13. February 2019

Interview: Peter Weckauf on Krav Maga Concept

Vienna 2019, Peter Weckauf gives us a little insight in why he thinks Krav Maga Concept is one of the most successful concepts, his approach to self-defense and how he found his way into martial arts in the first place.

Krav Maga (or self-defense in general) is as topical as ever. Many of our students maintain a regular training schedule because of bad experiences they made in the past either in their job-environment, at home or on the street. Often the victims are physically weaker than their attacker, which makes it harder for them to successfully defend themselves.

Through Krav Maga we give people the opportunity to defend themselves, even against a stronger opponent and support them in development of self-confidence.

Especially civilian Krav Maga was modified to fit the legal situation. Our techniques are easily imparted to muscle memory and can be recalled even under extreme psychological pressure.

Natural reflexes are complemented by direct, easy and efficient techniques.

What brought you to Krav Maga and what did you find in this system?
An acquaintance pointed out Krav Maga to me and right after that I read an article about it in a martial arts magazine. After the first class I was so convinced by its effectiveness, that I wanted to learn more about the system and focused my whole training on Krav Maga. Personally, I was impressed by the simplicity and how it concentrated on the basics.
This happened over twenty years ago and now we are teaching our own modified Krav Maga Concept for civilians and law enforcement officers internationally.

Can you tell us more about SAMI?
SAMI Combat Systems is an international organization with its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. We train our instructors in various systems through our proprietary methods and concepts. The methods we use are very structured and methodical, which I think probably originates from a time when I worked as a programmer and software engineer.

This is a very important point, because most people need clear structures to reach their training goals and also to understand where they are going with their training.

All our systems are linked in a way and it is ideal to work on details and specialize in certain areas. For example, our Knife Fighting Concept enriches the Krav Maga Concept, since it is easy to transfer the know-how from one system to another.

Can you tell us a little about your personal story?
Gladly. I have been training martial arts since I was a child, that was 47 years ago. With small breaks in between I have been faithful to the métier and learned from some great instructors in my career.

Later I started to train Tae Kwon Do, when it was still in its infancy in Austria and after that I was drawn to full-contact-sports and I began to train kickboxing and then Thai boxing. For eight years I studied Wing Tsun and through that I came to the Filipino Martial Arts.

Subsequently I became an instructor in western boxing, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Tsun, Kali, Eskrima, Luta Livre and of course as I mentioned before Krav Maga.

My wife – Irmengard Weckauf-Hanzal – and I opened our own training center 18 years ago, through which we concentrated more and more on training methods, training structure, didactics and more. We have one of the biggest martial art schools in Austria, in fact in Central Europe, with over 60 classes a week and over 30 international instructor seminars a year.

Our systems are not only taught to civilians, but also to law enforcement, corrections officers and special forces in many countries.

We have published books about Krav Maga, Self-defense with every-day-objects (SDS Concept) and Security Krav Maga.

Today I look back on a lot of hard work and am motivated to go even further!!!

Thank you!