
How does it work?
As mentioned above, Krav maga incorporates body’s natural instincts and reflexes in combination with standard calisthenics and this turns out to be a wonderful way to keep up your fitness game. Here you don’t need any fancy equipment, there are no set of rules to follow and no guidelines on your fitness level too. The uniqueness of Krav Maga as a defensive workout technique is the diminutive yet intense volatility that it brings to our muscle strands.
The idea is to work simply on the speed, agility and strength of your body movements. The eclectic and ever changing blend of stand up fighting, ground fighting, running, push- ups, sit ups and two person drills helps prevent burnout, which is the greatest obstacle to any fitness program.
It pumps up your cardiovascular function, promotes metabolism, tones your muscles and strengthens their coordination. This is the prime reason why krav maga based self defense fitness workout is fast grabbing attention of many fitness enthusiasts.
How to prepare for Krav maga
Unlike other workout exercises, requirements in this self defense workout are very few. You only require a 10 by 10 feet training area, a punching bag, a pair of sneakers and a training instructor/ partner.
No special uniforms are required in this fitness workout; you may start in whatever clothes you are comfortable with. Once you get these few things handy, you are ready to toil and sweat it out the krav maga way.
The krav maga workout techniques
This defense fitness workout uses basic self defense techniques of contact combat like punches, strikes, kicks and blocks in various combinations. You may start with few basic krava maga moves (as mentioned below) depending upon your comfort level to prevent exhaustion, and then experiment with different combinations of these moves in circuit style to keep up your fitness level.
To begin with, stand comfortably and upright just like you normally do. Move your left leg forward if you are a right-hander (do the opposite if you are a left hander). Clench your fists, bend your elbows and lift your arms up in front of your face in a way that both of your fists align with your ears and are just below your eye line. Keep your weak arm towards your partner and the other one close to your body.
Get easy on your legs distributing your body weight evenly on both of them. Also bend your legs a little to avoid any kind of tension in the thigh area. Shrug your shoulders and keep the heel of rear foot off the ground. This posture is your fighting stance.
Ensure that your feet don’t cross and come together in this stance. They should rather remain apart from left to right and front to rear irrespective of your movement styles. To move forward, give a little push to yourself with your back foot and advance with your front foot first, followed by a little step with the back foot to return to the fighting stance. Similarly, stride backwards with your back foot. Move left now, stepping with the left foot first. End with a right side movement by the right foot first, but ultimately revert to a nice balanced stance. Fighting stance is the elementary step of this defensive workout.
Horizontal elbow strike
Unlike some martial arts, Krav Maga does not use difficult or abstruse stances. It teaches you to fight while standing in your normal posture. Stand at a distance of about 3 feet from your training partner. Keep your hips, eyes and lead shoulder towards him. Now bend the elbow of your lead arm, lift it upwards and use it to strike at your partner’s face (mainly jaw or temple). Add more power to your strike by moving the side of your body, which is facing your partner, along with your lead arm. Re-track this move to retain your initial stance. Repeat the same strike with the elbow of the other arm.
This one is another powerful stroke of this self defense workout. Start with maintaining the fighting stance with your natural foot forward (left foot for right handed person and vice versa) and the other foot at the back with its heel off the ground. Now this rear leg is to be used for making the knee strike. Bend your rear leg completely moving the heel close to the hip as you drive your knee forward and upward to hit your target. The idea of this close-range strike is to aim for the stomach or the groin area of your attacker. The quicker you move your knee the more powerful your strike will be. So move fast and retain your initial fighting stance almost instantaneously.
This one is similar to knee strike. Stand first in a fighting stance. Thereafter, bend and move the knee of your rear leg as done in the knee strike. Just as your knee reaches the maximum height, spread out the lower leg in powerful kicking motion to strike the target with your shin bone. Keep your toes pointed during the front kick and never deliver this long-range strike with your foot. Always use your shin bone and aim for the groin area of your attacker.
