Bill Martin works for a big insurance company in Bloomington during the day.
He pretty much lives and breaths fitness when he’s not working. He’s pretty serious about his CrossFit and is training to compete in the 2017 CrossFit Games National Championship in California. Yeah, that’s pretty serious.
Bill Martin is not a firearms instructor with us (but probably could be with his infantry officer background and some NRA creds) but he still wears our red “INSTRUCTOR” shirt. (Well, as soon as we present it to him.)
Bill Martin teaches Krav Maga for us. Krav Maga means “contact combat”. It’s more commonly known as Israeli hand-to-hand by lay-people.
While anyone can take a weekend instructor course and hang out a shingle as a “Krav Instructor”, you’ll find few in America like Bill. He’s a second-degree blackbelt in Krav, and he earned his blackbelts at the Wingate Institute in Israel. They also certified him as an instructor. He did his early training under Ernie Kirk, one of only a couple of American “Senior Instructors” certified by the Wingate Institute to give the Wingate-certification to instructor candidates outside of Israel.
In fact, there are only about two dozen Israeli-certified Krav instructors in America and Bill’s one of them.
Thanks to Bills charismatic instruction, our students love learning the fundamentals of how to strike and kick, and at the same to escape chokes and grabs. He brings a priceless component to our Force-on-Force and Personal Protection for Teens courses.
The upside to Krav? It’s not as defensive as most other martial arts and it’s certainly not a “sporting” martial art. Eye gouges, groin strikes and pre-emptive strikes are all front-line techniques in Krav. As they say in Krav, “If it’s a fair fight, your tactics suck.” There’s a reason Israel teaches this stuff to their troops to help keep them alive and victorious over crazed enemies and attackers.
Like the rest of our training crew, Bill Martin loves empowering good people with the skill sets they can use to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from violent attack (or to escape a violent attack). He does seminars regularly – and for free – especially for women and coeds, teaching them some fundamentals of Krav that can come in quite handy.
Taking Krav with Bill
If you want to take Krav Maga with Bill, he teaches on Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8:00pm and Saturdays from 10am – 11:30am at the Workout Company in Normal (on Kays Drive just west of the Humane Society). For those who wish to stick around for higher level training, thirty additional minutes of training will be conducted following the regular 90-minute class period starting soon. The first class is free and even if you’re not a spring chicken, come and participate as your abilities allow. There are students from young teens to folks in their seventies. The cost to attend depends on the size of the package purchased, and are available for as little as $10 per session.