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Thursday, December 29, 2016

What Does a Typical Krav Maga Class Look Like?


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Practitioner 2 Test Prep with Expert 4 Jean Paul Jauffret

Happy holidays!


On Saturday, January 7th, 4 to 7 pm Jean Paul Jauffret, Expert 4, and Opfit are offering a 3-hour workshop focusing on helping students (and instructor) better understand the Practitioner 2 curriculum.

I have taken previous workshops with Jean Paul and always come away with a deeper understanding of the techniques in the context of the curriculum and more importantly, real life situations.


Location: IKMF Toronto, 2156 Yonge St.
Time/Date: 4 to 7 pm, Saturday, January 7th
Price: 75/person
Please Bring:  water, shin pads, groin protection, indoor running shoes

*please note you need to be P1 or higher to be eligible for this workshop


To reserve your spot please contact Christopher Gagne at torontokrav@rogers.com


Best,

Christopher





Thursday, December 8, 2016

Striking combinations and the dynamics of self-defense

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

5 Week Course: Krav Maga Fundamentals January 23rd to February 20,2017

5 Week Course:  Krav Maga Fundamentals

“First master the fundamentals.” Larry Bird



This course is ideal for beginners or for incumbent students who want to develop their basic skills:
  •            palms strikes, elbows, hammer punches, kick, knees...
  •        prevention techniques and tips 
  •       surviving knife threats
  •       escaping holds and grabs
  •       defending on the ground

This course will give you the basic skills to protect yourself and a foundation upon which to develop more advanced techniques. 

There will be various exercises blended in so you will get a nice workout.  Please keep in mind we all have different fitness levels so go at your own pace. 

Where: IKMF Toronto, 2156 Yonge St.
Day: Mondays January 23, 30, February 6, 13, 20.
Time: 7 to 8pm (please arrive 5 minutes before class)
What you need: Indoor running shoes, workout clothes, athletic support/cup for men
Price: 100/person + HST = 113

P1 Testing - Saturday February 4, 4pm

We will be conducting Practitioner 1/P1 testing on:

Saturday, February 4th, 4pm
IKMF Toronto - 2156 Yonge St.

Requirements:
3-4 months of consistent training and permission of your instructor
Passport 50
Testing Fee 50
Krav Maga t-shirt, Black pants, indoor running shoes, groin protection

Here is a blog describing what you need for testinghttp://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2013/03/7-things-you-need-for-krav-maga-level.html


Some additional blogs that might help:

20 Potential Questions:  http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2013/03/20-potential-questions-for-p1p2-level.html

9 Tips for Testing:  http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2013/03/20-potential-questions-for-p1p2-level.html


Blog About Techniques/Principles:

Side chokes on the Ground:  http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2015/05/escaping-side-chokes-on-ground-p1.html

Ice pick Attack:   http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2015/04/defending-against-ice-pick-knife-attack.html

P2 Knife Threats Medium Distance:  http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2015/09/p2-technique-defense-against-impending.html

P1 Horizontal Elbows
http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2015/04/horizontal-elbow-strikesp1-effective.html

Outside Defenses:  http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2014/11/understanding-outside-defenses.html

Inside Defenses: http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2014/12/understanding-inside-defenses.html

Body Defenses:   http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2014/06/krav-maga-and-body-defenses.html

Self Defense Striking Tools:  http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2013/08/self-defense-striking-tools-introduction.html

 Striking Vulnerable Points:  http://ikmfto.blogspot.com/2014/12/striking-vulnerable-points-to-overcome.html


Feel free to contact me with any questions.


Best,

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Hours

Happy Holidays to All!

We are open as per usual in December and January with the exception of 4 days:

Closed:
Saturday December 24th
Sunday December 25th.

Saturday December 31
Sunday January 1st

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

best,

Christopher Gagne, Owner, Lead Instructor
IKMF Toronto
416-657-1028

Opfit 5 session course: fitness for self defense

Friday, December 2, 2016

Women's Self Defense Workshop: Saturday January 14, 2017






The Workshop
On Saturday January 14, the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), Toronto is offering a 2 hour introduction to women's self-defense workshop.

