Our club was formed in 2008 under the name of Oxford Krav Tardemet. Krav Tardemet, translated from Hebrew as “knockout contact”, is a substyle of Krav Maga developed by Serge Cazalet (6th Dan Krav instructor, student of Alain Cohen) in Lyon, France. Our club was the first Krav Maga club in Oxford, and our goal was to teach effective self-defence to university students, without the high fees and impersonal nature of big commercial gyms.
In 2012, we became one of the official Oxford University sports clubs, and in 2014, we changed the club’s name to Oxford University K.O. Krav, operating under the UK K.O. Krav federation. Since then, the club’s membership has grown, and now we are well established within the University, with class sizes anywhere between 10 and 30 students.
As always, our mission is to provide a fun and inclusive training environment for university students and non-students alike, while teaching effective tactics and skills that can be useful in a range of self-defence situations.
What we teach
In our adult classes, we might teach any combination of the following:
Techniques for punches, elbow strikes, knee strikes, and kicks
How to generate power
Targeting sensitive areas of the body
Joint locks: to control an assailant, or break the joint if a higher level of force is necessary
Escapes from grabs, holds and chokes
How to take an assailant down to the ground
We teach how to defend against common weapon attacks using dummy knives, sticks and pistols. These are also practised with a partner or in a small group.
How to fall safely
How to stand up quickly if you fall on the ground
Defending against an opponent who is pinning you to the ground, or attacking you when you’re on the ground
Free-form fighting, with rules in place to ensure safety. You can use all the techniques you’ve learned, aiming to end the fight in several seconds. You will wear protective gear for safety; this is provided by the club. Examples of common sparring set-ups include:
Weapon against empty-handed
Weapon against weapon
Several attackers against one person
We play out common dangerous scenarios that people might face. This gives students a chance to practise what they’ve learned in a more realistic (yet safe) environment. You can develop skills like:
Awareness of your environment
Defusing a potentially violent situation
Using improvised weapons
Scaling the force you use, depending on the situation, to make sure your response is legal and appropriate
Dealing with multiple attackers
Although the focus of our class is teaching Krav Maga, we incorporate some fitness training. This can include jogging, sprints, bodyweight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, burpees), and Krav Maga-themed games.
How we teach it
You will normally train in pairs or small groups. You get to choose who you train with – for example, if you’re new to the class and would prefer to practise with a friend. Sometimes the instructor can match students by level of experience, or swap the pairs around to make sure students train with a range of opponents.
We usually train indoors, but sometimes we may train outside in a more environmental setting (for example, when playing out scenarios).
Participation in all activities is completely voluntary. If for whatever reason you can’t do a certain activity, please talk to the instructor, and they will either adjust the exercise to suit you, or let you take a break.
Our students’ safety is very important to us. Although Krav Maga is a full-contact fighting style, we put safety rules in place to minimise the risk of injury. We expect students to follow the safety instructions at all times. Our safety practices include:
No strikes at both full speed and full power. When training or sparring, students either wear padded gloves, or moderate the speed or force of the strikes
No live weapons used at any time. We train with rubber knives and pistols, and foam sticks
Protective gear is worn during sparring: this can include body armour, padded gloves, groin protection, and head guard
Instructors must be notified of any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions
When practising with a partner, a student can make the exercise stop at any point by ‘tapping out’ or using a safe word
The documents below outline the activities of the club, the risks involved, and the responsibilities of the club committee and regular members. Every club member is expected to have read these.