Nowadays, we can see more and more women interested in learning self-defense. Out of so many techniques and martial arts, Krav Maga becomes one of the choices that many women consider to take.
But can this be a good fit for you? How does Krav Maga accommodate women in the effectiveness of moves, as well as the women friendliness of the courses?
Let’s dive in to learn more about it.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 What is Krav Maga?
- 2 Why is Krav Maga Good for Women?
- 3 Why Do Women Need Self Defense?
- 4 Useful Krav Maga Techniques for Women
- 5 Can Women Learn Krav Maga By Themselves?
- 6 Where Can You Find Krav Maga Classes
- 7 What Krav Maga Outfit Do You Need
- 8 What Krav Maga Gear Do Women Need
- 9 What to Look Out For
What is Krav Maga?
Krav Maga is not a martial art like Muay Thai or Karate. Instead, it is more like a form of self-defense. The moves are not meant to be impressive, but solely just to save yourself from harmful situations.
The word “Krav Maga” has a literal meaning of “close combat” in Hebrew, which represents what this practice is all about.
Fighting with Krav Maga does not guarantee you to win the fight. But it will do just enough to get you to survive it.
Krav Maga is not a traditional practice. The system was developed in the 1930s by Emrich “Imi” Lichtenfeld in the early establishment of IDF (Israeli Defense Force).
The techniques are the results of adapting many kinds of martial arts.
When learning Krav Maga, there won’t be a lot of moves to learn at one time. Instead, you will have to repeat the same techniques over and over again. This is meant to build your muscle memory.
Hence, if the time comes when you need it, the moves would have been your instinct.
Why is Krav Maga Good for Women?
Krav Maga can be a good choice of self-defense for women to learn. There are many reasons to support such a claim, such as:
Krav Maga is Simple and Easy
Krav Maga does not have elaborate techniques like martial arts. Mostly you would not need to have any special talent to master Krav Maga.
The moves are mostly simple, especially the basic self-defense techniques. Many women would find the moves pretty easy to follow.
Size Doesn’t Matter
Some forms of martial arts rely a lot on body weight. It can be a major disadvantage for women, especially those with petite bodies.
But in Krav Maga, most of the moves are technical. As long as you know how to make the right approach, you can defeat an opponent twice your size.
It’s An Effective Self Defense System
Even though the moves are simple and require not much physical strength, Krav Maga can be quite effective to protect yourself in an unfortunate situation.
Basic Krav Maga moves to include a technique to release yourself from a lock and other common criminal attacks.
Most of the time, Krav Maga has special classes for women only. The instructors are women and the students are all women.
With such a feminine environment, women can empower and support each other. You might even find a kind of sisterhood with your classmates.
Take Less Time To Master
Martial arts and traditional forms of self-defense require many years of dedicated training to master. But in Krav Maga, you can cut your timeline shorter.
A few months would be enough for you to master it well. You don’t even have to put long hours of training every week to get the basics down.
You can even start working at it for yourself following simple courses and decide to join a gym at a later date if you like where it’s going.
Promote Your Fitness Goals
Many Krav Maga courses offer an option of fitness training to practice alongside the self-defense one.
The combination of those two practices can complement each other. You would be able to achieve higher in both pieces of training, resulting in a fitter and stronger body.
Why Do Women Need Self Defense?
It is nothing new to hear that most crime victims are women. With lower physical strength and muscle mass in general, women are easier targets to attack than men.
In some cases, even a little skill of self-defense can save women from hideous crimes.
However, learning self-defense can bring a lot more advantages for women besides protection against crimes and attacks. Here are how learning self-defense can benefit women:
Moving your bones and muscles is pretty beneficial to train your system. With good discipline, learning self-defense can bring a similar effect to exercise.
It burns calories and regulates your breathing technique. If done properly and regularly, you might even keep your cardiovascular health in general.
Moreover, having regular self-defense training will also motivate you to eat healthier and adopt a healthier lifestyle. You will notice how performing moves would be easier when you eat and live clean.
