In the 1930’s when Imi was using his fists and brains against the Nazi youth who would try to terrorize his neighborhood in Czechoslovakia he was always out numbered. Imi discovered through fighting while outnumbered that his wrestling and martial arts weren’t worth a lot. He realized that you have to hit the first guy hard, pop the second, move on to the third, etc. Just smacking and moving. Imi became legendary by winning many, many fights while almost always being outnumbered.

Here is a good Youtube video that seems to make the point of this blog;

Do you see any fancy spin kicks, bjj, takedowns or flying knees? This guy is smacking people in the face and moving on to the next. I remember speaking to a Krav Maga black belt instructor about the time he was jumped at an ATM machine. He says he punched the guy in the face and the guy went down. He then went on about how disappointed he was that with all the cool Krav stuff he knew after years of training all that came out of him was a punch…that worked.

All of those fancy techniques will get dropped under stress. In Rory Miller’s great book Facing Violence he talks about how everyone always asks “but what if the guy knows how to use a knife?” The statement he made was that he had seen hundreds of knife attacks on dash cam and surveillance camera videos, even by those who were experts with a knife. Under the stress and fear of a deadly attack he had never seen a video where anyone did anything but slash with a knife like anyone who first picks a knife up out of anger would.

He went on to say that police officers seem to win physical confrontations in spite of their training, not because of it. All the fights he has seen on dash cams never look like any of the techniques they work on in training but end up being a free for all with flailing and trying to get on top of the bad guy after they have thrown them to the ground. Fancy martial arts techniques are fun to learn and take athletic ability but I do believe the science shows that our brain will jettison those techniques under the stress and fear of a real attack. Our body will do what it thinks will keep us safe. This can be seen in the stories of survivors who talk about how they don’t know what they did, can’t remember doing anything…that they were suddenly out of danger and don’t know how they got there. Our brain knows what to do if we have trained for real world violence and just does it, and doesn’t need us trying to do dumb things from dumb training.

Mindsetting, training for real world violence, keeping it simple and making sure we are in shape is the way to go to survive violence. This is why we spend so much time in Krav Maga on basic punches, elbows and kicks. We then put these techniques under stress and work more on toughness and an “I won’t stop, I will go forward” attitude than anything else. Work attitude, not fancy techniques…you’ll be safer in the long run! BE SAFE!

1 Comment

  1. Good points. i found a lot of kicking unnatural and it did not suit my physique, but when it came down to it, front kicks served me better than a lot of other techniques I had tried to learn.

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