A short post today on credibility by Will Bayley of Krav Maga Swindon.
The martial arts industry is entirely unregulated. It is possible for anyone, with no training at all, to call themselves a Krav Maga instructor, set up a class and charge you money for lessons. These fake instructors can even sell ‘instructor’ courses to other would be instructors, courses that are typically three to five days in length. Would you learn Krav Maga or any self defence from an instructor that has only three days more training than you?
It is also now possible to take a distance learning course in Krav Maga and get an official looking piece of paper from Israel with lots of Hebrew on it stating that you are a legit instructor. For a few hundred quid you can become a Krav instructor without ever leaving your armchair. I shit you not. Click the image below to see for yourself.
Wherever it is you train, check the credibility of your instructor.
Would you learn to drive with someone who’d never been in a car? Or learn to swim from someone who’d never been in the water? Of course not. So don’t trust your safety with someone who has no credible training and certification.
What is credible training? Krav Maga is successful and in use by front-line professionals not just because of the physical technique but because of the training methodology. Specifically the adrenal psychology, stress inoculation and pressure testing. A credible instructor will have studied Krav for some time and will have been through hundreds of hours of training far tougher than that found in your average class. They will have been pushed to their limits and beyond, again and again, so that they can learn what it’s like out there and bring that knowledge back to you. They bled and sweated and puked to get where they are. They learned about exercise physiology, stress psychology, and teaching theory. They were taught how to teach, not just how to fight.
Look for the brands.
In the UK, there are a number of great, credible Krav Maga brands. You’ve got the British Krav Maga, of course, along with Krav Maga Global and the IKMF. All these associations have provable lines of qualification in authentic Krav Maga and all of them demand the highest standards from their instructors.
Lesson here is: don’t be afraid to ask your instructor about their training. If they’re legit, they’ll happily answer you. A lot of what is called Krav Maga in the McDojos of the UK is nothing of the sort. Typically, a McDojo instructor will do a couple of lessons in Krav with a legitimate instructor and then go back to his business and get some Krav t-shirts printed up and start selling Krav classes as part of his or her martial arts subscription packages. It’s true. In the average year, I receive about ten enquiries from people just like this. I refuse to teach them because I know they’ll be in class for a few sessions and then taking what I’ve taught them, fucking it up and then passing it off as Krav to some unsuspecting members of the public.
Personally, I am not a competitive person. I have formed good relationships with instructors from a number of different associations and I have no problem at all recommending their services to people in the relevant areas. KMG are, on the whole a great organisation, for example. I don’t mind where you train, but for you own good, check the pedigree of your instructor. Your life may depend upon it.
Train hard, fight easy.
About the Author.
Will Bayley is a Professional Krav Maga Instructor with British Krav Maga. Will provides adult tuition and runs a Krav Maga Juniors Programme the Instructor at Krav Maga Swindon and Krav Maga North Bristol.