Trying new things can be difficult. Trying to beat up your best friend can be even harder. Our first time at a Krav Maga class was a little bit of both.

Krav Maga was initially developed for the Israel Defense Force. This form of Israeli self-defense mixes karate, judo, boxing and wrestling together to create hand-to-hand combat. Knowing how to protect yourself in a violent situation (for example: when your roommate uses all the hot water) will allow your mind to stay calm and may even save your life. 

Baton Rouge Krav Maga allowed us to visit their studio to attempt a kickboxing and self-defense class. Though it was a struggle from start to finish, here’s how we learned to defend ourselves in a crisis:

Entering the studio


When we first stepped into BR Krav Maga my immediate reaction was: What on Earth have I gotten myself into? The studio was filled with extremely muscular people slamming their hands into punching bags and kicking them like their lives depended on it. To say I was intimidated is an understatement. 

This was going to be a workout like nothing I had ever experienced, and I wanted to run back to the car to speed away.


Lots of questions ran through my mind before entering the studio, but one stuck out the most: Would this make me feel safer?

I would consider myself an active person, but this was unlike any workout class I had tried before. The staff talked us through what we would be doing, and each sentence made me laugh more, because I knew we would be making fun of ourselves the entire time. But I wanted to know how much safer a class like this would make me feel.

Kickboxing experience


The 30-minute fitness kickboxing class at Baton Rouge Krav Maga consists of 10 three-minute rounds, with smaller workouts in between each round.

The regular customers were striking the punching bags like they were their worst enemy – and that was just their warm-up. After stepping onto the mat, I knew my arms were not built for this. The pink boxing gloves given to us by the staff did give me a boost of confidence, but not as much as I needed. Little did I know, I would be struggling with a simple push up.

The music started blasting, and it was time to go. The instructor started to yell out boxing combinations like “cross, jab, uppercut and hook.” To us, it was all gibberish. He could tell by the look on our faces that we had no idea what language he was speaking. He was patient with us and gave us slower demonstrations after explaining to the rest of the class. 

Kickboxing will definitely give you that upper body you’ve always dreamed of, because I was sore days later (but not as sore as Emily). Even if my form may have been way off, it was a fun experience. Kickboxing is a great way to mix up your workout routine – and a great way to get your anger out. 

Self-defense experience 


Krav Maga teaches different striking techniques as well as grappling -- A full-contact combat sport and fighting technique used in a variety of martial arts. It can involve a number of moves including throws, takedowns and ground fighting. 

Everyone in our group got into a circle, and it was time to begin. Our instructor demonstrated the positions we would be in and used a number of different terms that flew right over our heads. Then it was time to go, and everyone partnered up ready to fight. 

Not knowing anything about Krav Maga to begin with and then having to tackle a random person off of you was jarring. It felt very intimate and uncomfortable to begin with, but the more we did it, the more fun it became. 

In a self-defense situation, I can see how these moves would be beneficial, but I also question whether or not they would actually work in real life. Many of the people in the class were larger men who obviously could overpower the average person.

Grappling definitely is a full body workout, especially if you’re doing it at a fast pace. For days after my body was sore (but not as sore as Olivia), so I can see how people would enjoy it. To me it was more comical than a workout, but if you’re in need of a good laugh, this could be for you. 

Final thoughts


After taking this class I can honestly say Krav Maga is not my forte, and I don’t want it to be in the slightest. Like anything, these classes are what you make of them, and you get what you put into it.  

Grappling and kickboxing are obviously a way to get your anger out after a long day. Not knowing what I was getting myself into made me quite uncomfortable, but I was still able to get a good workout in as a beginner. Knowing what you’re getting into by reading this article could make you more comfortable though. You’re welcome.

BR Krav Maga is definitely something you should give a try if you’re looking to relieve stress, get in a workout or have a good laugh. The instructors are willing to work with you no matter what level you’re at to help you get better. 

In a self-defense situation, I don’t know how much this class would benefit me because in the moment I would be too stressed to remember any of the moves we learned. I also think even knowing these moves isn’t going to help me if the person is larger or stronger than me, but I can see how taking the class would make someone feel safer. 


Krav Maga is not for me, but I did prefer kickboxing over the self-defense portion. 

With kickboxing, you're burning calories and relieving stress. It’s something you don’t really have to think about. I think this could be more fun for people because if your form is off, you can still get something out of it. But if your form is off for self-defense, it does not work because you have to work with a partner.

If I was in a situation where I had to use self-defense, this class would help me if I went consistently, but one class will not change anything. I also think that I would be too scared to remember anything I learned in self-defense to use at the moment.

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