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All women were created equal, then some learned krav maga

By: Vianca Meyer

Krav maga is a form of self-defence and physical training, first developed by the Israeli army in the 1940s, based on the use of reflexive responses to threatening situations. It is is a self-defense system developed for the military in Israel that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from aikido, boxing, judo and wrestling along with realistic fight training/street fighting.”Womens-Self-Defence

A couple of months ago, I started itching to do something more exciting with my life. My life had become that dreaded routine of working a dead-end desk job, seeing the same people and doing the same boring things over the weekend. I really wanted to do something physical, something that would boost my self confidence and make me feel empowered as a woman. I wanted to feel independent. So I took to the internet: I was going to take up a self defense class.

Of course, there are so many different types of self defense classes, and in my opinion, any self defense is a good self defense. But what really drew me to Krav Maga, was the fact that it is so easy to pick up and the fighting style is straight to the point. Krav Maga isn’t about staying in a fight for any longer than you need to. It teaches you to counter attack and defend yourself in such a manner that your opponent will be rendered incapacitated, at least for long enough for you to get away from the situation, find help and ultimately – safety.

Okay, so let’s get a little serious here for a second. It’s estimated that 500,000 women are raped a year in South Africa. And that’s only reported cases. It was also estimated by the SAPS that a woman is raped every 36 seconds. There have been 119,351 robberies, 100,000 aggravated robberies and 17, 036 reported murders in 2014 alone, and the numbers are increasing. There is no reliable statistics for domestic violence in South Africa, but I think we can all just imagine with the figures above, that the results must be high. This, in my opinion, is why it is crucial for each one of us to be able to defend ourselves at least to some extent. And to do so effectively.

I have come up with a 5 reasons why women should learn Krav Maga:

  1. It will teach you how to handle situations where you might find yourself vulnerable. With training, you will instinctively know how to be aware of your surroundings as to avoid dangerous situations. And if all else fails, you damn sure will know how to defend yourself and open up a can of whoop ass on any poor fool who tries to mess with you. Not only will you feel like a total badass, but you will actually be one.

  2. It’s unbelievably empowering – straight after my first class, I felt so much more prepared for the outside world. I felt like I could take on anyone and anything – boy, was I wrong. By the next class (and all the others after), I learned that there was so much more to learn. You’re going to get man handled, thrown around and add quite a few bruises to your body, and nothing brings you quite back down to earth like literally being taken down to the ground by your opponent and not being able to do anything about it. But I had the basics, and with practice, I started feeling more comfortable with the training. The point is, with each and every class I took, I felt stronger and stronger physically and mentally. And I learned that it’s all so worth it.

  3. You get to know yourself on a deeper level. When I first started out, I honestly didn’t know I had that much of an aggressive side. I also had no idea how strong I actually was. I learned that there were things that I thought I could never handle, but I pushed myself through anyway. And I was easily able to apply that to so many other aspects of my life. Things that I was afraid of facing, very quickly became insignificant. I was able to face my personal problems head on. Because I (I told myself) am now a warrior. And I can face anything life throws at me.

  4. It’s a seriously good workout. No, I mean a seriously good workout. There were times where I felt like I was either going to pass out or throw up – or both. But eating 2-4 bananas before training helped sort that out real fast. Krav training mixed with a healthy diet will help you lose weight and start toning areas you had no idea you even had. Not to mention how much of a stress reliever it is! All those happy endorphins coursing through your veins will have you literally crawling back for more. Trust me on that.

  5. Its easy to learn, and you will be able to use these techniques from your first class – if you absolutely have to. I have been lucky enough not to have gotten into a fight, or worse, have my life threatened. And I intend not to get into any of these situations at all. But, I most certainly have shown my friends and family different techniques I’ve learned over the course of my training. This has helped me practice at home, and keeps me ready for whatever circumstances life decides to hand me. These moves are simple, but extremely effective. This is one of the main reasons why I love Krav Maga so much, literally anyone can do it if they properly apply themselves.

5 Tips and techniques for self defense:

  1. Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations in the first place. I cannot stress this point enough. Be vigilant and don’t go wandering alone at night or these days, even during the daytime. The best self defense is to not have to defend yourself. And by that I mean, don’t go looking for fights. Even with good self defense training, you never know what you’re up against.

  2. Always make sure you are in a group of people, and even then, it’s a good idea to carry pepper-spray on your person. Keep it somewhere where it is easily accessible, but not easily visible. I feel pepper-spray works well because you don’t need to be too close to your attacker to counter his/her attack. It will leave them temporarily incapacitated, which will give you time to get the heck out of dodge. Keep in mind, self-defence weapons are not toys. Don’t go showing them off to your friends at a bar or club. That just leaves room for potential attackers to know what their up against. Also, it will make it easier for people to nick it off you and end up using your own weapon against you.

  3. Know your surroundings. A little tip I learned is to always be observant of what is happening around you. One thing I find most effective, is if you know what people around you are doing with their hands, then you are more aware of what is happening and you will be able to see whats coming from a mile away.

  4. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Especially in a country like South Africa, you can never be too careful. In instances like these, get out your pepper-spray, and try to find a safe zone, like a shopping centre, security guards, the police, bouncers etc. Alert them about what is going on, even if you’re just feeling paranoid. Have them walk you to your car, or keep an eye out for you. Rather safe than sorry ladies.

  5. Avoid a victim mentality and appearance. Use your body language to project self-confidence. Dress and look like you are ready for whatever may coGirls-Games-Club-3me your way. The Israeli security forces found a pamphlet published in Arabic, it was basically a ‘how to’ guide for potential kidnappers and hijackers. The pamphlet discussed how to spot an appropriate victim: distracted, meek looking, thin with lack of muscular definition, pale, rounded shoulders, fear in the eyes and so forth. The message is clear – the attackers take a good look at a person before he chooses a victim. Make sure you have looks that can kill. This is a good excuse to work on your I don’t take nobody’s shit/bitch face. (point five extracted from John Hallisey, yourkravmagaexpert.com)

So all in all, just don’t get yourself in a messy situation and you should be fine. But if one happens to find you, it’s best to be prepared. We owe it to ourselves to feel powerful, strong, independent and safe. Remember, it’s not the size of the girl in a fight, it’s the size of the fight in a girl.

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