Once you feel the difference, you would think twice about eating junk food or going back to your unhealthy habits.
Train Your Physical Quality
More than just your health, regular self-defense training will also improve many aspects of your physical quality. Your muscles will get stronger.
There will be a noticeable increase in your endurance as well as your stamina and agility. The more dedication you put in it, the better your physical quality will develop.
Self-control is essential in any kind of martial arts and self-defense techniques.
When you are not focused or being too overwhelmed with your emotion, you will find it difficult to perform a perfect move, let alone to defeat your opponent.
With consistent training, you will gradually learn how to maintain your emotions and focus on what you aim to gain.
In the long run, you would be able to be mindful and calm in every situation of your life, not just when you are in your training class.
Learning new skills is good for your self-development. And the more you develop, the more confident you would feel about yourself.
You will appreciate yourself better for all the effort and determination you put into the process.
Keep You Aware and Alert
Learning self-defense will train your mind to be aware of your surroundings. Your brain will know how to stay alert even though you are currently in a relaxed mode.
Because most people got tricked much easier when they let their guards down.
Lets You Know What to Do in a Difficult Situation
Common people will panic when something terrible suddenly happens to them. But if you are well trained, you would be able to stay calm.
Even better, you would know what to do in the situation, whether you should freeze, fight, or flight, for your life. It is important to avoid getting yourself harmed.
Useful Krav Maga Techniques for Women
Some tactics in Krav Maga can be much useful for women to defend themselves in common unfortunate situations. If taking a Krav Maga course, you would likely learn these moves in your first weeks.
A kick to the groin is probably the most popular self-defense move worldwide. It is proven effective and you don’t even need to be very strong to do it.
The groin is naturally the most vulnerable part of a man’s body. You just need to judge your distance well to get it done right.
To make your kick effective, use either your knee or the tip of your shoes to aim the groin.
Bear Hug Defense
Assailants with big and strong bodies like using a bear hug technique to attack women.
In most cases, women are hopeless in this situation as they can’t even move any of their limbs. Krav Maga teaches you a few techniques to free yourself from both rear and front bear hugs.
Open Hand Strike
For a time where you need to fight, an open hand strike can be useful for beginners. You use the heel of your hand to hit your attacker’s head.
For effective results, aim for the most vulnerable spots like the eyes or neck. This tactic works similarly to a punch, but with less power required.
Attack from the Ground
When your attacker throws you to the ground, it doesn’t mean you are defeated. You can judge your distance and use your feet to defend yourself.
If your opponent is right above you, use both of your feet to kick the chest. Thrust your hips off the floor to generate extra power.
Another common attack used for women is choking. To escape yourself from it, you can raise your arm straight up and turn your body 180 degrees.
This move will trap your attacker’s arms, giving you a chance to flee or fight back.
Can Women Learn Krav Maga By Themselves?
Krav Maga is so simple that even you can learn it at home by yourself for all the basic moves. You can either see it from free Youtube videos or enroll yourself for an online class.
However, that is not the most effective way of learning.
It is highly advisable to have at least one partner to train together, where you can pretend to attack each other and simulate your defense.
This way you could practice your move and perfect your approach.
Training with a real partner will also help you to build muscle memory, which is impossible to do if you practice alone.
Although you can learn it yourself at home, Krav Maga would be more effective to learn in a real class with an experienced instructor.
There are many benefits you can get by learning in class that you wouldn’t get from practicing alone, such as:
- Your instructor can correct you if you are doing your moves wrong
- You can get tips on how to make your moves better
- You can practice your combat with different opponents, so you can measure your skill
- You get to learn more advanced moves because only basic moves are possible to learn by yourself at home
- The class has more tools for training, with better quality, which might be too expensive to buy alone for home-learning.
- There would be more mental support from your peers to achieve better more
Check out my post on What Should I Expect On My First Day Of Learning Krav Maga?
