I recently returned from another visit to Israel during which I had the pleasure of experiencing my second visit to the Caliber-3 Academy for Counter Terror and Security. During a previous visit, I took one of their tourist programs with my father. On this most recent visit, I was bringing my girlfriend as well, so I decided to sign us up for something a bit more customized to our interests.
What is Caliber-3?
The Caliber-3 Academy was created in 2007 by Israeli Defense Forces Colonel Sharon Gat. Run by active duty IDF officers, Caliber-3 offers high level training to security services, military units, law enforcement, government agencies, and commercial clients from around the world.
Our Training at Caliber-3
Caliber-3 also offers programs for tourists such as ourselves. On this trip, I booked my father for a private tactical firearms lesson using Simunition while my girlfriend and I took a private class in Krav Maga together. My father is an avid shooter and firearms collector, and his lesson consisted of how to identify and respond to potential threats. He learned several valuable techniques which aren’t commonly taught in the United States.
I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Vitor Shaolin in NYC and my girlfriend trains kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu at Tiger Schulmann’s Bayside. Having trained previously in Krav Maga, I wanted my girlfriend to experience what it’s all about and to understand some of the differences between how Krav Maga approaches a situation versus other more traditional martial arts.
Krav Maga Training at Caliber-3
We were trained by two instructors for our Krav Maga class. One was primarily an instructor and the other served a dual role as instructor and translator. We were taught a knife disarm and a stick defense.
This class immediately felt much different from the classes I had taken back in NYC with Krav Maga Experts. The instructors at Krav Maga Experts are as legit as they get, but the classes have to appeal to a wide assortment of levels and abilities. Our class at Caliber-3 was fast paced, clear, and intense.
I’ve learned several knife and stick defenses while training the Gracie Combatives curriculum. However, I really like the Krav Maga approach to weapon defense. In Krav Maga, one is taught to simultaneously attack and defend. Also, the concepts of the various parts of the defense are easy to break down, and it’s easy to conceptualize how to adapt the various concepts when things don’t go according to plan. I like the BJJ approach to self defense for many other types of attacks, but if defending against a weapon, I think it’s essential to defend in a manner that is as aggressive and as harmful to the attacker as possible.
The other aspect of Krav Maga that I like is how much it emphasizes threat and situational awareness. I’m a huge fan of avoiding potential threats as a first line of defense. For everyday use on the streets in the United States, I do prefer the techniques I learn in the Gracie self-defense curriculum mainly due to how litigious North American society can be. If I can subdue an attacker with a chokehold or a joint lock, I’d prefer to do so. That said, it’s helpful to have some Krav Maga in one’s arsenal just in case.
Our experience of training at Caliber-3 was really fantastic. In addition to the world class instruction, the entire staff was incredibly friendly and welcoming, and always willing to answer questions. As tourists, we were never made to feel like an afterthought. Colonel Gat and the others were very patient, seemed happy to be a source of information for us, and everyone seemed genuinely glad to have us there on the premises.
It was a truly special experience to get an intro to Krav Maga from IDF instructors who train and teach the discipline regularly. Both Bella and I walked away with a much deeper understanding of the concepts of Krav Maga and the reasons why it developed in the manner that it did.
I’d highly recommend visiting and training at the Caliber-3 Academy should you find yourself in Israel. It’s easy to get to by car or even by public transportation. We drove from Tel Aviv and it took a little under two hours in morning rush hour traffic.
I’m grateful for the work done by the staff at Caliber-3 in helping to make a safer world and in educating its visitors in the complicated nuances of handling terrorist threats.