Last month we held an in-studio ‘Krav-Talk’, and our guest speaker talked about his life training and how his trauma has shaped him into the man he is today. The talk’s conclusion was “what happened to you doesn’t define you, but it does shape you”.
The first question I am often asked by new students is about dealing with the fear of being triggered. They worry that they will have a surprise breakdown during class or will not be able to participate because a lesson will become too triggering. 
It is always within the realm of possibility that practicing a scenario-based skill will bring a traumatic event to the surface. But the purpose of training is to teach your body and brain that you are safe and can overcome it. Being in a supportive and controlled environment that is there to help you is a great way to establish a new relationship with the trauma that is stored in your body.
You are training to be strong inside and out, alongside a professional instructor whose ultimate goal is to help you!
Build trust and bond with your instructor and fellow training partners. Know you are safe and there’s no judgment in this space. Let’s say as an example, you’re practicing the release of a choke, and it brings up a memory of a traumatic event or triggers anxiety. It is perfectly acceptable to inform your partner that you prefer no actual touch on the throat. Usually, after a few times of practicing the release, you may feel more comfort and empowered to experience breaking the choke with a light hold. Eventually, after enough time of experiencing the successful release of the choke, you may ask your partner to choke you more firmly, enough that you feel you are actually able to defend yourself from this kind of attack. You have now successfully overcome the anxiety provoked by the trigger. 
Krav Maga is a flexible system. It should meet you where you are. Where you are right now is just temporary. Tomorrow, with training, you will be better.
Trust YOURSELF. Set obtainable goals, reach them, then set new goals. Things will fall into place over time. Each of us has a different pace and different demons to fight. 
Training is far more than just punching and kicking. The program is built to sensitively address emotions and personal experiences, but not necessarily by talking about them directly. It’s our job to show your how strong you really are. 
Over the past decade, I have seen thousands of success stories on the mat. People of all kinds – different genders, different economic statuses, all races, all walks of life – who have healed from their past traumas. 
I recently shared on our blog a story written by a female friend about her experience with trauma and how she used it to grow into a stronger version of herself than she ever imagined. Today, she teaches Krav Maga.
I hope this story inspires you to commit to yourself and do something amazing! 
Tsahi Shemesh
Krav Maga Experts