On Krav Maga and Fearing the Wrong Things

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The international symbol for Krav Maga

I found myself at a Krav Maga class yesterday evening. As a person with zero interest in, and even less skill with fighting I was as surprised as anyone else. It shouldn’t be much of a shock for my regular reader (yes, the singular is intentional, I am not a very popular writer as I have mentioned many times) to learn that it was my good friend Kat who was responsible for dragging me there. She is highly skilled to expert level in most forms of self defense and offense including weapons of all types and martial arts. To keep her skills sharp in fighting of the (mostly) non lethal variety she attends a regular Krav Maga class at least three times a week. Kat has been asking me to join her for months now and I have continually begged off, making up one lame excuse after another as to why I couldn’t make it or it was a bad idea. Finally last nigtht I ran out of excuses and agreed to give it a shot. The gym we went to is run by a kindly fellow name Jessie and his lovely wife Shelby. Jessie has the bearing and demeanor of a friendly neighbor who is so darned pleased you stopped by to say hello, and delivers his lessons in the manner of a middle school shop teacher patiently explaining the safety hazards of the table saw. It is so pleasant in fact that you almost forget exactly what it is you are being taught even when he demonstrates a blood choke and informs you that it’s main advantage is that your opponent can still breathe and thus will think he is fine until he passes out 3–5 seconds later.

Overall I found the entire experience quite enjoyable and got a fairly decent work out in the process. There was only one aspect of the class that I found uncomfortable. Almost every lesson with punctuated with some anecdote about a mass killing or active shooter or terrorist attack or some such ultra rare thing that no one in the gym with me will ever be involved in or exposed to in any way except via the news. I suppose I can’t blame the proprietors of the gym for this as it is after all their livelihood at stake. Theirs is a business that runs on fear. Fear of being a victim, fear of attack, fear of being weak, etc. I don’t pretend to be any more courageous then the next person, but becoming a mass killing, terrorist, or active shooter victim are three things I absolutely, most definitely, am not afraid of or worried about. In fact I am much more worried about being injured by my toilet this year. Luckily the odds support me in this since, according to National Geographic, I have an approximately 1 in 10,000 chance of that happening but only a 1 in 19,000 chance of being murdered. The lifetime risk of being involved in a mass shooting is around 1 in 110,154 — about the same chance of dying from a dog attack or legal execution. Obviously, none of these things is going to happen to me but I will be adding extra padding and safety straps to all my toilets just to be on the safe side.

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