Ask an expert your Krav Maga questions

Last week we asked our Facebook followers for your most burning Krav Maga questions and you came through. Now it's our turn to answer - and for our inaugural Ask a Trainer we've turned to Krav Maga Systems' Senior Instructor Kurt Colpan.

Krav Maga Systems on Seven News Senior Instructor Kurt Colpan on last week's Seven News report on the Parramatta Park stabbing of Prabha Arun Kumar, and the upcoming free Urban Survival workshop organised in response. Book your place at Urban Survival: Knife Defence.

Without further ado, let's see what you asked. We'll answer many more questions in the following weeks, so don't worry if your question hasn't appeared today! This week's first cat off the rank is R M, with some interesting points about school curriculum:

I think krav maga would be ideal to teach in our schools mostly our high schools, with all the violence going on in this country these days many kids need to learn how to defend themselves...what do you think?

Kurt replies:

Teaching children and teenagers self defence skills and principles is crucial for their survival. I agree completely with you and feel that there needs to be more focus put on teaching real life skills early on, which can help an individual to live, grow and be safe. Things like what you’ve suggested, as well as information on how to do basic taxes, develop good money skills, understanding values and human nature, and stuff that can really make a difference to one’s life.

  Melissa writes in to ask what makes Krav Maga so different:

How do you best describe the difference between Krav Maga and other Martial arts training to those who have basic knowledge on the subject? What is it that distinguishes Krav Maga from the rest?

Kurt replies:

Madonna once said that Krav Maga was like playing with yourself your whole life and then discovering sex, the real thing. We think of Krav Maga pretty much like that, for all who fall in love with it would say she's right on the money.

Krav Maga is based on simple movements that are learned and drilled over and over again in different environments, close to real-life speeds and intensities, in contact and non-contact situations. It’s a reality based self-defence system that quickly teaches you the skills and the principles needed to survive. After all, its main principle is to 'Avoid Injury'.

Krav Maga Systems - Woman countering attacker at car Krav Maga training exposes you to diverse situations and environments, simulating real-life speeds and using both contact and non-contact teaching methods.

What distinguishes it from a large majority of martial arts is that it’s modern and extremely practical against real-life threats and violence. While traditional martial arts are popular, fun and even effective forms of self-defence, not everyone has the time or ability needed to reach a high level. It could be over ten years before traditional martial artists develop all the techniques to save their lives in a real conflict. Krav Maga is no-nonsense, down and dirty fighting at its core. Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder of Krav Maga's goal was for all to 'walk in peace'. That's our goal too.

And finally, Lisa is a little concerned about preparation and that ouch factor:

When/how do you feel comfortable getting hit/hurt at class? And how do you get comfortable with certain techniques (kneeing someone freaks me out). And what training outside class is best for endurance? Running yoga etc?

Kurt replies:

Without asking a lot of questions and without any experience teaching you, I’ll have to answer a little generally.

First of all, the fear of hitting someone or being hurt are all very normal feelings for most human beings. We have an instinct to preserve ourselves and our kind. When you start training in Krav Maga, we emphasise that in many situations it comes down to you or them, and that in the worst case scenario, you must act fast and decisively. But, follow the golden rule of Krav Maga training - 'Don't get hurt, don't hurt your partner'.

The Krav Maga Systems rule: Don't get hurt, don't hurt your partner Don't get hurt, don't hurt your partner.

So through training and when your instructor feels you're ready to start fighting and getting hit (or by pre-enrolment in a fully-immersive program), you are introduced to the bump and grind of Krav Maga. For most people, once they start to learn how to attack and defend well, the contact aspect becomes natural and even enjoyable.

As for particular techniques, to get comfortable with kneeing, knee more. The more repetition you do, the more it will feel natural. Aim primarily to the groin, but also allow the odd knee to the mid-section or to the face. Also practice visualisation: Imagine someone really trying to hurt someone you love. Imagine getting in their way and stopping them with some powerful strikes. Include the knee. Allow yourself to feel how you would feel, and allow yourself to feel powerful through the process. You are doing the right thing. Then when you train, remember that feeling.

Outside of class, building endurance is important. I always recommend kettlebell exercises. Life wasn't meant to be a struggle! Get a kettlebell and you’re saving yourself so much time it's not funny. Skipping is also a good exercise - I recommend around five times per week. On the other hand, if you're into 'hard work' or you're fighting, you can add extra cardio such as running. You should also be doing as many pad rounds as you can.

That's all for today's round of questions. Keep them coming on the Krav Maga Systems Facebook Page and we'll have one of our expert trainers tackle them soon. Remember! If you live near Parramatta haven't booked your free place at our Urban Survival: Knife Defence Workshop on March 28th, do yourself a massive favour and sign up right now before you miss out.