"I am very proud that despite probably being the oldest student in the club, I have managed to keep up and hold my own against all the youngsters"
What made you start Krav Maga?
I’ve been looking for a self-defence/martial arts club for some time and tried various systems and clubs before finding DDKM.
How long have you trained Krav Maga?
About 19 months.
How many times a week do you train?
I started of doing one night a week and after about 6 months increased it to 3.
What benefits have you seen since starting Krav Maga?
Physically the benefits have been enormous. My work is very sedentary, sitting in front of a computer all day so I have really felt myself seizing up over the last few years. Joining this club has been tremendously beneficial to my flexibility, strength and stamina. I also like the mental stress we are put under which helps keep the brain active and functioning as it should. However, the biggest benefit, it has to be said, is to simply be participating in something I find so highly enjoyable.
If you have graded what level are you?
Do you have any other previous martial arts experience?
Yes, around 35 years ago I trained in Escrima and a system called Kyushodo (which is different to today’s Kyusho Do). Like Krav Maga, Kyushodo was more of a self defence system than a martial art and it conditioned me both physically and mentally in a way that is still with me today.
Since then I have been searching for something similar and trying out a number of clubs but nothing held me for any length of time until I found DDKM - an excellent club, and excellent instructors, to continue my development and conditioning.
How does Krav Maga compare to other martial arts?
Very favourably. One of the reasons I have taken to it like I have, is that the dynamics and ethos of the system overlaps to a great extent with Kyushodo as outlined above, which has made the transfer very smooth.
If what you want to learn is self-defence for the real world, Krav Maga as instructed by Adam is up there with the best and in my opinion, far superior to many if not most of the martial arts classes out there, many of which were only ever designed for competitions governed by rules, or designed for a bygone era largely irrelevant to the world we live in today.
What do you like about DDKM?
That it is focused on being a practical self-defence system. It is designed to protect you in a real environment and not to operate in a competition environment with a lot of rules. If it works, use it. I like that practical and flexible side to it and could never abide by systems that were very regimented and fixed with their forms.
What is your favourite Krav Maga technique?
That's difficul! Maybe the kick to the groin as the initial response to resolving a physical disagreement.
Have you had to use Krav Maga?
Not in a real situation as yet but you could put forward a strong argument that the better you get with something like Krav Maga, the less likely you are to find yourself in a situation that needs it. The relationship between your proficiency in Krav and your need to actually use it in a physical sense is an inverse one.
However, should you ever need to, I have little doubt that your response will have been conditioned by training to act appropriately and increasingly decisively and effectively given half a chance.
If yes, can you describe the situation and explain how Krav Maga helped you?
From my previous training and some experiences prior to starting Krav Maga I can say that what Krav Maga will give you is the ability to remain calm and cognitively aware, whilst being extremely confident in your ability to deal with any physical threat. This is an extremely powerful combination for diffusing a situation before it escalates into a fight.
Describe a typical class?
We spend the first half hour warming up and stretching in preparation of the class which lasts another hour. After that, whilst the class might focus on a specific aspect of self defence such as ground work, defence against kicks or punches or any number of techniques to deal with chokes, grabs, knifes guns etc we never know what to expect beforehand. Probably part of the training to condition us to react to an unexpected threat.
Nick Hawke coming through to reach instructor level is also an exciting development which is creating new opportunities to develop our training further.
What have you achieved since starting Krav Maga?
Besides the significant improvement to my physical wellbeing and progressing up the grades, I am very proud that despite probably being the oldest student in the club, I have managed to keep up and hold my own against all the ‘youngsters’.
What is your favourite thing about Krav Maga?
I really like the physicality of it all. I am completely unable to motivate myself to exercise just for the sake of it and need to do something I enjoy where getting fit is almost a by-product. Clearly, I must like a good brawl or sparring session as I often come out of the class buzzing.
I am very independently minded so the whole concept of being able to look after myself including dealing with a physical threat is highly appealing.
Would you recommend DDKM to a friend?
Yes, I have. I have completely bought into the system and into Adam as the instructor.
Can you say a bit more about why you like training with DDKM?
I am so very grateful to have found DDKM and only wish our paths could have crossed 10 or 20 years earlier but the club is fairly young and was only formed about 3 years ago or so.
It’s a really tight club teaching a highly effective system by an instructor who is virtually pitch perfect. What else could you ask for.