When I tell people that I train Krav Maga, Muay Thai kickboxing, Kali and MMA (mixed martial arts), it often engenders strange responses. “But you live in the South Bay.” “But you’re a lawyer.” “What do you want to be, a cage fighter?” “Whoa, so I should be afraid of you?” There’s some implication that I must either be inherently violent or a fighter myself, or surrounded by violence in order to need to train Krav Maga and other martial arts. That is an unfortunately short-sighted view. First, it ignores the all too likely possibility that I may have been subjected to a very private domestic violence situation, regardless of my age, income or education levels, hometown, or even gender. Many people face domestic violence in some form and do not share their stories. I am fortunate enough that that has not been a part of my life but it always amazes me that people can react to the idea of my training as though it’s not possible. And the reality is, I train not for my past, but for my future.
Those of us who train (who don’t plan on stepping in the cage), aren’t training because we intend to pick fights or be bullies. Elite Training Center has always emphasized that although we have an incredibly talented fight team, we train to defend ourselves and our loved ones. In that sense, you shouldn’t train because you are violent, you should train because there are people out there who are violent. There are people who will want to do you harm, be it because they want something from you (like money or your car) or for the sake of violence itself. And though many of us live in what is perceived as the safe South Bay bubble, that unfortunately makes our area a great target for bad guys.
Also, most of us aren’t in the South Bay every minute of our lives. I often travel alone internationally and find my training invaluable, not for the fights I’ve won, but for the confrontations I have completely avoided due to situational awareness gained in my Krav Maga training. That said, you don’t need to be in the developing world to face a bad situation. Good friends of mine were held up a gun point recently in New York City. Someone could try to attack you leaving Staples Center downtown or a bar in Hollywood. There have even been weapons pulled out recently on the Hermosa pier.
So remember, when family and friends ask you about training or why you train Krav Maga or self defense, you don’t have to be violent, enjoy violence, or live somewhere violent to train. You are preparing for what other people may try to do to you or your loved ones. Because that is unknown, preparing is the best thing you can do for yourself and the best thing you can give to your friends and family. People always think about gift giving in the holiday season. Remember that training to save their lives and the lives of their loved ones is the best gift you can give someone. (And of course, the fitness benefits are undeniable, not to mention one of the longest lasting new year’s resolutions!) Bring someone you care about in to give classes a try (and have a great time with them on the mat!). If not now, when?
Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277