KRAV IS BEST AT…

You will never hear us say that krav is better than any other system. They all have some merit. We only claim to be best at getting people from zero self defense skills-wise to being able to truly protect themselves faster than anything else. When I am shown other handgun or knife defenses, for example, I see some that are good and make sense but would need too many hours to become proficient with. The IDF only had soldiers in boot camp for six weeks…and they had to become proficient enough at everything to not get killed by the end! Most martial artists would admit that if you would spend three months in their art that you wouldn’t be very good, that you would need more time. Three months in Krav Maga will get you to the point where you can test into level two…and you are pretty darned good when you get that far and could truly take care of yourself in most bad situations.
If someone had 20 hours to train for a knife attack that they knew was coming they would train knife and maybe learn some more advanced techniques than we are going to bother with in Krav Maga. What a bummer if at the end of that twenty hours they were attacked by a handgun wielding maniac instead! Krav doesn’t get into anything complicated but teaches things that are easy to learn, easy to remember and, most of all, effective. We believe that we can’t put a ton of hours into any one thing because in the real world we can be attacked so many different ways. We want our students good at choke defenses, fighting, handgun disarms, knife defenses, stick defenses, long gun disarms, sucker punch defense, kick defenses, ground fighting, head lock defenses, full nelson defenses, hair grab defenses, etc., etc. There are different “arts” that focus on each of these things that together will get you very, very proficient at all of the above. You could go from one art to the next for several years to be an expert at defending yourself for all of these. At the end of those several years you will be one bad person!! Or, you can take Krav Maga and in six months maybe not be an expert but be able to defend all of the above.
How does Krav do it? We don’t teach techniques per se but philosophy. A knife system that I once learned had 30 techniques for a straight stab coming at your gut. To learn all of these took many, many hours. Krav teaches to block the knife, smack the attacker hard and often and control the knife when you can or push off and run and/or pick something up to smack the attacker with some more!! We train our mindset with drills so that we can turn on aggression and fight with rage. When it comes time to be afraid in a real life attack we’ve kinda been there, done that where the technique guy has learned techniques but always used them in a controlled, static environment. The stress of “I’m gonna die” does amazing things to the unprepared brain!!
Again, we don’t claim to be the best at anything besides getting people proficient quickly. We’ve been called simple and brutal among other things. That is usually said as a slam but we see it as a compliment. In a real world, violent attack simple and brutal is all that’s really going to work! Be safe!!

“OUR HANDGUN DEFENSE IS BETTER THAN YOURS!”

“Our handgun defense is better than yours!” I just roll my eyes when I hear this. There are some mighty good looking handgun defenses out there in other systems…when it’s a friend in a gym holding a rubber gun with their arm locked and not moving it. Add the stress of “I’m about to die,” the adrenalin dump along with the gunman hitting you, pushing you, striking you with the weapon that never seems to be still with those defenses and see how well they work. Krav’s defenses have been developed by the entire Israeli military over the past 50 years and have been used in real life to save hundreds, if not thousands of lives. Krav Maga doesn’t have a tradition or egos to take care of, techniques are easy to learn, easy to remember and extremely effective or they aren’t in the system. We have a friend we train with who is a great guy but likes to put down Krav’s techniques. He studies a system developed by one guy and just doesn’t like our handgun defenses. I always feel like yelling “I’m sure your founder is friggin awesome and the best thing since sliced bread but one guy can’t be as smart as an entire military that has really used this stuff in battle. If you had a better handgun defense that was effective and easy to learn it would be Krav Maga because we would have stolen it from you!”
His handgun defenses have joint locks and pressure points and a lot of movement. These things may work if you’ve put a heck of a lot of hours into practicing them but the point of Krav is it’s easy to learn and remember and doesn’t take a lot of practice. If a handgun is pointed at us we grab it, get it offline and beat the heck out of whoever was pointing it. Under the stress and adrenalin dump this is about all I’m going to remember!
He likes to try to mess with our defenses to make them fail. The second we start the defense (or even before) he’ll drop his weight or something a very well trained soldier may do. My words to him are 1) let’s do it with me actually hitting you with my best punch in the face instead of me pulling my punches and 2) why would anyone get close enough to me with a handgun who is expecting me to do a defense….a trained soldier surely wouldn’t.
The stuff isn’t magic. It’s desperation time. It’s getting the thing offline and beating the bad guy to a pulp. Could grabbing the weapon cut my hand or give me burns…yep. If my choice is that or a bullet in the head I’m taking the cuts and burns every time. Could I still end up shot?…of course. Again, these aren’t magic…they are the best of the crappy answers that I have. Trying the best crappy answer (because I am in a very crappy situation) is my best chance of surviving. What else am I going to do, Jedi mind tricks? I remember one of my Israeli instructors being asked “what defense would you use if I were ten feet away” and he bluntly said “I’m not f’ing God…I need to be able to reach the gun, Dumb A@#!”
So much crap out there, so many egos. If you can touch the barrel you can get it offline and then go off with all the rage and power you can muster. BE SAFE!

KRAV MAGA & KIDS

A discussion on our forum this week brought up teaching Krav Maga to kids. Our kids program has some krav maga in it, with bjj, Muay thai and some escrima. We have talked for years about a straight krav maga program for kids. The mix we have is a little better for them in my opinion. Straight Krav would be a hard sell for most parents but my main concern is we don’t BS people in krav and tell them techniques will keep them safe if they won’t. Kids just don’t have the size or strength for most combatives, plucks, etc. to be effective. Think about it, have you ever seen a 9 year old who’s punch or round house kick to the body would hurt you enough for you to let go? To show them choke defense, headlock defense, carotid choke defense, buck and roll, etc. when they weigh 50 pounds and tell them that it would work would be blowing smoke up their you know whats! That’s something we won’t do!! The same would go for most of our knife, stick and handgun defenses. A four footer that weighs 50 pounds couldn’t use these effectively. A lot of systems would have kids practice these and tell them that they would work. I don’t know how they would live with themselves when one of those kids get hurt in real life. We pride ourselves in the fact that Krav Maga is one system that tells it like it is. As you’ve heard me say in the past always put common sense and self experience first. Never ignore these to listen to the majority opinion or to a self appointed expert when it comes to your personal safety….or that of your kids.
For kids the stranger danger courses are great. I’ve had parents get upset with me when I teach their kids that there are bad people out there who may try to harm them. What are they doing in the martial arts if not to learn some self defense? Ignoring things don’t make them go away. If one of my students ever have someone attempt to abduct them I would think the parents would be mighty glad that we practiced for just that scenario. Teach kids to not put themselves in a bad situation of course, but teach them bad things can still happen. Head butts, kicks and punches to the groin would be effective even at their size. These must be taught as a way of escaping, not having them believe that it would devastate the bad guy. I will teach my son to just flail and be a hard target, kicking and punching to the groin, head butting the face, biting, scratching, etc. until the bad guy’s grip lets loose….then run like crazy! The movies where the little karate kids are beating up adults and knocking them over with kicks make me sick!!
Use common sense, think for yourself and BE SAFE!