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Yob’s Mike Scheidt Is Not Someone to Mess With, Thanks to Krav Maga Training

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With doom veterans Yob back in full swing again after reforming last year, it would be permissible to wonder what guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt does when he’s not making walls shake with his riffs and growls. Well, he’s teaching Krav Maga, which he explained to Noisecreep as “the martial art they use for the Israeli military.”

Scheidt, who already infrequently practiced tai chi and judo, didn’t get involved in Krav Maga until almost six years ago when an incident that occurred on a Yob tour left him pretty shook up. “We had a weird run in New York City and things got a little hairball,” Scheidt says. “Luckily it didn’t become a fight, but I felt like I was a long way from home to not have a say in how that went down. I felt completely unprepared so I decided when I got home I would look into studying something. But I knew I didn’t want to go to a traditional system, because that’s where I had been and it didn’t prepare me for what had happened.”

On returning home, Scheidt went to a Krav Maga studio to see if it might be what he was looking for. “They were doing these full-tailed demos with pads, multiple attackers, knives, guns, stick defenses; and multiple attacks so the person was no longer a threat — all dealing with real-life scenarios,” recalls Scheidt. “They were yelling and screaming. It was heavy on the martial, lite on the art. So I decided that was what I wanted to learn, and I did it in about a year and got fairly proficient at it. The style is meant to be something you go to a class and use what you learned. It’s not like you need to be at a high skill level to defend yourself.”

With the recent rise of martial arts over the last couple of years, many people have stumbled into thinking that Krav Maga is just another form of fighting used in mixed martial arts competitions, but Scheight, who’s certified in MMA as well, relays that is a misunderstanding. “There is a deviation with MMA, it has rules, and with Krav Maga, where there are no rules and deals with much more high risk situations, which is what it was designed to do when Israel had just become a country and needed an army promptly.

“It’s fun. It’s a real smart system,” Scheidt went further on to say about the combat system. “Not only is it physical getting my testosterone and ya-yas out, but it’s also incredibly smart. They’ve tried really hard to think out scenarios that happen and how to train people for stress, the fatigue; to train them for adrenaline dump or how to defend themselves while injured, or being mobbed.”

After some time, Scheidt went down to Los Angeles to train under actual Israeli commandos for an “arduous” seven days, with eight hours a day training each day to become certified to teach others. And though it was a moment of possible violence that lead Scheidt down a path to Krav Maga, he hasn’t had to use his skills in a situation outside of the studio yet. “I fight with our fighters, because it keeps me honest and that I can at least hold my own,” added Scheidt. “I’m very much a pacifist and avoid it as much as possible, but in the world you have best intentions, and people make a decision for you.”

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