One of the Krav Maga Instructors at our gym carries around a list of UFC fight rules in his gym bag and whenever someone asks him exactly what is it we do in Krav Maga he pulls the list out and says “whatever is illegal to do in the ring!”
I was recently asked about the rules in MMA so here they are….

Should a fighter fail to follow these rules they will be deducted a point or be disqualified from the match.
Theses rules and faults include:
-Butting with the head.
-Eye gouging of any kind.
-Hair pulling.
-Fish hooking.
-Groin attacks of any kind.
-Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent. (see Gouging)
-Striking to the spine or the back of the head. (see Rabbit punch)
-Striking downward using the point of the elbow. (see Elbow (strike))
-Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
-Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
-Grabbing the clavicle.
-Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
-Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
-Stomping a grounded opponent.
-Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
-Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck. (see piledriver)
-Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
-Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
-Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
-Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
-Attacking an opponent after the bell (horn) has sounded the end of a round.
-Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.

There are rules in the ring to outlaw certain things that could cause injury and end fights quickly. On the street this is exactly what we want to do…cause injury and end fights quickly! So, I guess Krav Maga’s rules would be to head butt, eye gouge, bite, pull hair, attack the groin, put a finger in a laceration and yank (how cool is that?), strike the spine and back of head, strike downward with the elbow, strike the throat, claw, pinch and twist flesh, grab the clavicle, knee, kick and stomp a downed opponent, kick a kidney, spike and throw the attacker, be unsportsmanlike, attack and attack some more and flagrantly disregard the ref…if this is what it takes to survive and BE SAFE!!



  1. Simple reciprocal rule…

    Don’t bring a fight to your sports.
    Don’t bring a sport to your fights.

  2. As always Mark, your weekly chat is above and beyond! I am definitely going to bring this one to class for all to read!

    I just read an article on the Police One website titled, “Winning concepts for hand to hand combat”. The article was decent in talking about the limited number of police officers training outside of their required departmental training and the author was quoting a known Police Defensive Tactics Trainer who was recommending people learn how to use elbows and knees. I got a little excited to read this until the author quoted this trainer as recommending officers strike their assailants in the chest with the elbow, unless deadly force is justified. OUTRAGEOUS advice from someone who is nationally recognized in the police world. I am so sick and tired of the kid glove mentality in the world of police trainers. It seems like too many people responsible for teaching “Self Defense for civilians or Defensive Tactics for law enforcement have no idea what one single punch can do to someone. I know from experience that one solid punch can kill a person. Wake up people. In most states, we as citizens are allowed by law to protect ourselves or a third party from being physically attacked. Most states also protect citizens to use force as long as the force was reasonable, appropriate and necessary. Example: Thug approached me while I was walking to my car. I inquired with Thug what Thug’s intentions were. Thug told me he wanted my wallet. I told Thug I had no money. I did not feel I could outrun Thug because he was already to close to me. While unlocking my car door, Thug charged me. I punched, kicked, kneed, scratched and bit Thug until safely in my car where I then dialed 911. The “Where’s a cop when you need em” finally showed up and took Thug to jail!

    Thanks for your weekly chat Mark! Can’t wait to read the next one! No pressure!

  3. Thanks Nick. Yep, most LE policies are written by attornies so the cities don’t get sued instead of being written to keep officers safe…you know this. It amazes me that most departments won’t allow an officer to punch because it is “deadly force” but then they turn around and say that if the thug is the one punching deadly force isn’t justified. Which is it? Wow.

  4. Mark,

    Was at Empire Martial Arts for your class this evening. Absolutely Awesome instruction~! Thank you SO much for taking the time.


    Scott “sonosam” Berkowitz

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