Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Krav Maga?
Krav Maga is practical, modern self-defence.
Krav Maga is a discipline and a system of self-defence that was developed by Imrich Lichtenfeld, who later became known as Imi Sde-Or. It is used the world over by everyone from military, para-military, and police forces to civilian men, women, and children. It is based on natural human reflexes, and it can be learned by anyone.
Krav Maga (in Hebrew) means "contact combat" and is the official self-defence and combat system used by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), Israeli Police and Security Services, and numerous law-enforcement agencies around the world. It is also taught in institutions governed by the Israeli Ministry of Education and has been taught to civilians globally for decades.
Developed and refined during years of conflict, specifically during the Holocaust, Krav Maga emphasizes easy-to-learn techniques that have been tested in situations of real-life threats. These training methods have been used by Israel's most elite combat units and have proven effective time and time again. Because Krav Maga is based on human reflexes, it is easier to learn than many other systems, and it is not limited to athletes - it is designed for everyone
Students learn to defend themselves during hostile confrontations - to avoid injury while quickly overcoming their assailants. Krav Maga defences include various methods of attack; these include blows with the elbows or knees, kicks, chokes, etc. Students also learn defences against more than one assailant, armed or unarmed. Once a student has learned the basic principles of Krav Maga, he/she is capable of adapting his/her responses to all situations such that they become automatic reflexes. Students are capable of applying Krav Maga principles and techniques even in unfamiliar or adverse circumstances, such as in dark surroundings, in sitting or resting positions, with limited freedom of movement, and under extreme stress and/or fatigue.
Krav Maga emphasizes the psychological and physical dimensions of a fight and it teaches us how to use the environment to our advantage. Its specialized training methods not only challenge students physically, but also instill a special mental discipline that strengthens and develops the ability to deal with violent confrontations under highly stressful conditions. Krav Maga is not a traditional martial art. It is a modern method characterized by logic, building upon easy, natural, and practical techniques that are based on the automatic reflexes of the body. Krav Maga simulates real-life situations, teaching us how to cope with violence and save lives. Krav Maga does not include rules and limitations, and thus, it is the best and most effective form of self-defence training available for the types of violence and threats experienced in real life, outside of the "ring.”
2. I have no experience in any fighting system, and I'm out of shape. Can I still participate?
Yes, absolutely! No experience is required. We have students from all fitness levels and backgrounds in every class. The beauty of Krav Maga is that it is easy-to-learn and it is very practical - everyone can benefit from it. By participating in classes, you will progressively improve your fitness level, no matter where you're starting. You are free to push yourself as much as you can; you will find this easier with the encouragement of your instructor and classmates. Everyone works according to his/her own limits. We strive to provide a very constructive and healthy environment for our students; there’s no negative stress or pressure on anyone. While classes are physically demanding, we all work to improve ourselves based on our own abilities, which increase the more that we participate
3. What are your rates? Do you have a trial offer? Do I need to pre-register?
Even though we teach you skills that very few instructors in North America can teach you, our prices are extremely reasonable. We have a special trial offer that includes five classes at a discounted rate in order to introduce you to Krav Maga as a system and to our KM community. The five-class trial allows you to work with amazing instructors, get to know The Academy family, and familiarize yourself with the type of training that we do prior to enrolling in a membership. You can sign up for the trial offer by dropping by the Mississauga or Maple (Vaughan) studio during class times, or by heading over to our "Getting Started" tab here on the website. As you'll see, you won't need to call to pre-register, but if you can arrive about ten minutes before the start of your first class, that will allow us to set you up.
4. Is Krav Maga suitable for women?
Yes. The idea that a legitimate training system is suitable only for men, or only for women, is pure fiction. Krav Maga trains women, men, and children alike how to survive assault, even when dealing with larger, stronger opponents. We teach rape-prevention and anti-abduction techniques that can be used by students of any age, sex, or size, and how to use common objects in order to survive a violent attack. While we do conduct certain women-only intro sessions to empower women physically and mentally, the goal of Krav Maga is to provide realistic, street-based and street-applicable training. The reality is that women are statistically more likely to be attacked by men than by other women, and so we offer primarily co-ed classes. Everyone is welcome, and everyone can train.
