Brazillian Ju Jitsu is an amazing art. If my son were to learn one system I would want it to be BJJ. It’s chess-like strategies are amazing. The perfect art for one on one school yard type fights. HOWEVER…

How do you know that a school yard type fight is the violence that will find you? If a second attacker shows up the ground isn’t where you want to be. If the attacker suddenly produces a blade, tied up with him on the ground isn’t where you want to be. I heard of a guy who went to a “BJJ for the streets” type of gym. He got into a bar fight and took it to the ground like he was trained to do. He ended up nearly being killed with seven stab wounds. Doing those techniques on mats is cool…you’ll be hamburger attempting them on concrete.

I got news for you that may be shocking. If you can’t punch effectively with your knuckles, you can’t punch effectively with something between your knuckles! A pointy metal object in your hands is still innefective at stopping an attacker unless you hit hard and accurately. Think about it, the six foot three, 250 pound attacker isn’t going to be incompacitated because you poke him in the chest with a pointy object. He’s actually going to be infuriated and smack you that much harder! Of course you are probably taught to poke the attacker’s eye. When something comes towards my eye I turn my head and tightly close my eye lids. God kinda put this natural reaction is us so that we don’t get our eyes poked. Scumbags have the same reaction!

Google Knife Defenses. There are a bunch of them that look way cool. They seem like good ideas and fairly effective…in a gym with a friend holding a rubber knife. I’ve been told that the top ten Filipino knife masters of all time all died the same way…form knife wounds. If these guys who spent their lives mastering the knife could be killed by a blade what makes us think we can become good enough with knife defenses to save our butts?

When I teach knife defenses we go through an entire day of training to find out we basically have two effective “knife defenses”. Number one is outrun the knife wielder and number two is to punch the dude with the blade as hard as we can…and then outrun the knife wielder. The next thing on the list when those two things aren’t possible is to grab something with length and impact such as a ball bat. I’ll take a ball bat over any unarmed knife defense ever made!!

You wanna make your buddies cool knife defenses totally unusable? Slather KY jelly all over your arms and hands. Guess what…in any knife attack I’ve ever seen there is blood spilled. Blood is an extremely slippery substance. To always practice with dry arms when that isn’t what you will find in the actual attack isn’t very smart.

There is a popular women’s self defense system that teaches the ladies to drop onto their backs and use their legs to kick the attacker off. I have two problems with this advice.

Number one is that a woman isn’t generally going to be able to beat the crap out of a much larger, stronger man. She should be fighting to escape, not to win the fight. Getting on the ground makes it harder to flee.

Number two is that she is betting her life on the fact that there is only one attacker. If a second attacker shows up the two scumbags merely get on two sides of her and she is done. If you are sure that there is only one attacker you are evidently clairvoyant and should have seen the attack coming and not been there!

1) USE YOUR WORDS… and other goofy things
I have heard women’s self defense teachers tell ladies to simply tell the attacker that they have aids, that they have std’s, to wear multiple pairs of underwear, to carry a whistle, to yell “fire”, etc., etc. I have always been amazed that females would be told to do things for safety that men would never be told to do. The best bet for a man is to escape and, when that isn’t possible, to knock the scumbag the f$#@ out! This is what the fairer sex should be taught as well.

The drug induced scumbag is a scumbag and probably won’t care about, nor hear, anything you have to say. Also, this popular advice about what to say is popular enough for…the scumbag to have heard it! Might these words and tactics work? Yep, but do you want to base your safety on “might work”? Neither do I!! BE SAFE!


I’ve got a major pet peeve when it comes to what I see others teaching women for self defense. I see videos, systems, seminars, etc. that are teaching…well…garbage. They have students coming who are quite literally putting their lives in the instructors hands, believing everything they are being taught (because, by golly, they are experts) and practicing things that will get them hurt.

I recently saw a video of a technique for a knife to the throat from behind. They had a small female news anchor they were showing the technique to with a big dude hugging her from behind and putting the blade to her throat. She had to pop a shoulder, get a figure four hold on the blade, twist and step, etc., etc. Common sense would tell me that the split second she popped his shoulder he would react…and that reaction would probably be scooping her up, slamming her to the ground and stabbing her many times. WTF?

