Krav Maga is not just for soldiers and cops anymore.
The lethal fighting technique developed and made infamous by the Israeli miltary is now being offered to children in classes around the country.
Forget about bowing to the sensei and memorizing martial arts forms. Krav Maga is all about “getting down and dirty in the interest of saving your own skin”, says the New York Times. Sweet.
The kids in Krav Maga classes learn about two-handed chokeholds, going for the eyes and how to cause the most damage with a hit to the face. Why do elementary school kids need these skills?
To use on strangers of course. The dangerous kind, that might pop out from behind any given shrubbery and attack you.
Teachers stress that the kids should never use these skills unless they are being attacked by a stranger.
The risk of that is vanishing small, about 0.0001%. That hardly makes brutal military style self-defense a useful life skill for an elementary school student.
Of course the kids get a great workout. The courses stress self-disicpline, and the importance of not using your fighting prowess on your little sister. But the spiritual component of martial arts is gone. There’s little art to Krav Maga, and no ancient cultural tradition.
Is this really the best form to be teaching our kids? Basic self-defense and physical fitness are great skills for anyone to have. But the lessons kids learn alongside those basics count, too. With Krav Maga, they’re getting a heavy dose of Stranger Danger paranoia and internalizing the idea that sometimes it’s OK to hurt people really badly. As long as they’re bad guys.
There are so many ways to get kids active, healthy and capable of taking care of themselves. Why choose one that focuses on fighting over one that brings more culture, tradition and sport to the practice?
Photo: Fotos de Bahia