A HURTIN’ FOR CERTAIN!

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 great 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!

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THERE AIN’T NO RULES!!

One of my fellow USKMA Krav Maga Instructors carries around a list of UFC fight rules in his gym bag and whenever someone asks him exactly what is it we do in Krav Maga he pulls the list out and says “whatever is illegal to do in the ring!”
I was recently asked about the rules in MMA so here they are….

Should a fighter fail to follow these rules they will be deducted a point or be disqualified from the match.
Theses rules and faults include:
-Butting with the head.
-Eye gouging of any kind.
-Biting.
-Hair pulling.
-Fish hooking.
-Groin attacks of any kind.
-Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent. (see Gouging)
-Striking to the spine or the back of the head. (see Rabbit punch)
-Striking downward using the point of the elbow. (see Elbow (strike))
-Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
-Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
-Grabbing the clavicle.
-Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
-Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
-Stomping a grounded opponent.
-Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
-Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck. (see piledriver)
-Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
-Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
-Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
-Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
-Attacking an opponent after the bell (horn) has sounded the end of a round.
-Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.

There are rules in the ring to outlaw certain things that could cause injury and end fights quickly. On the street this is exactly what we want to do…cause injury and end fights quickly! So, I guess Krav Maga’s rules would be to head butt, eye gouge, bite, pull hair, attack the groin, put a finger in a laceration and yank (how cool is that?), strike the spine and back of head (if your life was on the line), strike downward with the elbow, strike the throat, claw, pinch and twist flesh, grab the clavicle, knee, kick and stomp a downed opponent, kick a kidney, spike and throw the attacker, be unsportsmanlike, attack and attack some more and flagrantly disregard the ref…if this is what it takes to survive and BE SAFE!!

TEACHING SELF DEFENSE

“Martial Arts and self defense are tricky, because for most practitioners wether they work or not will never really matter. It will never be tested. They can learn and believe any foolishness they want. Then, occasionaly, it will matter very much to an isolated individual. The stakes are high.” SGT Rory Miller

If you search “Krav Maga” on the internet one of the top (paid for) results that comes through is a system who’s slogan is “Fear No Man.” If there is one point that these blogs has gotten across I hope that it is you had better fear man. This Fear No Man system may be legit and there may be some good things that I could get out of it but I’ll never know. I wouldn’t try it if they paid me! Anyone who teaches others to be safe and makes claims like “you will fear no man,” “how to defeat multi-attackers easily” and “easily win all fights…even if they have a knife or handgun” is, in my humble opinion, BS that will get people hurt. It shows me that the founder has never studied, and is clueless about, real world violence.

I get many surprised responses and unbelieving looks when I write and say the things about Krav Maga that I do. Look back at the past blogs and you will read “Run from a knife, those things are scary,” “Run from multi-attackers, it’s hard enough blocking one person’s punches and I don’t have enough appendages nor am I quick enough to block multi-attackers,” “Don’t go to stupid places with stupid people to do stupid things,” “Any untrained idiot with a blade can kill ya,” “The effects of stress and adrenalin will make you much less effective on the street than you are in the gym,” “You will be hurt and have to fight that way,” “I carry a knife and, when allowed by law, a handgun even though I am an “expert” at Krav Maga,” “We teach crappy answers for handgun defenses. You are in a world of crap and only have crappy answers of which our defense is at the top. The only good answer is don’t be there with a gun pointed at you,” “a slightly trained person with a weapon will beat an unarmed, highly trained expert more often than not” …etc., etc.

There is so much bluster, ego and BS in self defense and martial arts. I guess as I get older (much older) I am turning zen-like in my thoughts on self defense and violence. I realize that it is best to learn self protection over self defense. We truly teach 1) don’t be there in the first place, 2) run, 3) pick up an object to whack an attacker and then as a last resort, 4) krav techniques. That doesn’t sound a lot like anything else being taught, does it? Anyone who is just teaching techniques and hasn’t studied real world violence and who doesn’t put the techniques under stress, exhaustion, the handicap of having only one arm to use, a second attacker always being around, etc. is teaching people to defend in a gym (to prove how great the system is) and not preparing them for real world violent encounters.

