What can I expect in my first class?
See Your First Class
A) I’m a little out of shape. Will I be able to keep up?
B) I’m in really great shape. Will I be challenged enough?
One of the principles of self-defense in Krav Maga is that the techniques be adaptable to people of all sizes, shapes, and ability levels. To progress in Krav Maga, yes, your metabolic conditioning must be strong. This will naturally happen with training. While students are encouraged to SAFELY push themselves past their perceived limits, training intensity may be tailored to the individual. If you need to take a breather or grab some water, do so!
On the flipside, if your strength and conditioning are above average, you are able and encouraged to SAFELY increase the intensity of your training. Punch faster, do more push-ups, be more explosive, get tired.
Is there a minimum age for starting Krav Maga?
Yes: 18. Krav Maga is a very aggressive system that teaches both self-defense and fighting (preemptive) techniques. We believe it would be irresponsible to teach children these techniques without also teaching them the self-discipline aspect of traditional martial arts. For children and teens, please view our Youth Kenpo Karate program.
What’s the uniform?
- Students are asked to wear either a Krav Maga Worldwide shirt, a plain white shirt, or a plain black shirt. Official Krav Maga attire (T-shirts, shorts, pants) is available for purchase at the school. (First-time students may wear any comfortable athletic clothing.) All clothing and equipment must be clean without excessive wear, holes, or tears. See also: “Don’t be a stinky partner”.
- Bring a pair of CLEAN, DRY athletic shoes (no street shoes allowed). This is especially important in rainy weather and the winter. Not only does it keep the mats clean, but it lessens the safety risk of someone slipping. All footwear must be secured to the feet by straps, laces, etc. Slip-on shoes or shoes that are too loose pose a safety risk to you and your training partners.
- ALL jewelry is to be removed (earrings, necklaces, watches, rings, etc.) for your safety and the safety of your training partners.
What should I bring to class, i.e. equipment, etc.?
- See also What’s the uniform? above.
- It is strongly recommended you bring water (there is not a water fountain) and a towel.
- It is strongly recommended that males wear groin protection. This may be purchased at any sporting goods store or online. In the interest of equity, female groin protection is also available on many sporting goods and combat sports websites.
- Hand protection is required when hitting pads (see Hand Protection Required). Fundamentals students may use gloves (boxing or MMA-style) or handwraps. Handwraps and both styles of gloves are available for purchase at the school, at many sporting goods stores, or online. Advanced students are required to have specific, approved sparring gear to be purchased through the school only.
Otherwise, just bring a good attitude and the drive to FINISH THE FIGHT!
How often should I train?
We have classes Monday through Saturday (See Class Schedule), and your membership covers unlimited attendance. Krav Maga training can be physically demanding, so you might start training twice a week and gradually increase from there. Once acclimated, the more you train, the more you will improve. We recommend training at least twice a week to build proficiency, but listen to your body to avoid overtraining. Don’t train injured, don’t train if you’re exhausted.
How long before I can start coming to the Advanced class?
The Fundamentals curriculum is taught in roughly a three-month rotation. We devote about a month each to the following: Choke/Grab Defenses, Punch Defenses, and Groundwork. After 3 months, you will have trained all the Fundamentals curriculum. Depending on training frequency, most students progress to the Advanced class after two cycles (about 6 months) and passing the Level 1 test.
When do we get to fight?
The sparring/fighting curriculum begins in the Advanced class and is the focus of Fight class. Fight class is open to Advanced students only and requires instructor approval.
Is there a Mil/LEO discount?
Yes, we offer a 10% discount to all members of the military and law enforcement in appreciation of their service.
What’s the school’s snow closing policy?
What are the principles of Krav Maga?
- Techniques should be movements based on natural instincts.
- Techniques must address the immediate danger.
- Techniques must defend and counterattack simultaneously.
- One defense must work against a variety of attacks.
- The system should be integrated so that movements learned in one area of the system complement, rather than contradict, movements in another area.
- Techniques must be accessible to the average person, not just athletes.