No experience necessary.  Beginners welcome!

This workshop is very interactive (questions are very welcome) and the techniques are easy to learn and very practical.

Topics include:

  • understanding how assaults occur
  • avoidance and escaping
  • how to strike to protect yourself
  • escaping hold and grabs
The workshop is lead by two of our certified IKMF instructors Billy Austin and Kaushiki Bhowmick.


Location:  IKMF Toronto - 2156 Yonge St.  
Date/Time: Saturday January 14th, 2017 4-6pm (please arrive 5 minutes early)
Please bring: Workout clothes, indoor running shoes, water bottle
Price: 60/person


To register contact:

Christopher Gagne
Owner, Lead Instructor, IKMF Toronto
torontokrav@rogers.com or 416-657-1028















Thursday, October 27, 2016

Training with Expert 5 Tamir Gilad


Friday, October 21, 2016

What are Soft Solutions?: Krav Maga and Appropriate Force

What are soft techniques? 

In the curriculum for the International Krav Maga Federation(IKMF), we have what we call soft techniques or soft solutions.  In general, soft solutions do not involve striking. The most common examples are wrist releases but we have various soft techniques for grab and holds, as well as various techniques in the kids program.

A frequently asked question is: when do we hit or not hit?   Good question?  The answer centers around the notion of appropriate force - what do you have to do to preserve your safety or the safety of someone you are protecting. 

If, for example, you can effectively escape a wrist grab without striking why not?  Of course, if the person is grabbing with the intent of bringing you somewhere else then you must do whatever it takes to make him let go - striking and yes, even biting.

Training needs to address situations that require hard and soft solutions. This gives you more tools to protect yourself and gives you more options to act appropriately to various situations.






Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Defending From a Sitting Position (Workshop) Oct.29, 4-6pm

We spend much of our time sitting.  At our desks, on public transit, in restaurants/pubs....

This workshop focuses on how to defending from a sitting position.  Learn how to:

  • defend against punches, kicks
  • survive weapon assaults
  • how to get up efficiently

Beginners welcome!


Where: IKMF Toronto - 2156 Yonge St.
When: Saturday Oct. 29th, 4-6pm
Price: 40


For more information please contact:

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto
torontokrav@rogers.com
416-657-1028
Ikmftoronto.com

Monday, October 3, 2016

5 Week Krav Maga Self Defense Course: Fundamentals (Toronto) November 7 to December 12th , 2016

5 Week Course:  Krav Maga Fundamentals

“First master the fundamentals.” Larry Bird



This course is ideal for beginners or for incumbent students who want to develop their basic skills:
  • ·          palms strikes, elbows, hammer punches, kick, knees...
  •        prevention techniques and tips 
  •       safety in training
  •       escaping holds and grabs
  •       defending on the ground

This course will give you the basic skills to protect yourself and a foundation upon which to develop more advanced techniques. 

There will be various exercises blended in so you will get a nice workout.  Please keep in mind we all have different fitness levels so go at your own pace. 

Where: IKMF Toronto, 2156 Yonge St.
Day: Mondays November 7, 14, 28,  December 5th, 12th
Time: 7 to 8pm (please arrive 5 minutes before class)
What you need: Indoor running shoes, workout clothes, athletic support/cup for men
Price: 100/person + HST = 113


If your have any questions or would like to register please feel free to contact me.

Christopher Gagne
Owner, Lead Instructor
International Krav Maga Federation(IKMF), Toronto
416-657-1028

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

IKMF Toronto Schedule: Group Classes

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

5 Week Krav Maga Self Defense Course: Fundamentals (Toronto) September 19 to October 24th

5 Week Course:  Krav Maga Fundamentals

“First master the fundamentals.” Larry Bird



This course is ideal for beginners or for incumbent students who want to develop their basic skills:
  • ·          palms strikes, elbows, hammer punches, kick, knees...
  •        prevention techniques and tips 
  •       safety in training
  •       escaping holds and grabs
  •       defending on the ground

This course will give you the basic skills to protect yourself and a foundation upon which to develop more advanced techniques. 

