Krav Maga vs. Traditional Karate

People ask me all of the time about the differences between our Krav Maga and my traditional Goju-ryu Karate program. There are some massive philosophical differences. This would take an entire essay to sort through. But, even more stunning than the differences are the similarities. I see massive similarities between Martial Arts and religion. Most of the mainstream religions I have studied or practiced have differences in philosophy, differences in traditions, but ultimately have the same goals. Those goals include living as a good person, with good values, avoiding sin, and hopefully living eternally with God after one’s death. Martial Arts has the same differences. Different names, different philosophies, different techniques, different drills, but ultimately have the same goals of fitness, self defense, building stronger humans, ect. So, for the similarities it is quite easy. Like religion,  a martial arts reflects the cultures and society in which said martial arts was founded and developed. As a Krav instructor and as a karate instructor I simply want to make a student stronger, fitter, and safer. Those are the goals. Now back to the differences between the two art forms. How do I marry the differences between the two styles that we offer at Jett Garner Martial Arts? My basic philosophy is I am a better traditional karate instructor because of my experiences with Krav Maga. I am certainly a better Krav Maga Instructor because of my thirteen years in Traditional Karate. There are things that are different about each system that I can respect and appreciate.  When two techniques and philosophies directly oppose each other I simply study evaluate and decide which one I like best for myself. That being said, I stick to the curriculum. Krav Maga students learn the Krav Maga way regardless of my personal opinions. However, I may offer my traditional insight should someone ask. My Traditional Karate students learn the Traditional Curriculum, and I will offer the ‘Krav Maga  point of view. For example, Krav Maga does not offer a back fist in their system. A back fist is a very important technique in Goju- Ryu. Traditional Students will learn the back fist, and Krav students will not. Krav Maga believes it is a risky technique as you take the back of the fist to the head. I understand their view, but I also know for a fact that a backfist to the nose does work, and it is a relatively simply technique for anyone to learn and utilize. But, I don’t allow these differences to impact my instruction in either program. I accept the philosophies of both, I acknowledge the differences, and I do my best to teach my people, regardless of the program, to the best of my ability within the context of the designed curriculum. But remember, the similarities between the two systems is astonishing especially when you consider that Goju-Ryu Kartate was formed in Okinawa during the early 1900’s and the beginnings of Krav Maga  was developed in the alleys of Europe during World War Two, then finalized and evolved in Israel. Ultimately, both styles are excellent, both are different, both are similar, and both want each student to be stronger, faster, better, and safer.