About the Instructor:

Dave Woodcock is a fully certified Urban Krav Maga Instructor as well as an accomplished Shotokan Karate Instructor and Practisioner. He was certified by Stewart McGill, Chief Instructor of Urban Krav Maga, and is a certified and registered instructor with the British Combat Association. Operating out of Putney, Dave has been training in Shotokan Karate for the past 25 years, and an Instructor in it for the past 18 years. He has won Bronze, Silver and Gold medals for tournaments over this period.

About Urban Krav Maga:

The founders of Urban Krav Maga can draw on many years of experience in the following fighting systems as well as various styles of Krav Maga: Karate; Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Traditional Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Boxing, Muay Thai, Tae Kwan Do and MMA.

We continued training in some of these systems after we became instructors in various Israeli fighting systems.This training continued to inform our teaching and this, along with our real world experience led us to adapt and modify techniques, combining the education we had gained in the Israeli systems with that from other systems we'd experienced - we did this that which we we believe to be the original and true spirit of Krav Maga (hence why we maintain the name). We found that these modified and innovative techniques were working well for our students - this was the beginning of Urban Krav Maga.

Basically we wanted to teach a system that:

1. Combined the best elements of the systems referred to above with the Israeli mentality of "this is the problem - what is the solution?" as opposed to the more abstract, indirect approach of many traditional arts.

2. Contained a range of techniques that were not dependent on punching power and/or brute strength. All techniques need to work against stronger, heavier, taller etc opponents. We also acknowledge that different students sometimes need different or modified solutions so there is a personal development approach for the student.

3. Was genuinely collegiate and evolutionary in its approach. There's a very wide range of experience in the Technical Committee, everybody has a say in how techniques develop and, crucially, nobody is hidebound by ego or adherence to tradition - the one priority is to make techniques work as well as possible for as many people as possible. We also listen to students - the Genesis of the system actually lay in our observations re what worked for them under pressure, what didn't work and our debates re how we could improve.

4. Recognised the importance of pre-emptive strikes for self-defence - action always beats reaction.

5. Took a genuinely scenario-based approach. In Urban Krav Maga, the core syllabus is based around the disciplines and techniques needed to defend the 10 most common street attacks. These are listed in frequency order here: http://www.urbankravmaga.com/syllabus

The core syllabus also contains a range of techniques applicable to female self-defence, grappling (stand-up and on the ground), fighting/sparring techniques and weapons defences.

Our aim is to equip the student as soon as possible to defend themselves against the most common attacks. Once the student has mastered these techniques more difficult scenarios are addressed to build a support system that will enable the student to deal with almost any situation. By teaching concepts through techniques students are taught how to read a situation and react/respond accordingly, even if they've not experienced the exact same thing in training. Giving students the ability to improvise is an important element of our training.

Awareness, avoidance and pre-emption are placed high in order of priority - but we recognise that you can't always avoid or run away from problems so we teach everything that is needed for self defence when it's necessary in all environments, including highly confined, crowded spaces like chip shops. "Chip Shop Krav Maga" was our working title for the new system but we thought it may look a little odd on a t-shirt and not translate well for those countries that call a chip a crisp...

We do not make any claims that our techniques are used by any military organisation. We're happy for them to be judged on their merits, not assumed to be good because of their supposedly being taught to a regular army or Special Forces Unit. We make no apologies for this civilian approach: a knife defence based on somebody attacking like they were making a committed bayonet thrust will not be so effective as one that is based on somebody stabbing with an aggressive pumping notion with fast recoil. As stated we retain the term Krav Maga as our approach reflects that on which Krav Maga was originally founded and we are of course indebted to the experiences we have gained training with the various Israeli Fighting Systems.