Scenario Based Self Defence Training

This is what goes through the minds of many men and women who are interested in Krav Maga. Those who doubt their ability to fit in or keep up.

Yes, krav maga is tough, because to survive, you need to become tough. But that doesn’t mean that krav maga can’t also be accommodating, supportive and inclusive.

This article has been written to reassure you that krav maga is almost certainly a good fit for you. Regardless of how unfit or mentally unprepared, you feel right now.

Getting started is the hardest part

Being honest about what’s stopping you from attending your first krav maga lesson is a great place to start. The reason is, that once you’re over that hurdle, you’ve already beaten your most formidable opponent: yourself.

Your mindset

Much of the success of your krav maga training will come down to mindset. If you are telling yourself that you are ‘not quite ready yet’, when exactly will you be ready?

The answer is: that you will probably never be ready. The mind will always find reasons not to do something than to just bite the bullet and go for it.

Face your resistance

On the other hand, you could face and overcome your natural resistance to attending an introductory krav maga lesson. You will then have already demonstrated you have what it takes to do well in this unique self-defence discipline. Your next challenge will be to commit yourself to regular practice. The rest will then just fall into place.

What about your lack of fitness?

Some people worry that their lack of fitness will stick out like a sore thumb when they turn up to their first training session. Those fears are almost always unfounded.

Krav maga students come in all shapes and sizes. When attending an introductory lesson, you will almost certainly be alongside other newcomers across a range of fitness levels. And if you do happen to be the least fit person in your class? No one will push you beyond your limits or seek to embarrass you. Rest assured; with regular attendance and commitment, you will soon close the fitness gap.

Krav Maga seems tough though

As for the ‘tough’ image that krav maga has, don’t let that intimidate you. You will develop your own mental toughness as you progress along your krav maga journey.

The krav maga ethos is inseparable from the practical skills you will learn. You will soon find yourself looking at life and the world around you in a different way.

The reality of street combat

Many people come into krav maga with naive ideas based on myths about the nature of street combat. Within a few lessons, their outlook is positively transformed.

Not only are they more alert and aware of their surroundings (street smart), but they exude confidence and calmness. These come from knowing that they can handle themselves in a hostile situation. This ‘toughness’ is nothing to be afraid of – unless you make the mistake of attacking a krav maga student!

How prepared are you now?

Can you shake the idea that you will need to improve your fitness before coming to a krav maga session? If you can’t, answer the following question: how prepared are you right now for an unprovoked physical attack?

If your answer is, ‘Not at all,’ we have another question for you. What if you were to be attacked in the next few weeks? Would you prefer to have some effective krav maga moves under your belt or a couple of extra pounds of muscle?

The point is, that an attack could happen at any time. Time spent in the gym could be better spent learning a few krav maga fundamentals. Besides, cardiovascular fitness and strength training are built into your krav maga lessons. Within a few lessons, you will find that your fitness levels have increased anyway.

Keeping up with the class

Hopefully, we’ve quelled your fears about your initial fitness levels. Another common mental stumbling block people have is fear they will be unable to keep up with the class. Perhaps they have experienced this in other classes (e.g. martial arts, dance, keep fit, etc.) This next section will hopefully put those worries to bed too.

Progress at your own pace

There are no pre-requisites in krav maga. Every krav maga student starts from the level they are at when they attend their first session. They then progress at their own pace, supported by their instructors and peers.

Although martial arts such as karate, judo, tae kwon-do, and kung fu may include a self-defence element, the truth is they are geared around belt gradings and often sports competitions.

This means you, therefore, have a certain amount of time to learn and master techniques and sequences of movements. The complexity of these techniques increases with each belt. This inevitably creates a sense of pressure and the need to keep up with everyone else.

What about gradings and belts?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with chasing belts and medals, but if your goal is to feel safer on the streets, krav maga removes these distractions and unnecessary pressures.

Krav maga has developed a belt system. However, the fundamental purpose of training is to learn to apply self defence skills in various real-world contexts. You will come across references to this as ‘scenario-based’ training.

As a pure self defence system, krav maga teaches its students to embed the skills they learn into their muscle memory, ready for deployment. There is no rush to master these techniques. In fact, there is value in taking time to get your stance, body shape, and movement spot on.


In actual fact, many new students surprise themselves by progressing faster than they had thought possible. Krav maga distills effective offensive and defensive moves into a set of simple-to-learn skills.

After all, the goal of self-defence is to survive so why waste time learning complex sequences of highly technical movements? A basic, ugly strike to the groin or head-butt will suffice just as much to neutralize an attack.

As a krav maga student, you will soon understand the only test that matters. It could present itself anywhere and at any time – living to fight another day is considered a ‘pass’.

Support and acceptance from a friendly community

What about the people that make up the krav maga community? Will they accept you into their group?

We’ve all seen the Hollywood self-defence movies, you know the ones. The victimized weakling walks into the dojo and is humiliated by a sadistic instructor, while the tough guys leer and scoff. This dynamic may be good for selling movie tickets, but the truth is a lot more mundane.

The people you’d train with

Simply put, krav maga students come from the same pool of people you’re likely to meet in your day-to-day life. You could be training alongside young college students and pensioners; nurses and teachers; petite women and enormous men – or vice versa. Your peers could be Christians or Muslims or Jews, Hindus or atheists.

Krav maga does not discriminate on any front. The atmosphere within the vast majority of krav maga groups is one of acceptance, support, and fun. Yes, we do have a laugh in krav maga!

The students we attract

Krav maga also tends to attract a different sort of student than a martial arts class. Of course, there is overlap. However, as a self defence system rather than an expressive art, krav maga attracts people who accept they are vulnerable.

They are humble. They know they need to improve their ability to protect themselves on the streets and in their homes and workplaces. Some may have experienced an assault or bullying and know exactly how it feels to be weak and powerless.

Feeling unfit is just another way of realizing that you have work to do to improve your chances in a hostile situation. In short, welcome to the club!

Your instructors

As for your instructors, they are there to guide and support you all the way. Having traveled the same path as you, they understand the terrain and respect your decision to improve your abilities.

Your krav maga community

Beyond your club, you will find a thriving and friendly community of fellow krav maga students waiting to welcome you into the FEKM. Bear in mind that you won’t usually be expected to sign up straight away. However, becoming a FEKM member will connect you with the world’s most populated and respected krav maga community. From that moment on, wherever you happen to be on the planet you will have the support of a group of like-minded people.

In conclusion

Krav maga may seem tough to those on the outside, and in many ways it is. Like every new challenge, if you approach krav maga with positivity and commitment, you will soon banish those initial concerns. You will be amazed at how much they learn in their first lesson, and how quickly they fit in.

We challenge you to face your fears and go along to an introductory session at your nearest club. Come as you are, work at your own pace, and enjoy the journey.