Thursday, January 25, 2018

5 Week Self Defense Course: Krav Maga Fundamentals: Mondays, 6:30-7:30pm(Feb 26, March 6, 12, 19, 26)

“First master the fundamentals.” Larry Bird

This course is ideal for beginners or for incumbent students who want to develop their basic skills.  Topics include:
  •            palms strikes, elbows, hammer punches, kick, knees...
  •        prevention techniques and tips 
  •       surviving knife threats
  •       escaping holds and grabs
  •       defending on the ground

This course will give you the basic skills to protect yourself and a foundation upon which to develop more advanced techniques. 

There will be various exercises blended in so you will get a nice workout.  Please keep in mind we all have different fitness levels so go at your own pace. 

Where: 2156 Yonge St.
Day: Mondays Feb 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26
Time: 6:30 to 7:30pm (please arrive 5 minutes before class)
What you need: Indoor running shoes, workout clothes, athletic support/cup for men
Price: 100/person + HST = 113

For more information please contact:

Christopher Gagne

Understanding Assailant Tactics: Are You Alone?

      There are many reasons strangers enter our homes. They might be there to fix our internet, plumbing, or furnace. They might be delivering food or other items. Perhaps, they are door to door salespeople. In most cases, they arrive, do what they are supposed to do, and leave. There are other instances, however, when their intentions are not professional.  There are many potential signals that the visitor has ill intent.

     One potential indicator is if the person is trying to determine if you are alone. He might ask you directly but the criminal mind can be much more cunning.  For example, a man knocks on the door of a house. A woman answers then listens as he explains his company's free trial offer.

"Sorry," the sales person says to the woman in the doorway of her house. "I talk too loud sometimes. Am I going to wake anyone?"
"No," she laughs. "It's just me."
"Oh good. I hate to ask. May I have a glass of water? I've been doing this for 3 hours."
"Sure. I'll be right back." She says then walks to the kitchen.
"Thanks," he says, quietly closing the door as he walks inside and walks to the kitchen.

      Notice how he didn't explicitly ask if she was alone but rather evoked a response by expressing " concern" about walking up a family member.  Criminals can be clever and there are innumerable examples of tactics they can use to to determine if you are alone.

Be mindful of the information you share.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

January 28th Workshop: Surviving Assaults in Elevators (and other confined spaces)

On Sunday January 28th, we are hosting a workshop facilitated by IKMF Director Avi Moyal.

Many assaults occur in confined spaces - elevators, small rooms etc - making escape very difficult.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Level Testing (February 10, 2:30pm)

We will be offering level testing February 10th, at 2:30pm.

Here is the schedule.

P1 2:30pm
P2 3:45pm
P3 5pm to 6:30pm

Please consult your instructor to evaluate your readiness. 

Testing fee: 50 (to be paid before the test)

Feel free to contact me with any questions.


Christopher Gagne

Thursday, January 11, 2018

4 Tips for Krav Maga Level Testing

Testing can be an effective way to evaluate your progress and highlight what you need to work on. 

To prepare for testing I suggest the following:

Consistent training. Would you run a half marathon without training?  I did 15 years ago and my time was horrible and I could barely walk for a week.  People who train sporadically sometimes try to "cram" last minute for a test. This doesn't work, especially at higher levels. As the test goes on and you become physically and mentally tired your lack of preparation shows. Instructors are not fooled.  

Train Under Stress. As mentioned above, fatigue and the stress of being evaluated can challenge your ability to perform. To prepare, train under stress. For more on this visit:

Know Your Stuff! If the instructor asked you why you elbowed instead of punched and you answer with a blank stare that is not a sign you are prepared. You need to know why you are doing what you are doing. E.g. The attacker was too close to punch so I elbowed. Good answer!

Practice Controlled Aggression: I have seen tests where candidates have repeatedly hit each other (lack of control) and others where people's strikes resembled pillow fluffing more than strikes. You must convince the instructor that the techniques could work in real life. You have to do this while not injuring your partner(grounds for failure).

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I know that already! No, you don't. (Always more to learn)

It rarely happens but from time to time a student will reluctantly practice a technique, saying, "I already know it." 

My answer.  Nope. You don't.
Over the past two years, I had the opportunity to train with very high-level Krav Maga instructors, Megan Berkman, Tamir Gilad, Pierre Marques and Jean-Paul Jauffret.  During these sessions, we covered techniques and exercises I had never seen before.  We also explored ones I have been practicing and teaching for more than a decade.  I assure you I didn't "already know it." 

Last year, with Tamir Gilad, I sat in with him as he conducted a G1 and a G3 test.  Besides learning how to conduct a test from one of the best, his explanations of techniques from P1 to G3 shed light on many of the nuances and "troubleshooting options" I had not seen before.

Also, last year Megan facilitated an instructor update.  Besides pointing out some excellent ways to teach defense against ice pic attack and many other techniques, she offered insightful teaching tips that enhanced our ability to provide quality instruction to our students.

During a class with Pierre, he taught the escape from choke on the ground(P1). It is a technique I practiced and taught 1000s of times sine 2005. During this class, however, I was learning new insights about the technique and how to teach it. It was an incredible learning experience.

The following evening, I trained with Jean Paul. We covered simple combinations building up to a kick, jab, cross, knee, combination. We hit the focus mitts for the entire hour and through sheer repetition, I was able to tweak my striking and improve my speed. precision and power.

In sum, as a certified instructor of more than 10 years, I am finding ways to improve the most fundamental of techniques.  So when a student tells protests "I already that. My answer is no you don't.

There is always more to learn.