9/30/14

Krav Maga & Combat Sports / Boaz Aviram

The things that Fighting Sports and Krav Maga share is that the more efficient opponent and the one that is able to use the chain of defense throughout the the match/confrontation prevails. The ones that fail are either slow learners, used less brilliant coaching, or both!

The differences is that fighting sports are building their training drills to take advantage of the limitations of sports while Pure Krav Maga training drills are building their drills to take advantage of the chain of defense in the matrix of all aspects of neutralizing an opponent without being limited to injure him in the worse way possible.

Since Pure Krav Maga origins are in the Israel Defense Force, so is the top down methodology design that is aimed at uniformed intensive training to win a battle with a top down design...Remember that when you fight for your life, in most case scenarios your are the referee and you must stay alive to keep your job!

Athletic skills can help endurance and explosive force but not necessarily set you up in the right train of thought to prevail in a life threatening confrontation. In an environment where you have the luxury to exhibit exhilarating performance, you do not develop the same mindset suited for an environment that death can come upon in a split second.

Remember that Immi used to say that when he had a teacher he felt he could not learn from, he replaced him!

Fitness is an integral part of almost every Martial Art school. Some require stretching, some require six miles runs and weight lifting, jumping rope, and some use the technique practice as the fitness itself. Stretching is a necessity in almost any type of sports fighting and martial art.

Increasing your level of physical fitness is considered a healthy lifestyle as long as you are doing it gradually and learn to prevent sports injuries before they happen. Yet you have people that live long life without excessive physical activity. Moderation of living environment, nutrition, and physical activity all contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Generally with fighting sports, is an immense stress on level of fitness especially in competitive contact martial arts and contact sports. The idea is you simply have no excuse to lose face because your fitness level is lower than your opponent. In other words, if your fitness level is higher, your opponent cannot out run you in the competition.

You will feel more comfortable than your opponent, and will be able to avoid more injury and have the energy to inflict more pain to your opponent and exhaust him.

The competitive martial arts and contact sports is not to maximize injuries to their opponents but rather exhaust them and inflict painful series of blows or a painful one hold or choke that forces their opponent to submit.

Another avenue would be a blow that causes a loss of conscience or a temporary disorientation to call a victory.

If you take boxing for example you are not allowed to hit the back of your opponent and not allowed to hit your opponent when he is on the ground. You are not allowed to hit your opponent below his belt including his legs.

In wrestling competition you are not allowed to strike your opponent. In Mixed Martial Arts related competition you are not allowed to kill or maim your opponent.

Accidents could happen however. But generally athletes have track of prior matches, and the use of protective gloves, the referee and weight category and track of past fights give you an idea of the ability of the athlete to adhere to the rules of safety and to be in good health and awareness to avoid hurting himself or others badly.

From a psychological point, competitive contact sports do give their athletes the confidence to overcome the natural fear from the unknown to prevent injury and harm to their bodies, and the courage to take the risk.

Pure Krav Maga is just a training system to build well rounded self defense capabilities to most individuals. One of the major differences between the rests of the similar contact fields is that in Pure Krav Maga students learn to be their own coach from inception. You do not just follow orders and execute techniques. Instead you learn and understand every aspect of what you are doing.

In addition you learn why you are not doing anything else instead. That enables you to gain complete confidence and trust what you are doing completely. In a short time of 12-30 hours of training you get to train in all aspects of unarmed combat.

Is it a short cut to the years of experience of the other martial arts mentioned above? One simple plain way to describe it is probably yes. But it is a flavorless way to describe it.

Perhaps you should think about the following scenario: Getting into a cab and asking the driver to get to your hotel, he instead takes you around town in circles. That could be since he is a newbie, or because he thinks you will not notice and he can charge you more.

Pure Krav Maga training system concentrate on learning of the essence of the other collective human experience gained over the years from the other martial arts and distilled into a concise and intensive training methods geared solely for self defense.

The goal behind it was originally to suit the time constraint and the various weight classes, gender classes and physical fitness levels of individual recruits to the Israeli Army.

But what is self defense? Self defense is something that is done to defend your body or soul from an imminent physical harm. It can be done with a third party that is present at the scene and certain to protect you.

It should be self done when you are alone at the scene. It can be done with a firearm, a blade or a blunt object of any sort. It can also be done with bare hands.

What role do the aforementioned martial arts and fighting sports have in self defense? In Pure Krav Maga the collective experience gained in the human capacity of motion and exertion of force and the psychological state of fear and courage is extracted and applied to self defense training.

Pure Krav Maga while offer some firearms training but mostly deals with the unarmed combat aspect including small sharp objects like knives and blunt objects like sticks and clubs.

It is designed for the last resort last minute surprise in the most inconvenient moments when you do not have sufficient time to call for help or reach for the proper weapon.