- Techniques must work from a position of disadvantage.
- Training must include the stress experienced in real attacks.*
What’s the difference between self-defense and fighting?
Self-defense techniques are made from a position of disadvantage against an unexpected attack. Fighting techniques are used from a prepared position (the fighting stance) either preemptively or once the immediate danger of an attack has been addressed.
“Combatives are the ballistic techniques used both in fighting and in self-defense. The bulk of these techniques involve punches, kicks, elbows strikes, and knees, but Krav Maga never excludes other combative actions such as biting and scratching.”*
Is there any groundfighting/grappling in Krav Maga?
“Whether you are proficient on the ground or not, our main objective during a ground fight always remains the same: to get up as quickly as possible! During ground fights, you are extremely vulnerable to a second attacker or to stabs if the opponent produces an edged/pointed weapon.”* That said, we do train a variety of groundfighting techniques utilizing both Krav Maga combatives and grappling skills derived from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission wrestling. We use “sport-style” grappling beginning in the Advanced class as a way to train groundfighting safely.
Who wins in a fight: An MMA fighter or a Krav Maga practitioner?
Who wins in a fight: a bear or a shark?! But seriously, there are far too many variables to answer such a broad question, and it’s comparing two dissimilar things. MMA fighters train for sport fighting, Krav Maga practitioners train for street fighting and self-defense. Each has crossover into the other, but both are specialized. You might be able to fight in a cage, but how would you fair against a surprise knife attack? You might be able to neutralize a gun-wielding maniac, but how would you fair in a toe-to-toe fight with rules? Apples and oranges.
In Krav Maga, we often train in a “sport” context (sparring, grappling), but as a means of augmenting and improving our street fighting and self-defense skills.
What does krav maga mean?
Krav maga is Hebrew for “contact combat”.
What does the Krav Maga symbol mean?
The symbol is referred to as the kouf-mem. It is a representation of the Hebrew letters kouf (K) and mem (M). The open circle represents the open nature of the system: New ideas and techniques are continually added into the system, while old and out-dated ideas are removed.
Krav Maga was developed by Imi Lichtenfeld in the 1930s and 1940s Hungary and Palestine to battle the fascists and Nazis. He trained soldiers to become highly proficient in self-defense and fighting in a short period of time. After the State of Israel was formed, Imi trained soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. In the 1960s, Imi adapted Krav Maga for use by civilians. In 1981, Krav Maga Worldwide founder Darren Levine attended the First International Krav Maga Association Instructor’s Course in Israel, training directly under Imi. Darren began teaching Krav Maga upon returning to the US and formed the Krav Maga Association of America in 1983. Krav Maga Worldwide was formed in 1999 and an instructor licensing program was soon developed.
For a more complete history of Krav Maga, visit:
The politics of Israel…
Krav Maga was borne of the Israel Defense Forces and of conflict. We recognize many people have strong opinions about the subject, and many don’t. It is important to know the history of Krav Maga, but politics are left out of training.
Are there formalities in Krav Maga like those in traditional martial arts?
First and foremost, Krav Maga is not a martial art. We define it as a defensive tactics system. There is only one formality in Krav Maga: At the beginning and end of each class, the students line up in front of the instructor. The instructor bows and says “Kida“; the students do the same. Kida is the Hebrew word for “bow”. This is a gesture of mutual respect.
If you are looking for more traditional martial arts training, please view our Adult Kenpo Karate program.
What’s the ranking system? Are there belts?
“While we don’t wear colored belts in our classes, we do use terms such as ‘yellow belt’ and ‘orange belt’ to describe each level of the system because these terms are familiar to people who come from the martial arts world. In our schools you’ll often hear these divisions referred to simply as ‘Level 1’, ‘Level 2’, etc.”* Levels 1-5 correspond to the following “belt” colors: yellow, orange, green, blue, brown. See also Curriculum.
Levine, D., & Whitman, J. Complete Krav Maga. (2007). Berkley: Ulysses Press.