Have you ever wondered why your instructor uses music in Krav Maga class? I mean, besides pumping you up and giving you the ability to listen to your instructor’s favorite play list. The music can be so loud that you can’t even hear yourself think, and so cacophonous that if you closed your eyes, it might feel more like a live concert than a self-defense class. For some students this is engrossing and adds to the attraction of the training, but for others it can be uncomfortable or distressing…BINGO!
Krav Maga is a reality self defense system. We need to train as realistically as possible in order to handle a sudden, unexpected violent attack. During an actual self defense encounter, a lot is going to be going on. Your body is not performing as it would if you were fresh. You’ll feel shaky, you’ll have tunnel vision, there’s an adrenalin dump, it’ll seem surreal. There are a lot of tasks to perform––defend yourself, create distance, get to safety, etc. During all of this, your eyes have to be open, you need to see where you are, who is around, and what is around. All while being so scared and surprised that you can barely put one foot in front of the other. A violent attack is an unexpected, horrible situation that needs to be addressed immediately. You have to just “go”. Your life depends on it.
How can we recreate these feelings in our reality self defense class, to make it feel more like a realistic encounter? It’s our job to get students out of their comfort zone, to create as close of an environment to what a violent encounter might feel like. We have to be inventive! We turn up the music as loud as we can, we shut off the lights, we make you do burpees/pushups/jumping jacks etc. to exhaust you, we ask that you close your eyes, maybe spin in a circle or lay on the floor. When we’ve discombobulated you as much as possible, it’s time to practice the self defense and awareness training. Under these conditions that strain both your body and mind, we have attackers in the room choking you, pushing you, we add multiple attackers, weapons…All to create a rigorous experience to prepare you for reality.
Is someone really holding a gun to your head, or putting a knife to your throat, or choking you so hard you cant breathe? Of course not, but we want you to be able to feel and imagine that you are in that perilous situation. Krav Maga is preparing you for a situation that we hope never happens, but if it does, you may be able to find your footing and remove yourself from the situation. We are training for the fight of our lives, to fight FOR our lives, and all of the training pieces need to be there in order to survive. Krav Maga is much more than learning techniques––it sets the stage and throws in the distractions, fatigue, sensory deprivation so that your body is prepared to react in difficult situations.
That music that is too loud, too harsh, too 70’s or too rap, could be just the thing to help your body acclimate to the unpredictable and overwhelming conditions of a violent encounter.
– Instructor Sue