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KravNoob
1/14/2013 10:38am,
First off, this is after attending a demonstration only, I will be joining their training sessions shortly and endeavor to update the review as I learn more. Also note my background is a couple of years training in Karate which was ages ago, aside from that I have seen local fighting gyms in action at national competition level (EFC Africa) for comparison purposes, but that is about it.

Aliveness is a tricky one as the higher ratings I can't really give with any conviction until I've actually been in a class, however I expect to see perhaps limited range, but hard contact on a regular basis. In the demo alone minimal safety gear was used, contact was hard enough to be audible from a fair distance, a T-shirt was torn unintentionally and the one knife defense was demonstrated using a real knife (provided by an audience member), at full speed. The basic premise certainly seems to be if you cannot do it at full speed with real weapons, you don't have an effective technique yet. FWIW they have a humorous "bruise of the month" photo collection of which the latest one is using the word very conservatively, it was more of a cheek-cut-caused-by-elbow-needing-stitches-in-the-ER kind of "bruise".

Equipment is what I'd expect for a decent self defense studio, no weights or traditional punch bags for different strikes, but a whole bunch of good condition heavy bags and various mock weapons for weapon defense drills. Showers coming soon and the whole studio essentially is a padded floor with one wall padded as well.

Gym size is a decent commercial space, soon to be expanded even further, classes seem to be growing, but they're adding more slots to the weekly roster to keep instructor / student ratio low, which incidentally rates an 8, don't see the dropdown for it at the time of posting though.

Attitude is exemplary, there are no ego's in there, the instructors / owners are all active private security operatives (i.e. air marshalls and high profile body guards, professional risk assessors etc), but they have humility, they also speak with nothing but respect of other styles / systems / sports, only pointing out differences to illustrate why they believe in certain situations their techniques are more effective. The head instructor did invite anyone from the crowd at various stages to join the demo so they could test their own technique against what is being demo'd. He did it in a friendly open fashion and with volunteers that did step up he simply went about his way to show the differences and let the crowd draw their own conclusions.

He was also very open and direct in pointing out they have no affiliation with commercial Krav Maga (i.e. IKMF etc) and their flavor of Krav Maga is straight from what is used by operatives today in Israel (lineage / certificates freely available to show the link with Israeli military where the one owner / founder served). Should there be a rating for pedigree added to the rating system btw? Seems it is often a point of contention in the BS investigations, may be a useful rating. Anyway, this bit of information is shared as a plus, and I believe it is after seeing demo's of some of the differences, but it was still done with humility.

There are designated skill levels to ensure equal sparring partners, but that is it, no belts or ceremonies or anything.

Striking and grappling is said to be at full speed, and it certainly sounds as if anything goes, but there is no competition element, the focus is solely on self defense. I wouldn't bet on any of the instructors in a cage fight, but I would rate them highly when it comes to surviving a real situation where there truly are no holds barred.

Weapons may be limited in range, mostly representative of what you can expect to face on the streets today, knives, guns, blunt objects, but no katanas for example. Again the contact is at full force, the weapons are fake though, perhaps more advanced levels train with real weapons on occasion given that the demo was also done with at least one real knife to show an unarmed defense against it can be effective (ok and also to show some traditional unarmed defenses against it are not)

They're a bit on the expensive side for the local market, but no contracts, month to month only and they'll go pro rata on your first month even, I have no reason whatsoever to doubt their business practices, very fair and flexible, there was also no pressure to sign people up there and then. They also do separate courses for those who want to enter the private security operative game which is not to say the normal classes are any less real, just that they would add risk assessment and getting out of a building with your assigned charge to those courses for example.

All in all it looks like the best option locally if you are after pure self defense, time will tell if I change my opinion once I join the classes.

For more google "True Krav Maga", my noobness prevents me from posting a link

Soldiermedic
1/14/2013 11:55am,
I really don't understand why you'd post a review based on attending one demonstration, its like reviewing a restaurant after walking by and smelling the food.

Why would you feel compelled to join bullshido to post this after having zero experience with the training?

KravNoob
1/14/2013 12:39pm,
I really don't understand why you'd post a review based on attending one demonstration, its like reviewing a restaurant after walking by and smelling the food.

Why would you feel compelled to join bullshido to post this after having zero experience with the training?

Fair point for the most part. Why join bullshido? Not to post this, but because I'm getting back in the game after a significant break.

Why post this? Well the sticky that explains reviews says nothing about attending more than a demo, and with very little effort I can find a whole collection of reviews on here with less substance where I can only assume it was a demo as well, perhaps without stating that explicitly, granted.

Note 3 of the 7 rating categories IMHO (gym size, attitude and equipment) require exactly zero training sessions over and above a demo to get 100% right. So it's more like reviewing a restaurant after going inside and only sampling the starter menu if you will.

Rest assured I have every intention to update this once I've sampled the full menu.

Wing-Kwan-Fu
1/29/2013 10:29pm,
They used a real knife to demonstrate which knife defense techniques don't work? Were the paramedics able to save him?

