Recently we were asked by local YouTuber Hafu Go to put him through his paces in a 24 hour, military inspired, Krav Maga Challenge. Which UTKM gladly obliged! We had a blast doing this, as for Lead Instructor Jon it brought back memories of his days in the IDF many years ago.
This is the kind of unforgiving action and relentless approach to training that many people around the world think of when they think of Krav Maga. As the title suggests, however, this is a military approach: Push them hard, constantly, with few breaks and little sleep or food, in order to develop mental fortitude. Putting aside the sleep and food deprivation, the high pressure training is an essential aspect of Krav Maga; a school that never pushes you to your limits is not really Krav Maga.
How you train Krav Maga and what to emphasize will always depend on the goals and time frame of those you are training, or training with (See these posts discussing the three styles of Krav Maga; Military, Police & Security, and Civilian.)
This kind of hardcore, often brutal, training is intended to get as much technique and tenacity crammed into soldiers as possible with very little time (or for those simply looking for a unique challenge.) Though we were all very impressed with Hafu’s ability to push through even though he has little experience with such things, this is very much not for everyone (discussed in an upcoming podcast episode).
If you walk into a civilian school and they are only ever doing this type of high-intensity training, then it’s probably not a good school. The inverse also applies, if they are never going hard they’re not a very good school.
What we put Hafu through is very much what a Krav Maga Military Seminar might look like, and the final test was a shorter, modified version of what UTKM builds our students up to for their Yellow, Orange and Green belt tests. The fact that Hafu completed the test, and never gave up, shows that anyone who is willing to push themselves will often be surprised at what they are actually capable of. Hafu certainly was.
Granted, I had seen what he had done on his other martial arts challenges and was confident that he would be able to survive, no problem. This is due to years of teaching and training experience, however, and if the average person walked through the UTKM doors asking to do this I’d be very hesitant until I see them train a bit.
The range of abilities we encounter exemplifies UTKM’s motto of “Turning Lambs into Lions”™; no matter your starting point we can train you to fight for your life and not quit. Some may be able to do it cold, like Hafu, but others may take weeks, months, or years to conquer fears, build techniques, and develop aggression. But with enough time and perseverance anyone can, within reason, be pushed to their limits like this. After all overcoming your mental barriers is a big part of good Krav Maga and self-defence training. We discover your limits, hopefully weakening them, so you know what you are capable of, which gives you the knowledge of when you should fight and when you should run (it will be different for everyone).
A final note on this video is the new title. It was originally called something else, as YouTube relies on algorithms and popularity in order to generate views. During the upcoming podcast (previously recorded) we discussed the name’s impact on its initial view count. I suggested adding “Krav Maga” into the title to boost it for the niche market of those looking for Krav Maga. Hafu obliged but also added the title “Master” to myself. He did so because one of his top viewed videos is with a kung fu master. In that case the Master was a legitimate master, as he has trained his entire life and dedicates everything to it. For myself, I am NO Master. I have not been training enough, both in time and frequency, to come anywhere near that designation. Additionally, the title Master really should be given by others after a lifetime of training and accomplishments, never by oneself. So don’t call me master, just call me “Jon.” Or “that guy who teaches Krav Maga,” or “that asshole who I pay to beat me up.” Anything else is fine, just not “Master.”
I hope you enjoyed the video and subscribe to Hafu’s channel. He was a great guy to work with, he impressed us, and, more importantly, he showed himself that he is capable of so much more than he thought.
We hope you are inspired by this video and come train with UTKM (or your local school) so that you too can start your journey from Lamb to Lion and learn to walk in peace.
Written By: Jonathan Fader – UTKM Lead Instructor
Video: Hafu Go in cooperation with Urban Tactics Krav Maga.