Krav Maga, two small words with BIG meaning. I recognized these words from somewhere in my past, but couldn’t put my finger on where. Today, you read about everyone from John Mayer, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, Hillary Swank, and Maria Menounos; to Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Secret Service are training in Krav Maga. I was intrigued to learn more. Now with everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions – pass up the same old ‘routine’ fitness programs; instead have fun, get fit, and be more confident with Krav Maga.
Krav Maga mixes striking, boxing, wrestling, and grappling techniques to create a unique and powerful self-defense system. It started back in the 1930’s, and is known for its focus on real-world situations and counter-attacks. It was derived from Imi Lichtenfeld, an athlete who trained as a boxer and wrestler. Krav Maga combined his knowledge and experience with the street fighting skills that he learned from his father – a famous police detective and trainer. It has become widely used by the Israeli Defense Forces (i.e. Mossad: Israel Secret Intelligence Service) as a way to use defensive and offensive maneuvers. In 1978, he started the Krav Maga Association with some of his students to promote and teach Krav Maga throughout the world. It is not a “sport” in the competitive aspect, but a defensive strategy that focuses on the most vulnerable parts of the body. It is all about technique.
In my research I found Krav Maga Forsyth, where the founder Scott Sanchez provides a fun, safe and effective environment for anyone interested in taking a free class, occasional class attendance, or a membership to provide fitness and confidence to students. Scott started practicing martial arts in 1978, partaking in everything from judo, jujitsu, tae kwon do, to karate. In 2006, he discovered Krav Maga and quickly became certified (in 2007). He opened his studio almost 2 years ago, and where I had a wonderful time taking my first class.
Upon entering, I was impressed by the mix of students – there were quite a few military and law enforcement professionals, along with women and teenagers. The class structure is similar to martial arts, as in there are levels that you have to qualify (“test”) to pass into the next. According to Scott, it takes two months to learn the techniques of level one – matching your mind with your body. The goal is for it to become second nature, allowing you to react using the correct technique based on the situation. If you move up to level 3, weapons are introduced. The old saying, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.”- Well don’t bring a gun to anyone who has passed level 3!
Scott has made his studio a family affair. When I entered I watched his wife teach a more fitness style class, which was focused more on kickboxing then the typical Krav Maga techniques. The studio also offers a very kid-friendly environment. I saw some students bring their children whom played with Scott’s kids during class. The kids running laps around the adults, also shows that the classes are not run like a typical martial arts class – if you need a break, you take one – if you need to use the bathroom, you go – it is not an atmosphere where you have to ask permission.
Through the program offered by Scott’s facility – the first class is free. Which of course, I jumped at the chance and within the first five minutes learned quickly that Krav Maga is all about cardio, working the core, muscle tone, and stamina – all of which I am sorry to say that I had none. But was still able to partake, and surprisingly REALLY enjoyed. During my class I was partnered up with Carrie who teaches 2nd and 3rd graders. She has been training in Krav Maga since Scott opened his doors – and it shows! She started with her husband, and is now a devotee. Carrie stood out to me as she was lean, and moved with such confidence and grace across the mat. I would not want to disrupt her class! After class, as I was too winded to talk during… she stated that she enjoyed that Krav Maga “offered her a level playing field regardless of sex, size, or strength. And it is FUN!!!” Taking the classes has provided her with a level of confidence and fitness. She is now “comfortable parking her car farther away as she no longer gets winded or walks in fear.” Carrie said she found this to be easier to learn than other fitness programs she has attempted in the past. She “loves that every class is different, and she finds that she is always sore after class because she is working a different muscle.” I quickly learned that this is not a class with a regular routine, where you would easily bore. – Love that!
In the class there was also a 16-year-old girl from Lambert High School. It was her first class as well, and unlike me, she had fitness on her side – as a track star. But as her mother told me, she can be very passive aggressive and this was a great opportunity for her to learn and experience confidence and an awareness of her surroundings. I personally enjoyed Scott’s teaching method. He is very funny, and he teaches techniques in way that is not intimidating, and relates them to you in an understandable process. For example, when I was getting out of being choked, I kept doing it wrong. My body was not doing what my mind was taught – and I was taking too long to figure it out (not what you want when being “choked”). Scott approached me (note: we are about the same age) and referenced the 90’s club scene and doing the Roger Rabbit. Then he reminded me of the ‘chest bump’. He obviously knows what he is doing, because this simple reference fixed my technique.
Scott enjoys what he does, and that translates to the experience each student has during a class. His studio, Krav Maga Forsyth, is part of Krav Maga Worldwide. Which was formed in 1999, to spread the teachings throughout the US, and is a well respected and prestigious organization. (Krav Maga Alliance is newer – but also a reputable certifying organization).
So, this year with your New Year’s Resolutions still fresh in your mind – treat yourself to a free class with Scott. Visit www.kravmagaforsyth.com to schedule your free class. I promise you will quickly be hooked.
*Through Krav Maga Worldwide, if you travel you can take classes in different locations.
*Scott also offers special classes based on relevant and timely topics.
Krav Maga Forsyth Locations
215 Advantage Drive
Cumming, GA 30040
2730 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 325
Duluth, GA 30097
COST: $25 one time class fee. $135/month membership (with family discounts available)
For more information: email@example.com