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“Is Krav Maga for Kids?” It’s a common question I receive from parents. If you search Krav Maga on the internet you will find videos of intense training scenarios, instructors explaining the importance of aggression while fighting, and violent techniques. Which begs the question “Is Krav Maga for Kids?” The short answer is yes, but it isn’t taught the same for children as it is for adults. Let me explain.



First we need to define what Krav Maga is and how it’s different from other martial arts. Krav Maga was the official fighting system of the Israeli Military. Everything we do in Krav Maga is focused on self-defense. Some systems focus on competition, forms, and the art side of “martial arts.” At Fortified Krav Maga we focus on the martial side. The fighting side. We are always hitting something and putting the skills and techniques we learn into a real world context. At its core, Krav Maga is all about self-defense. 


When we teach our adult classes we focus completely on technique, fitness, and aggression. Learning these attributes as an adult leads to better health, confidence, and the ability for the student to protect themselves. Not to mention it’s a ton of fun. The format of the class is like this. We warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. Then the first half of the class we learn striking techniques and put them into practice. We add in some sort of drill involving the striking we just learned. Then the second half of class we learn more specific self-defense. I.G. defending chokes, kidnapping attempts, weapons, etc. We close by putting it all together in an exhausting, fun, and intense drill to let the student practice what they just learned in a more realistic environment.


The way we teach our kids is a little different philosophically. We are still teaching them REAL self-defense. We teach quality striking and scenario based training at an appropriate level for their designated age group. However, we also focus on other important life skills that help mold children into young adults. The format of the class goes like this. Students enter the training floor, remove their shoes and have their belt tied by the instructor if needed. They then wait in a calm, seated position against the wall while waiting for class to start. Once class starts the students are lined up, bowed in, and a student creed is recited. We then move on to a fun, high energy warm up. From there we move into the striking and self-defense portion of the class. We add in drills and games that are meant to develop attributes that are important to our young champions. Attributes like coordination, speed, strength, and balance. At the end of class we have a mat chat where we discuss different Words of the Week like courage, honesty, self-confidence, and much more. As you can see the format is much different than our adult program. It’s different with a purpose.


It’s a common concern from parents that learning Krav Maga, or any martial art, is going to turn their child into an aggressive bully. In fact, the opposite occurs. The confidence that children learn in our classes has a strong, positive impact on how they interact with other kids and the world in general. Confident, strong, disciplined kids do not turn into bullies. We give them the skills they need to defend themselves and how to thrive as young adults. 

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