We asked Lt Col Charlie Crowe to discuss his reasons for introducing Krav Maga to The 1st Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles, his views on Krav Maga as a tool for the armed forces, and his experience working with British Krav Maga’s Will Bayley…
Why did you want to bring Krav Maga to the Battalion?
Training in Krav Maga in Swindon over the past year I learned that it is an excellent tool for the intelligent and judicious application of effective violence; this is core business for fighting units like 1 RGR. The training also develops high levels of anaerobic fitness, determination and resilience. These are all qualities required of soldiers in 1 RGR.
What was your opinion of the training outcome?
I am delighted with the outcome of the training. I now have PT instructors who are able to deliver Krav-based physical training to the Battalion on an enduring basis. We are very aware that we do not possess the experience or qualifications to deliver wholesale high intensity Krav Maga training, but we do now have the means to develop basic drills and test them under stress in a safe environment.
Do you see Krav Maga as a useful skill for today’s soldier?
The operating environment we can expect to deploy into requires all ranks to be highly disciplined in how and when to apply violence. But when the time comes for aggressive action it must be decisive, and our own recent operational experience is full of examples of lethal threats at close quarters. Krav Maga is an excellent tool for developing the right responses to this and is, in my view, highly relevant to modern soldiering.
Do you see Krav Maga as being a continued future part of training with the Regiment?
It is my firm intention to pursue Krav Maga as a basic skill set and training discipline across the Battalion.
How was your experience working with Will Bayley?
Will Bayley has a thorough knowledge of the psychology and physiology that underpins close quarter fighting. This gave real depth to the practical training he delivered, which he had painstakingly tailored to the particular requirements of this unique unit. His instruction was excellent throughout and he very quickly gained the respect of my experienced PTIs. A highly impressive professional.