BODY WEIGHT

Krav Maga uses body weight to generate power more than any other art or system I’ve seen. While other “arts” are spending hours upon hours learning to snap at the waist, bend knees and twist just right to generate power for their elbows (as an example) in Krav Maga we basically spend twenty minutes learning to burst off of our back foot like a sprinter leaving the blocks. They both use body weight to generate power into the elbow, it’s just that in Krav we’ve learned to do this in a fraction of the time it takes the “art”.

Can a one hundred pound woman hit as hard as a two hundred pound man? No, if they are both using all of their body weight. If he is just arm punching and she is sending her hip to twist and generate power she is hitting harder. While his twenty pound arm is behind his punch her entire one hundred pounds is behind hers.

In Krav we have two rules for throwing a combative. 1) Hit as hard as possible and 2) hit many, many times. If we can justify hitting someone we can justify winning the encounter with whatever it takes. Every combative that we throw in class (hence, in the real world if needed) is thrown at full force. If we are ever in a violent situation where our safety is threatened we will not dance, change levels, go in and out and attempt to “set up” our attacks. We will go forward and swing for the fences. The longer we allow the encounter to last the more likely the scum bag’s buddies will show up. We need to destroy and then vacate the area. This is why we don’t have a “jab” in Krav Maga. We have a “front hand punch” that we twist our hips with and try for knockout power. In sports they can jab because their life isn’t on the line and they are attempting to win by scoring points. This just doesn’t work on the streets.

How important is getting our body weight into a combative to generate maximum power? Krav Maga techniques are fairly worthless without it. If we get a scumbags hands off of our neck but don’t kick hard he/she just attacks us again. If we block a knife but don’t hit the scumbag hard he/she just stabs us again. If we redirect the handgun but don’t deliver a strong combative we are in a wrestling match. The strike is what makes the technique effective. This is why half of each krav maga class is spent on combatives.

Krav Maga was designed to get people from zero to being able to defend themselves faster than any other system. This is why transferring body weight into an attack is done as simply as possible. Most practitioners in martial arts aren’t very good after only three or four months but in Krav a student is testing into level two after three or four months…and are pretty darned good by then.

Below is an old Human Weapon episode explaining knock out power. BE SAFE!

SPARRING ISN’T FIGHTING

During higher level tests that I run there is always a time I have those testing gear up and “fight”. After giving the command to fight I always have to stop them and yell. In the upper level’s they are getting to be very proficient at sparring…but sparring isn’t what I want to see. I stop them and say “You all look really pretty, such nice movement and techniques. What does that have to do with the real world? In the real world the circling, feinting, going in and out, dropping levels, etc. isn’t getting you to your goal. Your goal is to smash the idiot and get out of there. If you spar you will prolong the fight. He/she may be better at sparring than you and you are certainly at a much greater risk of his/her buddies showing up to help. I want to see knees, elbows, eye gouging, groins being kicked and people hitting the ground…destruction right away and then get out of there!”

In krav maga every combative we throw is thrown as hard as we can. We are looking to knock out and do damage with every blow. In sport fighting it’s different. They are not fighting for their lives, they know that they only have one opponent, they are fairly equally matched with someone their own weight, they don’t have to worry about a weapon, there is a ref to stop the other guy from stomping their head if they hit the ground, etc. I’ve seen many a boxing match where one opponent is trying to outpoint the other and never once really swings for a knockout.

In sparring the opponents have several rounds to get through so they pace themselves. They feel each other out for a few rounds and only go in hard when there is an opening. Fighting for your life is anger, rage and going forward without slowing down until the attacker is unconscious!

Don’t get me wrong, there are some mighty good sparrers out there and sparring helps us to train avoiding being hit, helps us to know what getting rocked is really like & how it effects us and it works our combative skills. There are many a boxer, kick boxer, bjj practitioner and MMA fighter that, if they came to my gym and challenged me, would kick my butt. Here is where it differs…if the same guy was in my house and going to hurt my family I WOULD NOT LOSE! I would come from behind, break a chair over their head and then see how far I could shove one of the wood shards down their throat. Real life is different, dirty fighting is winning fighting. If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck!

So spar to work your skills but don’t end there. Learn how to fight…go off with rage, go forward and swing for the fences until you are safe. BE SAFE!

This is a fairly lame video but contains several “street fights”. How many of these resemble sparring at all?

HANDGUN SEMINAR COMMENTS

Handgun disarms are probably my favorite thing to teach and i have done many Handgun disarm seminars for law enforcement personel, krav maga students and for the general public. The seminars I do for the general public always give me a chuckle. I can tell what questions will come up and what silly things will be done before we even start.

