Fitness review: Krav maga

Fitness review: Krav maga

The best excuse to let it rip

Text: Sarah Lian

Sarah Lian picks up some self-defence skills while working up a sweat

What it is: Now that I've tried out HITT group classes, given Power Plates a whirl, and taken a spin class under water, I've decided to be a little more adventurous with my GuavaPass studio selection both in exercise genre and location. I'm generally hovering over central locations, but this class I'm about to embark on is a little further in Upper Serangoon. Located in a small quiet plaza, Krav Maga Global is what you would expect a martial arts studio to be: Motivational word posters on the walls, protective pads and equipment lining the periphery, and a permeating scent of sweat. 

Krav Maga is a self-defence system that has been adopted by the Israeli Defence Force. It prides itself on three main pillars: self-defence, combat tactics, and third party protection. The methodology has been so effective that other countries have adopted it for their armed forces and police training. As it's known for its brutal attacks aimed at your most vulnerable bits, it helps to come to class armed with sharp reflexes!

krav maga sarah lian review

What I loved about the class: The class started with a ritual bow to the teacher, followed with a light warm-up. We did a brisk jog within the space and then the teacher added jumps and floor taps for added difficulty, which had most of us panting by the end of it. Without any sort of experience, I did not know what to expect and was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up.

After the warm-up sessions, we tackled drills. It started with easy punching before moving onto punch combos, straight kicks, and kick combos. After the second set of punching drills, the entire class started to move in unison. Even though I was in a room full of people with varying degrees of experience, I felt a great sense of togetherness. Each move was a technical study and we were told to be aware of the muscles we had to activate with each punch or kick. 

krav maga sarah lian review

Krav Maga is surprisingly explosive and efficient. For example, one move alone consisted of a kick and simultaneous punches from both hands. In no time, we were told to get a partner and start sparring. With a shield-like pad for my partner's protection, I start kicking and punching her like no tomorrow. We went through a series of combination attacks until it was time to end the class. By the end of the class, I didn't feel like a beginner at all even if I had just emerged from a quick 60-minute preview. 

The next day, I felt pretty sore — especially in my shoulders and biceps. Much of my core and hip flexors also felt it from the "knee-attacks" and kicking drills. All in all, I had a lot of fun and I would definitely take the class again. I can see why it's so easy to get hooked on martial arts. I hope no one will ever tell me that I punch like a girl anymore.

It's great for: Those who have a little anger that needs to be resolved. After 30 minutes, you can take out any anger on your sparring partner without having to say sorry after. It doesn't take you long to pick up a few moves and you can transfer your energy into improving your techniques to protect yourself. Peer-to-peer contact also helps you accelerate your learning as each person helps to correct moves for the other. In this class, you'll never feel like you're a loner in this journey and no one gets left behind. 

krav maga sarah lian fitness


Name of session: Fighting Skills
Try it out here: Krav Maga Global (Serangoon)
Duration of session: 60 minutes
What to expect: A no-frills martial arts studio that'll get you punching and kicking from the start.
Difficulty: 1/5. Bring aggression and a sense of coordination. You'll need both.  

About Sarah Lian
Sarah Lian is a fitness enthusiast who works out as much as she can to compensate for her appetite during the durian harvest. During the 10 month off-season, she believes in releasing endorphins with an active lifestyle and inspires others to do the same with the help of a GuavaPass membership. You can follow her journey on her Instagram (@imSarahLian) and her other day job on