Start with maintaining your fighting stance and clenching both your hands in fist. Now use the rear hand (right hand for right handed person) to make this hammer strike. Raise it up while bending your elbow and throw the fist powerfully to smack down the punching bag. As you blow the punch keep your elbow still bent a little and do not straighten your arm completely. Recoil and use the other hand to deliver the strike in a similar way. Repeat again with the first arm. For a novice hammer strike is always better than punches as it doesn’t involve the risk of fracturing the knuckles. In real life situations use hammer strike to smack down the face of your attacker.
Palm heel strike
Palm heel is the area of your palm which is nearest to the wrist. Stand in the basic fighting stance with your dominant hand close to your body and the weak one towards your training partner. Strike with the palm heel of the rear hand in a powerful throw, upwards and outwards, to target the nose of your partner. Move the hips and shoulders of the same side along with your rear hand to support this move. Come back to your initial stance immediately and use the palm heel of the other hand to deliver the next strike by moving the other side of the body in the similar way.
These 6 basic moves of krav maga can be performed individually and in circuit style as a 10 minutes fitness workout.
Defence workout: Tips and precautions
- It’s always advisable to get comfortable with all these self defense moves individually. Don’t be in a hurry. Give yourself ample time to master these moves. Beginners are advised to repeat every move 10-20 times a day.
- Practice is the key for this self defense workout. Repeat these moves to the extent that they become ingrained in your muscle memory. So even when you are stressed or in panic, your body responds in the krav maga way naturally.
- Do not exert yourself. Go by your comfort level and take regular breaks in between every round.
- It is important to learn krav maga from a certified krav maga instructor before you start to pursue it as a self defense workout. You may either join the krav maga learning classes or call a personal instructor at home. A good instructor not only teaches you well but also protects you from getting injured.
- krav maga fitness classes are different from krav maga training classes. They combine krav maga self defense techniques with some cardio exercises to give you a tough workout.so lookout for such classes in your neighborhood and get yourself enrolled in one of them.
- One of the best attributes of krav maga defensive fitness workout is that it encourages you to take rest in between the rounds. Do not push yourself otherwise; these intervals are an essential part of the workout session and will fetch you better and faster results.
- Unlike any other workout, this self defense workout is much more exhaustive as it involves lots of kicking, jumping, punching and all the strikes of contact combat. So one must be well fueled and hydrated to endure krav maga workout sessions.
- This is a complete body workout which makes you move your body beyond your comfort level; so generally it leads you to a lot of body ache and sore muscles in the beginning. But this must not deter you from practicing. Take a break, give your body time to recover and then move back to your fitness classes.
- It’s recommended to wear protective equipment like full headgear, hand wraps and gloves while you wrangle with your Krav Maga partner as you may encounter completely different moves not seen before, in the duel.
- Like any other fitness program warm up sessions are important in this self defense workout Jumping jack, torso twist, squats, leg swings, high knee, heel kicks are a few warm up exercises that can get you in the groove for krav maga workout. Equally important is to finish off this defense workout with proper cool down exercises.
Benefits of defence workout
- The most obvious benefit of krav maga fitness workout is that it keeps your body well trained with self defence techniques without using weapons. It can be exceedingly important for you and your family’s safety.
- Learning and training in one of the most renowned self defence systems that can help you to burn calories and remain in shape is a dream workout for females. The self confidence it brings along is unmatchable.
- The vigorous defence moves of this high intensity workout like kicking, punching, blocking, etc. helps you in reducing the stress and improves the coordination between your body and mind.
- There are no rules or guidelines with respect to the fitness level of an individual to get started with krav maga based defensive fitness workout. Moreover, it encourages one to take regular breaks in between the workout session. This turns out to be an effective way to build up your stamina and strength.
- Besides working on your physical attributes, this self defence fitness workout also sharpens your mental agility. It trains your mind to remain calm and work efficiently even in the highly stressed situations.
So folks, that’s all about krav maga inspired self defense workout. Don’t wait any longer to learn these amazing self defense moves. It surely is one of the best ways to keep a tab on your physical and mental fitness.
Aafiya is a health and wellness enthusiast. She utilizes her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to.
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