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April 23, 2008 > Krav Maga - self defense for everyone

Krav Maga - self defense for everyone

In the often confusing world of martial arts and personal defense training, it is often difficult to figure out how these disciplines differ and which one fits a particular student. From a distance, many appear to have similar characteristics and uniforms. However, instructors and others associated with these art forms are keenly aware of different rhythms and patterns to which students are taught to conform.

Terminology that defines these disciplines is often unknown to the general public. However, some martial arts such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Judo have become more visible due to use by military personnel and in entertainment media such as comic books, motion pictures and television.

Training is usually focused on a strict interpretation of form and function to create a disciplined response to threat or attack by others. Controlled aggression is the philosophical basis for protection even when physical disparity favors an opponent. One such discipline, used as a self-defense technique, is Krav Maga (contact combat), developed by Israeli Defense Forces.

Zvi Kowit, an instructor and part owner of One World Martial Arts, says his attraction to Krav Maga began when he was about 10 years old. At school, a physical education teacher began teaching Krav Maga. "This was about the time that the movies Rocky and Karate Kid came out and, like many other kids, I loved martial arts." Finding an instructor who opened a studio in his hometown of Philadelphia, Kowit became a serious student practicing Krav Maga six days a week. As he became more adept, Kowit began giving demonstrations at age 13 and taught classes at age 14.

At age 19, Kowit moved to California. While at DeAnza College and later Cal Poly to study Engineering, he gave a few self-defense seminars and visited other martial arts facilities to keep in shape. When Kowit returned to the Bay Area, he met other instructors and, pooling their resources, opened One World Martial Arts. From the world of high tech, Kowit has returned to his basic passions - woodworking and Krav Maga.

Krav Maga "a self-defense system" rather than a martial art, says Kowit. He adds that although Krav Maga is used extensively by military in armed combat situations and police personnel, it also prepares ordinary citizens to defend against street crime. "If someone comes up behind you and tries to choke you or come at you with a knife or gun, you know how to defend yourself." He continues, "It's like insurance; you hope you never have to use it, but in case it does, you are protected."

Kowit notes that Krav Maga techniques are constantly evolving unlike many martial arts that focus on specific and well-defined actions that rarely change. From his perspective, "Krav Maga is the best self-defense system for those looking to defend themselves. For those interested in a good physical workout, Krav Maga will provide that too."
Are you curious about Krav Maga? To watch experts demonstrate Krav Maga and experience this effective self-defense technique, One World Martial Arts is holding an introductory seminar on Saturday, May 3. Attendees (16 years and older) are asked to wear comfortable workout clothing. For those who are unable to attend the seminar, One World Martial Arts invites those interested to call for a schedule of introductory classes and seminars.

Introductory Krav Maga Seminar
Saturday, May 3
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
One World Martial Arts
33415 Western Ave., Union City
(510) 663-9675

Age 16 and older
Wear comfortable workout clothing

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