I’ve been looking at other organization’s curriculum for 2nd degree black belt and above. A lot of it looks like they thought they had to have something cool for the higher ranks to learn…even if it makes no sense for self defense.

KNIFE VS. KNIFE; Most knife defenses are wishful thinking. A knife is scary and there isn’t much that is going to work against one! About the only thing that will keep us alive is to block the attack as good as we can while smacking the attacker as hard as we can in the noggin and groin. The knife on knife that a lot of organizations teach we just can’t justify. It’s Krav if you have a gun against a knife…a knife against a knife is an even fight. Even fights are stupid, we want to cheat and win! We have basically one group of offensive knife techniques in the USKMA. It is simple and as effective as can be. To think that a knife on knife technique is worth practicing forgets the old saying that “the winner of a knife fight is the one who dies tomorrow”. Our one group of techniques will give us a chance against the way 99 percent of attackers will use a knife against us…slashing and flailing out of anger. For that one percent who know how to use a knife we are in trouble. If we had a lot of offensive knife on knife training we would still be in trouble. We would have to put a lot of hours into our knife to be able to even come close to being as competent as a person who has studied knife fighting. We will get cut no matter how much knife we have done as the expert has put a lot more hours of training into it. This is why I carry a gun. If not a gun I’d want a ballbat against knife, that would be worth learning. Reach and blunt trauma are way better than hoping I’m better at knife fighting than the attacker!

STICK VS. STICK; We believe this is way too complicated in most systems. I have so much faith in our unarmed stick defense I’d probably just throw my stick at the attacker and do that technique. I believe that would work against 99 percent of the people who swing sticks like almost every surveillance video I’ve seen. Again, the guy who knows stick fighting I’m not going to beat even if I have stick on stick techniques in my system, he’ll always have more practice time in. What I would rather have is a chair. Stab the four legs at the attacker and kick to the groin under the chair. Better for me than hoping I’m a better stick fighter than the attacker. Of course, I’d rather have that gun.

MILITARY/URBAN WARFARE TRAINING/VIP PROTECTION, ETC.; If someone needs this training for their job we’ll teach it. For the average person? I’d rather spend the time learning to kick to the groin, punch to the throat and knee to the body better.

We in the USKMA are a bit guilty of this as we have some jumping and spinning kicks in our curriculum for black belt. This was a recent addition after spending time with Grandmaster Yaron Lichtenstein who is one of only twelve that Imi trained to black belt and the only one still teaching Imi’s original curriculum. We thought that if Imi thought jump and spinning kicks were so important that we would honor his memory with keeping those techniques in our Krav. This is how I justify it anyway!

The one thing we have in our curriculum that a lot of other organizations don’t? Handgun. To test for black belt a student must attend the NRA handgun safety course. We also highly recommend a course such as Rob Pincus’ Combat Focus Shooting. Seems to me that ten hours of training in this will defeat the dude with hundreds of hours of training in knife or stick.

We in Krav are lazy…just give us the bare minimum that will actually work. BE SAFE!


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