5. How does Krav Maga differ from Martial Arts?
This is difficult to answer considering the diverse range of martial arts. In brief, we keep the “martial” and take out the “art.” Krav Maga has only one concern, and this is to teach you how to survive violence. Some martial arts do not address random attacks, modern weapons, or multiple opponents. We strive to prepare you for real-life situations by teaching you highly effective techniques. "Effective," in modern parlance, means that the system addresses scenarios, materials, and potential weapons that are in use today.
6. How long does it take to become proficient in Krav Maga?
Our techniques are simple and based on natural reactions, so students learn how to defend themselves in a relatively short period of time. Of course, your progress mainly depends on you. For example, how quickly you improve is based on how many classes you attend, how much you practice, etc. There are specified timelines for practitioners to follow, based on the IKM curricula for each level, and these timelines take into consideration how frequently a student is training. It is important to work with certified, experienced, and knowledgeable instructors, and to train diligently. Taking this into consideration, the straightforward nature of KM techniques mean that you can begin not only to learn them, but to refine your ability to apply them, quite quickly.
7. What do I wear to class?
At first, you will need only comfortable pants, a t-shirt, indoor shoes (runners), and a water bottle. Later, you will need an Academy t-shirt, which can be purchased directly from the school. Students generally find that canvas pants, which you will see many of us wearing, are useful for training.
8. Will I need equipment?
A certain degree of protection is required for training. Groin protection (i.e. athletic support/cup) is mandatory. Please note that the sort of "jock" or "cup" used in other sports, such as hockey or baseball, is not permissible, as the coverage is inadequate and can lead to injury. Groin protection is also available for women. Women's and men's groin protection can be purchased directly from The Academy, as our director, Rafi, has worked with a number of manufacturers to customize the gear for our needs and purposes. As you progress in your training, you will find it useful to have further protective gear; this includes shin-guards, a helmet, and gloves. Again, please be wary of purchasing this equipment from an outside source or sports-store, as the dimensions, strength, and flexibility of equipment differ from sport to sport. All gear used in The Academy has been specially manufactured to our specifications and is ideally suited to the sort of training that we do. If you are in doubt as to what to purchase, please speak to Rafi or a member of the instructor team. We would be happy to give you further information.
9. How does Krav Maga differ from MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)?
MMA practitioners are among the most skilled fighters in the world. The main distinction between these fighters and those who practice Krav Maga is that mixed martial artists train and perform in a relatively controlled environment. This means that they fight against a single opponent, are governed by specific rules, and are overseen by a referee who is ultimately responsible for deciding when the fight must end. In this environment, serious injury is grounds for calling off a match, whether in a cage or ring. Krav Maga, on the other hand, prepares a practitioner for situations in which there are no rules or standard environments. Krav Maga is designed for circumstances in which no referees are present, in which a person must overcome multiple attackers, and in which weapons may be involved. There are no cages or rings, and students must learn how to deal with situations that may escalate long after injury has been sustained
Types of Training
We offer a variety of class formats. Our group classes are very popular, and offer students an opportunity to learn a wide-range of techniques while improving their skills. You will learn, in each class, to defend yourself against real-life dangers. Classes are safe and interactive, so questions are encouraged. Beginners are welcome!
Private classes are also available, and allow students to train one-on-one with an instructor. This sort of training will allow you to meet your particular needs and goals in a concentrated, intensive way. Sessions are most commonly held at our studio. Similarly, semi-privates (two or more participants) allow students to learn practical self-defense with friends, family, or coworkers according to a program that suits unique scheduling and training needs.
