The Old Man And The Storm Documentary Common Sense Media Krav Maga – Not Real Pretty But Real

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Krav Maga – Not Real Pretty But Real

Jason Mark is a police officer. You need a sense of humor to make it as a cop, and Jason is a funny guy. No doubt he’ll laugh “Bad Cop! No Doughnut!” sticker, maybe I should ask for a bagel wrap instead. And you can throw away stereotypes; take a look at what Jason does in his spare time and you’ll realize that he’s not only a gym rat in the best shape you’ll ever be in, he’s a martial artist who can kick twenty of your bums for a Sunday and you might even feel like a fool for being and that sticker first.

Thursday, 8 p.m., Penn Oaks Fitness Center: About a dozen men and women, wearing sweats and mattresses, tattooed hands and clutching leather, whale each other with fists and feet, the action covered by the beat of a heavy-metal CD. They are sweating and panting, as Jason just made them push each other. Now they’re yelling among themselves as the bulldog is unleashed in the Chihuahua Parade, yelling, shaking, kicking: “What was that, Kevin? You call that a punch? I’m a big kisser! it’s a punch-” he puts his hand into his mitt and the man who caught it stumbles away. back. “And this is an elbow-” Wham! The boy stumbles again and again. “See, it works too! Use everything you’ve got. And whatever you do, don’t stop. If you stop, you’re dead…” After a while he shows the wall-against-the-wall escape: “J-move…one arm up, turn and dip…good, Sue…ok, Steve’s tall…what? Right -go down! Make her a soprano…”

Let’s get something straight: Krav Maga (“krahv magah” or “Contact Combat”) is as dirty as it sounds. The official military uniform of the Israel Defense Forces is not concerned with decorations. It is designed to be simple and effective, useful, brutal, ugly. All the things you are not allowed to do in other martial arts – punches, gouging, elbows to the neck, are not encouraged in Krav Maga only, they are taught, he did. Sound like a street fight? It is so.

“There are no rules in Krav Maga except one: don’t get hurt,” says Ernie Kirk, owner of the busy Kirk’s Martial Arts Academy in Kennett Square, where Jason also instructs. “This is about survival, so anything goes.” Carefree, though tough, Ernie wears glasses and speaks softly, which evokes his old self, more than a teacher. this-meister who holds a fourth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, a black belt in Goju-Kai and advanced brown belts in aikido and judo. But that’s as it should be, since ordinary people looking to defend themselves are no match for a Van-Damme cartoon.

Although Ernie doesn’t have Jason’s bulldog frenzy, his anger-coefficient turns on a dime. “Have fun,” he tells the two arguing students. “Be in a different way, you focus on one thing, and something else will hit you.” A moment later he shouts “Follow me!” stopping two full boxers and holding one of them to show. “You don’t stand on the head; you go through it, through it!” His fist goes over the boy’s ear. “This is a reservation, not a policy.”

About saving. True. This just concludes where Krav Maga stands against other martial arts. You won’t get the “kata,” the grasshopper stance, the jumping whip and all the other clipped, cinematic gee-whiz that everyone knows exists for the sake of the audience. Ernie, who for many years was the first licensed Krav Maga instructor on the East Coast, admits that many of the things he likes about the sport of martial arts can get him killed on the road: “There are defensive weaknesses that have been around for a long time. .” One wonders how he manages to separate them in practice, considering that such a reflex level leaves little time for thinking. The road calls for fight or flight, maiming or maiming, never mind insults. Whatever you do, you better mean it.

Therefore there is no competition in Krav Maga. There are no more “uniforms”, and although belts are awarded for skill, no one wears them. Most wear pants and sweats along with coats and other protective gear. Save the formal bow at the end, the classes are informal and mixed. One minute you’ll be doing calisthenics, the next, punching or kicking a pad held by your partner, and then trying to escape from a hold or attack.

“Every move is based on your instincts,” explains Katie Bevard, the tall, beautiful former school teacher (another teacher… today’s school kids must be few!) who mentors and guides Kirk throughout his time. “So you don’t have to think about which of the twelve moves to use. If someone grabs you by the neck, you naturally grab their hands. work That instinct – is called ‘plucking-‘ (it shows a sudden movement) and makes it work as an escape. It works for everyone, from every angle. And it gives you an opportunity to challenge. All Krav Maga moves do this: one escape, multiple counters. Whatever you do must be done immediately and followed by a ban on assault.”

Since the move is easy, the learning curve is low. Unlike other martial arts where the beginner spends months punching and punching the air or performing other seemingly meaningless rituals before engaging an opponent, Krav Maga emphasizes communication from day one. punches and kicks are given on purpose on the enemy’s face, neck, breasts…and he was stopped with some kind of tie. The point is to remove restrictions on such disrespectful exchanges. You just can’t show throat kicks or throat punches… for this to happen and naturally, you should events to give.

Since there is no competitive leadership, Krav Maga classes democratize the learning process: at Kirks’ you will find neophytes mixing with advanced ones, instructors encouraging everyone to change and “experiment with different types of body.” A baby bee with a shaved head stares at the skinny woman who might be his mother: “I want that pencil! Give me that pencil!” He steps on the pads he is holding. He misses being beaten but continues to fight back. Stress drills: The best way to help yourself deal with stress is to engage in it. Sometime later there is a stress/fatigue where one student, surrounded by four others, has to hit and stab on their pads non-stop, while being harassed from behind by another. They all take turns, they all end up tired, dripping, happy.

And sometimes they get hurt. Katie nods emphatically. “We turn off the lights every now and then and fight in the dark. You get written up sometimes. We all have bruises, scrapes, cuts. Nothing serious, but it’s a great learning tool. It makes it real. Tae-Bo?” He smells. “I remember that. Fun…good exercise. But that’s it everything it was. And you never had this…” He proudly shows the scars.

Is it any wonder that Krav Maga is taking the world by storm? Initially welcomed by the military and law enforcement, it has attracted the attention of the media and has progressed, aided in part by recent events. Ernie reports that enrollment has increased nearly 35% in the Philadelphia area since Sept. 11, and is adding new locations in South Philadelphia, Center City and Conshohocken. In most classes, women outnumber men. Young people and old people happily argued and fought with each other. Ernie was invited to teach Krav Maga in elementary schools.

Saturday, 1pm, Kirk’s Martial Arts Academy: It’s almost the end of the three-hour seminar. One of Ernie’s Philadelphia mentors is there, a 19-year-old Temple senior named Greta who also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Despite suffering from a cold that has left him near groggy, Ernie repeatedly calls Greta forward to show off. He’s a bit of a star at Kirk’s – the other teachers like him – and Ernie likes to show him off. He fires a flurry of blows at her, rapid fire from all sides and Greta fires them off with Lara Croft-like tenacity and precision, a dazzling display that leaves no doubt that she can crush the masher’s style. Ernie let him go and started handing out rubber knives. “Ok, pair off! Knife-Attack with simulated wounds. Forget the movies – you will be injured by the knife encounter. Guys, I apologize in advance to your wives and girlfriends. We are putting lipstick on this. Lights…”

Ernie is a funny guy too.

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