A few weeks ago, we published an article from BJJ instructor Donna Marion about the perks of having a partner who trains in the same sport. Krav Maga instructor Josh Hensman decided to share his experience from the perspective of his wife, who does not train, on how Krav Maga impacts their relationship.
At the time that I first met my partner over 6 years ago, I was not training in any martial arts. Many years before meeting her, I had done karate, had dabbled in Wing Chun Kung Fu, and played with Capoiera. I decided to start training in Krav Maga relatively early in our relationship, so maybe she did not feel like she had much say or impact on what I did in my life at the time.
In hindsight, that was probably lucky. My wife admits to having a love-hate relationship with me… the Krav Maga practitioner me. She loves to see me doing something I enjoy immensely, but she hates to see me come home with bruises, scrapes, strains and sprains. So what does my wife think of her husband training in this intrinsically pragmatic self-defense system?
My wife’s perspective of Krav Maga
Me: What were your first impressions when you found out I was learning KM?
Her: There were definitely mixed feelings of excitement and sadness. Excited that you found something you were so interested in partaking and sad that it meant you were going to be even busier than you already were. Keep in mind, at the time I didn’t know what Krav Maga was aside from a style of self defense.
Me: What did you think when I started coming home injured?
Her: I was concerned. It shocked me how bruised you would be sometimes after KM, but more concerned that you didn’t seem bothered by it. I was quite upset at you a couple of times. You had some injuries that were more serious: muscle and ligament injuries, and head and neck injuries. I mean, some of these could impact you for the rest of your life!
Me: What did you think of KM when you tried it?
Her: I thought KM was super cool. I didn’t feel too out of place in class and I learned a couple of self-defense techniques I hadn’t known before. We practiced over and over again the head butt, eye gouge, ear clap and running away. Oh! And let’s not forget the painful 360 block – bruises all along my arms. I definitely felt a tad more confident walking out the doors.
Me: Has your perspective changed as time has gone by? How?
Her: I still think KM is a super cool and useful! I’d say it over and over again – KM is a very unique style of self defense as it’s effective and suitable for anyone to learn. I personally went back to KM couple more times hoping to continue learning different techniques, but found myself learning the same techniques and that demotivated me to continue. I do understand that practice makes perfect – I just don’t have the patience for it.
Me: Does having a husband who knows KM make you feel safer?
Her: I hate to admit it, but yes. That doesn’t mean I’ve felt unsafe before you started KM, I just feel more safe seeing the techniques KM teaches and watching you practice at home. It also makes me feel safe knowing you are personally safe wherever you are.
She loves Krav Maga because…
She loves me. Being such a loving and considerate person, my wife loves to see me happy. She knows that training in Krav Maga makes me happy.
But she hates Krav Maga because…
She loves me. (Editor’s note: Awww!) Since my wife cares for me so tremendously, she intensely hates seeing me get hurt. For example, when I recently did my Green Belt Test, she couldn’t bring herself to come and watch. But, she did look after me in the aftermath!
Where to draw the risk-reward line in Krav Maga?
As one of the lead KM instructors at UTKM says, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I tiptoe the line and try to practice sensibly to avoid major injury. However, if I sustain a major injury, I will always choose to put my wife and family first. This may mean indefinitely hitting pause on higher level Krav Maga training, particularly the high intensity and high risk components. But hey, that means instead of practicing, I can spend more time teaching Krav Maga. There is always a silver lining!