We offer introductory courses for women. As mentioned in the FAQs, Krav Maga is above all a practical, street-based system, and women must ultimately train in a co-ed environment in order to be prepared for the reality of threats and dangers faced outside of the studio. Sadly, women are often the preferred targets of aggression, and are more commonly attacked by men than by women. For this reason, a system that aims to teach women to defend themselves must encourage them to train with a variety of opponents - men and women, big and small, short and tall. That being said, we recognize that society continues to encourage women to be retiring, quiet, and apologetic, and that entering a training environment like Krav Maga can therefore be intimidating. For this reason, we strive to build a bridge by giving women an opportunity to learn the basics in an encouraging, women's-only environment for a limited period of time, prior to joining the main, co-ed group. This is a great option for those who feel that they need a little extra push.
We are very, very fortunate to have Rafi as the Canadian National Director, as he has highly specialized knowledge regarding children’s self-defence. Children respond immediately to Rafi and benefit not only from his vast experience but also from his patience, fairness, and ability to make them feel valued and safe. Children learn differently than adults and are faced with a special set of potential dangers. Very importantly, our children's classes are FUN. All children are welcome, and we offer programs for children with special needs, which is unfortunately not always the case in all schools. Through various games and exercises, children learn how to avoid, defuse, and escape threatening situations, deal effectively with bullying, develop self-control, discipline, and self-esteem, identify and assess environmental dangers (cars, fire-hazards, etc.), and more.
Corporate training is a special branch of training. Corporations are increasingly concerned with employee health and seek to establish wellness programs, group health-insurance, and safety training. While Rafi works with various security and law-enforcement groups, staff training is not limited to high-risk professions. Staff-members who travel frequently or work until the late evening on a frequent basis can also face threatening situations. We give members of corporate groups the practical skills and common-sense knowledge that they need in order to get home safely. Our techniques are easy to learn, easy to perform, and effective. Programs are designed to meet your organization’s specific needs, and training can be conducted at our studio or in a space that you provide. Topics of corporate training can include: safety for domestic and international travel, assault/abduction-prevention (for example, in elevators, parking lots/garages, etc.), office safety, self-defence on public transit, surviving armed robbery/assault, identifying potential dangers, how to use common objects for self-defence, de-escalating verbal and non-verbal conflict, and topics of particular concern for your group.
The Academy also offers training above and beyond the standard curricula; we provide, for example, CPR training for adults and survival workshops for children that deal with issues such as power-outages and family emergency kits. Our monthly seminars deal with special topics in an in-depth way, and range from home-invasion to car-jacking to safety on public transit.
Combat training is a good choice for for law-enforcement personnel, military forces, and VIP protection/security guards. We teach members of these professions to defend themselves while taking into account legal restrictions. Basic self-defence is covered, and progresses to include the use of the baton as a defensive tool. The use of a firearm as an integral part of defence is also discussed, as is neutralizing attackers/specific targets and the effective use of handcuffs. All of the above is taught as elements of both team- and individual work. IKM courses for members of high-risk professions are undertaken by law-enforcement units, special forces, and security operatives. All such courses include intensive tactical training that emulates real-life situations and on-the-spot solutions. Each combat-training course can be modified to address the specific problems and needs of the client. Our combat training and courses help students to develop high-level combat skills and provide an in-depth understanding of common threats. Our instructors have extensive operational experience, derived from years of serving and training in the Israeli Defence Forces and security services. VIP protection deals more specifically with threats of extortion, kidnapping, and more. IKM works with highly experienced security consultants and instructors in Israel to develop courses of real applicability to those in the field. These courses are modified to fulfill the specific requirements of our clients, and can include principles of security, tactical work for individual guards, pairs, and teams, close-quarters techniques, on-foot and in-vehicle concerns, operational security planning, security sweeps, threat-identification, hand-to-hand combat, tactical firearms use, and tactical drills.
Head over to our "Get Started!" page to discover how easy it is to begin!
The Academy of Self-Defence Inc.
Krav Maga Training