Krav Maga
Krav Maga
The West Point Program

In the Israeli Army, where I served, new recruits have six months to go from high school graduates into soldiers. Instructors need to squeeze every bit of training into these weeks, and there is never enough time to cover everything.

The West Point Military Academy is a far different system. As this is a professional army, this is a military college where students learn how to become officers. There, they learn the skills to lead their soldiers into battle. Therefore, the cadets prepare the way one would for any other career.

It was a privilege to enter a completely different world. Cadets are selected from the top students across the United States. Once accepted, they will have access to the finest facilities and have entire semesters to perfect their skills over a four-year period until they graduate as officers and attend active duty.

At the end of four years, most Israeli soldiers have been released from service for a year and are backpacking through South America. Even officer training in the Israeli army is only, at most, fourteen weeks.

My afternoon with Matt Larsen, Combatives Director at West Point, allowed me to understand what was possible with a vast amount of time and resources but also outlined the principles which can be applied to all martial arts students and teachers.

This fits with the idea of the program. The training these cadets get is not typical of the average soldier. Larsen reports that they will be in charge of maintaining the fitness of their soldiers and working with their subordinate officers to maintain the standard. Having a high degree of knowledge will allow them to set and maintain a high standard for the entire company.

Here are the top three principles I learned from the entire program that every school should implement. (I learned so much from Matt Larsen himself, I filled up an entire second article)

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