FLIPPING THE SWITCH!

Whenever I am asked what is THE main thing that we teach in Krav Maga I say “how to flip the switch”. This always gets me perplexed looks. What I mean by “the switch” is that it doesn’t matter what you know, what techniques you are good at or how awesome stuff works in the gym if you “freeze” when real world violence finds you. We need to develop the ability to flip the switch so that we can go from overwhelmed, terrified and confused to going forward and doing great amounts of damage. This is not natural. When something horrible happens to us it is human nature to freeze. We are trying to figure out why it is happening, our brain is scanning to see if we have a plan for the scenario and we just can’t believe that it is happening in the first place. See my past blogs on the adrenaline dump and the freeze at https://unitedstateskravmaga.wordpress.com/archived-entries-may-2010/#5-16

In Krav Maga everything we do is to get people’s “flinch reaction” to be to go forward and go hard. Trying to figure out why someone is doing something to us is a waste of time…and time is of the utmost importance. All the drills we do, the way we train, the way we test, etc. are so that the end result will be that when in doubt our members will go forward, go off and go hard.

We develop this by NOT working techniques alone. Just working on a technique and then moving on to the next thing on the lesson plan is teaching self defense techniques, not self defense. There is a big difference. When we show straight punches, for example, we don’t just stand and throw a few punches to a mitt, work technique and then move on. When we punch it will be with movement and reaction, punching in combinations. We won’t just throw single punches but two at a time. We rapidly move this to four punches, then six punches, then six punches with an elbow, then six punches an elbow and then clinch and knee the mitt holder into oblivion. When we add on to these combinations there is no pause, we expect members in our gym to just do it! This builds a philosophy of throwing punches, elbows and knees until the danger is gone as well as going off without hesitation. If we only ever threw single punches in training this is what would come out of us under stress…single punches. We train to go until the danger is gone.

In our drills we put what we learn under stress and exhaustion. Learning a handgun defense, for example, in a gym against a partner who is standing static like a statue is training a technique. Training a philosophy is having both of us put sparring gear on, running sprints and hitting a heavy bag for two minutes then having the “bad guy” punch, kick and slap us while he never holds the handgun in one place and then seeing how the disarm technique works. In our drills we also love to use multi attackers. As we are fighting one attacker a second one appears. We are training, when struck by the second attacker, not to think about why it is happening but to automatically attack the second attacker. No thought as to why these two guys are trying to hurt us…go take care of it!!

Whatever you are learning for self defense has to be working on “flipping the switch”. If it isn’t…you are training to look cool in a gym environment and not for a real world violent encounter. BE SAFE

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