Pure Krav Maga Combat Motion is Never Boxing /by Boaz Aviram)

If you try to generally classify the most extremely different methods of Hand Strikes developed by Humans you can compare Traditional Karate to Boxing. While Karate Hand Strikes use release of fast burst of air from the lungs to tighten all the muscles in your body delivering a short strike.  This delivers the body weight in a short wave.

In boxing, the punch is based on the principle of throwing a ball and shifting the weight behind the strike. 

It appears that Karate Strikes are geared to a safe protection of the joints to facilitate breaking of various materials like wood or brick, and the boxing strikes are geared toward further reach and can be lunged with a greater range and quickness. 

Using both types of striking methods you can generate equal amount of force of about at least time and a half of your body weight.

When I was a kid, my Jujitsu Instructor required his students before getting a black belt in Jujitsu to go elsewhere and learn either Boxing or Karate. Imrich Lichtenfeld the creator of Krav Maga trained in Jujitsu in his youth and was a boxer. I started with Karate, and when I was taught Krav Maga it made sense to me that most traditional Karate that enter the full contact fighting sports shift their efforts to strike more like a boxer.

Traditionally Many Karate styles excluded hand strikes from their competitions claiming it is too dangerous, but yet allowed kicks to the head. Perhaps they tried to prevent  possible boxers infiltrating their competitions.

If you teach traditional Boxing and Wrestling and Muay Thai or any other Combinations of Arnis, Kali etc when you teach Krav Maga you are teaching some form of Mixed Martial Arts.

While it is nice to get a hands on experience in every part of life creation and development, the limited purpose of Krav Maga is to teach someone how to use their arms legs and head in defending themselves in the most efficient way.

Boxing trainers might make comments that too much weight is shifted on the left foot with the “Jab”, however in Pure Krav Maga the idea is to teach students to use a single strike Knockout in the front hand and therefore the weight needed to be shifted in the direction of the strike as the opponent’s face is being hit. 

Another observation of boxing trainers might be that in Pure Krav Maga students don’t learn to tuck their chins. Again, the defense tactics in Pure Krav Maga are not based on mitigating injury, but rather prioritizing all options and therefore preferring natural easy and efficient motion.

Considering that in a confrontation our opponent will not wear boxing gloves and might be holding a small blade, could be using kicks and punches, tucking the chin will not stop a kick to the groin area or the center of the body which will result in loosening of the chin. When you have a fighting sport with the limiting rules every option is explored to give athletes the upper hand, but the overall Hand to Hand Fighting Capability is being neglected and circumvented.

Another observation on the Pure Krav Maga Training Stance was that in boxing you stand more with the left shoulder in front to minimize exposure as a target.

Finally, in boxing boxers are trained to retract their whole body back after the punch quickly, while in the Pure Krav Maga System, students learn to retract the fist and forearm only at the same time they are delivering the front hand strike.  

This enables them do concentrate on looking for the follow up strike if the first one was missed or dodged instead of idling backward to center court and losing track in the critical split second which could have given their opponent the opportunity to come back with a counter.

Overall a boxing trainer will find a great resemblance of the Pure Krav Maga Stance to traditional Boxing stance.

The rear foot’s heel in boxing is pointed about forty five degrees inward while in the Pure Krav Maga Training Stance it should be pointed straight backwards in the opposite direction from the opponent. 

This gives you maximum lunging force maximizing the range to close the gap quickly and deliver a fast opening attack of either a Kick or a Hand Strike according to the distance. You do not want to miss the advantage of being more efficient in every phase.

With perfect timing and coordination it guarantees over all body mass punch instead of just an arm punch.

Pure Krav Maga students use the Combat Training Stance to train in the proper delivery of strikes and kicks to when one foot is in front of the other, the mechanism of moving quickly to any direction, and body positioning and execution of attacks and defenses according to the position. However, in a confrontation, it is rare that you see a Pure Krav Maga trained person actually strike a pose of this stance.   You start from a natural position you were in and move in to kick or strike and if you do not have the time you deflect and counter attack.

Pure Krav Maga Students learn in the first few hours after general warm up introduction, danger analysis and reaction time, how to generate impact with punching and enter the hotzone safely and quickly with lunging and punching techniques initially in one hour training.  Then they learn natural instinctive defensive defection skills, and learn additional skills in the follow up lessons.

So in this one hour it is basically how to use the mechanics of throwing a punch first from place and then with advance. In the Defenses one hour lesson they learn inside and outside defenses(moving the palm or forearm inward or outward) with simultaneous counter attacks, and in the Low Punches class and all other hand strikes they learn defensive ducking and striking to the center body in attack or evasive mode.  Then they learn blocks against center body punches as well.

It all depends on the total hours that you have  teach a student. You need get the maximum out of a training hour so you teach students to generate impact force estimated to be 150% of their body weight into the strike in one hour of training. The speed and mass of the punch cause a momentum sufficient to cause concussion in most cases.

Students also practice some other boxing tactics but modified to deal with a person that fights with everything he is got.

In the initial learning process, students should  count from 5 to 10 before they retract their shoulder after the punch to ensure their weight is shifting forward while their hand is passing the target.

Since the body is heavier than the hand, if you try to bring the hand back at the same time with the body, your body starts moving backward too soon and if your hand is on the target that is moving and might be few inches before or behind the point you expected it, you still have full force with the punch. 

You need to stop after the strike at the ending position and continue from there if needed.
So if you need a right punch there is no coming back to the center first but immediate throw of a right punch or elbow from the position of leaning forward.

Start with  teaching the hand strikes from a neutral position before you teach standing position so students will get used to defend and punch first instinctively and then get comfortable with the stance for training purposes. The idea is to have a good punch and avoid getting hit by either bursting with continuous attack with a stopping point after each attack to continue according to the need, and off course start with a kick if the distance allows.

If starting from a punch never lift the arms to a standing position but your hands will come up to a standing position on their way to strike.

If you are out of the hotzone, you cant get hit, and as you enter it you are already delivering your punch.  If you stood in your place and your attacker moved into the hotzone, your arms would had already naturally moved up to reach and deflect his attacking limb and counter attack his pressure points.  You avoid getting hit by keeping good distance and  blocking & counter attacking at the split second the opponent is getting too close.

The Pure Krav Maga Boxing Like stance is meant to be in a comfortable training position like in Tennis center court position. From this position you get the ability to lunge to any direction quickly using kicks and punches and other hand strikes according to the distance and angle, it is a comfortable training stance, or a stance to execute continuous attack from.

The stance resembles a virtual home for the fighter, until someone breaks in to his home and he then has to roll on the ground. But most times one is attacked while out of his home. This home is a training home and that is all it is. Since a human is not an armored tank, in Krav Maga we do not block by giving our peripheral limbs to get hit hiding behind them, but rather keep our vision open and stop flying objects before they come too close with deflection.

We are prepared that the attacker will use a small sharp or blunt object so we definitely do not want to take cover under our arms and shoulders but rather use our hand eye coordination to stop it from a convenient angle that facilitate a convenient way to end the attacker’s ability to continue attacking to the point our reaction time cannot handle the load.

Of course when you and most importantly your opponent are limited to punching only, and you have to win a boxing fight you do not want to miss on any option of training.

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