Frequently Asked Questions
Krav Maga is brutal and makes no concessions, but NOT ITS PRACTITIONERS! Which means that learning must comply with strict safety instructions, always respecting the adversary. Krav Maga remains a contact sport nevertheless, and it would not be fair to say that anyone working on it regularly never gets the odd bruise.
In the 1960s, the discipline’s Founder introduced the conventional system of belts, which not only enables practitioners to know where they are, but also enables the teacher to know the technical level of his pupil, to achieve a better progression. So in the first year of regular practice, a student can reach the level of yellow and orange belts; thereafter the rhythm is one belt per sport season. That means that it takes five years for a practitioner to reach black belt level.
Classes are for everyone (men and women), but mainly from the age of 15 upwards. Is it possible to learn Krav Maga at a younger age, but learning needs to be adapted, for example by alternating Krav Maga with educational games to promote motricity and inculcate the values of sharing and working together.
It depends your level of commitment to the sport. Krav Maga does not require any particular physical condition. During classes, physical condition is worked on gradually over the year. Having said that, there is nothing to stop students maintaining and developing their physical conditions outside class!
To train in our discipline, you can attend the training sessions we offer (see ‘Training courses’ page), which is how Instructors are trained. To make progress, though, you will still need to continue practising between training sessions, with a friend for example.
Competitive combat sports require the setting up of rules, for the integrity of those taking part. Since Krav Maga is a self-defence discipline, it is important that it should not be constrained by rules. After all, if you are attacked in the street, it’s no holds barred. So no, there aren’t any competitions for Krav Maga, and there never will be.
Krav Maga is a complete discipline with a very substantial technical programme. Having said that, it is always worth taking an interest in other combat sports, if you have the time. However, you must always focus your mind on the logic behind Krav Maga and not end up specialising in one particular discipline.
We have two levels of Instructors.
The first level is that of the ‘Introductory Instructor’.
In France, to become an Introductory Instructor in Krav Maga, you must:
hold a French attestation of first-aid training (AFPS) or its equivalent),
take part in an introductory training course run by one of our Advanced Instructors (during which the technical programme for belts from yellow to green will be covered), and
take part in two long training courses (summer or winter), the first with Richard Douieb or an Advanced Instructor, and the second necessarily with Richard Douieb. After these courses, the candidate is assessed and if he is successful he can be an Introductory Instructor. Candidates who already have a green belt need only take part in two long training courses.
In the other FEKM member countries, the level of Introductory Instructor is awarded by the National Federation after a similar process: introductory training course and two long training courses with an Advanced Instructor of that country.
Candidates for the second level - that of ‘Advanced Instructor’ - must already have a black belt. Candidates in countries other than France must take part in a long training course with Richard Douieb once the Introductory Instructor level has been validated.
All the training courses can be found in the ‘Training courses’ section.
You sometimes hear people saying “it’s too dangerous to fall in the street, so you learn how not to fall, so that you’re never on the ground”. It’s true that a boxer learns to avoid leading lefts, and that a judoka learns to make his partner fall while preventing himself from falling. But what boxer has never taken a blow, and what judoka has never fallen? It’s all very well saying “try not to fall”, but what happens if you do fall, and aren’t prepared for it? No-one can say that it will never happen. You have to be ready for anything, to increase your chances.
There are two sides to Krav Maga: self-defence, and combat. Self-defence makes it possible to consider every possible situation and every possible angle of attack and defence. Anyone who is only interested in this part of Krav Maga is perfectly entitled to do so, and deserves the sale respect as other practitioners. Having said that, self-defence itself is incomplete without the combat aspect. How can you learn the vision of combat, the timing, the management of effort and constantly changing distances without the combat aspect? As for the usefulness of protection: obviously, it is true that we don’t wear protection in the street. Hard-core practitioners work without any groin protection; as a result, they never aim blows at the genitals (luckily!), but the bad side of it is that they do not get into the habit of defending themselves in such a circumstance. To learn how to do an effective circular kick around the legs, you have to have the opportunity of working on it with no restrictions but safely. That means with the safety provided by shin-guards. If you always work hard at it, there will inevitably be injuries. What’s going to happen in the mind of an injured practitioner? Is it going to make him any tougher? Quite the contrary, in fact: he’s going to lose confidence. That means that “lightened” or “semi-lightened” combat with protection should make it possible to learn combat work safely.
Since no-one is forced to take a belt examination, it is possible to engage in Krav Maga without forcing yourself to take a test. For those who are interested, it seems to be essential that practitioners find the necessary courage inside themselves before they earn a black belt. Without courage, there is no Krav Maga – or at the very least it is incomplete. Moreover, if one of the partners has been seriously affected during a fight, the subsequent sequence must be lightened, or even halted. In the case of being able to place a dangerous blow, it must be simulated, thereby demonstrating lucidity, composure, self-control, and respect for the other person. Everything that is asked of a martial arts practitioner.