Men, if you are going to teach women self defense here is my advice. Think of your nightmare attacker. The dude weighs 70 lbs. more than you, is way, way stronger than you, is way faster than you, is way more aggressive than you and has trained a lot more than you. Your best punch to his head is just going to piss him off and he’ll come at you even harder. His best punch to your head will for sure knock you out and will probably kill you. Pretty damned scary, huh? This is the starting point for a woman learning self defense. Your nightmare attacker is her likely attacker. Why would you teach her to put her keys between her fingers, to stand there with her hands up yelling “stop”, to blow a whistle, to carry something in her purse to defend herself with and never train that object under realism or to go to the ground and get her feet between her and the attacker? Would any of that crap work for you in that situation? There is only one option that has any chance of saving your ass in that situation. That is to go forward with all the hatred and rage you can muster, become an animal. Spit, cuss, claw, bite and smash targets (eyes, throat, groin, knees, Achilles) over and over…always looking to escape. Punch a throat and, before he’s recovered, kick his groin. Before he’s recovered from that stomp his Achilles, etc., etc. If that is the only thing that is gonna work for you with that attacker that is what you better be teaching women who come to learn from you.

Put everything you do under a realistic attack with as much stress, exhaustion and adrenaline as you can. That’s what she’ll be going through if attacked, that’s what we had better train with. Standing around and working cutesy techniques and being the hero is for egotistical jerks…not for people who really care and are training others on how to live through the worst couple of minutes of their lives. BE SAFE!



The USKMA has a new book out! DEFENDING THE BARREL & THE BLADE; THE WEAPONS DISARMS OF THE UNITED STATES KRAV MAGA ASSOCIATION with a forward by Rory Miller! We are giving away a dozen of them on October!!

DEFENDING THE BARREL & THE BLADE includes every weapons disarm in the USKMA system, the same ones we teach law enforcement and military, including car jacking, third party, weapon retention, etc. These are the easiest to learn, most battle tested, most effective and easiest to recall techniques we can teach. We take saving lives seriously! Our no BS approach, putting everything under stress and exhaustion, showing how to train, being about philosophy not techniques and knowing what realistic attacks the scumbags are using on the streets are is what makes this Krav Maga!

We will enter your name into the drawing for the dozen book giveaway when you like this Facebook post, when you like our Facebook page (if you haven’t already) and will enter your name five times when you share this post. You will be notified via Facebook message on Oct. 18.

If you weren’t one of the twelve to win a free copy you can order at USKMA.com’s “store” page! Buy a copy for every law enforcement officer, bouncer, security professional and anyone else who’s job has the potential of going up against a weapon that you know! BE SAFE!!


We have all heard of “fight or flight”. It’s actually “Freeze, flight or fight”…in that order. When an animal in nature sees a predator they freeze, the predator looks for motion. If seen they flee. They only fight when grabbed. We don’t magically turn into fighters when danger finds us.

The freeze is a common phenomena reported by nearly all who have faced real violence….and is totally ignored by most self defense systems. It will happen! There are a couple of reasons why we “freeze”.

1) When a horrible situation happens that puts us in extreme fear for our lives our brain will work for us. If we had not trained for the attack, or had never even thought that the situation could possibly happen, our brain will look at the violent attack and literally scan our entire life to see if this situation had ever happened before and how we got out of it. It does this faster than any computer but it takes time. In previous blogs I talked about mind setting. For facing real world violence mind setting is priceless. If we had planned for this situation the plan will surface quickly. An interesting quote from Meditations of Violence by SGT Rory Miller…“The closer the events reflect previous experience, the less time it takes to orient. If the event is completely new there is nothing in the past to orient to, which explains the effectiveness of Judo in 1888, Jujutsu in America in the 1920’s, Karate in the 1950’s and BJJ in the 1990’s.”