It teaches you critical thinking, moving and split second timely last split second response to physical threat scenarios to you and your dear ones that happened to be nearby you.

In Pure Krav Maga we use the intangible tools instead of competitions that make the difference between winning and losing!

Why Pure Krav Maga and not Just Krav Maga? Pure Krav Maga, is formerly known as the Original Krav Maga Training System developed in the Israeli Defense Forces by Imrich Lichtenfeld and his successor Eli Avikzar, analysed and documented by Eli Avikzar's successor in the Israeli Defense Force - Boaz Aviram!

The original Krav Maga system was modified for civilian use - lethal elements extracted! Since the name Krav Maga had a good commercially promising reputation and many Martial Arts Instructors and Instructor wannabe had adopted the name!

Therefore, to distinguish the unique name of unarmed combat training system, it was renamed Pure Krav Maga!

As Imrich Lichtenfeld aka Immi used to say: " Krav Maga is just a name like any other names! There is nothing in this world alike even if it has the same name. It is what it was intended to designate will give you a clue of what it is!"

Combat sports are good to develop courage! However, from a point of view of Self Defense Training they can be considered as Sparring drills that work on certain Elements of Self Defense but never combine them all together.

In other words, the fighting sports never give spend enough time to combine all the elements of self defense and incorporate them in drills.

Since each one of them is limited in ways to approach the opponent striking methods, defense methods, and grappling methods, and injury permitted, they can never be considered as pure Fighting but rather sparring from a point of view of Self Defense Training…

When training realistic self defense most of these sparring methods should be modified to let the students develop the same courage, same skills but modified for self defense purposes.

If you limit a confrontation one of the opponents will find a way to beat you in an area you are limited more than he is. If you are fighting in full conscience for life and death, you should find a way to beat your opponent in areas where he is limited. 


Perhaps the bottom line advantage in self defense reversal of fortunes is that you will be using the chain of defense in the mindset of fighting for your life. While an unexpected attack can be motivated by urge to steal, abuse, or kill, your reaction should be based on the urge to live coupled with the right and preparedness to kill as a response to a justified threat as a last resort in your immediate space where you need to control violence to avoid injury.

When it comes to self-defense, consider the followings combat sports gym owners favorite argument: "If someone is in better fitness he has a better chance to control his opponent with fewer injuries. 

You need fitness to prolong the fight to endure the unknown." In a way, any kind of actual trying to throw punch and kick in any angle and any type of resistance will build that fitness. But if you want to learn self-defense you better get the nuts and bolts of the process put together!

If someone is in bad fitness state, or to be more precise if someone assumes that his attacker might be in a better fitness state, the tendency is to avoid spending too much time in a fight but rather to concentrate on the essence of it.

Instead of trying everything, concentrate your training on the common limitations that any human being has and work within these constraints.

Historically, Non competing Martial Arts and Sports Martial Arts training drills were used as training methods interchangeably by both Sports and Non Sports or Self Defense/Combat seekers.

Of course each one of these distinct groups had put more stress on their specific area of training with desired results: To get a point in a restricted tournament or to eliminate the opponent quickly.

It is the mass of simple and complex ideas that were brought to the table or extracted principles that posed a great confusion to students. Krav Maga principles were tested both in the sports arena and in street fighting.

It is now taught mostly as a non competitive Self Defense Training System. It just happened that a genius mind was able to extract the essence of fighting and prioritize the training drills, principles and application principles and distill them for the Self Defense Purpose.

Not all students are alike and not all instructors are alike, but once you have a system where there is a great similarity between the students and instructors, it starts to make sense.

When Instructors or founders do not have precise requirements of how to convey their training system to future generations, or when names of styles get borrowed or stolen, the training system cease to exists.

If you think about the idea of solving the puzzle of human fighting capabilities, think about the smallest particle, the least amount of time and how to have the most power to change things. Do not think circles, squares or Triangles.

It is not a lesson in geometry but lesson in concepts. It is much more complex and needed to be broken down to the last component and put back together to a working condition. 

It is true that athletes have to conform to worldwide ratios of achievements like time KO rate and number of fighting experiences, while the time of running under the same conditions (flat and straight track) can be measured universally, humans are much more complex, so fights won with many opponents, just tell you that you were better than them at that time, but not all the time.

But really, do you need to have a worldwide athlete's fitness if you simple try to save your life and block a blow and counter attack to a human vulnerable pressure point?  Well anything can help, but achieving marathon records alone will not help you train in most of the elements of combat, and not even the combat sports!

While Pure Krav Maga is not a fighting sport, it does use select modified drills from fighting sports.

Its great assets as a system were the men that were athletically winners in all ranges of unarmed combat and that also served in a modern army adapting the training methods to anyone that was in a recruiting shape with a broad experience in the principles of Martial Arts but with the open mind of genie able to extract the essence and teach it quickly and uniformly.


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