Today’s question is whether or not you should train if you have an injury, such as a hurt knee or a hurt back, or maybe you’re concerned about training because you are overweight or an older person. This is a common question I get almost on a daily basis both online, in person and on the phone. People are always nervous about doing something physically demanding, and of course they see all the fighting in the movies and think “How could I ever do this?” Now, the important thing to remember is that you don’t have to be a pro fighter or in pro fight shape to be able to defend yourself. There’s a huge difference between being a pro fighter and being efficient in self-defense.

So here’s what I’m saying to you. If you’re overweight, are you less likely to be attacked? If you are injured, you have a hurt knee… are you less likely to be attacked? The answer is no. So, with that said, you still need to train. You can’t just sit around and not do anything, especially if you have this fear. Obviously if you’re reading this post, or looking up Krav Maga schools, then you already have this fear and you know you need to train, so now you’ve got to just do it. Find a local Krav Maga school, talk to a senior instructor, not low level, go right to a senior instructor because they most likely have more experience with these issues. Tell them your problems, have a private session – usually they’ll do it for free – and work around your problems, not through them. If anything hurts, you stop. If your left knee hurts then you can’t do anything on your left knee, you have to go on your right leg or you use more hands. I trained a guy once who had 92 broken bones from a parachute accident. He couldn’t walk very fast, couldn’t run or use his kicks or do anything like that, so we had to maximize his potential with his hands so now all of the focus went to the upper body. That way he could actually fight effectively without running or without moving. So we had to kind of change things a little bit, but now he’s efficient, and he can fight if he needs to.

These are the types of things that we can figure out for you – what you can do at your level of fitness. Obviously there are certain situations where you may not be able to train, you may not be able to do anything physical if you have a heart problem, although I have trained people with heart problems and they are doing fine. I’ve even trained someone with one leg, so I know it can be done. You just have to have the right person to help you get there, a coach, an instructor, someone who can actually get you to the level you need to get to with your potential.