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Protect Yourself Like The Isreali Military With Krav Maga

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 05:07 PM CDT

You never know when you might become Austin's latest crime victim. Too many of us are targets. The latest numbers available show that last year in Austin there were 2,126 aggravated assaults, 1,106 robberies and 211 rape cases. While violent crime is decreasing in Austin, we still need to be on guard.

Krav Maga is the hand-to-hand combat system used by the Israeli military. The name means "contact combat." It sounds intimidating. But the men, women and children trying it, say it's a more practical way for them to protect themselves.

"€œThere's an old adage that people rise to the occasion. But they don't. They sink to the level of their training,"€ said Christian Bazan, a Krav Maga instructor at Fit and Fearless in south Austin.

A tough lesson Katie Jackson learned when her car broke down in the desert. Her phone was dead and she was 40 miles from anywhere

“I had to get out and flag somebody down,” said Jackson. “It was completely terrifying.”

And she had no clue how to protect herself.

“I was completely vulnerable and it scared me half to death. And I promised myself right then that I would never be in that situation again,” said Jackson.

Krav Maga is a reality-based combat system designed to teach real self-defense in the shortest possible time. In three months students are defending against chokes and grabs, guns and knives. Just as importantly, they learn not to freak out when the bad guy grabs them from behind.

“Learning how to use your natural instincts and basing our defenses off those natural instincts. If something is coming at your head your natural instinct is to bring up your hands and flinch away we want to turn that into an effective defense,” said Bazan.

Krav Maga makes you the weapon. Here's why. Our attacker is 21 feet away from our victim. That's the shortest distance from which a person could get out a gun, aim it, and fire. Instructor Parker Westbook works with guns, but in the three seconds it takes the attacker to reach her she's still fumbling in her purse.

“I had my hands on it but it got stuck in the purse,” said Westbrook.

And what if your attacker was closer. He walks up unaggressively and then there's no time to get off a shot.

“Show me the one thing that really works. That's going to fix everything. That does not exist. You put all your faith into this weapon right here. And when it's gone, I'm frozen,” said Westbrook.

Krav Maga knows a gun or knife has its place. But, in close quarters so does a sharp elbow or the heel of a hand. They give you the ability to fight back anytime, anywhere.

“My first class I cried,” said Jackson.

In the six months since then she’s still not ready to fire a gun, but that doesn't mean she's not working on her aim.

“I don't want to live with something like that on my conscious. I'd rather just beat them up,” said Jackson with a laugh.

By Bettie CrossProtect Yourself Like The Isreali Military With Krav Maga


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