Posts Tagged ‘Devin Townsend’


Hi, I’m #Dangerous Dave! Photo from

I am a musician and a Kravist

For as long as I can remember, I’ve related or equated the things I experience in my life to music.  The ups and down are dynamics.  The quiets, the louds, the transitions in between, and definitely the moments of silence all make up a grand piece of music that plays throughout life.

If this over-arching “music-of-life” concept is like an album, individual events  or ideas or philosophies are like singles. As I got into Krav Maga, I  began thinking of what kind of music it would be.  Many other martial arts have a specific genre that springs to mind, but Krav Maga seems a little harder to pin down.


As I got into Krav Maga, I  began thinking of what kind of music it would be.

When I was younger I studied Tae Kwon Do. Similar to many other traditional martial arts, like Kung Fu or Karate, Tae Kwon Do has a distinct classical music feel.  While they have a great dynamic range and power, they are filled with and steeped in tradition and can sometimes seem rigid or inflexible.  Tai Chi has a flow to it, but also a very relaxed feel that reminds me very much of ambient music.  Boxing is like hip hop with the swagger and the attitude.  It can have finesse, but also rawness and aggression. And of course, the world of MMA is rock and metal.  Being mixed, this sport contains a large amount of different techniques from karate, muay thai, BJJ, boxing, wrestling, and so on.  It is a very deep genre.  It draws on many influences and histories.  There is also a lot of aggression and posturing, and the gladiatorial beating of another person in front of a cheering crowd (like a mosh pit).  Of course, there is technical ability involved, but that can easily be overshadowed by egotism (or the “meat-head” attitude).

So then, what genre is Krav Maga?

It contains elements of all other martial arts: the technique, the history, and certainly the aggression.  It has a rich and traceable lineage.  It can be anywhere from smooth and subtle to harsh and aggressive.  I think Krav Maga is the jazz of martial arts.  Jazz involves a great deal of technique and knowledge.  It also involves the ability to improvise, which is a key point.  In jazz, every situation in different. In Krav Maga, every encounter with every person is different.  You need to have the ability to assess each unique situation and react, just like jazz.  Every time you play a piece, the individual parts may be familiar but the song a different version.  Knowing the technique, the moves, the history and the philosophy is very important.  As well, you have to know when to break the rules and improvise.  In Krav Maga, you must know how to fluidly move between attackers. In jazz, you must know how to transition between chord changes.

Krav Maga is the jazz of martial arts.

Finally, in both Krav Maga and jazz music, regardless of whether you execute perfectly or make a mistake, you have to keep moving forward and turn difficult situations to your advantage.


Dave Young (far left) is a member of the Devin Townsend Project. Photo from



Dave Maga

I’m Dave Young, a musician from Burnaby, BC.

I’ve always been interested in martial arts, whether watching action movies or as a practitioner, and when I was a teenager I became involved in Tae Kwon Do.  I enjoyed the physical aspect as well as the mental focus required to perform well.  As I grew older, music became more and more the centre of my life and I stopped taking martial arts classes. For the past decade I have played with many bands around the Vancouver area, and one of these, The Devin Townsend Project (, has afforded me the opportunity to tour extensively.  Life on the road is always fun and interesting, but difficult sometimes in terms of being in a different place every day, often not having the opportunity to get much exercise, and typically running on a lack of sleep.  We often fly or drive for long periods of time, there’s a lot of sitting around involved, and waking up in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere in a new city doesn’t always inspire much confidence in your safety.

For these reasons, feeling good mentally and physically has become an important pursuit in my life, and to this end, I began to look for a way to get back in to martial arts.  I wanted to find a style that suited me; one that could focus aggression, and be powerful as well as subtle.  I wanted to know that I could handle myself, no matter where I found myself. After a little searching, I found Krav Maga.  It’s philosophy of controlled aggression, dealing with real world street situations, and attacking while defending really appealed to me and since joining Urban Tactics Krav Maga in Burnaby a few months ago, I’ve already started to feel more secure and better able to handle myself. The instructors are very knowledgable, not only about Krav Maga, but about other martial arts, human physiology, and the psychology of attack/defense situations.  I feel this gives a good background on why particular moves are used in certain situations, and how the human body (both attacker and defender) will react.

With all the traveling I do, and all the different people I’m around and situations I’m in, I feel like Krav Maga is really the most adaptable and practical self defense system that’s out there, and it has already helped me immensely with mental focus and confidence.

I look forward to my future with Krav Maga.

Written By: Dave Young