Jiu Jitsu or Krav Maga? - Martial Arts for Women

Posted by Carry Like A Girl on

Martial arts have been a part of my life off and on since I was a four-year-old little tomboy. The last time I was seriously involved was when I did Muay Thai in high school. I dabbled a little after high school but quickly realized competing was not in my future, seeing as I didn't care much for getting punched in the face. 

Fast forward a decade or so and a couple kids later, we started our son in a little Tae Kwon Do program at age four and switched to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when he was five. (PS if you're in the Jacksonville/St. Johns, FL area and want to know of the BEST instructor for little ones to start a martial arts program for the first time, message me!)

Still, the passion for something burns inside of me. Watching the kids train was awesome. Jiu Jitsu is extremely technical but also very mentally stimulating. If you can remember a sequence and think a few moves ahead, you can probably pick it up with less frustration. If you don't know what Jiu Jitsu is, it focuses on grappling and ground fighting. I finally tried my hand in it with a trial class and absolutely loved it. It's a great workout and really fun to practice. I could sign up today and not look back, very happy with my decision. After all, where do most fights/struggles end up for women....on the ground.

And then there was Krav Maga...

A few months ago I did a three-class trial of Krav Maga. Welcome back to sparring and face punching! Ahhh, but it's different this time around. Krav Maga is not a sport. You don't learn how to score points or follow rules for fighting "fair." Krav Maga is a type of mixed martial art developed for Israeli Defense Forces. It incorporates defense and attack for all scenarios involving:

  • standing defense and attack
  • ground fighting
  • counter abduction tactics
  • situational awareness
  • weapons and

From the very first class I could see it was unlike anything I've ever known before. I'm a mom. Like most moms, my time is limited and very valuable. I want to learn real life self defense to give me a real fighting chance in any situation where my safety, or that of my children is at risk.

But Erin, don't you carry concealed? Well, of course I do but I don't see my firearm as the end all, be all. It's my equalizer if my life is on the line, regardless of the size of my attacker. But what if I can't get to my firearm? Or worse...what if I'm in a GUN FREE ZONE? Those are popping up left and right in this free nation of ours. 

After doing my three classes, I enrolled in a Krav Maga self defense for runners seminar. Holy reality Batman! There were chokes, knives, hair pulling (not in a fun way) and simulated suffocation! I'm not going to explain it all here but I can say that I left that seminar knowing more in two hours than I've ever known in a lifetime of self defense "training." Needless to say, I'm now officially a Krav Maga chick and never looking back! 

My hope is that all women who read this take an inventory of your personal self defense skill set. Krav Maga is an in-your-face style of fighting. There is contact. If you don't have it where you live or you don't feel that it's the best option for you, please look into some way of learning how to defend yourself. At the very least, look for something (give jiu jitsu a try!) to learn AND PRACTICE some type of self defense in addition to situational awareness.

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  • I couldn’t agree more! I would rather be overly prepared to defend myself than to not know how to stand up for myself, and Krav Maga has been instrumental to that process. It has been awesome training with such a great instructor, plus getting to know and train with like minded people like you! I really enjoyed reading your post, I literally laughed out loud at the hair pulling part :)

    Maggie on

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