Frequently Asked Questions
HOW IS KRAV MAGA DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS?
Krav Maga is not another self-defense system based on traditional martial arts approaches. It is a modern, reality-based method of training characterized by coherent and logical techniques that build up easily and naturally, featuring simple movements of the human body. Because the Krav Maga system is well integrated, common defensive principles apply to a variety of attack scenarios. Thus, the system can be learned in a relatively short period of instruction. The techniques are easy to retain and can be performed under stress. This hybrid system incorporates techniques from many styles, including boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai, but it does not adhere to any classic or traditional school of thought.
WHAT IS KRAV MAGA?
Krav Maga is the official self-defense and combat system of the Israeli Defense Forces and has been taught to hundreds of law enforcement agencies and thousands of civilians throughout the world. Krav Maga is a simple, effective self-defense system that emphasizes instinctive movements, practical techniques, and realistic training scenarios. The goal of Krav Maga is to bring people of all physical abilities to a high level of proficiency in a short period of time. The method originated with the teachings of Krav Maga founder Imi Lichtenfeld, with added elements of Boxing, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling, and high intensity interval training.
The Krav Maga system has received international recognition as an innovative and highly practical self-defense system. The most important characteristics of the Krav Maga self-defense system are:
Efficient Learning Period --Trainees attain a high level of proficiency in a relatively short period of instruction.
Retention of Training -- Because the system is built upon common principles and natural, instinctive movements, men and women retain Krav Maga techniques with minimal review and practice.
Practical Techniques -- The core emphasis of Krav Maga is on effectiveness and simplicity. This system provides realistic defenses against a variety of aggressive attacks, whether the assailant is armed or unarmed.
Performance Under Stress -- We believe techniques are of little value unless they can be executed effectively under pressure. Krav Maga is unique in the way the training is designed to improve the emotional and physical response to danger. These training methods develop the ability to recognize danger at the earliest stages, react without hesitation, and escalate or de-escalate with the appropriate level of force. We incorporate training methods to build one’s “fighting spirit” and to train them in a way that minimizes the danger of “freezing” or “shutting down”.
DO I NEED TO BE IN SHAPE TO DO KRAV MAGA?
No. In fact, taking classes is the best way to get into shape! Our class format is created to allow people of different fitness levels to fully participate to the best of each individual’s ability. We have competitive athletes working out alongside grandparents, each leaving equally exhausted, having been pushed to their limits each session. Because we use natural movements and a combination of aerobic and anaerobic training, the human body responds to consistent training by building strong, lean muscle and shedding excess weight.
DOES KRAV MAGA HAVE A RANKING SYSTEM?
Yes, Krav Maga has six levels with corresponding belts. Students start in Level 1 classes as a White Belt student. To earn the next belt, students take a physical test to prove competency in each level’s techniques.
Although belts are not worn in class, this is the ranking system in Krav Maga:
- KM Level 1 (Yellow Belt Curriculum)
- KM Level 2 (Orange Belt Curriculum)
- KM Level 3 (Green Belt Curriculum)
- KM Level 4 (Blue Belt Curriculum)
- KM Level 5 (Brown Belt Curriculum)
- KM Level 6 (Black Belt Curriculum)
Note: Black Belt and above is by invitation only.
I HAVE TRAINED IN OTHER MARTIAL ARTS. DO I NEED TO START IN THE KRAV MAGA LEVEL 1 CLASS?
All members who are new to Krav Maga should start out in our Level 1 or All Levels classes, regardless of previous experience. Krav Maga is a self-defense and fighting system; it is not a sport or a martial art. As a result, the Krav Maga training system is inherently different from traditional and sport martial arts. Members who have previous martial arts experience may advance more quickly than other members.
I HAVE TRAINED IN KRAV MAGA AT ANOTHER SCHOOL. CAN I PARTICIPATE IN KRAV MAGA LEVEL 2 OR OTHER ADVANCED CLASSES AT CLAYMORE?
We ask that all members who are new to Claymore train in our Level 1 classes for a minimum of one month. This gives us the opportunity to evaluate your skills and make sure you are equipped to participate in our more advanced classes. We guarantee that you will find our level 1 classes challenging and fun!
I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE, AND KRAV MAGA SOUNDS INTIMIDATING. CAN I DO THIS?
Yes! Krav Maga is designed to take adults with little or no previous experience and bring them to a high level very quickly. Each and every technique is demonstrated, practiced, and then performed live with constant observation and correction by our Certified Krav Maga instructors.
WHAT ARE THE AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATING IN YOUR CLASSES?
You must be 14 years or older to participate in adult classes at Claymore, or 13 if you train exclusively with a parent or other adult family member. If you're under 18, you need to have a parent or guardian sign your waiver and membership agreement.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL CLASS LIKE?
