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Douglas Chapman 06-13-2006 04:04 PM

There has been a lot of discussion about Krav Maga and CrossFit linking up. I just completed my Phase A training in LA and thought I would share some incites about the training and the application to CrossFit.

1. Krav Maga is basically the CrossFit of self defense. It takes what is useful and easily teachable and uses it. It discards methods that are less effective. Their measurement is in the street and battlefield. Sound familiar? It is based on natural reactions and movements (Universal motor recruitment patterns) Krav will not make you a UFC Champion. It will give you the tools to help your clientele defend themselves on the street.
2. Krav is expensive. It cost 6k to go through all three phases of training for two instructors. (Total of 3 weeks of training in LA) The monthly license fee is $450. This pretty pricey until you think about how much people need easily teachable self defense training and how large the market is.
3. Krav drills are basically CrossFit already. The drills emphasize highly intense punching, kicking and moving done over short times. The hard part would be to put a time or score on the drills. Jeff Martin has a million and one Krav/CrossFit drills.

I visited Brand X 6/10/06. Their Krav class had about 16 people in the class. After the class, there was a CrossFit class. Everyone stayed and more people showed up for the CrossFit. (About 25 by my estimate) Jeff’s people were trained in skills to defend themselves and then got the conditioning to do it from CrossFit.

I am very excited to offer Krav classes in our new facility. The way I see it is as another effective tool for having people come to our facility and helping our clients.

Mark Dowst 06-13-2006 08:06 PM

I have always wondered about the emphasis of Krav Maga training. Like what is the percentage breakup of tecnique and training during a normal class.

An example of what I mean is the typical Brazialian Jiu-Jitsu class is about 10% technique and 90% sparring. The focus of the sparring is about 80% plus on ground and about 20% on standing grappling.

I have found the thing that separates a mystical martial art from a real combat sport is the percent emphasis on real sparring. Not just learning tecniques, but applying them in sparring.

Douglas Chapman 06-13-2006 08:33 PM

I think a lot will depend on the stage of the class and the level of the students. For instance, in a beginners class, it would be a bad idea for people to spare for 80% of the time.

My background is wrestling and have coached from grade school to post college wrestlers. I would never have my beginner wrestlers go hard until them had enough technique to make sure they don't hurt themselves.

So to answer your question: 10 minutes warm up, 30 minutes drilling combatives (Can be very intense), 20 minutes defenses. Then drill - at near live levels - for base conditioning.

I think we are going to follow up all our Krav classes with CrossFit for conditioning.

I am concerned for people who are somewhat deconditioned doing any live work until they have a base. The consumer for self defense is not the normal CrossFitter. If through teaching self defense, we can bring people into a conditoning program (CF) to help their executions of self defense, then it would be a win-win situation.

Laura Rucker 06-13-2006 11:09 PM

Doug, it was good to meet you! Great post.

Douglas Chapman 06-14-2006 06:00 AM

Ditto Laura.

All of you at Brand X were so cool! Thanks again for having me down.


Christian Lemburg 06-14-2006 09:10 AM

"I have always wondered about the emphasis of Krav Maga training. Like what is the percentage breakup of tecnique and training during a normal class."

Over here in Germany where I practice, the typical breakdown runs like this (90 mins training session):

- warmup (calisthenics, fighting games, slow-fighting etc.): about 15 mins
- drills / technique / scenario practice: about 1 hour
- aggro-drills / hard scenario practice: about 15 mins
- for those students who want and can, full-contact sparring is done after training as add-on

Of course, this can and will vary wildly in special circumstances - e.g., training outside the gym, incorporating weapons training, "environmental scenario" training (think training to fight/escape in a parking lot / bar / car / park etc.).

I have also trained in Poland (Thomasz Adamczyk) and with some of the Israeli instructors (Eyal Yanilov, Avi Moyal) in (civilian) seminars and courses, and the breakdown is very similar, with no more than 30 mins at the beginning / end for warm-up / power-out (aggro stuff) respectively.

What I observed (and like) about Krav Maga: the higher the level of the instructors, the more analytical the training. There is really much more than the physical movements in training Krav Maga, and the top instructors will install that mindset very quickly in you. "Look around - check the environment - what is the problem - what are possible solutions" are constant phrases at the seminar, and possible solutions will always be analyzed and cross-checked in practice. E.g., "You think you can go out that window? Try it!" - only to discover that you were about to jump down some meters into garbage cans.

Fitness and working out is highly important for self-defense, but it is not the primary focus of the typical Krav Maga class over here to install them in you. Fitness is, more or less, the responsibility of the individual pupil. The primary focus is on installing a problem-solution mindset in the pupil and reinforcing good solutions by realistic practice.

Full-contact sparring is also not regarded as this important over here, but for another reason: most civilians (including me) are just not prepared to take the injury risk with realistic full contact scenarios.

Of course, traditional full-contact sparring is good. But most real Krav Maga stuff is too risky to train full-contact (e.g., imagine taking a chair or another improvised weapon like a beer bottle and hitting/thrusting an attacker with it full force - not a good thing - same for sparring with knives - even with the rubber ones this is very risky (damage to eyes etc.)).

A self-defense situation is not very much like traditional sparring. Differentiating factors include: the physical environment, presence of multiple attackers, use of weapons (knives, sticks, guns, improvised weapons, etc.), no "rules" (e.g., eye gouging, scratching, biting, etc. are all excellent ideas), legal limitations etc. ad nauseam. If you are in the army, in a special unit, you may train stuff like this full-force. But you will also pay the price in terms of injuries and/or necessary safety equipment to prevent them. And this is not practical nor necessary for civilian use.

Just my 2 cent from the Europe side of Krav Maga,


Dan Strametz 06-14-2006 09:38 AM

Doug great to hear your experience in the world of KM, and how to incorprate Crossfit in with it. It was a pleasure meeting you. Stop by anytime and join the class(or teach).

Christian great to hear your point of view. One of the reasons we emphisize conditioning is due to KM very aggressive move forward and don't stop philosphy. There is a fine line training to aggressively attack your (training) opponent and just smiply going through the motions. Thanks for the post Doug. Good luck with the training.

Mark Dowst 06-14-2006 03:48 PM

I have heard good things about Krav Maga and this confirms it. Grappling is somewhat of a freebee concerning expirience gained compared to injury rates in sparring. I understand striking and weapons live sparring doesn't make sense to the general public because of high injury rates. Then again in a weapons situation sprint training and weapon improvisation would be better for self defense than most availalbe drills right?

Garrett Smith 06-14-2006 04:41 PM

Anybody know the Krav Maga guys down here in Tucson?

John Hoffner 06-15-2006 08:21 AM

No ideas on Tuscon KM, I'm sorry to say, my question is for the experienced KM people and instructors on the forum,
I'm preparing for level 1 testing in about a month, what's in store, what should I focus on? what type of drills/WODs would you use to prepare a KM student?
Thanks in advance for any/all advice...

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