Krav, the abbreviated term for Krav Maga (contact-combat) has caught on as a widely popular woman’s self defense. Krav is a self-defense system that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from aikido, judo, boxing and wrestling, along with realistic fight training.
No matter your skill level when starting out, Krav Maga teaches women to counter attacks easily and escape imminent danger as well as work through the shock of unexpected situations.
According to now.org, women ages 24 and under are especially susceptible to assaults. It’s important to educate these women on how to ward off these events if they present themselves and simply, in some cases, increase their awareness of potentially harmful situations.
“We were very shy and I notice, as girls, we had a lot of trouble with yelling,” says Stephanie Casio, an 18-year old 4’11 student and Krav Maga practitioner of two years. While she admits her parent’s struggle watching her defend herself against mock attacks in class, they are proud their daughter can hold her ground and counter each attack.
Casio overcame trouble yelling and despite her small frame, has one of the loudest voices in class, never mind the power-packed elbows.
“Krav teaches me the right way to hurt people”, says Zoe Stephan who together with Stephanie, takes classes at Modern Martial Arts School in Miami Shores. The course focuses on quick movements to disarm assailants with drills that last less than a minute. The drills cover situations from being assaulted at an ATM to being thrown face down into the street. Gooseneck and groin kicks are common in class and scenarios unravel as quickly as takedowns. Like any teaching, students are taught to repeat drills until they instinctively respond. Students are equipped with groin pads and versed on being opponents on the mat as well as friends off the mat.
Both girls started young and have many school friends who have joined the class. One admits a classmate made inappropriate advances and once she asserted herself, the behavior didn’t surface again.
Often parents are wary of placing their girls in self-defense classes, but states Stephan, “I noticed I give off a completely different vibe now. I carry myself with confidence.”
Master Joe Chao, the owner, verses the students on situational as well as environmental instances where they need to be alert. He introduces different concepts to the group such as how to aid someone who is being assaulted and most importantly how to survive an attack.
According to Chao, a famous Krav Maga saying is “We do bad things to bad people.”