There will be various exercises blended in so you will get a nice workout.  Please keep in mind we all have different fitness levels so go at your own pace. 

Where: IKMF Toronto, 2156 Yonge St.
Day: Mondays September 19, 26 October 3,17,24
Time: 7 to 8pm (please arrive 5 minutes before class)
What you need: Indoor running shoes, workout clothes, athletic support/cup for men
Price: 100/person


If your have any questions or would like to register please feel free to contact me.

Christopher Gagne
Owner, Lead Instructor
International Krav Maga Federation(IKMF), Toronto
416-657-1028




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why Are More Women Training in Krav Maga Self Defense?



Self Defense Workshop at Enbridge
ONE OF THE more gratifying developments I have witnessed over the past decade is the increasing number of women training in Krav Maga.  Reports from various International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF) schools across the world report this and it is certainly the case in the Greater Toronto Area and at our Toronto school. 
Over the years, women I have talked with (instructors and students) have identified numerous reasons for this exciting development.


Here are the most frequently cited reasons. 

1.       “It is Practical”:  Krav Maga is based on principles of human kinetics, our natural reactions to danger and simple and easy to perform techniques.  Women, like men have gravitated to its simple and effective approach to self defense. 

  “It is Effective Against Larger Attackers:  When women in our classes escape from a very strong wrist grab or any other hold, a door is opened.  This door leads to recognizing how to survive an assault from a larger and/or stronger attacker.  Learning about leverage, striking vulnerable areas, and appropriate aggression inspires confidence and the ability to avoid, escape, and survive. 
Defending Against Choke on the Ground
Toronto students learning knife defenses


3.       “Training is Safe and the Instructors and Students are Respectful” People feel safe training in Krav Maga at our schools.
       We want to train hard but also safely.   Instructors and students, I am
      very happy to report, are respectful and friendly. It is part of "our culture" 


Learning to protect others
      " I feel more confident and aware."  Enhanced awareness coupled with developing the physical tools to avoid, escape, and defend are frequently cited reasons women continue to train. 

      " It's Fun."  Self-defense is a serious topic but students like to learn in an environment where people smile and laugh.   

















Monday, July 4, 2016

Group Class and Private Pricing


International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), Toronto

Group Classes 
(HST not included)

1 class/week:
$80.00/1 month
$200.00/3 mo
$350.00/6mo
$600.00/12mo

2 classes/week:
$120.00/1month
$280.00/3mo
$500.00/6mo
$800.00/12mo

Unlimited classes
$140.00/1month
$350.00/3mo
$600.00/6mo
(1 year)  $975.00  **includes free monthly workshops offered by IKMF Toronto and 5 free private sessions

Private Sessions
1hr........$100
10hrs....$900
20hrs....$1600
40hrs....$2800



For more information please contact:
Christopher Gagne
Owner, Lead Instructor
416-657-1028
torontokrav@rogers.com


Friday, July 1, 2016

Open July 1st Weekend: Our Class Hours




Group Classes
:

Tuesday: 12-1, 6-7, 7-8, 8-9pm,

Wednesday 5:30 to 6:30pm Kids Class

       
Thursday: 1-2,  6-7, 7-8, 8-9pm

Saturday: 11:45 to 1(Women's), 1 to 2:30pm, 2:30 to 345pm (Curriculum class)

Sunday: 11:45 to 1pm (Fitness and Fundamentals), 1-2pm Kids Class

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Krav Maga Training and the Benefits of Diversity

Toronto enjoys an international reputation as being a "diverse" city in many senses of the word and we are fortunate at IKMF Toronto to have a diverse group of students.  Besides enjoying meeting people of various backgrounds and experience, diversity benefits our training.   

Here are some areas where diversity benefits our training.  

