Part 1: Fit to Fight® Krav Maga
It is no secret that Fit to Fight® has had an on again off again relationship with the term, Krav Maga.
The worldwide connotations of the term seem to settle at one extreme or another: “the most realistic self defense system in the world” or “a watered down, Hollywood influenced, self defense program more concerned with marketing than substance”. At Fit to Fight®, we tend to think both extremes are rooted in some truth, but like most things, it simply depends; but on what, exactly?
There is certainly no shortage of alphabet soup groups vying for Krav Maga supremacy around the planet. Most boast some version of a “from the source” slogan, a veiled or overt inclusion of the original logo, a reference to the IDF, and a photo alluding to connection to Imi (who passed away nearly 25 years ago). The founders argue about who spent more time with Imi, who has what certificate from Imi, and who has the best understanding of how Imi wanted the system to continue.
The similarities, unfortunately, do not stop there. Whether you are comparing marketing, principles, techniques, pedagogy, appeals to authority, or virtually anything else, the distinctions are minimal, at best. Simply put, whether you choose KMXYZ, XYZKM, KMABC, ABCKM, or mostly any other, will not matter much, in terms of experience. They are basically the same…which is why they argue over the things that do not actually matter, when it comes to making their students safer.
Much of this depends on the overall goals of the center, and the general culture that has been developed within. Again, it is common to see two extremes here: kid-driven vibes and practices, with Krav Maga used as basically a loss leader to attract and occupy the parents, or a harsh, austere, almost militaristic aesthetic, with an “only the strong survive” sort of energy. You will likely see seminars that “empower women” or teach you to do “hand to hand combat in water”. T-shirts will run the gamut, from “don’t be afraid to hit on guys” to something with skulls and flames, and a phrase like “touch me and your first lesson is free.”
Ultimately, students will likely have very different experiences, when it comes to everything about the center, off of the training floors, but little disparity when it comes to curricula. Each will promise to make you a badass in little time, with little effort, to take on any attacker, regardless of size, numbers, weapons, or environment.
The type of instructor you are likely to experience is almost wholly dependent on the first two variables we discussed. Regardless of whether your center/organization prefers the instructor that is running around the room like they are most comfortable leading an after school program, or the camo wearing, drill sergeant type, you will almost certainly be subjected to interchangeable clones, no matter what instructor happens to be teaching that day. There is typically very little room for individual personalities or teaching methodologies. The favored approach is a cookie cutter model, dictated by strict training manuals and guidelines.
There are almost certainly other factors that come into play, and there will be no shortage of detractors; however, these are surely the most consequential, for anyone looking for training in “Krav Maga”.
Now, this was the easy part. We have identified what the term Krav Maga has come to represent in many circles, especially to those “in the know”. Next, we will address what Krav Maga should be and how to make sure that it lives up to that potential.
Fit to Fight® Krav Maga. The Difference is REAL.