Tyler Buck, a first-level Krav Maga student, practices defending himself against second-level student Alana Mizrahi, posing as an attacker with a knife, as Omri Serper, instructor, watches Bucks technique during a Krav Maga class last month. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Israeli military-style self-defence comes to Nanaimo

Former soldier teaches Israeli Defence Force Krav Maga close-combat system

Anyone who has ever wanted to know how to defend themselves, even against an attacker with a knife, can now learn military-style self-defence in Nanaimo.

A former member of the Israeli Defence Forces is teaching that military’s hand-to-hand combat system in Nanaimo.

Sgt.-Maj. Omri Serper, who served with the IDF infantry for seven years, began offering Krav Maga, the IDF’s self-defence system, classes in Nanaimo in July.

IDF Krav Maga is designed to be an efficient fighting system that people can quickly be trained in and competent in defending themselves.

“Krav Maga is close combat or contact combat,” Serper said. “In the army we call it close combat.”

Military service is mandatory in Israel. Serper did his mandatory three years and then stayed on with a “special unit” – Israeli national security orders prevent him from sharing particulars – for an additional four years, during which time he also taught Krav Maga.

“The military was one of the best periods of my life so I still carry my Sergeant Major with me,” said Serper, 39.

All told, he said he has 27 years’ experience working with Krav Maga and teaching the system to military personnel and civilians. Serper also said he is the only IDF-certified Krav Maga instructor in Canada and teaches weekly classes at the Cedar Heritage Centre on MacMillan Road and at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.

The Krav Maga fighting style is what is sometimes referred to as a “one-beat” system, in that every defensive move to block an attack is applied simultaneously with an offensive or counterattacking strike. The idea is, if a fight can’t be avoided, it must be ended as effectively and quickly as possible. The results can be dire for the person or persons who initiated hostilities and Serper doesn’t refer to Krav Maga as a martial art.

“It’s practical for the street. You know, as much as I love martial arts, they’re amazing, but at the end of the day they’re art. They’re nice. They’re beautiful … They also have discipline, but they’re very nice,” he said. “Krav Maga, especially IDF Krav Maga, is not nice, but it’s very, very efficient. It’s very straight to the point.”

Serper said most people will never find themselves in a situation where they must physically defend themselves from an attacker, but should it happen, the response must be instinctual.

“We work on a warrior mentality and I explain to [students] that we are not fighters and we don’t come to self-defence classes to learn how to fight. We become warriors, meaning we love peace and we love, you know, tranquility and serenity, but once you need it you become the warrior and once it’s over, it’s over,” Serper said.

The physical training builds stamina and learning the techniques builds confidence. Serper said it’s “amazing” to see the transformation in students as they learn the system.

“The change for the better in their mindset, goals and actions, as an instructor, it is a great feeling to know you had something to do with,” he said.

To learn more, visit http://www.idfkravmaga.ca/.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Resident helps man in distress in Departure Bay in the middle of the night

Seven-foot-tall resident able to wade out far enough to help ‘frantic’ man in the water

Crash causes injuries, traffic tie-ups in downtown Nanaimo

Accident happened Friday at 12:15 p.m. at Terminal Avenue and Comox Road

Gabriola skatepark project gets $567,000 infrastructure grant

Federal and provincial governments providing money for Huxley Park amenities

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Council’s special-interest projects boosting property taxes too high

City council should keep in mind its core services when budgeting, says letter writer

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read