Israeli self-defense training emphasizes no-nonsense strategy


Share
Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2013, 11:43 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com
Jeff Wood's self-defense training emphasizes a basic, no-nonsense strategy -- pay attention to your surroundings and react appropriately if threatened.

Mr. Wood teaches Krav Maga -- an Israeli self-defense art developed for Israel's military and intelligence community. He is an instructor for Krav Maga North America, 426 37th St., Moline.

Mr. Wood said there are several steps he tries to drill into students about potentially dangerous situations. First is to avoid them if possible -- know who and what's around you, try not to get cornered, talk your way out if you can or just get away.

"Get to a point of safety, that's what we want people to do first," he said. But if that fails,then stop the attack. In practice, that translates into swift, and sometimes violent, action.

Mr. Wood and one of his students, Jim Stalf, 58, of Andover, recently demonstrated several possible scenarios, including an attacker with a knife, an attacker with a gun and an attacker with a club or blunt instrument.

Mr. Stalf would try to strike or threaten Mr. Wood with a mock weapon, and Mr. Wood would respond with a blur of hands and feet -- hitting arms, hands, face, chest or other parts of his opponent before restraining or pinning him, either turning Mr. Stalf's weapon against him, or making a swift escape, sometimes taking the opponent's weapon with him.

Even after retreating how, he scanned his surroundings for other potential assailants.

"Our goal, obviously, is to maintain that critical distance," Mr. Wood said, explaining that critical distance is the space to maintain between yourself and a threat, and varies depending on the type of threat.

Other tricks include being able to improvise by using what's around you to your advantage, he said. Is there something you can put between you and your attacker? If necessary, is there something you can use as a weapon?

"We're talking about using your purse to shield something, we're talking about using your belt if you can get it off," Mr. Wood said. "We're talking about using a chair. A chair is a fantastic weapon."

He said Krav Maga is a broad-based system that encompasses armed and unarmed attacks in a variety of scenarios, including a bar room and dark parking lot.

Much of the movement in the martial art is based on a person's reflexive responses such as bringing the arms up to protect the face from an incoming blow or object, he said."That's what help us at least lay a foundation in a reasonable amount of time."

Mr. Wood said anyone can learn Krav Maga."We get people from all different fitness levels."

Training includes general fitness and class safety, technique drills and knowing what level of force is appropriate in a given circumstance based on the law, he said.

General classes are for ages 16 or older, but Mr. Wood said he's planning other more specialized classes, including women's and children's self defense classes.An introductory class is scheduled to begin Feb. 16.

For more information, contact Mr. Wood at train@thekmna.com or (309) 764-5544, or visit thekmna.com.






























 



Local events heading








  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






(More History)