Anyone with a brain between their ears can see that Sheffield is a great city, but by heck it can be a jungle out there, from the wilds of West Street on a Saturday night to the suburbs. It’s nice to think you can keep yourself out of trouble as long as you steer clear of certain places and keep a low profile, but firstly, some of us just don’t want to do that and more importantly some people are just looking for trouble. If you wind up in their path that’s pure bad luck.
Now a lot of us like to think we can handle ourselves pretty well in a tough situation, and in some cases it’s true – we’ve all heard tales of martial arts experts karate chopping or kickboxing their way out of a tight spot, but the fact is that if you really hurt someone whilst defending yourself, you could end up in a load of bother with the law. The way to handle an aggressor is simple. Neutralise the threat, subdue the attacker, no one gets badly hurt. Much as it’s natural to feel angry when you’ve been attacked, if you go around braying people you’re just as bad as them.
So how’s it done? One system of self-defence that’s taking Sheffield and the North of England by storm is krav maga, a mixed martial arts discipline which utilises techniques ranging from jiu-jitsu and wrestling to boxing and muay thai to disarm, subdue and ultimately dominate attackers. The discipline’s present popularity can be attributed to a number of factors, ranging from its clear usefulness in a tight spot to its considerable fitness benefits.
If this whole thing sounds like some kind of fad or craze to you then take note that history begs to differ… Shortly after its initial development in the mid 1930s, the krav maga system was adopted by the Israeli Defence Forces. Ever since then the techniques developed through krav have been used by Israeli forces both regular and special to gain the upper hand in close combat. The discipline has even been used by Israeli intelligence agencies Mossad and Shin Bet, which are amongst the most feared and respected in the world – just watch the film Munich and you’ll see exactly why.
Not a bad skill to pick up then! The effectiveness of krav maga is even proven right here on the streets of Sheffield. A Krav Maga Sheffield student had been enjoying a night out in the city when a guy came up to him and tried to say something to him. The student couldn’t hear properly (they were in a club) so turned to ask what he had said and BOOM, got smacked in the chin. Krav Maga teaches you to improvise and overcome, to deal with shock or surprise attacks (cheap shots). The student didn’t appear to be harmed and countered back (as taught in class), knocking his attacker down to prevent any further attacks.
If you’re living in or around Sheffield and think you might be interested in learning more about krav maga, drop into one of the Spartans Academy of Krav Maga’s weekly classes at Sheffield Park Academy, Beaumont Road, North Sheffield S2 1SN, TUESDAYS between: 19:30 and 21:30 .