When we first show the handgun from the front technique (redirect the barrel with left hand, wrap the hammer with the right, step and knee to the groin, snap forearms in to body to take away the weapon, strike to the face with the barrel, step away at an angle as we tap and rack or access our own) I am always asked “Can’t you hurt your hand grabbing the gun like that”. Well, I usually think “We tried Jedi mind tricks but they weren’t working very well so we decided that we just gotta grab the thing” but I try not to be quite so smart alleck to those paying for a seminar! My patient and kind explanation is “Yep, you can certainly get your hand cut to the bone and Myth Busters has shown that a revolver’s gas discharge can actually blow a finger off but you won’t know it until after the event and the addrenaline starts to wear off. I didn’t say we would come out of this situation unscathed. We are in a world of crap and have a list of crappy answers. At the bottom of the list is to stand there and get shot. At the top of the list is our defense. The only good answer is to not be there with a handgun pointed at you in the first place!” I’ve even been asked about keeping the handgun by our head as we take it off…the person was afraid of being deafened. See the above answer for that one!!

When learning these defenses it is not uncommon for me to see students stopping in mid take away and starting over because they messed up. This is a major no no! I tell them that under stress they will react when it’s real exactly how they trained. There aren’t a lot of bad guys who are going to let them stop and start over…this will get them shot for sure! So we don’t do it when training! If they mess up they need to continue. After all, Krav isnt’ about the technique (those fall apart under stress and exhaustion), it is about the philosophy of get the weapon pointed offline and beat the attacker into the ground. I tell them to make it up and win…if i like what they did I’ll teach it that way and name it after them!

Most untrained people at these seminars, after taking the handgun, back off and point it at the “bad guy” as if they are going to fire the weapon. I always stop the group and point out that this is wishful thinking. I ask them “how many know how to clear the jam that just developed when the gun went off but you were holding the slide, not allowing the empty casing to eject? Do you know if it was loaded? If it was loaded did the idiot load it with the right caliber amunition? Do you know where the safety release is on a Glock 21, a Keltech 9mm, a model 1911 or a Colt 45? Don’t think that you have a working weapon BUT they did give you a piece of metal. If they charge push off of your back foot and see how far through their skull you can punch the barrel of that handgun!”

When I mention that one of the requirements for black belt in the USKMA is to take the NRA’s handgun safety course I have been asked twice now “What if someone is anti handgun and doesn’t want to handle one?” My answer is “I don’t care”. My thought is that if we are ever in a place that our family is threatened and we need to take that handgun we had better know how to operate it…and not be afraid of it. Never wanting to handle one is giving that handgun a magic power. I know people who are scared to death of a gun. How in the world could they ever protect themselves from one after giving it that much power in their mind? It ain’t gonna happen. BE SAFE!

This video doesn’t have anything to do with the blog but it’s cool! 16 year old girl who can sport shoot like you won’t believe!

JUST PUNCH ‘EM IN THE FACE!

“Violence of action trumps technique” SGT Rory Miller

During a second degree black belt test that I ran a few weeks ago I can’t tell you how many times I heard “I’d just punch ‘em in the face”, “just punch ‘em in the throat” and “just kick ‘em in the groin”. This was awesome! It was the right answer for quite a few scenarios they found themselves in.

When I teach the hair grab from the front from our level three curriculum I usually say something to the effect “In Krav we keep it simple and don’t have a lot of fluff. This technique I feel we’ve made harder than it needs to be. If someone grabs my hair, I just punch ‘em in the face!” To be fair, I think the technique (grabbing the wrist with both hands to block a punch that may be coming, bow at the waist, chop step backwards to stretch them out and kick to the face) is great for a women’s self defense seminar because they aren’t going to develop a punch that is worth anything in two hours but for me….just punch ‘em in the face!

Why complicate things? An aggressive, go off, go forward straight punch with all your body weight behind it is going to keep you out of more trouble than all of those fancy techniques we spend so much time practicing. Add a front kick to the groin and some anger and rage…you are one safe person!! (See my previous blogs on how aggression, attitude and a “go first, go off and go hard” philosophy is much more important than any technique or system).

I remember two stories from students that always make me smile. One older guy was in Vegas and was jumped by three bums. He punched one in the face and the dude went down. The others ran away. He was griping because all the cool stuff he knew and practiced he didn’t get to do…he just got a punch in. The other was a guy who was visiting Mexico. He turned a corner and out of the blue a punk tried to stick him with a knife! He blocked and punched the punk in the face. They both turned and ran away. He was hard on himself because he didn’t do the whole technique. He did exactly what needed to be done!
One more story! I knew a Krav black belt who was jumped at an ATM. He was lamenting that with all of the techniques in his arsenal all he got off was one punch…that knocked the punk out!

When I teach knife seminars we find out in a hurry that the only technique that is worth a flip is to block as good as possible as we PUNCH the idiot in the head. All the cool knife defenses go to pot when we add a realistic attacker, stress, pain and ky jelly (to represent the blood). Nothing works like just punching the scumbag in the throat!
I’ve had students complain in the past that in class we punch too much. They eventually get it. Below is a video that I have put in my blogs three or four times in the past. I love this vid! Be safe!!