Three years ago, my son Eddie began his training in Krav Maga. At eight years old, Eddie had limited sports exposure. He liked soccer, parkour, golf and swimming, but nothing was sticking. He needed to feel confident and build strength, physically and mentally. Our exposure to Marital Arts was limited to the extent of familiar forms one commonly hears. We’d never heard of Krav Maga and were definitely ignorant of the mental, physical and spiritual discipline Krav Maga and Martial Arts is capable of developing.
The day of his first class, he was nervous and unsure of himself. Class size was small and intimate. His new Instructor assured him, he was going to be with him all the way. It took one class to ignite his interest and there’s no looking back since.
As parents, we strive to help our child prepare for everything life has to offer. Almost everyone experiences some kind of bullying growing up. We teach our kids how to defuse, and hopefully, avoid those situations. We help them navigate and heal the emotional repercussions of ‘rights of passage’. But most of us aren’t trained to handle those situations when they become a physical threat. Just learning simple self-defense techniques builds unparaelled confidence in any person. However, Eddie was becoming confident in a new way, a deeper way. He was becoming a Kravist.
The universal principles of Krav Maga are pretty simple and clear: Respect, Avoidance of undue/unjustified force, Modesty, Peaceful conduct, Strict adherence to fair play, are the core beliefs of The Israeli Self-Defense System. To date, it’s the leading form of self-defense training for US Homeland Security & Defense, police departments and US military training. Its influences are comprised from several styles of Martial Arts including Judo, Jujitsu and Muay Thai, which in turn create Krav Maga’s own system. It’s fallen under criticism from skeptics as having a sort of ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ form of Martial Art. But what it produces is the most realistic and effective form of self-defense for real world situations.
I’ve been asked whether it disturbs me instruction includes use of weapons, such as training guns and knives. The answer flatly is, No. No it does not. In our world, where senseless tragedies occur everyday for innocent children, I would rather my Son know how to disarm a potential threat than not. As a Mom, I pray he’ll never have the need, but the confidence and skill to do so is vital and valuable.
Eddie trains twice a week in class and takes private instruction. So far he’s trained with four of the six incredibly skilled and dedicated instructors at Performance Krav Maga in Mays Landing. Each Madrich brings their uniquely different style, elevating and enhancing Eddie’s whole experience. He’s anxious and excited to have his opportunity with them all. He still has a long way to go but as I watch him grow with Krav and PKM, I’m confident he’ll get there. But more importantly, he is.
Written by Anndalena D'Amico