A NEW class starting in Portarlington this week promises to turn ordinary people into potential Jason Bournes, thanks to the bone-crunchingly effective moves of Krav Maga.
Tested in real-world conflict situations, Krav Maga is a system of self defence that includes striking, wrestling and grappling, with an emphasis on brutal counter-attacks.
The Port class will be taught by John Collins, who has 20 years’ experience in martial arts, with a black belt in American Kempo and a G1 in Krav Maga. Originally from Dublin, John has been living in Portlaoise for the last seven years, with his wife, Cathy, and their two daughters.
After spending years working in security, John has decided on a change of tempo by choosing to pass on his considerable hand-to-hand skills.
John said that the discipline is non-competitive and peopl do not need to be particularly strong to be effective, as the emphasis is on style and skill.
“We do a lot of ground work, how to get out of chokeholds on the ground,” he said, adding that the training also shows women how to deal with attempted sexual assaults. While self-defence is always a useful, John feels the country has become less violent in recent years and all due to the recession.
“I’ve been doing door security for the last five years and there’s been less violence, and less cocaine around. I haven’t had any conflicts in the past year,” he said.
Developed in the early 20th century, Krav Maga has since become the official fighting system of the Israeli Defence Forces, and has been adopted by various military agencies around the globe.
Its hard and fast approach has entered popular culture in recent years thanks to its use in such Hollywood blockbusters as the Jason Bourne series, Liam Neeson actioner Taken, and the Robert Downey Jnr Sherlock Holmes movies.