The recent YouTube video which shows a fellow using Krav Maga to foil a would be assailant with a hand gun (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDsUqIktMEU) highlights the importance of knowing a bit of basic self-defence. My son is planning to attend the soccer World Cup in Brazil later this year, followed by a solo adventure through South America. Being a concerned parent I suggested that he learn some form of self-defence before beginning his rather hazardous adventure. The system he decided to try was Krav Maga (http://krav-maga.com/, http://www.idftraining.com.au/). We both went to a trial session and liked it so much that we signed up.
Krav Maga is a system of self-defence developed by the Israeli Defence Forces. Unlike the various martial arts it does not take years and an endless supply of coloured belts to be able to defend yourself. After just one class we had already learned how to punch and kick effectively, and how to defend ourselves from a front choke. What I enjoy about the Krav Maga classes is their emphasis on practicality and using natural instinctive movements instead of having to learn a bunch of complicated manoeuvres that are likely to be forgotten in the heat of battle.
The main criticism I have heard of Krav Maga is that it is too aggressive and violent. If I am attacked I want to finish the fight as quickly as possible. The longer the fight continues the greater my chances of being injured. If finishing a fight quickly means kicking someone in the groin or elbowing them in the nose then so be it. I did not ask to be attacked and if a person chooses violence to get what they want then they have to expect the possibility of retaliation. Krav Maga is all about protecting yourself and finishing a fight as fast as possible in any way possible.
As well as teaching us how to defend ourselves, the classes also teach how not to become a victim in the first place. Be aware of your surroundings and act confident. I hope that I never have to use what I have learned but the knowledge I have will help me to act more self-assured and hopefully avoid future confrontations.
Because of its simplicity and effectiveness I cannot recommend Krav Maga highly enough for both men and women.
Dr. F. Bunny