When I teach knife defenses I always start with the statement “I only have one guaranteed, for sure, you won’t get cut knife defense. Outrun the dude with the knife.” The first thing we do in our knife defense seminar is to have every student sprint away from their training partner when they make a move to their pocket. The second thing we do is punch and sprint away from the training partner when they make a move to their pocket. Does this sound macho? Nope, macho will get ya hurt!

When I teach Krav Maga instructor training I make sure that the potential instructors realize that using Krav Maga means that we are recovering from stupidity or bad luck. If we are using our Krav Maga we ignored warning signs, were in a bad place to start with or were just unlucky that day. We tell these future instructors that they must teach their students (in this order) to 1) not be there. Don’t go to stupid places with stupid people to do stupid things. 2) Run. Really. I don’t care if our local news has video of me running away from a knife wielding thug and laughing about how “a Krav Maga expert runs from knife!”. I would be a still living, non injured Krav Maga expert! 3) Pick up something to use as a weapon. You are much smarter to defend a knife with a ball bat than with any of those cool, expert Krav Maga empty hand knife defenses! 4) Krav Maga. See how far down the list our actual Krav Maga techniques are? If you are there you probably did something wrong!

Does this mean a good Krav Maga class would include sprint work? Yep.

When there was trouble Forrest Gump ran! This was a brilliant tactic as it kept him safe (even kept him from being fried in ‘Nam). But let’s think about this advice. Can you run? When is the last time you did any sprint work? The average violent criminal is a male ages 18-25. Can you outrun a young dude who is still in his athletic prime? I doubt I can anymore. Are we fit enough to not keel over dead after attempting to run thirty yards? Do we just hope that we are attacked only by overweight, slow and lazy people? Hope isn’t a strategy. So, first point of running for safety is to get yourself into shape. This is why we are so physical in our Krav classes. This is why we recommend to our affiliate gyms that they add CardioMMA and Crossfit. Techniques won’t save anyone. Being in better shape than the attacker, going off with rage, going forward and going hard is what will save us.

Next thougt; what are you wearing? Most guys I know, when they go out, are in athletic shoes. Most women, however are in things I couldn’t even stand in, yet alone walk or run in! During self defense for women seminars I talk a lot about this. Those “cute shoes” could be your downfall. How can you outrun anyone in those stiletto heels? Statistically violence tends to happen more often where young men gather and where minds are altered. This sounds like most bars, doesn’t it? If you are going to the bar those cute shoes may not be the thing to wear. How quick can you get them off and run barefoot? The second point is to plan and mind set. Wear things you can fight and run in…have a plan!

Last thought; Where are you running to? Again, have a plan and mind set. Don’t run from danger, run to safety.
When you go into a restaurant, theater, etc. you should not only know where the exits are but also should have put yourself in position to get to them quickly. If outside in a city do you know where you can run to most likely get help? How about out in rural areas. Where can you run to quickly where help is available? In our self defense for women seminars I make the point that a tazer isn’t to be totally relied on. When you taze the guy it will lock him up for thirty seconds…if both barbs got him (happens less than 70% of the time). How far can you run in thirty seconds? When it lets go of him he may well sprint to wherever you are to do you harm.

We have one goal and one focus in Krav Maga. That is to make people as safe as possible as quickly as possible. Does it look sissy having a big, tough Krav Maga black belt instructor telling the class that he/she would run from danger? I don’t care if it does!! When we as self defense instructors have to look tough and feed our own egos we are going to get people killed. When a student comes to us for self defense training they are literally putting their lives in our hands. If they ever need what we taught it will be for the worst few minutes of their entire lives. We as instructors had better have showed them the best, most battle tested, scientific and safest self defense possible. That starts with telling them to RUN when they can. BE SAFE!


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