Fighting has always been around and always will be. The format will change but the basic concept won’t. Mike Tyson put it neatly when he told reporter Jim Gray on Nov. 6 before Canelo Alvarez halted Caleb Plant in Las Vegas that, “What we do for a living, everyone tries to avoid for the rest of their lives,” Tyson said. The subject being touched on was fear, what level of butterfly-collisions your stomach is dealing with while you contemplate the likelihood of you coming out of the fight with all your faculties and teeth.
Doing it for pay, that makes sense. For if you are going to fight, take on the risk that your foe lands the more effective aggression and leaves his/her mark on you, a literal mark, then the compensation should reflect the risk. Ah, but sometimes one is forced to fight, and there is no purse attached to the endeavor. But that doesn’t mean the stakes are not considerable.
“Self defense classes” go in and out of style. But without fail, periodically you’ll see an uptick in classes for those without fighting training, who seek to learn some methods for handling oneself when push comes to shove comes to un-holstering your clenched fists. At Gleason’s Gym, the famed and fabled fight factory born in 1937, they’ve had “self defense classes” for decades upon decades.
We can freshen the term for the era we are in, and say “survival skills for unexpected contretemps.” On Sunday, people with not a single stitch of training in fighting, in self defense or offense can come to Gleason’s in DUMBO and learn some “Krav Maga” from trained instructors.
“When Gleason’s first opened its doors in the Bronx, there was another type of fighting developing 4000 miles away,” Steiner told me, when asked for a definition of Krav Maga. “At that time in Eastern Europe, Imi Lichtenfeld was developing a form of self-defense that has become known as Krav Maga, which literally translates to “Battle Strike.”
Each class is an hour long, Steiner said, and he did a good job offering NY Fights compelling reasons to attend. “Krav Maga was developing into a combative self-defense system that can be easily learned in a relatively short period of time and used by all,” he shared. “That ease in learning, and adaptability to all, is what made, and continues to make, Krav effective on attackers.”
We spoke on the spikes and recessions in self defense drilling before…
“As a result of the recent increase in crime and street attacks Gleason’s owner Bruce Silverglade brought Krav Maga to Brooklyn,” Steiner told NY Fights. “I’ve heard that the mantra Imi established for Krav roughly translates to ‘so one can walk in peace.’ It doesn’t matter if the walk is in 1930s Eastern Europe, or 2021 on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY. The journey should be in peace. I’m glad the system exists and that we can offer quality Krav training to our community.”
Steiner, for the record, was first introduced to Krav when he served in the IDF. Steiner, who recently opened a new office in Westchester, in addition to the two he has in Brooklyn, received certification after drilling with Ran Nakash and Itay Danenberg, the former head Krav instructors to the IDF.
The system, Steiner informed me, is designed to deliver a quick message to any attacker, ‘you just picked on the wrong one.’’
He expounded: “Krav’s simplicity is based on the movements being designed around what our body’s natural reflexes are. The system uses a simultaneous defense and offense. Krav is not a pretty system to watch. It’s pure aggression and focuses on the attackers “soft spots.”
Yes, you will be made to understand, probably, that it’s a great idea to ‘fight dirty’ when an assailant seeks to do you severe damage.
And by the way—one need not be in a mode of fear, after reading about a string of attacks near the park, for example, to be spurred to join the class. It is a mighty and calmness-inducing feeling to get a handle on what to do if God forbid fate throws a deranged malcontent in your face. Coming to understand that if in fact push came to shove, came to more than that, you have been taught how to survive and even thrive during the clash, that’s a priceless asset to enjoy.