U. S. Marine pilot recruits have a course in Miramar, California that they must get through to be pilots. It is called the Aviation Survival Training Center. They take men and women barely out of high school with no prior experience at surviving the unimaginable and mold them into survivors and warriors. While at this training center:
-They have the pilot put on full flight gear and tread water…for a long time, as long as it takes to break them. This readies the pilot to stay alive in the open water when they ditch…for as long as it takes to be rescued.
-They have the pilot submerge, swim to a door with several types of handles that they may find in an aircraft, open the door and get through it before they can surface. When they do it right they get to do it again with blackout goggles.
-They whip them across a pool with pulleys and wires dragging and dipping them in the water. This simulates a parachute dragging the pilot across the ocean.
-They yank the pilot up a cable and drench them with the most powerful showerheads you can imagine to simulate rescue helicopter rotor blasts.
-They strap the pilot into a chair hanging on a crane that is then crashed into the pool where it flips over. The pilot must get himself unstrapped and to the surface. This simulates ditching their plane into the ocean.

This training imitates, as closely as they can, what the pilot will actually be facing in bail out and crash situations. They are trying to show the pilot what it will really be like, adding stress, exhaustion and stacking the odds against them. This training has saved countless lives. This is training to survive.

In Krav Maga we train regular citizens for what will, in all likelihood, be the worst incident that they will go through in their lives. When the crap hits the fan and real world violence finds our students we better have given them the best, most realistic training that we possibly can. Training is blueprints and plans, nothing more. We cannot possibly replicate the stress, exhaustion and adrenaline dump that real world violence will produce…but we try. In our class we push people to exhaustion. We drill “to attack” over and over so that it becomes our flinch reaction. We do drills at the end of class that represent multi attackers and we go on with this drill until they can hardly continue…but they find a way to. We don’t just work on handgun defenses with an “attacker” standing like a statue but we have him cuss, punch, kick and beat on the person they are working with to simulate a real scumbag.

When we test in Krav Maga we test harder than any other system I have ever seen. We push people to and beyond their breaking point and exhaust them until they can barely stand. This is something else we picked up from the way the military trains. Rangers, for example, are trained so long and hard, with no sleep and a lot of physical discomfort, that many who finally get into combat claim combat is easier than the training. We want, if ever our students are attacked, for them to think beating down a punk with a knife was easy compared to what they went through in their last test. This makes people safer!

As I’ve said so many times before…if you aren’t training with realism and using exhaustion and stress drills in your classes you are teaching self defense techniques, not self defense. There is a difference! BE SAFE!


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