Among the different martial arts that Philippine Army soldiers undergo as part of their hand-to-hand and close quarter combat, the Philippine Army finally found a defense system that would best fit its personnel. The principles of IKMF Krav Maga apparently are perfect fit as a professional combative defense system that truly represents the finest soldierly values.
While the armed enemies of the state would plan out and inflict the most coldblooded and agonizing methods to strike government troops and to prey on the innocents, the Army, on the other hand, continues to go on great lengths to look for better ways for its personnel to survive even in the most unfortunate situations whether in the battleground or in their daily lives.
At present, the Training and Doctrine Command, Philippine Army integrated the IKMF Krav Maga in its curriculum. All training schools offer combative training through electives like the Taek-wando, Pikiti Tersia Kali and now Krav Maga. The same survival techniques being taught by the International Krav Maga Federation to the IDF are the same methods that Army soldiers learn during the training, according to Major Lawrence San Juan, proponent of the Krav Maga in the Philippine Army and the lone military instructor among the 24 under the IKMF-Philippines.
Prior to this, one of the Army’s elite forces, the Light Reaction Regiment, has adopted the Krav Maga as a specialization course and has already produced two classes, according to Major San Juan. Another class, composed of soldiers from different major units, has completed the practitioner level course. They would be developed into becoming Krav Maga instructors, Major San Juan further stated, after their training progresses to the next levels.
Now that Krav Maga has become a part of the training system of the Army, it has been widely accepted by the personnel that in the current training cycle conducted at TRADOC, 168 out of 300 students chose to take up the course. Through word of mouth, it has attracted curiosity Army-wide that it has gain popularity that Army units in different parts of the country are requesting how they could avail of the training.
Krav Maga is All About Survival
Krav Maga is not martial arts. Neither it is a sport, it is simply a practical and tactical system. It is a self- defense system which was designed initially for the military being taught by the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF) to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Although it is beneficial to anyone, its roots is basically for military use. Krav Maga as a principle is to be safe and therefore no rules apply when faced with a violent situation. This is what Maj San Juan said, proponent of Krav Maga in the Philippine Army and a certified Graduate 2 Level Krav Maga Instructor, Tactical Shooting Instructor and VIP Protection Instructor all under the International Krav Maga Federation.
He further explained that in Krav Maga, one need not fight. The first thing that one learns in Krav Maga is situational awareness which could lead to prevention. If one didn’t see or sense the danger at once, most probably, he will become a victim. Once a victim, he could either fight or if he fights and does not know the technique, one becomes injured or maybe worse than that. Basically, survival is not being IN the dangerous situation. Prevention is always the first line of defense, the Krav Maga instructor continued.
Next, according to him, is avoidance. If one thinks danger is imminent, then avoid it—look for another way, he advised. That is the Krav Maga way. Third is de-escalation. One enters this phase when he was not able to prevent nor avoid the unfortunate situation. At this point, according to Major San Juan, when one could try to strike a conversation to negotiate with the perpetrator. This could work or not, 50-50 according to him, but Krav Maga teaches how to negotiate with the perpetrator with the hope to defuse or lower the tension at hand.
If all these did not work out and there is no way out of the situation, then one has to decisively fight. As a Krav Maga practitioner, obviously the fighting techniques one learned during training could then be executed. Of course, this will always be the last resort– the only way to survive then after the three phases were tried yet proved the to be unsuccessful, the Krav Maga instructor finally added.
Krav Maga has an earlier indicator of success. Maj San Juan is confident Krav Maga will be a byword after it has been introduced and implemented in the different training program of instructions. Adding more certified Military Krav Maga Instructors would ensure that Krav Maga program will be sustained in order to give Army soldiers a full advantage when facing the enemy in any given situation.