Martial Arts/Krav Maga


Hello Mr. Casto

For some time now, I have been researching Krav Maga and have thought about practicing it, but it seems to get mixed reviews with some calling it the most effective form of self-defense out there and others saying that it's a marketing scheme.

It is often said to be taught to the Israeli Defense Forces though I am guessing that there is a difference in curriculum between soldiers and civilians, especially civilians in another country.

Are you familiar with Krav Maga and if so what is your verdict on it?

Thank you.

Well, in general, anyone who says that anything is the "best" or "most" or whatever is definitely trying to sell you something. Regardless of what they're touting. Doesn't mean it's not good. It just means they're using subjective & hyperbolic language to try to trigger an emotional reaction and lure people in with the words instead of the content. Sometimes it's because the content is lacking. Sometimes it's just because a marketer wrote the text and it has nothing to do with the content one way or another.

Ultimately, a system might be the "best" for you but no one can tell you that. You have to figure it out on your own.

I don't know if there's a different curriculum or not between soldiers & civilians.

I have seen some Krav Maga. What I saw was good. Not unique but good. What I saw didn't have a lot of focus on proper technique, it was more about moving and hitting. That may have been *just* what I saw, though. Other classes (that I didn't see) may have focused more on infrastructure like body mechanics and footwork, etc. I don't know.

That's about all I've got.

I'd recommend that you go take some classes. If you like it and it excites you then stick with it. If not then look for something that does.

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Mike Casto


My primary area of "expertise" (for lack of a better term) is in Filipino and Indonesian martial arts. However, I've been involved in the martial arts since 1978, trained in several systems and been exposed to many, many others. I've also done a fair amount of reading about martial arts in general and about various systems. I can answer questions about Filipino and Indonesian martial arts and I can often answer questions about martial arts in general. Feel free to ask me any question about martial arts. Even if I don`t have an answer I can often point you in the right direction to find the answer.


I've been involved in martial arts since 1978. I started in Tae Kwon Do and, when my instructor quit teaching, I began training in Okinawan Goju-Ryu. In 1995 I was introduced to Filipino Kali/Arnis/Eskrima and Indonesian Pentjak Silat. I've been training primarily in them since 1995. I've taught private lessons, classes, seminars and workshops all over the United States, in Europe and in China. I have also trained with a wide variety of martial artists in different disciplines. Between hands-on exposure to various martial arts and reading about many others I have a very well-rounded knowledge of martial arts in general.



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