Growing up near the beautiful beaches of Netanya, Israel, I developed a deep connection with the water from an early age. Swimming with my father at dawn was a cherished pastime, and as Krav Maga became a part of my life, I naturally blended the discipline with my love for the ocean. Training in the water not only challenged my physical abilities but also added a whole new dimension to my combat skills. In this blog, we will explore the importance of water-based training, the unique challenges it presents, and the valuable skills it helps develop.
The Underwater World of Krav Maga
Incorporating KMG techniques into underwater training can lead to remarkable improvements in speed, power, and adaptability. Much like lifting weights to build strength, the resistance of water becomes a formidable load that conditions and hones our muscles. Punches and kicks performed underwater, when transitioned to the air, feel faster and more explosive, breaking the sound barrier of our physical limitations.
Understanding the Challenges
When confronting an attacker in the water, numerous additional factors come into play. Some of these challenges include impaired vision due to water in the eyes, reduced striking power, the need to control breathing while submerged, and difficulties in maintaining proper body alignment when vision is limited. Training in water presents both load and deprivation, making it a powerful method for preparing practitioners for real-life confrontations.
Water Combat Training Sessions
At KMG camps, seminars, and regular classes dedicated to water combat, participants delve into the theoretical understanding of water-based scenarios and the problems they entail. Through practical experience, attendees grasp the benefits of training in water, practicing various strikes and techniques against armed and unarmed attacks. They learn to distinguish the differences between executing moves inside and outside the water.
In partner-based drills, participants are exposed to partially submerged and fully submerged conditions. The training progresses gradually, allowing individuals to acclimate to the unique situation and overcome stress and anxiety associated with underwater encounters. Essential skills taught include rolling in the water, preventing water from entering the sinuses, maintaining awareness under water, and managing situations where one is pushed underwater.
A Historical Connection
The roots of water combat in KMG Krav Maga trace back to early experiences. As children, we playfully splashed and challenged each other in the water, unknowingly laying the foundation for future training. In later years, life-guard courses taught techniques for dealing with distressed individuals fighting for survival. It is fascinating to discover that some of these skills were developed by Imi, the founder of Krav Maga, during his time in the resistance in the 1940s.
Elements of Water Combat Training
KMG water combat sessions typically cover a comprehensive curriculum, which draws inspiration from a course designed for Navy commando units. These elements include:
- Preliminary Considerations
Addressing safety, differences between training and reality, and the basic tactics for water fighting and self-defense.
- Attacks in Water and Under Water
Exploring pushing, strikes, using legs for kicks and choke/leverage techniques, as well as defending against knife attacks.
- Defending Strikes and Kicks
Applying inside and outside defenses against various attacks in water.
- Releases from Dangerous Grabs and Chokes
Practicing techniques that consider the lack of impact and buoyancy.
- Dealing with Multiple Attackers
Exploring strategies for shallow water confrontations.
- Control and Restrain
Focusing on one-on-one scenarios, especially during “life-guarding” situations in deep water.
- Additional Scenarios and Applications
Time permitting, exploring diverse combat scenarios in water.
Training, functioning, and fighting in the water open a realm of possibilities for enhancing KMG Krav Maga skills. Conquering the challenges presented by underwater scenarios not only strengthens the body but also develops mental resilience and adaptability. Water combat provides valuable insights into self-defense and fighting strategies, ensuring that KMG practitioners are well-prepared for real-life situations, whether on land or in the depths of the ocean.