The Krav Maga Expert Camp in Israel was an incredible experience. The highest level Krav Maga instructors from around the world all coming together to train with one another. As usual, I felt inadequate in the language department! Add in the size and experience difference (bigger, faster, and training longer than me) and it had the potential to be an intimidating event. This was not the situation at all…
I was enlightened to the purpose of how and why Crash Camps started by non other than Amnon Darsa; Instructors tend to reach plateaus in training. It’s not their intent or fault – it’s just the environment. Through natural attrition, the number of trained/highly trained students dwindles over time. It happens. Life gets in the way of Krav Maga as I say. In order to train to a higher level, we need someone that is near our level or higher to train with. Amnon’s thinking was (paraphrase), “Why not get all the highest level people together and train for a week at the source of Krav Maga. Share ideas and different training methods”. This idea evolved from just the highest instructors, to inviting everyone. Obviously not everyone can attend, nor can the IKMF accommodate everyone. Attendance for G Camp Year One was pretty big at roughly 20-25 participants. E Camp had only 8-10 participants. However, word of the training camp spread like wild fire. It has grown in the number of people every year after Year One. G Camp this year had 44 participants. Double the planned or expected number of people. E Camp follows in parallel. The higher the level, the fewer people around. Roughly 25 Experts, or soon to be Experts attended.
The Krav Maga Expert Training
The focus and attention to detail to curriculum was huge. With nearly all G.I.T. on hand, all questions had every and all answers. Avi Moyal, Chairman of the IKMF, explained to us at the beginning that what is expected at the Expert level is knowledge and understanding of tactics and concepts should be thorough. I won’t lie, I haven’t seen Avi with this particular demeanor since my Law Enforcement Instructors Course. It made me smile a bit.
Level training was the (almost) beginning everyday, with concepts and themes after lunch. The morning runs on the beach increased in distance from G Camp. Maybe a mile and a half total followed by a swim. It wasn’t a race to finish, but we did push each other a bit. Believe it or not, I wasn’t the fastest. A doctor by by the name of Gideon, who also trains for triathlons, consistently finished before me on the runs.
Groups by level, was similar to what I’ve seen in our school and other schools. G5 training to E1 had the largest turnout with about 15 participants. The numbers from there dropped considerably. E1 training to E2 had 6, including two not testing. E2 training to E3 had two, including one not testing. This is the example I am talking about. Higher levels equate to fewer people. The level of thier proficiency however is something I greatly admire and aspire to achieve.
The physical intensity of training at this level was different than in G Camp. It was driven much more by technique and tactics than aggression and brute force. I’m not saying that I didn’t get my bell rung or face rearranged (by a two time World Jiu Jitsu Champion), but the focus was more about understanding. Tactics and technique needed to flawlessly mix.
Themes varied in scope. Security Issues (Israel Tamir),Gun/Grenade Threats (Tamir Gilad), Aggression and Military training (Israel Cohen), Updates and Variations (Avi Moyal), and Women and Children Specific (Shlomi Moyal). Theme training at this level allowed us to revisit and refine techniques that most of us have trained at some point, but maybe were a little rusty.
Camp was an amazing experience. Meeting new people was, and always is, the best part. I’ve made friends that share my passion. I gained insight on what it takes to make my passion my full time gig (roughly two years). I exchanged methods with individuals to make each other better. Everyone should go to Camp at least once. Since Year One, it has only improved. The accommodations are fantastic. Being 100 yards from the Mediterranean was awesome (nearly a beach vacation!). The room was great(it takes a minute to get used to the shower), and the food is continually improving(I’m particular on this). Dates for next years Crash Camp are already out http://kravmaga-ikmf.com/events.asp. Make a plan and and make it happen . Arrive a few days early and take it all in. Don’t travel on a Friday. Drink bottled water, and prepare to have a blast.