What sort of person would I be if I didn't point out places to go?
In Los Angeles, you have John Whitman, as I mentioned yesterday. He has literally written books on the subject of Krav Maga. Two of them. And his school is where the LAPD learn to defend themselves, so I don't think you can get much better than that.
In New York, there are a whole slew of people popping up who teach Krav Maga, especially in Manhattan. However, since, contrary to popular belief, Manhattan is not the center of the known universe, I should really focus on areas that are not Manhattan. While there are some fine places in the city, dragging gym equipment on the subway is so annoying.
Protection Fitness—open for two years, no accidents or injuries. One of my favorite instructors from my second Krav Maga school, KMLI (see below), owns and runs this particular institution. The first time I went there was the first time I went to a Krav class after a seven-month hiatus. I went into it whole hog … then I fell down. You would have thought that there were EMTs on call, they got to me so fast.
Why did I fall down? Note to self: don't fast during Lent on days you take Krav classes. Just a thought.
Since then, I have learned to defend myself against knives, and handguns, and baseball bats, and shotguns, and chokes on the ground, and knives against a wall and ...
Recently, we went through chokes on the ground – when an attacker is both mounted on top of you (pluck the hands, buck, then roll, honest), and when the attacker is on the ground next to you, trying to kill the defender (pry the hands off of you, and unleash kicks to the head as needed).
It's filled with a lot of good stuff, and I'd suggest it highly to anyone who wants to go try Krav Maga, but doesn't want to try Manhattan.
“Top Gun Karate.” This was my first foray into the world of Krav … I'm sorry, no offense I was worried as hell. Having “five levels” practice in the same space is problematic enough. Not to mention that all of the “lower level” students are managed by an assistant instructor who doesn't even have a teaching certification in Krav Maga. It made me nervous.
However, Dariel Williams (above) praises the owner. And I can say this for it: the week I was there, I did not see one, single injury.
KMLI (Kombat Masters of Long Island)– I went here for two years. I loved this place for quite some time.... then things started going weird. My ankle was severely sprained because of one student who got reckless. Other students started getting injured. Not through any fault of the instructors, but through sheer recklessness. Teeth were lost, corneas were scratched, shoulders dislocated. It started to look more like an ER than a training studio.
One particular moron had taken MMA, and felt compelled to show off; it took months to get rid of him, and even one instructor I respected who didn't know MMA guy by name—just as “Oh, the @$$h01e.” Guess who helped me sprain my ankle.
I liked four instructors and took them religiously. Dr. Michael Blitz (owner), Bill Primavera, Dariel Williams, and Amy Morgenstern. Kevin Reid I had as instructor once or twice, and while I liked him, my timing sucked.
Then, Dr. Blitz stopped teaching anything below level 3. Dariel Williams now runs Protection Fitness. Bill Primavera, an excellent teacher, was put on the rotational schedule with other instructors who I disliked, which made training like Russian roulette. Or is that more like Israeli roulette? It's been corrected since then, but I'm wary.
Either way, weird things started happening with the schedule. Unfortunately, now, I can't in good conscience recommend KMLI. I can't tell you to go there without health insurance. Even morning Krav Maga classes were replaced with … yoga? And then the entire schedule was rewritten twice.
Nothing personal to the folks of KMLI, I like most of you all quite a bit, but you have some instructors who should be fired, and better safety regulations. Put Amy and Bill, and Dr. Blitz in more places in the schedule, and it would be a good start.