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While some are reluctant to refer to Krav Maga as a martial art in the traditional sense of the word, many are taking advantage of its techniques and learning how to use this art in real-life situations.
In Albuquerque there in one instructor who teaches Krav Maga. Shon Wright, a trained martial artist, began teaching Krav Maga after learning of the style when training for contract work in Afghanistan.
Krav Maga, literally translated contact combat, is an Israeli self defense known to many for its emphasis on real-life situations. In the 1930s Imi Lichtenfield, who at the time was skilled in boxing and wrestling, developed the art as a practical way to defend against the threat against Jewish citizens in Bratislava. After distinguishing between sport and the need for actual defense, Lichtenfield and other wrestling and boxing experts began developing a combat system now known as Krav Maga. “They cherry picked the simplest most effective parts of every art that was out there and created a refined, quick combat-effective system that was easy to teach their guys, which became a street wise way of defending yourself,” Wright said. Krav Maga combines striking, wrestling and grappling to teach its students to defend themselves in a realistic way.
It was not until the 90s that Krav Maga was taught to civilians, when Israel began teaching it to its citizens as means of self defense. “They applied some of the tactics to the civilian world,” Wright said.
One thing that sets Krav Maga apart from other martial arts is Krav Maga is rarely learned as a sport, but more for reasons of defending against real-life attacks and situations one is likely to encounter. “It is stricly a self defense, combat survival form of art. There’s no way to compete with it,” Wright said, “It is solely geared towards survival.”
Krav Maga puts a heavy emphasis on neutralizing a threat as quick and efficient as possible. “We are taking out knees, taking out eyes,” Wright said, “trashing the human body to give us an opportunity to get out of dodge.” It is for this reason that many, including Wright, will not teach the martial art to anyone who is under the age of 14. “This is not what you would want your son using in the locker room if he was upside down in a trash can,” Wright said, “9 out of every 10 things we teach puts someone in the hospital or terminates them.”
Advanced Krav Maga students will be trained in weapons and their use in negating a threat. Students of Wright are trained in effectively defending against multiple attackers, sometimes three or four at a time.
Shon Wright teaches Combat Krav Maga at David Erler’s dojo on Albuquerque’s west side. Those interested in learning Krav Maga are welcome to attend for a free class on Fridays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. If interested visit CKMNM.com for more info.
So can you learn Krav Maga from a DVD Series? Many people claim it’s possible. Here are a couple awesome training videos we dug up.