Do You Need to Be Fit to Start Krav Maga?

Lack of fitness or being too overweight can cause many people to balk at starting Krav Maga training. This led me to investigate whether or not Krav Maga requires a certain level of fitness before beginning training.

Krav Maga does not require you to be fit to get started in classes. Krav Maga is a self-defense system accessible to anybody that wants to defend themselves. Level One classes are appropriate for all beginners. Krav Maga classes done consistently will increase your overall fitness.

Now that we know that having physical fitness is not a prerequisite for starting Krav Maga classes, let’s go over some other common concerns that come up when you are thinking about starting classes.

Am I Too Old to Start Krav Maga?

Krav Maga is an accessible self-defense fighting system appropriate for older students. Level One Krav Maga students which are the equivalent of white belts in traditional martial arts will train at a lower intensity and focus on fundamentals, which gives time to older students to adapt to Krav Maga.

Do You Need to Be Strong for Krav Maga?

Being strong is a plus, but is not necessary for practicing Krav Maga. Krav Maga classes include sections that will develop some basic strength, usually through calisthenics and drills. Level One classes that a beginner takes could even focus on the basics in a way that maximizes strength building.

Adding in basic strength training through lifting weights or doing additional calisthenics could level up your Krav training since strength is something that is important in fighting and sparring.

Do You Need to Be Flexible for Krav Maga?

You do not need to be flexible to be an effective student of Krav Maga. Flexibility is helpful and in most classes, flexibility gets enough work for your overall flexibility to progress simply by showing up to classes.

Spending a little bit of time to become more flexible will help you to execute techniques better and could help to prevent injuries that might occur in training.

How Hard is Krav Maga to Learn?

Krav Maga as a system is designed with clear levels for each class, making it easy to start learning with difficulty scaling alongside skill improvements. Krav fundamentals covered in class one are not especially hard to learn, but like most fighting systems, reaching mastery takes effort.

What to Expect in Your First Krav Maga Class

Your first Krav Maga class will be a Level One class designed for students with less than 40 classes. These classes are heavily focused on fundamental techniques and building basic fitness for Krav.

This recounted experience by somebody taking their first class here is a decent representation of what you might expect in a Krav class.

A typical Krav Maga class will be broken into sections like this:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Calisthenics
  3. Drills
  4. Skill Development
  5. Padwork
  6. Sparring

What to Wear to Your First Krav Maga Class

Speak to the school in order to get an idea of what clothing and equipment to bring to your first class. Typically you will only be expected to bring yourself and wear gym clothes. If you have workout clothing that does not have pockets that is better since then nothing can get caught in pockets.

Final Thoughts

Your initial fitness level does not matter when it comes to starting Krav Maga training. Many Krav Maga schools break down classes by level to create a smooth progression as you get better skills and fitness.

If you are interested in fitness requirements for other martial arts check out Do You Need to Be Fit to Start Martial Arts?


Hi, I'm Andre and I am the author of this website. I currently train primarily in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but supplement with other grappling martial arts as well as help to coach my kid's blended grappling program.

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