Why American Drengr Krav Maga
We are dedicated to providing our members the best value and competency in practical self-defense learning, with instruction certified by the American Krav Maga Federation. Our experienced staff and instructors are always friendly and fun to train with…but also always take their job of teaching lifesaving, self-defense seriously.
We strive to teach effective self-defense methods that are quick to learn. While exercise and physical activity are important aspects of Krav Maga and are incorporated into our classes, our primary curriculum emphasis is on self-defense and “getting home safely.”
Our community atmosphere sets us apart in that we insist on leaving ego at the door. Our promise is that everyone learns and improves regardless of age, gender, build, level of fitness, athleticism or experience.
What is Krav Maga?
Krav Maga is not a traditional martial art. Originating in pre-World War II Europe and developed for training the Israeli Defense Forces and Security Forces, Krav Maga is a modern and dynamic self-defense and striking system. There are no forms (katas) or rules or set combinations as reactions to attacks. Instead, Krav Maga was developed to bring students to a high level of skill in a relatively short period of time, with a training focus on teaching simple self-defense techniques which are specifically catered to reality-based attack situations.
Krav Maga emerged in an environment where extreme violence was common, giving it ample opportunity to be tested and improved under real life conditions. Using instructive, simple to learn, movements, aggressive counter-attacks and a no-holds-barred mentality, by design it stresses:
“…efficiency, aggression, innovation, and above all, survival….”
This mindset becomes very important in dealing with some of deadliest types of assaults and attacks, like those involving attackers armed with guns, knives, and blunt weapons as well as aggressive acts like punches, kicks, chokes, bear hugs, headlocks and grabs.
Krav Maga is the most sought after system of self-defense for more United States Law Enforcement agencies than any other. Many techniques originated in Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing and wrestling, while other techniques call from Ju-Jitsu and Karate.
As a system, Krav Maga is alive, adaptive, and evolving. If a better technique is discovered, it is pressure-tested, refined, and incorporated into the system. Similarly, each practitioner possesses a unique combination of age, shape, size, and skill and therefore applies Krav Maga differently to so that “one may walk in peace.”
Because Krav Maga is a self-defense system and not a sport, there are no competitions or tournaments. Like other arts, Krav Maga issues colored belts to mark higher levels of expertise.
At American Drengr, we follow the original colored belt grading system used by Krav Maga’s founder and Grand Master, Imi Lechtenfeld.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned martial artist there is a place here for you!
The Aim of Krav Maga
- To educate and build people mentally, spiritually, and physically so that in a time of need one will be able to defend and attack with maximum speed and efficiency.
- To establish in one a sense of self-worth.
- To work toward the bringing together of hearts and ending violence around the world, between all peoples, irrespective of color, race, or religion.
Origins of Krav Maga
Translated literally as “contact-combat”, Krav Maga originated in Czechoslovakia in the 1930’s, derived from the street-fighting experience of Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld to protect his people from brutalization in Pre-World War II Europe. He was an expert in boxing and wrestling, trained by his father who taught defensive tactics for the local police. Lichtenfeld grew up in an increasingly tough neighborhood and dealt regularly with thugs, violent gangs and anti-Semites. On these tough streets, Krav Maga was born as Lichtenfeld began to combine different techniques to form an effective, simple approach to self-defense for the Jewish community. This would form the basis of Israeli Krav Maga training.
In the late 1940s, Lichtenfeld immigrated to Mandatory Palestine, providing training to what was to become the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). In 1948, when the State of Israel was formed, he became Chief Instructor for Physical Fitness and Krav Maga at the IDF School of Combat Fitness. He served in the IDF for about 20 years, during which time he developed and refined his unique method for self-defense and hand-to-hand combat.
Our Name: American Drengr
There is no higher compliment in Old Norse than to call a man or woman a “Drengr.” This is someone who is courageous, chivalrous, protects the weak, and who prepares to fight a greater, worthy opponent…not target those who are weaker or less capable. A “Drengr” was a man or woman who possessed bravery, magnanimity, respect for others, a sense of honor, a moral code, and the strength to do what is right in the face of opposing odds. The state of drengskapr was admired and praised.
Instilling confidence while respecting others, our school is founded on principals of Honor, Courage, Respect, Discipline, and Strength.
…those “who exert a good influence are called Drengr.”
~Snorri Sturluson, Icelandic historian and poet.
We are members of the American Krav Maga Federation (AKMF), a group of like-minded Krav Maga Martial Arts school owners. The AKMF governs the rank requirements, quality of instruction and integrity of the system. Our students are guaranteed self-defense instruction based on a curriculum and promotion system that is both time-tested and pressure-tested.
What's the minimum Age requirement for Adult Classes?
Ages 13+ can attend regular classes. If a student is under 18 years of age, they can attend class with an electronic waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian signature.
Ages 2-12 can attend either our Little Warriors or Junior Krav Maga classes, as appropriate, with an electronic waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian signature.
What gear do I need to bring?
- You may wear appropriate gym attire, (T-shirt, Gym pants/shorts). Be sure that the clothing is comfortable, but secure.
- Members purchase uniform attire and other gear appropriate to their training level, and wear that to classes
- Water/sports drinks
- Gym towel
How fit or athletic do I need to be?
We understand and expect that our students will have different starting points and challenges. Our promise is that everyone who trains with us will learn and improve… regardless of age, gender, size, level of fitness, athleticism, or experience through positive, encouraging, and collaborative training. Varying from different ages to different shapes and sizes, the Krav Maga training experience is designed for real people who want to learn how to deal with real-life threats and dangers.
How many classes are recommended or required?
We recommend at least 2 classes a week. Class attendance requirements only pertain to belt level exam eligibility. Any classes that are listed as Level 1/beginner are open to new guests and new members.
Can I wear shoes?
Shoes are not allowed on the mat. Our tatami mats are best suited for the human foot, and for safety and hygiene reasons, we require students to train without shoes.
What can I expect walking through the door?
Expect a welcome greeting from the instructor or other students of the school. We train people from all walks of life that are all here for the same thing. If there are any concerns or questions, please feel free to speak to an instructor or staff member.
What is a typical class like?
We start the class off by bowing to each other as a sign of respect and acknowledgement, going into warmups, following by the lesson plans for the day; e.g. combative strikes, self-defense techniques, weapons defenses, etc. We actively encourage students to come to class prepared with questions for the instructor.