We will start with a 10-15 minute warm up to elevate your heart rate, pump blood into your muscles, and prepare your body for the work to come. Most new trainees will find themselves looking at the clock about 5 minutes in, and wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into -- but don't worry, we'll then let you catch your breath while we lead you through some active stretching.
Next, we will do about 30 minutes of combatives training on upper and lower body strikes (punches, kicks, knees, and elbows). Throughout this portion of class we will demonstrate and teach the techniques, lead you through some practice work, and then let you practice live on pads, heavy bags, etc. We will do different drills to improve speed, accuracy, and endurance.
The last part of class is devoted to self-defense techniques. Again, we will demonstrate the techniques, take you through a series of practice stages, and let you practice with live partners. The class usually culminates in a stress drill where you will practice your newly learned techniques while under stress in order to develop your aggression and fighting spirit.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO TRAIN?
We recommend at least twice weekly to improve conditioning and retain techniques. Like any skill, the more you train, the faster you will learn. However, we know that sometimes life gets in the way, and we encourage people to continue to train even if it’s less than that. Consistency over time is much more useful than packing in a bunch of classes in sporadically.
WHAT IF I HAVE AN INJURY OR DISABILITY?
As an adult program, we are able to accommodate physical limitations. Many of our students come in with bad knees, backs, necks, or other previous injuries. The need for self-defense is equally, if not more, important for you. We welcome the opportunity to show you how much you can still accomplish in terms of physical fitness and self-defense.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
Clean, comfortable athletic clothing -- t-shirt, and shorts or sweats. Our classes are demanding and require a lot of movement, so trainees need to wear clothes that are supportive, durable, and provide adequate coverage. For men, groin protection is required. Only dedicated wrestling shoes are allowed on the training mat, or you can choose to train without shoes.
WHAT IF I’M UNCOMFORTABLE WITH CERTAIN TRAINING?
You have the right to speak up for yourself. You have the right to sit out of any part of class if you aren’t comfortable. This could be for any reason, including an injury, fatigue, emotional discomfort, or simply a feeling. You don’t need to explain yourself. A simple, “I need a break,” is sufficient for any instructor here. You have the right to change training partners. If at any time you find yourself in a class and you don’t feel safe, please tell the Instructor. You have the right to leave class.
IS KRAV MAGA RIGHT FOR ME?
Krav Maga is particularly well suited for anyone, because it is one of the only modern self-defense system designed for smaller, less experienced people to use against larger, aggressive attackers. Originally developed in Israel, it had to work for everyone, because everyone served in the armed forces. It had to work, and be able to be taught, retained, and effectively executed in a reasonably short period of time.
Krav Maga training methods have been carefully developed with valuable input from law enforcement officials, military operators, criminal prosecutors, psychologists, and physicians. Krav Maga programming is continuually evolving to deal specifically with how people are commonly attacked in the modern world.
Bang Muay Thai
What Is Bang Muay Thai?
Bang Muay Thai is a martial art comprised of Boxing and Traditional Muay Thai, otherwise referred to as Dutch kickboxing. Bang Muay Thai was created by Duane “Bang” Ludwig, a highly successful and respected professional MMA fighter and coach. With more than 50 kickboxing bouts and 30 MMA fights under his belt, Duane is known as one of the most technical strikers in MMA and holds the record for the fastest knockout in the UFC. This style of Muay Thai was inspired by the style of Duane's mentor, UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten, who awarded Duane a black belt. This system has translated very well into Mixed Martial Arts, as demonstrated by the dominant performances of UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw, Joseph Benavidez, Matt Brown, and Curtis Blaydes among others.
What Should I Wear?
For Bang Muay Thai classes, a white shirt is required. BMT follows a ranking structure, so the color of our shirts indicates our rank. Once you become ranked in the system, we encourage you to wear your ranked color shirt.
What about Sparring?
Sparring is an important part of learning the art of Muay Thai kickboxing, but we never force participants to spar if they don’t feel comfortable with it.
We do, however, encourage you to give it a try as soon as we feel you're ready. Safety is our top priority, which is why we have developed a method to gradually progress you into full sparring. We'll first ensure that you've developed the necessary skills of both offense and defense, and will start you out with several light, slow sessions with limited contact. You’ll be partnered with someone on your skill level to keep things safe and fun. As your training and skills progress you’ll know how to defend yourself and can step in the ring with more experienced sparring partners.
What equipment do I need?
Boxing Gloves (16 oz for men, 14 oz for women), and shin guards are mandatory. We recommend using handwraps as well. We have a limited supply of loaner equipment, and a fully-stocked pro shop that has everything you'll need. Groin proctection (for men) and mouthpieces are required for all sparring sessions.
What is the ranking system in Bang Muay Thai?
The belt order for BMT: