Due to the nature of most self-defence techniques as being “predictable” and relies much on pre-established movements on how to attack an opponent or defend against an attack, people are now questioning their effectiveness in actual combat.
In reality it is actually very hard to predict where your opponent will attack first during the initial engagement. Unlike your training in the dojo or the martial arts gym nearly every offensive and defensive moves are planned, in real fights these planned moves actually creates the difficulty once you transition from a training session into a street fight.
In Krav Maga Global gyms, SGS Krav Maga included, students are taught to adapt at ever changing situations and attacks such as, split second problem solving as opposed to set piece attacks that other martial arts focus on.
Why a real Attacker Would be Hard to Defend Against
Attackers and assailants are people as well, they are not going to be compliant and allow you to defend against them and hit them. They do fight back. Most martial arts never take this into account. Especially when there is a lack of realistic sparring within the school or dojo.
Attackers and assailants have there own motivations and emotions. These are key factors that push them to do what they do to their victims, understanding this can help you save your life.
First thing you’ll need to do (if time allows it) is to observe and study a potential attacker. Check if the person is emotionally agitated.
Is the person disappointed over something? Has the person lost some money in gambling? Is the person drinking at the bar to let all those pent up emotion out? Next is the question of what is the attackers motivation? Is the attacker under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Is the attacker carrying any weapons or are any near them? Has the attacker made anyone or you his target? Does the attacker simply want to rob you or someone else? An emotionally unstable person will most likely attack you out of the blue and their movements will be completely erratic. Now it’s already difficult to fend off an attacker pouring his heart and soul to his punches, headbutt, elbows, kicks, however if he had a weapon like a knife the situation is much worse.
These are the types of attackers that Krav Maga prepares you for. The unknown.
Studying the Human Anatomy and Range of Motion of the Limbs
In Krav Maga students are trained to observe and anticipate their opponent’s movements based on how they move their limbs about.
Students are also taught to attack vulnerable points to maximise effectiveness of their defence.
This may seem odd at first, but it is only natural that when you extend your arms to throw a punch it is your shoulder that makes the first jerking move before any other part of your body.
If you train your eyes to see and react almost instantly to your opponent’s movements, then it is very possible to block, deflect, avoid and counter most, if not all, of attacks.
How Krav Maga is Different from Other Martial Arts and Why You’ll Survive Any Confrontation if You’ll Use This Self-DefenCe Technique
Krav Maga integrates instinct based self-defence tactics, with a strong curriculum that trains aggressiveness, fighting spirit, situational awareness, and verbal de-escalation of conflict. In addition Krav Maga also covers third-party protection, which is a common cause for altercations.
Krav Maga has 3 main parts and those are;
Self-Defence – the foundation of Krav Maga
The self-defence part of Krav Maga encompasses all the techniques necessary for the practitioner to learn, so he could defend against armed and unarmed assailants effectively.
Krav Maga instructors deliberately train their students to practise the techniques in non-favourable situations in order to harness their ability to adapt to any situation. This increases their chances of survival against great odds.
Hand to Hand Combat – Fighting
In this advance level of Krav Maga the students are taught how to defeat an opponent in the quickest and most efficient way possible. The KM instructors also encourage the students to improvise on their own and do better than what they’re being taught.
Students learn the different elements of a fight once they’ve reached this level and that includes combat tactics, fighting techniques, combination of both, psychology and 100% being mentally aware of their surroundings at all times.
The use of common weapons such as knives, swords and guns are also taught here as well as turning everyday objects into weapons for self-defence. Using their surroundings as a means of self-defence is also part of the learning curve.
Protecting a Third Party Individual/ VIP Protection.
One of the differentiating factors of Krav Maga and other martial arts is that Krav Maga is a system that is also taught to professionals within law enforcement and military. A key pillar taught to the professional units is third party protection.
In this pillar, students are taught how to protect a third party (a friend, family member, a VIP, a fellow officer or countryman) against all kinds of attacks and threats. They are also taught in dealing with one or more attackers, along with moving, evacuating and taking care of the other person. This pillar also covers functioning under different conditions in different environments and locations.
Building a Warrior
Krav Maga will build you up to become a warrior and as such will have a warrior spirit, so as you’ll progress through the training, you’ll notice that the training is two-fold.
The first part of the training involves physical fitness and you will train to get stronger, tougher and faster. Your body will change and develop.
Your Krav Maga instructor will teach the basics as well as advanced KM moves (i.e. strikes, defences, holds, throws and takedowns as well as critical strikes to sensitive areas of your opponent’s body).
The second part of your training, which is equally important as the first, is cultivating your warrior spirit.
The modern warrior spirit definition is an absolute calm mental state which is achieved by rigorous mental training to be both physically and mentally prepared for threatening situations and employ tactics on how to survive them.
Combat Mindset is vital to have a clear and calm state of mind in extreme situations, because even if your body has been trained to take hits and endure pain, but if your mind is weak, then you will not survive the shock of being in a fight.
Having the ability to assess threats correctly and address them appropriately is crucial in winning a battle just as it is important in having the power and endurance to handle any opponent in any environment and under any circumstances. In Krav Maga, we train you to have confidence in your abilities by making you mentally powerful and physically unstoppable!
Efficient and Effective Techniques
The main goal of Krav Maga strikes, holds and throws is to apply the maximum amount of damage possible. We don’t train you to become a world champion in a controlled environment of sports martial arts; we train you to be the meanest and toughest dog in the street.
In contrast with other self-defence techniques, you are allowed and encourage to strike vital parts (weak points) of the human body (again the goal is to incapacitate and in the military case – kill an opponent; this is a fundamental principle of Krav Maga). It wouldn’t be to your benefit if you’ve already hit your attacker several times and he’s still going to get back up and be a threat to you, now would it?
Hitting your opponent in the face will give him more than 70% chance to recover, but a strike to the eye or the neck will lower that chance to about 20%. A strike to the groin or dislocating a joint or breaking a bone will give him 0% chance to recover and thus you’ll end the fight faster and exert less effort in doing so.
Defending As You Attack
When you train in Krav Maga you train to prepare for combat, be able to strike with precision and sufficient force as well as be able to take hits and shake it off to get back into the fight within seconds. Besides training you to become physically strong and tough, we also train you to block, deflect and counter your opponent’s attacks with blitzing speed and striking intensity.
Following Krav Maga’s basic principles your mandate, therefore, is to prevent your attacker from being able or willing to continue their attack.
Sparring in Krav Maga – Testing Your Abilities
In Krav Maga you spar not only with your classmates, but with your instructors as well. The idea behind it is to show you what’s it like to fight a living breathing opponent.
All of your muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and bones will become stronger, tougher and your entire body will develop greater endurance each time you spar and trade blows. Through repetition your body, especially your muscle memory, will adapt to realistic fight situations.
Beginners are taught the fundamentals and encouraged to start slow sparring (slow fighting).
Intermediate students continue with slow sparring drills and are slowly introduced to light fighting (speed sparring – generally no hits to the head).
Advanced students are continue their fighting development with advanced sparring, here they are placed in situations of fighting two to three opponents at once with contact.
Looking After your Body
Sometimes you can’t win a fight through brute force or debilitating technique alone, but through shear willpower and resilience. As I’ve stated earlier in Krav Maga we’ll train you to be strong, tough and have the stamina to last through any fight.
Stretching your muscles daily helps to make it more elastic and pliable and prevents unnecessary injuries in the gym.
Every time you train your heart is set in tune with your breathing to develop your stamina, because your cardiovascular capacity also increases with your routine.
The more you train the more resilient you become and the longer you’ll be able to stay in the fight.
