With the disintegration of wars that required much of Hand to Hand Fighting, many attempts to take the Fighting Methods and turn them into sports and arts, incorporated with religion and spiritual experience, (which it seems always were incorporated to the life of the fighters in some form or matter anyway)were pursued.
The minute that a Martial Art turns into sport the lethal elements must be extracted!
So how does a common person figures out what is the best solution for his need to quickly learn how to defend himself if the need arises?
First you need to learn that the name of any system only indicates certain expectations according to its reputation. The name is only good to categorize your search effort. The end result should be your sound judgment that you are getting exactly what you are looking for.
A person has to get himself familiar with all methods of common and uncommon attacks that are used in hand to hand fighting scenarios. You can go on Youtube, and observe many videos of different sports martial arts, non sports martial arts and anything related.
You can seek to try and train in many or few if you have the time. Speaking on youtube videos, if you look for self defense learning, forget about entertainment. It is not about the expression, the looks, the amount of sweat, fear, bravery, etc. It is the common sense of each component viewed and done.
Remember, it is unlikely that you will watch videos of people getting killed just for your entertainment. Hollywood actors, not yet, found a way to completely fool experienced martial artists in the reality of their techniques. You either enjoy the funny parts of it or enjoy nothing.
Basically without making a short story long, you always find someone that learn few moves from someone and without getting too much into it, adopted part and discarded the rest, i.e. modified it, and have found ways to close the gaps of knowledge he never acquired.
But what has happened in The Israel Defense Forces Krav Maga, actually, was a distillation with trial an error. They narrowed down to find simple efficient and easily adopted and executed by the average person.
So you basically have a newly Krav Maga Master, asking all the martial artists to attack him in any method possible, and trying to find conclusive uniformed answers to various scenarios and group them together to make it generic.
Since the human mind will always find a way to apply his body and the objects it holds in a different way and a different sequence, instead of being bogged down and train in attacking in all methods and finding a different defensive move to each one of them or at least most of them, a more efficient approach was taken.
Find out the sequential potential of humans, that is most efficient at its ability to generate maximum speed and impact just enough to stop or delay an opponent by buying few life saving seconds.
Devise answers: Take into account all of the possibilities and apply them to each scenario.
Take into consideration, that the opponent will perform at his full potential as an aggressive, skilled, powerful vicious attacker, that wants to kill you. In that way you minimize your chances to miss anything or to get hurt in any way possible. This is Krav Maga!
So when you learn few so called “Krav Maga” Moves, and think you can modify them and apply many of the moves in all scenarios, you are forgetting all the aspects of the human fighting potential.
Practicing Zen for example builds your spirit but does not help you with learning to read the thoughts of your opponent. Even if you were able to read the thoughts of people you knew, you will never be able to read the thoughts of an unknown opponent.
Hopefully you will be able to identify a potential threat or react to an imminent threat with an instinctive fashion, while you do not even have the time to develop fear. Krav Maga again, does not care what the opponent is thinking or planning.
You learn how to be in control and not to put yourself in scenarios where there is no time or it is too late to defend your life.
In a boxing match when one opponent is not responding after a knock out, you get the idea that the other athlete managed to knock him out. That does not mean that the next opponent will prevail or not. There is a possibility that one Boxer has a better technique that the other.
Of course you can argue that some can take punching better, and do not have enough power to execute a knockout strike, but generally they match boxers in the same weight range, and they go to open weight only if they have track record of being able to defeat bigger and larger opponents. Apply this lesson to all the other martial arts.
Think about the difference in using kicks, i.e. speed, range, power, each component separately, and consider all components interacting together.
Consider that a blade can penetrate body organs with little effort and less speed, but if you were faster, or reacted timely, you managed to stop your attacker’s plan to drive his blade into your heart. This is Krav Maga!
Nothing wrong in excelling in a sport but self defense should be well rounded skills and not in winning sports competitions, but in awareness through understanding the limits both you and your opponent may have through lecture and training and using them to your favor when you can.
Pure Krav Maga has all the techniques and the Tactics that the other Martial Arts have in their most efficient combination of form and prioritization geared for Self Defense Training under the constraint of reaction time. To be able to completely understand this statement you can read the book Krav Maga - Use Your Body as a Weapon!