Size and Strength:  In our adult group classes we have students ranging from under 5 feet tall to well over 6 feet.  In terms of weight the range is approximately 100lbs to 300lbs.  Working with various sizes allows students to adjust to differences in reach, strength and other intangibles.  Of course, size and strength are not synonymous but there are real challenges involved with (for example) throwing off a heavier attacker.  Practicing wrist releases, for example, with a student with a strong grip highlights the importance of precise technique and raises your level. 

Gender:  Most physical assaults are committed by men.  We have Women's Only self defense classes but some of our female students want to work with men.  From an educational standpoint some men share their perspectives on violence and experiences and so do women.  This leads to a better understanding of how gender can factor into a person's sense of safety.  

Profession:  Our practitioners include doctors, labourers, academics, business people, teachers, servers, lawyers, students.....   The range of professional experience brings diverse perspectives including safety in the workplace. With our growing corporate self defense programs this is especially helpful in shaping what and how we teach.   

Age:  Our students range from the late teens to their 70s.  Different age groups can face different challenges. Bullying in high school, for instance, can be very traumatic or worse.  Seniors are sometimes targeted by assailants.  From a physical standpoint there are some realities we need to address as instructors.  We have some very fit students in their  50s, 60s, and 70s but we also recognize that a 17 year old student will often find getting up off the ground easier than someone in their 60 or 70s.  Such differences off us the opportunity to adapt techniques. 

Fitness/Physical Ability:  We have a wide range of athleticism, strength, agility, etc...   One of the key strengths of Krav Maga is its capacity to adapt to various physical abilities.  One of our students is blind.  By modifying techniques and through his impressive work ethic, he is becoming an excellent self defense practitioner! 

National:  We have students who were born or grew up in various parts of the world - India, Venezuela, Russia, Australia, France etc...   These students share their different experiences and interpretations of assaults and self defense that enrich our understandings in a broader content.    

Experience: Many of our students have no experience in self defense training and bring excellent questions that help instructors and other students understand self defense techniques and principles.   We also have students from other systems including boxing, karate, MMA, Kali... etc...  who offer excellent comparative insights.  


One of the strengths of Krav Maga is its adaptability and having diverse training groups only enhances this.








Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Starting Off: Krav Maga and Beginners

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Image and Reality: Krav Maga Self Defense Training

"So one may walk in peace." 
-Imi Lichtenfeld, founder of Krav Maga

...defending yourself is not being aggressive, it is doing what’s necessary.” 
― Charles F. Glassman 

 Perceptions not grounded in experience or sound reasoning can be very misplaced.  This certainly applies to how some people perceive Krav Maga training.   Some of our students have described how family or friends are puzzled as to why they want to "learn to hurt" or even  "kill" people.  Others, have suggested that training promotes or even encourages violence.  The general protest revolves around the assumption that Krav Maga is promoting aggression and violence.  

To be fair, many Krav Maga schools have not helped their cause.   Many of the images on You Tube, Facebook,  include people grinning with knives, guns or other weapons.  Moreover, there are schools that reinforce a "fight club" mentality.   Before coming to us, a student visited another self defense school asking what they can expect.

"Blood, sweat, and tears!" The instructor said.

What does that mean?

Rather than a fight club mentality we focus on one thing -  giving you the knowledge and skills to get home safe. Yes, there will be sweat (we'll skip the blood and tears) and hard work.  Yes, you learn how to strike effectively and to fight aggressively but only when necessary and only to protect yourself and others.  

There is nothing romantic about violence and promoting it as such is irresponsible and misguided.  Violence, however, does exist and we want you to survive it.   Krav Maga training has one overarching goal, at least as I see it:  to get you home safe.   



