The Art of Krav Maga: Learn to Save Your Life

I hit the ground. Hard.

Still stunned from the impact, I heard someone say, “Welcome to the real world. Get back up and fight!”

I immediately sprang back up, and with a one-two-punch combo, I continued to hit as hard as I could until the instructor called “Time!”

My head was pounding from the punches and I was breathing heavily, but I was smiling. I was taking the first steps toward protecting myself.

This weekend I attended my first ever krav maga class.


For those of you who may not already know, Krav Maga is a style of martial art, originating in Israel. It empowers people to perform offensive moves in the face of unexpected attacks. The fighting skills that you learn in class are tactical, and the element of surprise and stress are baked into the sessions so that you can prepare yourself to react effectively under those conditions.

My first experience in such a class was eye-opening. I always think of the possibility of being mugged, attacked, etc., while performing normal tasks, like walking to my bus stop in the evening. The likelihood of an attack is very real, especially for a young, unaccompanied woman.

Like in the event of any natural disaster, preparing after the fact is too late.  Truthfully, to successfully get away from such an attack, you’ll need a combination of: offensive attacks hardwired into your muscle memory, the ability to act under stress, and the confidence to strike back—and hard. Like you mean it.

Three Important Takeaways from Class

  1. Go for the nuts.
    If your attacker is male, hit him in the crotch and do it HARD. This is your best chance of escape.
  2. You can’t count on running away.
    Your first instinct may be to flee—however unless you’re extremely fast or skilled at running, you probably won’t be able to outrun your attacker. This means that you’ll need to do some damage before you can get away.
  3. Practice stress.
    Being exposed to stressful environments and then practicing fighting during those times will give you the best tools to save your life.

Now, I don’t mean to be a downer in any way by writing this post. I think we should all be aware and prepared for real-life situations. And if that means thinking about these scenarios and your possible reactions beforehand, we must do just that.

If you only had one chance to strike your attacker before they rape/shoot/stab/kill you, could you make it count?


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