2) Almost as bad as no training, as far as the freeze is concerned, is the wrong training. There is something called “Hick’s Law” which states that the more options you have, the longer it takes to choose one. I remember reading an advertisement for a martial art that bragged that they had 7,000 different techniques! What kind of selling point is that? If you have more than one choice in an attack your brain has to choose one! In the martial art I took years ago we had 30 different defenses for a straight stab knife attack. I am sure that in the real world I would have taken several stabs as I tried to choose which one to use! In Krav Maga we have one philosophy for that straight knife attack…block the knife and hit the scumbag!

Another example of the wrong training is techniques that are too regimented. If we train a defense that has six steps and it derails at step number two we have a hard time orienting because the plan isn’t being followed as we practiced.

3) The attacker’s words. We expect people to be reasonable like we are. We expect people to be truthful like we are. When the predator is telling us to obey him and he won’t hurt us it causes us to not spring into action because we reason that if we do what he says he will keep his word. Most people in other bad and very dangerous situations such as a natural disaster or an accident jump into action to save family, friends or themselves much quicker than they would in a violent attack. The predator knows this, he knows what works. Always remember, if he had any humanity, would have any remorse, had any good in him at all, he wouldn’t be attacking you in the first place.

How do we break the “freeze”? It starts now, mind setting is a must. Constantly be planning. Right now think “What would I do if someone kicked in my front door right now? What would I do if I woke up tonight with someone standing over me?” etc, etc. When you read about a violent attack or see it on the news think “What would I have done in that situation?”

If you are ever attacked and feel yourself doing nothing tell yourself that you are frozen and tell yourself to do something. Then tell yourself to do a second thing! Recognize it and force yourself into action.

Train correctly! Why Krav? What makes Krav Maga such a great real world self defense system is that it isn’t technique based, it is philosophy based. One of my instructors years ago loved saying “if I learn 1,000 techniques, with my luck, I will go out on the street and be attacked by number 1,001.” We want our first reaction, our “flinch” reaction, to be GO FORWARD AND GO OFF. When the surprise violence starts, when most people are freezing, we want our reaction to be to go forward with great violence….we don’t want to even think about it. Our drills, everything we work on in class and our whole philosophy is to keep it simple, to go right now and to make it as violent as possible. This isn’t brutal, it is effective! BE SAFE!


Get the USKMA’s instructor dvds for free, the whole curriculum levels 1 through 5! Order any three of our books on the “store” page of USKMA.com and we’ll throw in the dvd’s for free. The dvds were made for USKMA instructors and include the USKMA’s entire curriculum taught by USKMA black belts and lead instructor, Mark Slane. Anyone can learn Krav Maga with these complete and easy to follow lessons. Level 1 introduces basic combatives, ground and choke defenses. Level 2 continues with combatives & ground and introduces defenses for bear hugs, carotid chokes, etc. Level 3 introduces more advanced ground, combatives and attack defenses. Also, knife, stick and handgun defenses are introduced. Level 4 continues with advanced combatives, ground and weapons. Takedowns and sweeps are introduced. Level 5 covers judo throws, takedowns, ground and advanced weapons including long gun disarms. This offer includes the Weapons Disarms DVD as well.

This sale package includes the books AMERICAN KRAV MAGA, the manual for all USKMA krav maga techniques, BE SAFE; SELF DEFENSE FOR WOMEN IN THE REAL WORLD, KRAV MAGA FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT (co-authored with SGT Brannon Hicks) and our newest DEFENDING THE BARREL & THE BLADE which covers all of the weapon’s defenses of the USKMA. Sold separately the six dvds come to $114. This offer includes reduced shipping (only $5).

To order simply go to USKMA.com’s “Store” page and order any three book. We will throw in the dvd’s, no code required. The link is; http://unitedstateskravmagaassociation.com/store/

Final Krav in America cvr

While on our site check out the “events” page for upcoming law enforcement and level 1 instructor courses as well as Barrel & the Blade seminars!


