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3 Life Lessons from Krav Maga

The primary purpose of Krav Maga — self-defense — will save your life. That’s a powerful skill to possess. However, even the most effective tool in the world is rendered useless if the occasion to use it never arises. In other words, while learning the self-defense and fighting techniques of Krav Maga is vital for ensuring your personal safety, you might never need to use them in your entire life. But the beauty of Krav Maga is that its benefits are innumerable and immeasurable. If you’re lucky enough to never be faced with the need to defend your life, you can still benefit from Krav Maga in a myriad of ways.

The self-defense techniques that make up the Krav Maga system will enable you to escape a fight physically unscathed, but they also shape you beneath the surface. Individuals who enter taking Krav Maga NYC class milquetoasts will leave warriors. They’ll get knocked around initially, but over time, the physical pain from striking and blocking will harden and condition the commandos in training. A latent tenacity and toughness that most people go their whole lives without using will start to emerge.

Classes also rely on stress drills designed to train you to fight while exhausted and disoriented, as a real-life encounter might force you to. Students are made to defend against multiple attackers after doing 50 burpees and spinning around 10 times. They have to protect themselves by applying their techniques on numerous aggressors, some much larger and stronger than them, all slamming into the lone defender and yelling threats at the top of their lungs. If that doesn’t toughen someone up, then evolution has failed them and they might as well exist in solitude. The point is that these exercises go beyond preparing you for a chaotic physical confrontation — they also strengthen your resolve and reinforce your will.

All of this translates to a drastic boost in your confidence, a kind of confidence that you didn’t even know was missing, or that you needed. But suddenly, everything in life feels more within reach. People seem easier to deal with. Stress feels more manageable. The confidence you’ve gained from practicing saving your own life is now manifesting in ways that also improve it. Here are some examples of Krav Maga benefiting areas of your life beyond self-defense.

Stand Up to Grown Bullies

Your life may have moved off the playground, but that doesn’t mean it’s not plagued with bullies. (Bullies grow up, too, after all.) The workplace is often rampant with them, and you might know a particular one who has singled you out and torments you any chance they get. Before Krav class, you might have deferred to a more passive approach. You respond when they engage you, but you’re brief, tentative, and deferential. You all but encourage them to continue this one-sided dynamic. After a few Krav classes, however, everything changes.

Having drill-sergeant-like instructors screaming in your face and body slamming you to the mat will make this overgrown playground bully suddenly seem like a pest you can flick off the desk. Now you have no qualms about looking the jerk in the eye with your head held high and saying, “Can you do me a favor and stop talking to me? I’d appreciate that. Thanks.” Bonus points for walking away and leaving them in the lurch, completely bewildered. Parting shoulder pat optional.

Know Your Self-Worth

Sadly, domestic violence is still a prevalent reality for a staggering number of women everywhere — 38,028,000 women have experienced domestic violence in their lifetimes worldwide. But physical violence is not the only abuse felt in relationships. Many women, and men, suffer emotional abuse in relationships, and this type of abuse is so common that it’s virtually impossible to measure with statistics. The key to curbing this abusive behavior is confidence and knowing your self-worth.

Even those who have extremely high self-esteem going into Krav Maga NYC class will come out of it with a new-found confidence. Knowing that you can withstand such physical pressure puts emotional duress into perspective. With the courage to stand up for yourself, you will never allow your partner to belittle or demoralize you ever again.

As for those of you who are single, watch as the dating power struggle magically shifts in your favor. If you were once a shy wallflower, well, defending against multiple attackers kind of beats the shyness out of you. And if you used to be afraid of rejection, that fear will feel downright silly now that you’ve experienced much more visceral fear in class.

Be Empowered Wherever You Go

Walking down the street presents countless potential dangers. Someone could mug you, you might trip and fall, or a drunken group of people might want to mess with you just for fun. It’s amazing that you were able to set foot outside before Krav, but now you feel a new sense of ease about everything.

Of course, you still possess the common sense to avoid dangerous areas when you can, but now, if you want to go for a run in the park at night, which anyone should ideally be able to do without any problems, you’ll feel more empowered to do so. If you’re out at the bar and a drunk guy starts to pick a fight, you’ll feel more comfortable walking away (because prevention is key), but also confident enough to defend yourself in case he doesn’t let you. Even treacherous terrain seems more traversable now that you know how to land safer. The world is suddenly a more navigable place.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” It’s safe to assume that she wasn’t talking about Krav Maga here, but she could have fooled us.

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