The head honchos of most systems, for some reason, have to come off as unbeatable, super bad asses. Some of them are but I think they would no matter what system they were touting. They are tough as nails, strong and quick people. The problem is, they may be unbeatable but how does that translate to their five foot nothing, one hundred pound female student? I am the head instructor for the USKMA but I’ve never claimed to be a bad ass. I believe that most of the instructors I have trained, and several of my students, could take me in a fight! This makes me happy because I don’t claim to be a tough guy, I claim to be a very good teacher of a defense system that will make people safer.

If you are teaching self defense read books like STRONG ON DEFENSE by SGT Sanford Strong, MEDITATIONS ON VIOLENCE by SGT Rory Miller and THE GIFT OF FEAR by Gavin DeBecker. They are eye openers. BE SAFE!

GO ANIMAL TO SURVIVE ANIMALS!

The theme of many of my blogs has been that techniques don’t save anyone…fighting with hatred and rage does. Fighting like an animal does. Krav Maga won’t save you. Krav Maga with rage, going first, going hard & going forward will.

Freddie Roach Jr. tells the story of being attacked by three guys at once in his younger days. He dropped the first guy with a punch. The next two had him on the ground and were on top of him before he could react. He went “animal” and actually bit one of the guys eye lids off. He says that he had eyelashes and skin in his mouth, actually thinks he bit the guys eye ball. It was over. The dude screamed and rolled off, his partner fled as well. The boxing technique saved him from the first guy, fighting like an animal saved his life.

From SGT Samford Strong’s great book STRONG ON DEFENSE he talks about a horrible situation that was gotten out of by going “animal”. He talks of a family camping in Mexico. Some local scum woke them up at night, got them all on their knees and had knives to all their throats. One of the scumbags made it apparent that he was planning on raping the nine year old daughter. Well, the mom went “animal”. She grabbed the blade of the knife with both hands (surgery later) and went so ballistic that she actually got loose and in the confusion her husband also got loose. He went for his weapon he had in the tent and the whole family was saved. Mama didn’t save them with any cool martial art or Krav techniques. She saved them by being an animal and being willing to fight to the death for her girl.

In the same book he talks about a woman who was awoken in bed by a man over her with a knife. She decided right then that she would rather die then submit and that she would fight. Fight she did. She grabbed the blade of the knife (again, surgery later) and fought…not with any technique or training but like a cornered animal. She ended up doing some pretty major damage to the scum bag.

There is a beautiful illustration of this in Chuck Holton’s book BULLET PROOF. The following is a couple of paragraphs from the book; “Capt. Brian Chontosh, found himself leading a patrol through the small town of Ad Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad. In what seemed like a single heartbeat, his unit was hit with a coordinated attack of mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and machine-gun fire. Chontosh knew immediately that it was a near ambush…and that he and his men were in the kill zone. Retreat was not an option. Dying was.

But Captain Chontosh wasn’t about to let that happen to his Marines. The love he felt for each of them instantly transformed into rage at those who would try to kill his men. He ordered the driver of his Humvee to plow directly into the enemy trench, and with a violence of action he leaped from the vehicle and attacked the attackers until his rifle ran out of ammo. He then pulled out his pistol and continued killing the enemy until that, too, ran dry. He picked up an enemy weapon and continued fighting. Then another. Then another. When it was over, more than twenty enemy fighters were out of commission and his men were saved.” Capt. Chontosh didn’t do what was expected. He didn’t look for cover or run. He went “animal” and charged. That is what saved him.

I hope that we are learning that surviving real world violence isn’t done by learning any marital art, self defense system, etc. if we are only learning techniques. We survive with heart. We go forward, go hard, go off and win no matter what. The scum bags use violence as a tool, we need to perfect that tool and wield it better than they do. Be an animal to survive against animals. BE SAFE!