Krav Maga: So that one may walk in peace

IN THIS uncertain world where our children are exposed to violence, bullying, and even abduction, it is no wonder that more parents are preparing their children to defend themselves.

For Frederick Villegas, a father of two, he believes that self-defense should also include avoidance. “Instead of aggression, we must first exercise restraint and choose the discipline to de-escalate conflict situations”, he says.

This is where Krav Maga, which means "Contact Combat" in Hebrew, comes into play. It is touted to be the most effective reality-based, self-defense system founded and developed originally by Imi Lichtenfeld to improve the combat abilities of Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the early 1950s.

Over the years, Krav Maga is providing self-defense solutions to a broader variety of sectors, among which are civilians, military, law enforcement, and VIP protection, among others.

It is now accessible to anyone interested in learning self-defense techniques to protect themselves and their surroundings.

Imi established the first Krav Maga organization, which has become known as the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF). The organization is currently operating in over 80 countries around the world.

IKMF Davao IKMF started in Davao City on February of 2015 and is a growing community of like-minded individuals equipped with the knowledge on how to prevent, deal with, and overcome all kinds of violence and attacks.

Recently, Retzev Instructional Philippines Corp. opened the IKMF-Davao at the RIP Gym, Wee Siu Yen Condominium Rooftop along F. Bangoy St. in Davao City.

IKMF Philippines and IKMF Davao is led by its President, Dindo De Jesus, Expert 2 Level, while currently holding the position of Regional Director for Asia of the IKMF, a Global Instructor, as well as Country Director and Chief Instructor for the IKMF Philippines. Chief Dindo, as he is fondly called, is the highest-ranking practitioner in the Southeast and East Asia.

He earned his Expert Level 2 in Israel after successfully passing the grueling training and exam, and meeting the criteria as given by Master Avi Moyal.

The Chief has been actively training practitioners since 2009 and has spread the ideals of the IKMF all over Philippines and the Asian Region.

With a newly reorganized company and four new Davao-grown Certified IKMF Civilian Instructors, namely Ryan Masong, Christian Cruz, Ivy Tan and Natalie Wee (all Graduate1 level), IKMF Davao is set to spread and pass on the art of Krav Maga to more Dabawenyos "so that one may walk in peace".

Mind and body conditioning

Melanie Torrejon was first introduced to Krav Maga by her husband Glenn. She has been practicing KM for two years now and attests that it is a good way to lose weight, boost strength and stamina, aside from the techniques that she learned. Through regular training two to three times a week, the mother of three likewise builds self-confidence, self-esteem, as well as mind and body conditioning.

She also attends special trainings, seminars and crash courses. Melanie and Glenn’s KM time together serves as a “workout date”. After all, she jokes, “the couple that sweats together, stays together”.

Meanwhile, Frederick expresses that he is fortunate enough to have the same interest in Krav Maga as his wife Pamela Toledo-Villegas. “We partnered during our first training involving releases from grabs, chokes, and rape scenarios. Training with your spouse gives you a sense of confidence that he or she is a force to be reckoned with. With the two of you combined, "you could be lethal (hopefully not against each other). There were also other trainings like VIP protection that my wife and I participated in. After all, your spouse is your most valuable VIP!”, the avid photographer smiles.

Businessman Dennis Tan, father of three girls, learned about Krav Maga through a friend. The taekwondo and aikido practitioner likes the discipline that KM teaches. “It is not at all about fighting but how to survive and stay alive”, he stresses.

Healthy paranoia

“Aside from being considered as the most effective self-defense system available, the physical workout prior to the actual drills is, in itself, an intense cardio and mental workout.

This is intended to strengthen one's ability to stay focused at the challenge at hand, even under physical fatigue and extreme pressure.

Keeping a state of mind called "healthy paranoia" in Krav Maga heightens a person's awareness of one's surroundings, detecting and proactively avoiding potential trouble if possible, but being able to react and neutralize active threats when necessary”, Frederick points out.

“Since Krav Maga involves a lot of applications for real life situations, one may choose to learn specific training that are most suitable for their lifestyle or occupation. A single seminar may cost an average of P1,500-2,500 depending on the scope and extent of the training. This includes a certificate issued by the IKMF from Israel. For those who wish to be practitioners, this involves a lengthier course to cover all techniques for a particular level. As to gears andequipment, shin guards and groin protectors are required in some activities”, he continues.

“As parents, it is natural to be protective of our family from the evils that lurk around us. It is prudent to add skills to that primal instinct. Exercise restraint and de-escalation. However, if all else fail, give them hell. As the old adage by Edmund Burke goes, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing", and of course that includes women too”.

“Krav Maga is meant for survival. It is not a recreational sport or a display of some kind of art form. If children can learn this discipline, they also learn to stay out of trouble”, assures Frederick.

Follow IKMF-Davao on Facebook. For inquiries, please contact (0916)2628507. E-mail the author at Visit
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