Friday, October 8, 2010

Krav Maga

I need to preface this post by saying there is some language used in this post which while may seem filthy it is simply the language and terms used in the army. I want to give over as real an experience as possible so I kept the words in.

Till now I have not really touched upon a central portion of our training, Krav Maga. What does it entail, what it means for our daily life in the army, and how it affects us. In short Krav Maga touches every second of every day we are in the army. Krav Maga is not a class we receive an hour and show up to, it is a class we are jumped for. Jumped means the instructor shows up and tells us “חמש דקות קרב מגא“ which in English is “5 minutes Krav Maga.” At this point every one breaks into a sprint and starts to scream this sentence over and over again. Because of this we always have our stuff ready, ready to be jumped, it can happen at 0400, or while you are all butt naked in the shower.

In these 5 minutes we have to o the following: Everyone has to be wearing an all black t-shirt, combat uniform pants, belt buckle off to the side, running shoes, no rubber bands (In the IDF instead of tucking ones pants into the boot we instead tuck them under rubber bands sitting right above the boots so in combat the pants can easily be pushed up to get a t a wound instead of having to tug them out of the boot.) We each also need both of our canteens filled with us. The team as a whole has to also bring an open stretcher, a medic’s vest and a helmet, and finally the water pack. All this has to be in the center of a chet – literally a Hebrew letter which is shaped with a flat top and two even legs, but here it simply refers to the shape of the letter. We, the soldiers in the team, make up the chet with our canteens between our feet, and must count the last 10 seconds of the time. At the end of the time we all must be dressed properly, with two full canteens between our feet, and in the fighting stance.

Now what happens if we are not? Matzav Shtayim, The front leaning rest, also known as the upright push up position. From there we have to pay on our “fuck.” Now to pay we first have to fix our “fuck” by getting everyone in the right uniform, and with all their equipment, at the right place. This is done by one by on each person in order in the chet getting up fixing himself and then returning to matzav shtayim in the chet. The longer this takes the harder it will be to pay for our “fuck” For if this were just matzav shtayim it would not be so bad but they make us perform a push up every 2 seconds, wearing us out faster. Once we are all ray we must perform 10 perfect push ups to the instructors cadence. Perfect means the chest touches the ground, the heels are touching the whole time and the body remains straight. Should one person screw up, once we start from the beginning. If we can not get to 10 we will keep going till the instructor decides to punish us in another way, be it sprint to the base gate hit and return, in 3 minutes, or half the team is carrying the other half the team over their shoulders and we o the same sprint but in 4 and a half minutes. This is just a small taste of the hazing tools at their use, there is no shortage trust me.
So we stood on time and ready, now what? We warm up an start our lesson. Our natural position for the lesson is known as “kir” which in English means wall. This means when we hear kir we all sprint to the designate area an begin to fight for a spot attempting to get as close to the left side as possible, but still remaining on the thin line of the kir. We fight like this till the instructor stops us an tells us to organize the wall an face him. After we warm up we go to the kir, and from there we get 3 minutes to have everyone on pads. The thing with the pads is they can never touch the ground when not on us. One of the worst hazing I ever experience was when we let a pad touch the ground. Once on pads we start with aggression drills. Everyone makes a circle and the guy in the mile must fight out, 8 guys lay on the ground and link arms the rest must pull them outside the box, and on and on. When we screw an perform a “fuck,” such as wiping sweat or moving perform we receive the command to move, its back to matzav shtayim. Now if we really annoy the instructor he will tell us to tense stomach muscles and close our eyes. Then as we do a push up every 2 seconds he hands out swift kicks to the stomach, nothing like coming up from a push up, just barely as you are exhausted to the bone, and boom a boot and all the air goes out. This all encompass only about the first 45 minutes of each lesson, and a lesson is usually 2 hours. This is relly only a taste but for the whole experience there is just not the words.

I know this post is a bit long but I hope I have seceded in passing along a bit of what Krav Maga is to us and what it means to us, and if by mistake you thought Krav Maga occurs only once in a while you are wrong. Every week we go through this, always waiting always ready.


  1. Wow! Intense!!! Do most guys make it all the way through the training? How many have dropped out or been dropped since you started? Also, when will you be through with your training? Love to hear from you!

  2. About 2/3 finish over the course of all our training we have had 28 guys in the team, but are now 20 and up to 3-4 may drop before we finish early in 2011.