Krav Maga Instruction / by Boaz Aviram

Some so called Krav Maga Instructors never demonstrate enough slow motion recaps. This motivates students to want to attend many classes to attempt and grasp what the instructor demonstrated...

There are arguments both ways of which is the right way to teach Those that support no slow motion and explanation make the instructor look great since he would never have any competition from his devoted students, because they would never learn anything useful from him. This is how the old Dojo System survived for many years. It is not what Krav Maga is all about.

In addition, adding other systems to Krav Maga without adding them all and without explaining what is the purpose of adding them and how to go about choosing a technique when needed is useless whatsoever.  When you train your body in hours and years of moves your body will pick its most comfortable most trained technique on its own whether if it is efficient or not and it will increase your chances of getting killed tremendously.

Techniques were created over the years according to one principle or another but mostly without considering all principles all together.

If you take a standing human body and try to reason or calculate how much force, what method of blow or what depth of penetration you need to strike or squeeze to create restriction of motion or stopping damage or damage killing  a potential opponent, you must take into account that he can do the same to you.

When reasoning how to control pressure points, angle of approach is crucial and is the first factor in assessing accessibility of pressure points and methods of controlling them. It basically depends on in what angle your opponent is approaching you.

If you would like to reach to your opponent's back side to reach a pressure point, instead of his face, and he is standing facing you, while you are maneuvering to reach, he could simply poke or strike you in a pressure point located in your face before you managed your maneuver.

At the same time if your back is turned to him and you are trying to face him and reach a pressure point in his body, he can reach a pressure point in your back before you have completed your turn.

Many fighting experts are having a hard time to rationalize the turning point of when to use what. When to fight in one way, and when to fight with another way. Therefore it is easy for them to just teach every methods without teaching what each one is good for and let their students use whatever was more natural for them.

However while in the sports arena this can cause more excitement to discover that one day you are a winner and one day you are a looser, in the Self Defense World, it could be a disaster to an instructor to discover that his student died while applying bad self defense technique from lack of correct training.

As a matter of fact, in a world of common law suits where you would have to prove you killed someone out of self defense, I believe, a self defense instructor should be prosecuted if his student was trained irresponsibly and tried to use a technique that according to any reasonable man would never work in reality.

When then should you kick, when should you punch, and when should you choose an armbar?  When should you go to the ground or try a take down?  What is the critical point for you to make that decision?

While MMA often attracts unsuspecting audience that are just looking for dramatic violence and retribution without really caring of how realistically this violence has been staged, in the self defense world, things are much easier to explain, because it does not have all the "extra" elements that MMA has.

Some commercial elements always existed in most self defense schools since traditionally they followed the selling of a long term service contract model.

Let's classify human fighting methods into blows, constriction, and contortion, where a blow directs immediate damage on a nerve, vital organ, or causes an internal tear of blood vessel or the windpipe, a constriction method constrict the flow of blood supplying oxygen to the brain, or air supply to the lungs, and contortion methods bring one or more articles of the body a little bit beyond their range of motion causing intense nerve pain that alerts the mind that something is going to break... Contortion is used for restriction of motion as well.

The first takes the minimal amount of time to reach, but needed somewhat of a motion of range to execute in order to gain speed. As for constriction this can be done by using both hands or both arms or both legs, surrounding the opponent's neck. As for contortion it can be done with both hands creating a leverage, or both legs creating a leverage or combinations of both.

A poke is similar to the blow where a finger or fingers shove into the skin reaching a nerve, or the eyes where inflicting enough pain although high speed is not required, while in case of shoving a finger into the eye a tear could occur as well.

Another method is called tearing where you grab the opponent's skin or small part of the body and pull or pull and twist.

Since you should assume your opponent could use all these methods, it is therefore more crucial is to concentrate on the most efficient method of attack to be ahead of him.

The range and method of contact is also depending on at what point of range you had noticed the danger and at what point you had the courage and decision to react. If you suspected something bad could happen you had the time to plan on not being in a certain point and a certain time at  a certain position. If you see someone approaching you in a threatening speed after you identified that he is trying to hurt you you should lunge and kick him.

It is all according to your judgement call. You might just choose to move out of the way but if he is determined to get you he is now closer and you have less options than you had before.

The closer range is for hand strikes. Then when you are much closer it is the range for pokes, contortion and constriction. But what is more efficient? Pokes of course. Immediate effect with the touch with least effort and you can use another hand and two legs for balancing.

Of course you may want to use your legs or one leg or another hand to piggy back on your opponent in motion so you muffle the fall if he is throwing you, but while your judgement is constantly working to be one step ahead of him you should keep in mind where to poke and end the fight.

Let's say you missed a kick because no one really taught you how to effectively and efficiently kick or because you reacted too late, then you resort to the use of your hands trying to punch or elbow him in the head area. But if he is suddenly going for a takedown grab his head to control him and slide down underneath him before he lifted you and fell on top of you as you fall on your back.

That way you are not taking a flying fall and his body will roll over you on his head of which you control with your hands and trying to skip an eye poke. If he lifted you standing you can either poke his eye, grab his windpipe for a tear with your fall, or as last resort use a contortion technique on his weakest article - his finger or his cervical spine.

But always remember that if your opponent is trained well in an effective and an efficient response in all ranges, the confrontation could end in a split second in his favor. 

Therefore while it is a good advice what to do if you get a second chance in each range, it is not a good idea to rely on that and get false confidence. You must see the complete picture.

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