Krav Maga started when a man - our founder, Imi - blocked an attack in a way that he didn’t expect and wondered, “what made me move my arm like that?” Since Imi created Krav Maga, it’s been designed, changed, and altered to continue to work more efficiently for every person, no matter your age, fitness, or mobility. That’s one of my favorite things about Krav Maga and the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), the organization that Valley Self-Defense is part of: every time that we receive an update, it’s to make techniques easier to use and remember and far easier for smaller people to use against larger people.
But it can be hard when you’re headed to the internet: the debates about what is THE best martial art for self-defense; videos that can be intimidating; already anxious about stepping on the mat, and not sure what’s going to happen in your first class.
You might be asking, “Is Krav Maga for me?”
Our answer is an unequivocal YES! But we’ll give answers to some of the most common statements we’ve heard.
“I’ve never done martial arts before.”
That’s okay! That’s not bad at all. Krav Maga uses your body’s natural reaction to help defend yourself, so you don’t need to know anything before you join us.
“I’m in terrible shape” or “I’ve had a lot of injuries and I don’t know that I can defend myself because of them.”
After COVID, we are all in terrible shape - and it feels like it’s more than just physically. We totally get feeling anxious about joining a fitness class after the nearly 2 years we’ve had. But everyone should be able to empower themselves, period. You don’t need to be an action star to learn - the fact that you’re reading this is already a huge first step. In our classes, we’ll teach you how to defend yourself to the best of your ability. What if we tell you to run away, but it’s hard to get up off the ground? Telling you, “too bad, get up” isn’t helpful and won’t keep you safe - we can work with you to find a different way that uses your current mobility to help you fight.
“I’ve watched videos and I’m intimidated.”
I invited a friend of mine to class. She started looking up videos online and when she walked through the door, she said, “I watched some videos on YouTube and got so scared, but I didn’t have your phone number. Otherwise, I would have cancelled.”
Sometimes, videos can make it look like we’re all Jason Bourne and you’ll be expected to step right into that scenario. We promise - this is not the case at Valley Self-Defense. We can work with you at your own pace. If you’re looking to be your own hero, we can get you there. If you’re scared, you’ve experienced trauma, or you're anxious, we can help you build your confidence and do so much more.
“I could never fight with a big man like [my stalker, my ex, that scary stranger on the street, the man I fear] and win.”
We will never minimize your fear, but we want you to know that you are so much stronger than you understand.
I am not the smallest woman I know, but I am relatively small. When I first started fighting men, I was nervous. I’m so small compared to them, how can I hold my own? But the longer I’ve done Krav Maga, the more confident I’ve become. In Krav Maga, there are no rules and while that was in my head, the longer I’ve trained, the more I’ve learned to embody that principle. I can use leverage on joints, I can learn how to use my muscles and joints to my advantage, but I already have so many things at my disposal: biting, scratching, pinching, spitting, dirty fighting, misdirection. I know how to identify common objects in any room. I know what and where vulnerable points are on a person and how to hit them to give me enough time to run.
Krav Maga taught me that I’ve already had all the tools I need at my disposal - I just needed help in finding them.
When I asked the question, “Is Krav Maga for me?” I was anticipating that the answer was, “After a few weeks, I’ll feel better and I can move on.” But that’s not what I found. Krav Maga has changed my life. And Valley Self-Defense can help you use Krav Maga to change yours.
In the last week, I’ve had a number of people say to me, “I feel like the first thing I would do is run.” And every time someone tells me this, I can sense shame, the same shame that people have when they say that their natural reaction is to freeze. Co-owner and instructor Danae is here to tell you that running isn't bad, but it's not your only option.
All Valley Self-Defense instructors have been trained in trauma-informed care and how to help those handling trauma in a Krav Maga class. For anyone with anxiety about trying Krav Maga, we are happy to meet with you in person or speak with you over the phone. To connect with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Krav Maga near me? There is! If you're looking for a Krav Maga class near you, Valley Self-Defense is a proud member of the International Krav Maga Federation with schools located across the United States. To find a school near you, visit the IKMF USA website.