Since I’ve changed my diet quite radically since last October, I’m looking for an engaging, mind-expanding, dynamic and challenging fitness regimen that will help me burn up the calories and get me somewhere this side of svelte, slim, slender, willowy. Well, that ain’t going to happen anytime soon, but I do know that with dedication and commitment I can get more fit. I’ve done weight training, danced and practiced yoga for fitness here and there over the years, but never explored the world of martial arts — it just never held any interest for me at all. Now that I’m determined to get fit, I’m exploring the many activity options available and feeling inspired to try something totally different.
Yesterday, I had a long telephone chat my niece, one of my favorite people, and learned a little about Krav Maga, a system of self-defense she is learning that includes elements from Muay Thai, Judo, Wing Chun (the martial art Bruce Lee practiced), Judo, Jiu-jitso, wrestling and boxing. It uses a lot of grappling techniques to disarm, stun and knock out attackers in seconds. It’s a brutal and hardcore system focused on real life situations. I admire my niece for empowering herself and her constant striving to reach her full potential.
The goal of Krav Maga is to avoid confrontation, or to finish things quickly if you are confronted by one or even multiple attackers. It’s all about speed and power. Krav Maga is the official self-defence system of the Israeli Defence Forces, and has been taught to hundreds of law enforcement agencies and thousands of civilians in North America and around the world.
A simple, effective system, Krav Maga emphasizes instinctive movements, practical techniques and realistic training scenarios. The system’s methodology is explosive and very aggressive. For example, training at the Krav Maga Toronto facility covers everything from very basic, intuitive defences to worst-case scenarios, under both physically and mentally strenuous situations. The system is designed for men, women and children of all ages — people of all shapes, sizes and experience levels. The first rule of Krav Maga is that there are no rules. Since Krav Maga is a defensive system developed for use on the street or in combat and not in competition, it rejects the idea of a “fair fight.” Instead, Krav Maga teaches that any moves that increase your chances of defending yourself should be used.
The main focus of Krav Maga revolves around techniques that are easy, effective and efficient. This realism-based system is designed to teach practical self-defence in the shortest possible span of time. Learn to defend against common strikes, chokes, grabs and bear hugs, as well as weapons such as guns, knives, sticks and bats, while also learning to adjust to confrontational stresses including shock and surprise attacks from violent encounters and situations in as many diverse scenarios as possible.
Krav Maga is a system, not a martial art nor a sport, that deals with the most practical, aggressive and decisive approach to realistic self-defence training. It was developed in the streets, adapted for Law Enforcement and founded by Imre “Imi” Lichtenfeld (May 26, 1910 – January 9, 1998), an Israeli martial artist whose mission was to save lives around the world “So one may walk in peace.”
Sounds interesting and very challenging, indeed. And, in addition to engaging the mind, fine-tuning instincts and getting the body moving in ways I can’t even imagine, you learn how to defend yourself.
According to the website Health Ambition, Kung Fu is probably the most diverse martial art there is, encompassing dozens of fighting styles. Many of them require a lot of movement; including jumping, flipping, kicking and general movement. Can’t quite see myself doing Kung Fu, but…
Taekwondo focuses almost entirely on your kicks, but the flying and leaping kicks are great for a solid leg and cardio workout. They’re both excellent martial arts to lose weight, as you never really stop moving when sparring using these styles. Sounds like fun and a rigorous workout.
A gentleman who works with us holds a black belt in Judo and Karate. He also practiced Aikido and suggested I give it a try. It’s the martial art practiced by the actor Steven Seagal. I’m in the midst of learning more…until next post.
More about Tae Chi coming next post.