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Odinson

Krav Maga DVDs

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Hi 

I have a question regarding training in Krav Maga, I live in the middle of nowhere and currently have no access to wheels, the nearest Krav Maga training center is over two hours away on public transport so not really a viable option. Has anybody had any experience using the training videos you can buy online? I can round up a partner to train but as a training tool has anybody had any success or lack of with there use?

I know nothing can replace a center of learning and a good teacher but I am wondering if they will do as a stop gap for the next 12 months until I can get mobile?

 

Thanks in advance guys!

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I've no experience with Krav Maga, per se, but I do have some experience with TKD, boxing, and freestyle wrestling (and I was a coach for wrestling, too).  

 

Does the person you're looking to train with have any Krav Maga or other martial arts training?

 

Videos tend to be of limited value without an experienced practitioner to work with.  Part of the problem is that we're not always aware of our bodies, especially when starting out.  So while it is technically possible to learn from videos and books, it is also extremely easy to develop bad and/or dangerous habits which then become difficult to break. If you were practicing TKD Poomse (forms), you could probably do a decent job with videos, books, pictures, etc, especially working with a partner.  Especially with a partner that had some experience.

 

When you're applying something in a sparring or scramble situation, it's really easy to develop dangerous habits that would be obvious to a trained third party observer and only sometimes to a sparring partner.  Many people spend years unlearning bad habits derived from improper self practice.  When I would coach, many of my wrestlers watched videos at home and would try to put those moves into practice on the mat.  What they couldn't see, and what would lose them the match, was their mistakes.  As a third-party observer, it was easy to point out that they inadvertently exposed a leg during a takedown attempt or that their fancy move didn't fully raise their shoulder blades from the mat like they thought.  From there we could work on correcting the problems and making them effective on the mat, or if it was too advanced they could set it aside until they were ready.  

 

Occasionally, you'll get someone who's watched too many videos and develops an Achilles Heel in their general performance, and that takes a lot of work to break before they can really move forward.

 

This has been part of the problem for me with TKD.  I've learned some forms and the basics, but I don't want to go too much further until I find a local master, because my current preferred trainer is a third degree master living 20 hours away by car.  The other parts of the problem were grad school and some health issues I have to overcome before I really should continue.  

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Pretty much what Sciread said.  Training videos pale so much in comparison to an actual instructor, it's not even funny.  As I see them, they aren't for learning (or shouldn't be), but for maintaining.  If you don't have a solid base in the art before hand, you're not actually going to pick up the important things in the videos.  Hell, I have a solid base in my art, and looking at Youtube videos is something I still have a hard time with.

 

You're better off training in other ways to prepare for the art, rather than the art itself, if you can't get to an actual school for now.

 

That's my opinion, at least.

 

(Though I will relay that my girlfriend trained in TKD with her Master in her hometown while she was away in college, by taking the drive once or twice a month to get the training from him.  And then would ask for suggestions on things she could train on her own when she was away at school.  Time consuming option, but still an option.)

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Another note:  unlike TKD, Krav Maga has little or no form work.  It's designed for practical engagement, and thus it is probably one of the least suitable styles to learn from videos and books.

 

General conditioning is a huge part of success in martial arts.  Strength, endurance, flexibility, and power are all incredibly important. In TKD, my wife advanced much faster than me because she is flexible and thus has a lot of control across her range of motion.  My strength, especially in the upper body, is much greater but she was generally better prepared to complete the high kicks that are so central to the style.  

 

Many of my male wrestlers lost to females because the ladies were flexible enough to laugh off pressure from the single-leg take down.  A move that is pretty devastating against an inflexible opponent can often be easily defeated by someone with appropriate flexibility. 

 

A highly conditioned athlete or fighter can use that to his or her advantage over an average or under conditioned opponent.  In tournament-style competitions, it is often what separate the champions from the runners up, since the best-conditioned athlete can maintain optimal performance for a longer period of time.  Since you're looking at Krav Maga, I presume you're preparing for self-defense and real life situations more than tournaments.  Conditioning is even more critical in real-life engagements.  Almost everyone fantasizes "rising above" their normal performance in a high-pressure situation.  In reality, when the chips are down, every single person takes a performance hit.  You can train yourself to reduce that hit, but only the foolish expect new highs.  You may have a tiny burst of above-average strength from adrenaline, but that also tends to throw off your coordination and mess with higher-level thoughts.  And shortly thereafter, when the adrenaline rush fades, you'll find yourself weaker, slower, and with less energy than average. So, in a street situation, conditioning can be the difference between successfully defending yourself and escaping and being seriously hurt or killed.  

 

Note: Conditioning applies to both mental and physical performance, and to things beyond martial arts. If you're giving a presentation, a practiced and familiar presentation will consistently perform better than an off-the-cuff, unpracticed presentation.  There's actually quite a bit of research on the subject.  If you want to learn more, I'd recommend Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry (2015).  It's written as a business book but has a lot of applications and examples from performance of all kinds.  Fascinating read.  

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Thanks for the information guys you basically nailed down what I was suspecting. I think for now I will focus on conditioning and some really basic bag work in the gym.

My friend has a sporadic history of boxing and Judo so he has some limited experience.

I will have another look around locally to see what other classes are available; I know for a fact that there is a Kung Foo school a few miles from my house.

Thanks for the incredibly detailed answers and taking the time to reply in such depth.

Also I will defiantly check out the book recommendation.  

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