Stay safe, 


Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto
torontokrav@rogers.com
416-657-1028
Ikmftoronto.com





Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Tip of the Iceberg: Curriculum as a Foundation


Our IKMF curriculum covers various "families" of self defense techniques and situations including stances,  striking, escaping holds and chokes, surviving weapons assaults, third party protection, and multiple attackers.  The highest levels,  Expert 3-5, specialize in VIP protection, Law Enforcement, and Military techniques and tactics.  
The curriculum is comprehensive and very well designed but we must approach it as a foundation rather than as an answer to all self defense scenarios.  During classes, students will often suggest a new problem.  What if the attacker chokes you this way instead?   What if he grabs your shirt and tries to punch you like this?  This is excellent because it demonstrates that the student is engaged and it brings up variations that could happen.   

Let's take for instance an ice pick/downward stab knife attack at close range.   In Practitioner 1 (P1) you block and strike with a body defense and escape.   In Graduate 1 (G1) you defend, strike, control, and disarm.   What happens for instance when the attack grabs you by the shirt or throat then attacks?  What if he grabs the arm that your would usually punch with?  (See below video for some solutions). Since teaching is based on principles (plucking chokes, striking the most accessible vulnerable point, etc...) practitioners can adapt to novel situations.  




So, while the curriculum provides the essential tools to survive, it is important, (with the guidance of a certified instructor) to explore variations to better prepare for real life situations.   If we can't come up with solutions then we can always call upon our excellent Global and Expert Instructor teams for answers and suggestions.  


Stay safe,  


Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto
torontokrav@rogers.com
416-657-1028
Ikmftoronto.com



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Krav Maga: Self Defense that Adapts to You


”The wise adapt themselves to circumstances as water moulds itself to the pitcher." 
Chinese Proverb

The elements of every self defense situation is unique: the attacker, the attack itself, the physical setting etc.  This is why Krav Maga is based on principles rather than rigid techniques based on predictable attacks.  Moreover, all self defense practitioners are unique, possessing various physical abilities, mindsets and experience. 
With such diversity a self defense system must have the capacity to adapt to people's unique qualities.

Here are some examples of qualities that many of our students have addressed.  

Size:  Height and weight can help or hinder but there are ways to adapt techniques to your body type.  A tall person, for example might use a knee strike against an assailant whereas a shorter defender in a similar situation might use a kick.  

Strength:  Some students are incredibly strong but inevitably we all meet someone who is stronger.  Some of us might not be very strong at all.  Techniques are designed so that you are using strong muscle groups against their weak points.  With many choke and wrist releases, for example, we attack the thumb with our shoulder, back and hips.  

Agility: One of the reasons Krav Maga endorses simple techniques is to rely less on agility and athleticism.  If a technique cannot be performed by someone of average or below average agility then it is inadequate and we have to change or adapt it.   

Experience: "I am a beginner with no martial arts experience".  This is a frequently cited concern.  Beginners, however, blend in quite easily and many join us every month.  Techniques are simple and easy to perform so students tend to see early progress and develop confidence.  Also, some people have little or no experience with physical violence.  It is our job to explain what assaults look like and to include exercises that mimic (a much as safely possible) the stress of real situations.   

Disability:  One of our most dedicated students is blind.  He wants to learn to protect himself so we work with him to modify techniques to more effective.  His progress is astounding.  IKMF instructor Stephane Chatton is developing an "Adaptive Self Defense" program to modify techniques to give practitioners with physical disabilities the best chance to protect themselves.  

Fitness: One of the more frequently expressed reservations students express is that their fitness level will not allow them to participate.  We tell students to go at there own pace and offer modified exercises (e.g. pushups against a wall rather than on the ground).  Time and time again we see fitness levels improve.  

Age: Next to fitness and experience, age is most frequently mentioned as a concern.   I turned 47 this year and can't deny that my 27 year old self was a little stronger and faster.  However, Krav Maga have taught me economy of motion, awareness, effective striking, fighting tactics and so much more that more than compensate for any effects of aging. 


All of us are unique with strengths and weakness.  The key is to adapt techniques to our unique qualities with sustained and attentive training.  



Stay Safe

Christopher Gagne
Owner, Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto
torontokrav@rogers.com
416-657-1028
Ikmftoronto.com