I am trying to shed some light on recent conversations about Krav Maga vs. other Martial Arts.
Everyone knows the benefits and advantages of traditional martial arts like Karate-do, Boxing, Muay Thai, Shaolin Kung Fu, Jeet Kune Do, Kalarippayattu, Taekwondo, Judo, Aikido, Jiu Jitsu, etc.
In the discussion, the question is: “Is Krav Maga different and/or better than another martial art systems”. For us kravists, it isn’t a matter of who is better because I do believe that we are in different situations entirely. I also believe that it is based on the level of the individual. I would like to better myself taking multiple disciplines. Therefore, I don’t want to relate or question the “versus or better” but rather align my thoughts to the goals and needs of the individuals taking Krav Maga.
If someone asked me, “how is Krav Maga different from other martial arts” that would be a great question to ask and one with a relevant answer. This is a system for self-preservation and survival! We don’t necessarily compete in a sporting ring, have weight classes, or even have the same sexes fighting together. You could go as far as saying 1 on 1 doesn’t necessarily apply! In a sports ring, any expert who has invested years of experience in such martial arts will beat anyone who has less experience then them or is a novice.
However, a common criticism of some traditional martial arts is the lack of real-life applicability – will all those fancy moves hold up against thugs with weapons on the street or in a crowded bus is a different story coming back to our original point.
After a while in any system, most people seem to realize if it is for them or not but I am prepare to say that if you stick with it and become proficient at it, you can be deadly in your own way. I can also say that Krav Maga is to defend yourself to get away fast and efficient! That can be difficult to say for some Martial Arts in their traditional form; not realistic self-defence systems – and were never meant to be but a sport: involving rules to prevent illegal moves and foul play.
Indeed there are some similarities between Krav Maga and martial arts. However, Krav Maga was developed in an environment where the Israeli military could not devote many hours to prolonged hand to hand combat training for their personnel. Therefore, the Krav Maga system was created with great importance placed on bringing students to a level of skill in a relatively short period of time that enables them to do their military duties. There are no katas (forms) or rules in our system.
A great Krav Maga instructor once said, why should we follow rules when the attacker doesn’t!! Anything goes when you are fighting for your life! We don’t have the choice to let go and stop the fight, that is unacceptable because if we do, you can potentially die!
Krav Maga is more of a survival system dealing with personal safety issues in the context of defending against both armed and unarmed attackers. It is considered to be a modern, highly refined, street fighting system, designed to be utilized against muggings, street attacks, and sexual assaults etc.
We also believe no one martial art is better than any other. You still cannot attend a couple of classes of anything and take on a weapon-ed opponent!! That is stupid and un-realistic!! They are like peanut butter and jelly-they blend well with the right person(s). You have to see what’s available in your city and go from there. Once again…the best art is the one you like to do because more practice the better. So if you don’t like something, you will not stick with it and get good at it…so stick with one or three like some of us if you can’t decide….that you like! The most important fact is that you are …training.