There is a key difference between Krav Maga and traditional martial arts.
Beyond the obvious dissimilarity that our system is not a sport, not intended for competition and not restricted by rules except those imposed by domestic self defence law, a significant philosophical mindset is omnipresent in what we do.
Our skills in situational observation, criminal psychology, camouflage behaviour, de-escalation methodology, threat risk assessment and legal awareness, together with our fighting capabilities, can be achieved for the purpose of others, not just ourselves.
For some of us this may be professional careers in close protection. For most of us, it’s personal – our goal is the safety of our spouses, partners, children and friends.
Today (02/12/17) was such a day as our dozens of our students and instructors spent more time with our partner and mentor Itay Gil in Sheffield. Based on a seminar theme of ‘Be A Bodyguard’ our day was designed to learn and improve our Krav Maga skills whilst translating these into the professional and personal purposes we have, protecting our third party relationships from harm and danger.
Drawing on the decades-long experience of Itay as the chief instructor to the Israeli Yamam, widely recognised as the most skilled SWAT, counter-terrorism and hostage rescue special forces in the world, and his longstanding role as training the Israeli presidential close protection teams and head of state and diplomatic protection around the world, our day taught us techniques and tactics, tested in drills. How to protect when alone, how to protect in teams and formations, how to protect against firearm and edged weapon attacks, how to protect with your body, how to control and extract the third party – all essential skills in high threat, high dynamic and high stress situations where your concern is not only yourself, but often someone else.
Upon completion of the close protection seminar and the departure of our students, our chief instructor and instructors continued our work with Itay. The day was completed with a grading exam session. The testing style of Itay – continued sequences of standing and ground attacks, coupled with intensive fighting skills drills – is very much aimed at application of skills and decision-making capabilities under pressure. Following the rigour and focus by all, Itay was pleased to pass all the participants, pinnacled by the achievement of our Chief Instructor Gheorghe Husar as Expert Level 3 and all instructors achieving their own targeted grading level.
The participation in the seminar – and indeed the achievement of grading results – are rewarding. Somehow deeper though, we know that today wasn’t really about us.
It was about people who weren’t there. All of us know who they are – and they inspired us to go there to be the best we could be.