Situational Awareness – They say that the best way to survive an attack is to prevent it before it happens. If you train in Krav Maga, then you will have situational awareness at all times and be able to recognize rising tension patterns and potential threats before they can cause any real harm.
Once you understand the tactical layout of your surroundings you can then choose to either engage the threat or avoid it. If no one is able to stop the threat and the police is too far away to respond, however, then you already know the tactics to quickly put down the threat and spare everyone of the trouble of having to deal with him.
Real World Tactical Training
By instinct you will shield your head and face with both your arms when someone hits you and your eyelids will shut close to protect your eyes. Learning martial arts will train you to use your arms to block and counter your opponent’s attacks, but your self-defence will mostly depend on your training and you can’t depend on katas to help you survive, but you can certainly rely on your Krav Maga training to get you out of sticky situations.
Students are taught to react to fear and improving their mindset.
Krav Maga prepares you for a real fight by training you to follow the street rules of every fight – which is there are no rules in a street fight. When you fight in the streets you’re fighting for your life and when you do that, then you go for the most vulnerable parts of your opponent with one goal in mind – to win and walk away from the fight alive.
Krav Maga was created by borrowing from proven effective fighting styles all over the world. In a way, when you train in Krav Maga you might as well have fought people from different martial arts disciplines, except the encounters are grounded and more realistic and not routine or kata movements. Krav Maga Global only utilises techniques that work, everything that is taught has been pressure tested and has been tried and proven, as a principle and as a tech.
This will prepare you for engaging in real street fights and be confident in your skills to hold your own even if your opponent is proficient in other fighting styles. Your ability to adapt to any fighting styles your opponents may bring to the table will prove invaluable and detrimental to your survival.
The Will To Keep Going
As a human being you know what your limits are, but Krav Maga trains you to exceed those limits and keep pushing your limits until you yourself will be surprised at how far you’ve gotten as a martial artist. You will understand how your body works, how you can capitalize on your potentials, and how to jump the fence of your limitations (momentarily) to get that extra boost you’ll need when the occasion calls for it.
Having a clear understanding of your body’s point of exhaustion when you feel your muscles are tired and sored ensures that you will survive the battle and not the other guy. This mental toughness will help you keep going when every fibre of your body is crying for you to stop and take a breather.
Train like your life depends on it
We teach people to learn self-defence and survival skills, because we want them to be self- sufficient when they go out into the world. We make sure that they understand that one day they may be depending on their fighting & self- defence abilities and that they must not fail when it comes to the point where they will have to defend themselves from an aggressor.
Why Train Krav Maga?
Krav Maga is a practical self-defence technique and a vital survival skills more than just a simple martial arts discipline. It does away with the spiritual and ethical aspects that is associated in other martial arts, which only leaves the lethality of this fighting style.
Tried and tested by top tier military and law-enforcement units around the world, it offers realistic training.
Aside from these reasons, you should train in Krav Maga, because…
It’s a Great Exercise – In Krav Maga the term “weapon” is not limited to physical and inanimate objects, because even your body is considered as a weapon.
The training sessions in a KMG gym (Krav Maga Global) starts with a set of warm ups, power drills and strength-cardio combo workouts. These training sessions are designed to help you master the techniques and become a competent martial artist.
But there is an additional benefit that few ever get to appreciate and that is Krav Maga helps you to lose weight and get into shape too!
It Boosts Confidence – With enough time spent training you start to not only memorize basic self-defence moves, but also improvise on your own. This means that you are able to see your enemies moves and be able to predict them even before they’ll make it. This gives you the unparalleled confidence in your abilities and in yourself as a person that you can handle anyone, any situation and any challenges that comes your way.
It Increases Awareness – Having great situational awareness can make a big difference between life and death. It helps you to remain in control amidst dangerous situations and act rationally to, for instance, take down an attacker with your self-defence skills, or look for a way out when disaster strikes.
Situational awareness is inherent to Krav Maga practitioners, because that’s what they’ve trained for from the start and they’ll only get better at it as time goes by.