The last IDF soldier I talked to said that people were paired off and asked to fight on their first day of krav, does this match other reports? If so, I assume a properly pedigreed krav school would jump into full-contact bare-knuckle sparring on the first day?

KravNoob
1/30/2013 12:13am,
hehehe, they used a real knife at full speed with their techniques which do work, other techniques were shown for comparison at much slower speed or with prop knives to prevent obvious impending injury

w.r.t. IDF I wouldn't know, I do know the vast majority of "properly pedigreed krav schools" out there have an IKMF affiliation which has virtually no relationship with the IDF apart from sharing the same origins decades ago, whereas this one is explicit about not being affiliated with the IKMF, rather the founder is straight from the (modern) IDF then started a private security firm (protecting high profile targets, air mashalls etc) which works with defense organizations such as the IDF, their learnings come from there

I doubt day one will be like IDF boot camp, but hey, first class is this week, I'll find out soon enough

KravNoob
2/25/2013 4:22am,
Just a quick confirmation that those ratings stand imo, 7 classes in and lots of bruises later ...

Cuddles
4/07/2013 11:42pm,
hehehe, they used a real knife at full speed with their techniques which do work, other techniques were shown for comparison at much slower speed or with prop knives to prevent obvious impending injury

Don't believe this, sorry.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4ah_0gia4A0

Oh and

I wouldn't bet on any of the instructors in a cage fight, but I would rate them highly when it comes to surviving a real situation where there truly are no holds barred.


If it won't work in a cage, why would it work in the street?

And if it WILL work in the cage, why wouldn't work in the street?

And on another note, constant full-contact is a bad thing. You don't learn technique, you learn how to panic. You don't get any chance to work outside of your safety zone or with new things as it's too dangerous to. Thus your game lacks versatility.

If you really want to learn self defense, take a knife/stick fighting course and a small arms firing course. You'll need to consistently practice with both though.

KravNoob
4/08/2013 12:58am,
Don't believe this, sorry.

No need to apologize, I've also questioned it, in class, and played the attacker as best. fast and realistic as I could with the real knife. Defense worked a charm, but you may have to see it to believe it. The video of the knife attack btw is pretty close to how we practice it, thanks for the validation.


If it won't work in a cage, why would it work in the street?

And if it WILL work in the cage, why wouldn't work in the street?

In a word: rules? The cage has plenty, the street has none. e.g. an effective defense against a reverse triangle lock (a cage favorite) is to roll the attacker upwards, lift off the ground and spike down on his neck ... only it isn't allowed in the cage. Should a cage fighter try that same **** in the street he may lose his life believing this lock is unbreakable, it's only effective within the rules. Add to that the street will often involve weapons and cage fighter odds diminish even more.



And on another note, constant full-contact is a bad thing. You don't learn technique, you learn how to panic. You don't get any chance to work outside of your safety zone or with new things as it's too dangerous to. Thus your game lacks versatility.

The reverse is of course also true, focusing solely on technique with compliant sparring partners just means you are guaranteed to panic and mess it up when the attack is real and at full speed with someone trying to actually kill you. There is a balance to strike here.



If you really want to learn self defense, take a knife/stick fighting course and a small arms firing course. You'll need to consistently practice with both though.

Very good advice, no argument here.

theAsthmatic
4/24/2013 8:48am,
No need to apologize, I've also questioned it, in class, and played the attacker as best. fast and realistic as I could with the real knife. Defense worked a charm, but you may have to see it to believe it. The video of the knife attack btw is pretty close to how we practice it, thanks for the validation.


Wait a second, the instructor gave you a real knife and asked you to cut him with it and you went for it with full speed and to the best of your ability? How well did he know you at this point?

Katje
4/24/2013 9:38am,
Before you answer that KravNoob, maybe it's a good idea to define what you mean by "real knife". Do you mean just that it's an actual metal knife where the blade & point have been ground down to bluntness (as opposed to, say, rubber or wooden ones), or that it's a metal knife with a proper sharp edge and point?

If your school uses live, properly sharpened knives for learning and practice:

1) then you are unsafe training there and the school is recklessly irresponsible and exposing their students to completely unnecessary risk

2) if nobody has died or at least opened an artery after you were drilling techniques you just learned at full speed and power then the techniques/training are **** and will get you injured or killed in an actual confrontation

Nobody gets knife defence right 100% of the time. Nobody. The point of knife training, apart from sport, is to equip you with skills and awareness that will give you a better chance of surviving in an actual confrontation. Nobody can realistically guarantee any more than that.

Any school that tells you their techniques are 100% effective are either outright lying or have only ever been exposed to their own flawed techniques, which give them a skewed understanding of their own prowess.

(Just to be clear I'm not saying your school has said these things, but if they have then sadly this is likely to be the situation)

Tonuzaba
4/24/2013 10:00am,
KravNoob, you are so 2006... :-)

Welcome to Bullshido.

I wish you a speedy recovery, erhm, I mean enjoy your training. Please start your very own thread in Newbietown and keep us updated on how things are going.

