There will always been the debate as to which method of Krav Maga training (or other martial arts, for that matter) is better: group classes or private instruction. Both have their distinctive advantages and yet each has its respective downside. The answer lies, of course, somewhere in the middle.
Training with others is always good for camaraderie and motivation, especially at 7am! As well, different body types and skill levels will constantly keep you “in check”, with regards to technique, improvisation, reaction and timing, especially in stress drills and sparring, whether ground, stand-up, Sakeen (Israeli knife) or other weapons. Escaping a 250lb brute that is mounted on you and trying to elbow your face into the next county, will present a different set of issues, as opposed to someone like me, who is all of 150lbs; however, do not mistake the severity of this example, as I will have a knife (or two). Your classmates will each be beneficial in your training if proper parameters have been previously set into place, such as attitude and respect…all emanating with your instructor/school’s philosophical and conceptual approaches to this all important learning experience.
Personally, though, I’ve always preferred private lessons as my core or base template, with classmate training as a welcome addition. This, though, takes a highly motivated individual with a skill set that can adapt, when necessary, to whatever is presented. Also, if I am training with someone that’s elite, then I believe that whomever I face, in whatever capacity, I can handle.
Private coaching is expensive, though, and this is the proverbial downside. Yet, if you have the time and means to pursue this most valuable one-on-one experience, I encourage you to do so, even if only on a casual basis, with classes on occasion. Focused tutelage, from an expert, cannot be matched…period!