Becoming good at anything in life requires dedication and perseverance. Krav Maga is a self-defense discipline that requires a lot more than that. It is a lifestyle, a way of thinking, and because it is a progressive discipline, you need to know you are in for the long haul. To have the assurance that you will successfully defend yourself, you will have to practice continuously. This is how long it takes to become good at Krav Maga.
To become good at Krav Maga will take you two to three years of consistent training. In order to master Krav Maga would take a lifetime. To attain a black belt level can take a minimum of eight to ten years of hard work and strict grading. To defend yourself in a minor incident can take a few months of training in a life-or-death situation around two years.
The time it takes to become good in Krav Maga is relatable in terms of time to other self-defense styles like Silat or Eskrima. You cannot expect to attend classes for six months and want to be an expert. Krav Maga is considered a lifestyle and not just a self-defense method.
You start to think and react differently to everyday situations the more you progress. Your attention to detail increases as you learn more about possible scenarios that could be dangerous. Let us look at how long it takes to become good at Krav Maga more in-depth.
Is It Hard To Learn Krav Maga?
Krav Maga is in its 9th decade of existence, and the discipline has never been more vital. To learn Krav Maga is hard work. I went for my first lesson in 2008, and I had no idea what I was walking into. It was so intense and eye-opening that halfway through, I wondered what possessed me to try this.
Then I remembered my reason why I started Krav Maga; my neighbor and good friend was shot dead in his house, and I was a single mom of 4 at that time. I had four good reasons for joining and doing whatever it takes to become good.
Krav Maga is a self-defense approach by any means necessary. You need to understand you will have to do whatever it takes to survive and walk away from a situation alive. That is hard.
It’s even more intricate work to get to a mental and physical state of conditioning that propels you forward and not staggering backward. In Krav Maga, there is only one direction – forward.
If you are a beginner or simply an interested party, you should know that Krav Maga will test you to the limit in every aspect. That is why somebody like me could not stay away.
The challenge to become better and proficient is one I accepted three times a week for two and a half years. Please don’t give up when it does get hard.
You will definitely sweat, cry, be bruised, and in some cases even bleed. No criminal on the street will give you any special treatment, and the only self-defense system that can prepare you for that is Krav Maga.
How Many Times A Week Should I Do Krav Maga?
When you start as a new student or white belt level, you should try to attend class once a week. This training will give your body time to get used to the different muscles that are being used.
The adrenaline rush alone when you do aggression training can make you feel a bit bilious or light-headed. Your body will need a bit of time to adapt, so you can take it slow at first.
The more advanced students in the orange/green/ blue belt levels are recommended to train a minimum of two to three classes and a workshop per week. Krav Maga is a system that requires your body and mind to be conditioned and ready at all times.
If you skip training for a week or more, you will notice it straight away. You will lose a lot of hard work by missing a workout. Your body builds up muscle memory, and you need to maintain it for good reflexes.
Krav Maga causes dramatic changes to your body initially; it becomes noticeable in the first six months of starting your lessons. Your body will become more muscular and fit as time progresses, and you will need less recovery time between training sessions.
In the very physically demanding sessions, you need to remember the fundamental rule. Do NOT get injured while training.
What Does A Typical Krav Maga Class Look Like?
Typically, in a class, you will have a set routine structured by your instructor. In bigger studios, you might find two instructors that work together, and one will concentrate on warm-ups and cooldowns while the other does technique. This is what a class could look like;
- A general warm-up
- A specific warm-up for the lesson content
- Technique and Combat
- Drills – Aggression
- Reviews – Previous lesson’s technique, current technique, and combinations.
- A new technique
- A cool down and stretching (if your studio offers this)
A good class can be anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the content and level. Workshops can be longer and typically last 3 or 4 hours.
Do I Need To Get Fit For Krav Maga?
Starting with Krav Maga as a new student, you do not need to have a specific fitness level. The more times a week you practice and train, the fitter you will become.
It is best, however, essential to maintain a good level of fitness as you progress. Being in a physical altercation is tiring and will require a lot of stamina and strength.
Krav Maga gets you fit in a short amount of time, and it’s not the same fitness as doing cardio or weight lifting only. It’s a combination of a cross-fit training and Bootcamp type of fitness—explosive bursts of energy and using the adrenaline to your advantage.
Not only will you become physically fit you will also gain a mental fortitude that can save your life in a fight. You train mentally just as hard as physically.
When you start training more group-style attack situations like knife and gun sessions, you will understand why it’s vitally important to be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit at all times.
How Long Before I Get My Next Belt?
The idea and purpose of Krav Maga is not to race through the belts. The goal of Krav Maga is to enable you to defend yourself by any means necessary and walk away alive. Grading from one belt to the next is not a quick process in any event. This is how long you can expect to train for each belt;
- White to Yellow – 6 months
- Yellow to Orange – 12 months
- Orange to Green – 18 months
- Green to Blue – 18 months
- Blue to Brown – 24 months
- Brown to Black – 24 months
- Black to Black Belt 1st Dan – 3.5 years
- Black Belt 2nd Dan – 5 years
- Black Belt 3rd Dan – 5 years
- Black Belt 4th Dan – 5 years
- Black Belt 5th Dan – 5 years
There are other levels you can master after the 5th Dan Black Belt that will take your full-time dedication, however.
There is an idea that you can go to Israel for two weeks and become a Krav Maga instructor and start training students. Not only is that impossible, but highly unethical. Krav Maga is a self-defense system that demands a lifetime commitment from the instructors and students.
It needs to be something you are wholly dedicated to and understand that you will not take on a criminal as they do in the movie fight scenes after a month of training. This is life or death usually, and when you engage, you don’t stop; you move forward constantly.
Understanding your motivation for joining a Krav Maga studio is the first step to becoming good at Krav Maga. Your dedication to the discipline will determine how long it takes you to become good at it.