Cincinnati has been presented with an exceptional opportunity to experience Israeli culture through martial arts this spring when Israeli F.C. Krav Maga Master Israel Amran comes to Cincinnati Karate to teach four public seminars, April 22-26.
This rare opportunity is something that shouldn’t be missed. And the Cincinnati Karate studio feels so adamantly about this that they’ve offered $5 off a seminar to anyone who mentions this David’s Voice article! Now who says we don’t love our readers?
F.C. Krav Maga is an Israeli form of martial arts taught to all soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces. F.C. Krav Maga, which means “close combat” in Hebrew, was developed in the 1930s by Imi Lichtenfeld, an Eastern European Jew who needed an effective way to defend himself against anti-Semitic Fascist gangs. When he made Aliyah (moved to Israel) in 1942, his method of fighting was adopted by the fledgling Israeli military.
In the 1980s, Krav Maga spread to the US, and has subsequently been used as the primary hand-to-hand combat method among police departments in the US. It has also become a popular martial art form around the world in places as distant as Sweden, South America and South Africa, as well as being adopted by the CIA, FBI, SWAT teams and the Mossad, which is the Israeli secret service.
Krav Maga arrived at Cincinnati Karate in Blue Ash last spring. The program at Cincinnati Karate was created for adults and teenagers, partnering with an F.C. Krav Maga school in Israel to give students an opportunity to get the authentic F.C. Krav Maga experience. Master Amran’s visit in a few weeks provides a special chance to enhance this experience.
Talk to any F. C. Krav Maga student, and they will tell you that it is worth it. It not only a great way to learn how to defend your self, Krav Maga is an excellent way to get or stay in shape. The method also helps build confidence and muscle.
Michelle Siekerman heard about the program from her husband seven months ago, becoming a yellow belt since then.
“I’ve always wanted to do a martial art and F.C. Krav Maga seemed like something that I could really use,” said Siekerman. “It’s a really good workout that I would recommend to anyone.”
Since its creation, the F.C. Krav Maga program at Cincinati Karate has developed into a unique and diverse community. Elior Cohen’s experience at Cincinnati Karate is a good example of this community.
When Cohen moved to Cincinnati from France, he started taking F.C. Krav Maga to learn to defend himself and to have fun. All too soon, Cohen’s training was cut short when his family decided to make Aliyah. For his last class, all the F.C. Krav Maga students surprised him and took him out to Chipotle and Graeters. He was sad to leave Cincinnati, but will be able to continue his F.C. Krav Maga training with Cincinnati Karate’s sister school in Israel.
“I only hope that it will be as wonderful as it was in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Karate is a great place and I’m sure that anyone who tries it will enjoy it as much as I did,” said Cohen.
In the same way that kung fu is inherently informed by Chinese culture and tae kwan do is with Korean, so too is Krav Maga informed by Israeli culture. Similar to Israeli society, there are not the formalities in Krav Mage that permeate Asian martial arts, sometimes making them less practical. Since it originates from street fighting, it aims to use the quickest and easiest ways to immobilize an opponent.
“There’s something about (practicing to) hammer fist your partner in the neck that really brings people together,” said Rafi Goldfarb, a 16-year-old student at Sycamore High School. “Seriously though, it is really fun and I love that it feels like a real Israeli experience.”
For those who have not tried F.C. Krav Maga, Amran’s classes would be an excellent first taste. Amran is a 4th degree black belt in F.C. Krav Maga and is a sergeant in the IDF. The seminars will give an overview of what F.C. Krav Maga is, why it is so useful, and what you can expect to gain by taking it.
For more information on the seminars and F.C. Krav Maga, go to Cincinnati Karate’s website at www.cincinnatikarate.com.
Gabe Englander is a Junior at Sycamore High School. He is associate editor for the Sycamore Leaf, the student newspaper, and takes Krav Maga three tiems a week at Cincinnati Karate.
ATTN Readers: Mention this article when signing up for Krav Maga classes at Cincinnati Karate to recieve a $5 discount....think of it as thank you from us to you for reading.