In the meanwhile I think you could pay a visit to a judo/BJJ/boxing/MT/MMA gym in your vicinity and try a free introductory class that most of the schools offer, just to gain a broader perspective on approaches to physical combat.

Good luck.

DerAuslander
4/24/2013 10:06am,
Even before the years of Kali & other arts, if you had given me a real knife, I would have cut you. I don't care who you are, I would have cut you. Maybe not badly, maybe not critically, but mother fucker, you would be bleeding.

Even before the years of Kali & other arts, if you had given me a real knife, I would have cut you. I don't care who you are, I would have cut you. Maybe not badly, maybe not critically, but mother fucker, you would be bleeding.

KravNoob
4/24/2013 3:17pm,
Wait a second, the instructor gave you a real knife and asked you to cut him with it and you went for it with full speed and to the best of your ability? How well did he know you at this point?

ok I should clarify to ensure transparency and dispel any perceived claims of superiority, which btw is unintentional.

Yes he gave me a real knife, yes i went for it with full speed and to the best of my ability and he knows me fairly well in terms of personality, more so than ultimate technique I reckon

BUT, and this would be a big "but" in this context, the attack was confined to the angle of attack range, if you will, can't fathom a better term, in the video in this thread i.e. stabbing from the front, as in if you are attacked like so, you can successfully defend like so, it sure as hell wasn't advertised as the be all and end all of unarmed defense against any and all knife attacks, was a specific defense for a specific attack, with full force and a real knife, but not full range of motion.

The aim of course being to survive a more likely "typical" street junkie knife attack, not a trained blade master

Hope that adequately describes the situation?

KravNoob
4/24/2013 3:28pm,
Before you answer that KravNoob, maybe it's a good idea to define what you mean by "real knife". Do you mean just that it's an actual metal knife where the blade & point have been ground down to bluntness (as opposed to, say, rubber or wooden ones), or that it's a metal knife with a proper sharp edge and point?

If your school uses live, properly sharpened knives for learning and practice:

1) then you are unsafe training there and the school is recklessly irresponsible and exposing their students to completely unnecessary risk

2) if nobody has died or at least opened an artery after you were drilling techniques you just learned at full speed and power then the techniques/training are **** and will get you injured or killed in an actual confrontation

Nobody gets knife defence right 100% of the time. Nobody. The point of knife training, apart from sport, is to equip you with skills and awareness that will give you a better chance of surviving in an actual confrontation. Nobody can realistically guarantee any more than that.

Any school that tells you their techniques are 100% effective are either outright lying or have only ever been exposed to their own flawed techniques, which give them a skewed understanding of their own prowess.

(Just to be clear I'm not saying your school has said these things, but if they have then sadly this is likely to be the situation)

Completely reasonable. Answered the previous post, but this one will make for further clarification so:

By real knife I meant as far as I could tell a commercially available Spyderco Byrd with 7" or so blade, sharp as a ************

to be clear it is NOT used for regular training, for that we use stunt knives, what it IS used for in this case is reinforcing that against a specific attack a specific defense is indeed effective, add to that when the real knife comes out the student will ALWAYS be the attacker and the instructor will be defending against it unarmed, which, to your point, is to avoid recklessness and unnecessary risk

To your last, again very valid point, nobody in there even dreams of claiming 100% effectiveness, in fact the message is pretty much that you're likely to get cut, but you will survive if you can avoid getting stabbed and you can control the weapon despite the cuts, which I think is fair enough?

KravNoob
4/24/2013 3:37pm,
KravNoob, you are so 2006... :-)

Welcome to Bullshido.

I wish you a speedy recovery, erhm, I mean enjoy your training. Please start your very own thread in Newbietown and keep us updated on how things are going.

In the meanwhile I think you could pay a visit to a judo/BJJ/boxing/MT/MMA gym in your vicinity and try a free introductory class that most of the schools offer, just to gain a broader perspective on approaches to physical combat.

Good luck.

Thanks for the welcome Tonuzaba, must say I do enjoy the general banter and pot shots taken from all sides on the forum.

FYI not a complete noob, 4 years of Karate preceded this, as well as multiple visits to multiple local gyms covering BJJ/boxing/MT/MMA, admittedly I haven't tried judo. I most definitely haven't written off any of those styles, but have to say I was left unimpressed, I hasten to add it may very well be a result of what is available in the vicinity rather than anything else like the style itself

on the upside, we have quite a few class members that are cross training between krav and MT/MMA especially, so we get to benefit from an alternate perspective at times which is very valuable

KravNoob
4/24/2013 3:40pm,
Even before the years of Kali & other arts, if you had given me a real knife, I would have cut you. I don't care who you are, I would have cut you. Maybe not badly, maybe not critically, but mother fucker, you would be bleeding.

Even before the years of Kali & other arts, if you had given me a real knife, I would have cut you. I don't care who you are, I would have cut you. Maybe not badly, maybe not critically, but mother fucker, you would be bleeding.

LOL amen brother, loving the enthusiasm, and honestly, I believe you, if you see the other responses in this thread you'll also see not getting cut is not the objective, not getting killed is