Where Can You Find Krav Maga Classes
In the USA, there are a lot of Krav Maga classes you can attend, especially if you live in big cities. Many Krav Maga agencies also offer special women-only classes.
And if you are not able to find any training center around your neighborhood, you can always opt for an online class. Here are where you can enroll:
Krav Maga Worldwide Academy
With more than 150 training centers all over the US, Krav Maga Worldwide can be the one you should look for around your neighborhood.
You can check out their websites to find the nearest class from your location, as well as any other information about Krav Maga training.
Global Martial Arts University
Global Martial Arts University has been teaching people worldwide. The online campus offers various forms of the self-defense system and martial arts.
People can choose which class to join. They even get to set their schedule for their convenience.
Although the class is online, you will still receive one-on-one instruction and feedback from your instructor.
Impact Krav Maga
Based in San Diego, Impact Krav Maga has both online courses and in-studio classes. They also have special classes for women, kids, and teens.
Anyone can register for a class anytime. And if you are still unsure about taking a course, Impact Krav Maga allows you to watch a class so you know what you will experience.
I actually have a post about Krav Maga organizations here if you’re looking to get into joining one, or at some point in the future.
What Krav Maga Outfit Do You Need
Krav Maga doesn’t require you to wear specific clothes for training. Any kind of clothes will do as long as they are comfortable to wear and don’t restrict your freedom of movement.
Most people use common exercise attire such as t-shirts, boxers, sports bras, yoga pants, training sets, and breathable socks.
A pair of good athletic sneakers may also do good for you.
What Krav Maga Gear Do Women Need
You can use some gear for more effective learning. There are some things you consider buying if you want to learn Krav Maga more seriously.
Whatever the gear you buy, it is highly advisable to invest in high-quality ones. Because not only low-quality gears will wear out easily, they also bring risks to harm you.
Wearing a pair of boxing gloves will protect you and your partner from injury. They also help you to strengthen your wrists and forearms.
By wearing this set of gears, it will be easier to perfect your moves as your knuckles would be in the right position.
Many kinds of mouth injuries could happen during sports or combats, such as broken teeth or bitten lips.
A well-sized mouth guard may avoid you from these horrors. Typical mouth guards cover your upper teeth, yet it is effective to keep your whole mouth safe.
Punching Bag – If training from home
Having a punching bag allows you to practice your strikes by yourself. It is a necessary gear to have if you plan to learn Krav Maga without a partner or class.
There are two types of punching bags; hanging and standing.
Body Opponent Bag – If training from home
The body opponent bag is a similar product of a punching bag. But it has the shape of a human body in accurate composition.
The gear would be helpful if you want to learn to strike your opponent at a specific area of his body.
Also known as a striking shield, a tombstone shield is a large pad to receive severe strikes.
This tool is essential to practice the advanced technique with your partner, so you don’t have to hurt each other. However, if you plan to just learn basic self-defense skills, this gear might be unnecessary for you.
Check out all our recommended gear in our post here. It has a recommendation for all of these things here and more.
What to Look Out For
Before enrolling to a Krav Maga class, either offline or online, there are things you need to anticipate from the beginning to make sure your training feels convenient, such as:
Set Your Goal. Know what you want to achieve from your training, whether it is just a basic skill of survival or impressive combat skill. Since different goals take different programs, you need to discuss this matter with your instructor so she can arrange an effective program for you.
Check the Class
Before enrolling yourself in, make sure the class is convenient for you in many ways. Check how many people are there in a class and how much you can get assistance from your instructor. See also about the learning method, schedules, etc.
Stay on Your Pace
In a class, you might see people with the same lack of skill, to begin with, may master their tactics in a completely different timeline. Don’t let this affect you in any way.
Either you are quicker or slower than everybody else, it doesn’t matter. Stay focus on your program and move forward at your pace.
A lot of women want to learn self-defense. Yet many of them are not sure about taking years of training in martial arts.
If this is your case, maybe it is time to start looking for a Krav Maga training around your neighborhood.