In 1999 Mark was a member of the very first group of outside instructors ever trained at the Krav Maga National Training Center in Los Angeles. He then went on to open one of the first half dozen Krav Maga schools in the United States. Mark became a black belt in November of 2003 with Krav Maga Worldwide, tested with the USKMA to Second Degree Black Belt in 2009 and to Third degree in 2012.

Mark has studied the martial arts for thirty years. He started his training in Tae Kwon Do and holds a fourth degree black belt in that art. In Olympic style Tae Kwon Do he won a national championship in sparring in the light weight division – 33 to 40 year old age group. He has taught martial arts to hundreds of students in various schools over the past thirty years and has coached and trained dozens of national medalists, national champions, U.S. team members and World medalists. He has also trained in boxing for several years with Olympic Gold Medalist, Jerry Page and has studied Muay Thai, BJJ, and Mixed Martial Arts as well.

Mark is also the author of Be Safe! Self-defense for Women, American Krav Maga and Krav Maga For Law Enforcement with SGT Brannon Hicks as well as Defending the Barrel and the Blade; The Weapon Defenses of the USKMA’s (due out in November) . He has had an article on handgun disarms published in Black Belt Magazine as well.
Mark retired early from his firefighter/paramedic job to devote his life to making others safer.
Mark founded the United States Krav Maga Association to spread Krav Maga throughout the
U.S. the right way. No politics or egos…Just real world self-defense training.

Mark lives in Ohio with his wife Tina and their son Shae.

Mark can be contacted at Mark@uskma.com.


You won’t hear this in many systems but in Krav Maga we let our practitioners know that they can and probably will sustain damage. This can be a game changer! If you rely on both hands to do a joint lock and break one….what do you do then? If you rely only on jump kicks and the attack starts with your ankle being crushed…what do you do then? If we’ve never trained thinking about an injury and then it happens our brains want to freeze because this wasn’t in the plan. We want our practitioners to expect this and train for it. We will go as far as to have the first half of an upper level test be done with the student tying one arm down. They must figure out how to do the choke defense, handgun defense, knife defense, etc. with only one arm working. If this should happen in a real attack they now have a plan!

SGT Sanford Strong, in his great book “Strong on Defense” interviewed many crime (especially rape) victims. The ones who consistently fought back and got out of the horrible situation were those who feared the crime (the rape) more than they feared injury. Injury will happen….tell yourself that right now! The scumbag knows that you fear injury. This is why he will say “Do what I tell you to and you won’t be hurt.” Those who allow themselves to be moved, tied up, etc. on the “promise” of no injury from the bad guy will almost always paid dearly for it. Those who were so afraid of injury that they did nothing but hope and pray the attacker was telling the truth needed to know that the bad guys always lie and they are good at it! Put in your brain right now that the scumbag is there to hurt, torture and probably kill you. Injury is coming. It’s up to you to decide if it’s on his terms or if you are in control. It’s up to you to decide if that injury will come to only you or if it will come with you injuring him back tenfold!!

A greate quote from Meditations on Violence by SGT Rory Miller; “This fear of escalation is based on unknowns. The attacker has already decided to hurt the victim and largely how much. The feared ‘greater level of damage’ is only in relation to the level of damage, unknown to you, that the threat has already planned. If he is already planning to torture and kill, the feared escalation is meaningless…the fear of provoking a beating or torture or death will not help you if the attacker has already decided on the beating, the torture or the murder.”

Why Krav? Any class that would include being injured on purpose would be a short lived one! We don’t purposely injure anyone but we do go hard. Our drills don’t cause injury but they do wear us out, make us feel like we can’t go on and cause general discomfort. This is for a reason. We want to know that we can continue no matter what! Krav Maga’s techniques are such that losing the use of a limb, in general, doesn’t affect us. We incorporate no joint locks or fine motor skill movements in our techniques but whole body, gross motor skills that we do in an extremely pissed off stage of mind…..that keep going til the bad guy is done mentality!

If your instructor tells you “do our techniques right and you won’t get hurt, the bad guy will” you probably need to look for another instructor! BE SAFE!