INSTRUCTOR - KAREN YOUNG
Karen is completing a PhD in the biological sciences. Her research relates to the avoidance of atrophy during muscular disuse.
1. How did you get started in Krav Maga?
I had travelled overseas a good deal to various countries before beginning Krav Maga. During my travels (and elsewhere) there were a few experiences that really made me think about what would happen if the situation had become more serious. I was always aware that anything can happen to anyone and I believed that, if necessary, I would fight back to protect myself and others, but… did I really know how to be effective at it? On my return from one of these travelling stints I decided to look up what was available in the way of self defence. A Google search turned up all kinds of martial arts and systems, many of which incorporated competition or points scoring. When I clicked on Krav Maga, it was different. What I had found was a system that described itself not as an art but as defensive tactics, for real situations, in the real world, taking into account realistic attacker behavior and the advantages and disadvantages of the actual environment you might be in when attacked. It purported to cover timelines of attacks, i.e. how things can be avoided, and then prevention, and also training from the worst case scenario.
The real world had highlighted a need…here was a system that said it could meet it!
2. What were your initial impressions of the training?
My first ever Krav Maga class was in a Christmas holiday period, so the class was small. Awesome…that meant on my first exposure I got specialized attention! The training was great!! I walked out of that first class with a huge smile on my face, but more importantly…I walked out feeling that I had already achieved something. The first things I learnt were defences to choke holds and for something that is such a serious problem I was amazed at how easy it was to pick up and how much sense everything made. There was always a ‘reason why’ behind everything that was taught, never a ‘just because’. During attendance at a few more classes I learned that the system is continuously reviewed and evolves to be ever more effective and current to real world problems. I was very quickly hooked!
3. How long have you been training in Krav Maga?
I have trained with a variety of instructors since starting in December of 2006. I received my Instructor certification from Eyal Yanilov in 2009.
4. What other experience do you bring to Krav Maga?
I am also a certified Kettlebell (HKC) instructor under Pavel Tsatsouline’s system, with a view to helping people improve mobility, stability, and strength through safe and proper human movement. With a scientific background and curious mind I look for the ‘why’, so it is important to me that what I train in and what I teach makes sense.
5. Have you trained in any other combative systems/martial arts type systems?
Around the same time as I started Krav Maga I also began Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) as it was offered at the same venue, so I have some past recreational experience there. I’ve also tried a little MMA and am always interested to hear and learn about other systems, what their purpose is and the whys and wherefores behind what they do.
6. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start Krav Maga?
You’ll never know unless you try!!
Bring yourself, some water, and a willingness to be empowered!
• If you’re worried about fitness or coordination, don’t worry. Krav is for everyone. You’ll be challenged but it is still self-paced, and we’ll build you to your goals. I found that you’re usually enjoying what you’re learning so much that you get fit along the way!
• If you’re worried about fitting in, or being the type, don’t worry. Krav techniques and classes are for all people. Any gender, any shape and any size.
• If you’ve had past experiences that make you nervous of particular situations and you’re not sure how you might cope, it’s ok. If you need to step aside at any point and not do a particular technique or drill, that’s fine. No need to explain yourself. You can just join back in on the next drill if you like.
• If you have a goal or something specific you want to get out of krav, be sure to let us know! We’ll help each person reach their individual goals.
• If you’re not sure you can currently commit to regular classes, there are options! Workshops and private classes are also available for you to get started and just have a go.
7. What are your goals for Krav Maga?
First and foremost I want to help people to empower themselves. My goal is to see each student progress and see them gain the benefits from Krav Maga that I have. I love to share the purpose of and reasoning behind the system, so another goal of mine is to help students understand the ‘why’ behind the training they’re getting. A student who understands the reasons behind what they are being taught is much more prepared for the real world and is better able to adapt. In achieving the above I am continuing to set goals for my own ongoing training to continuously develop and refine my skills and knowledge. I see the huge benefits in Krav Maga, so I hunger for more, and want to pass it on.
Krav Maga Civilian Instructor Course 2009