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Defense in Pure Krav Maga/ Boaz Aviram, Pure Krav Maga Founder


Aside from offence first, Fighting Sports and Martial Arts use defense mechanisms so called taesabaki, side step, ducking, weaving, go with the punch, deflections and hard blocks to stop an attack. Counter attacks include throwing with body, wrists, legs arm and head manipulations, counter striking, kicking stabbing or hitting or even shooting.

In Pure Krav Maga the reaction time principle calls for efficiency, the economy and maximum effectiveness of a motion. These factors call for the concept of Sequential Execution. 


Sequential Execution acknowledges that each part of the body must contribute to the complete motion in synchronization with the whole.

For example, since the arm weighs less than the rest of the body, a punch should start with the fist, pulling the arm and only when close to the hot zone, the shoulder should twist to facilitate weight shift to the impact zone.

While this ensures the mass is moving to the right direction in the right time, it also enables the fist to start the acceleration process from zero speed to maximum speed at impact, without waiting for the greater mass - the rest of the body, to start.

In kicking, seesaw motion or corkscrew like motion and combinations of both of these, allow the torso to leverage an accurate mass shift in the kicking direction.

When it comes to defense, the Sequential Execution concept again, allows the inner or outer forearm, the wrist, the palm and the bottom of the foot, to start the motion first when possible making the defense as efficient as possible, enabling to execute the defense in the last possible moment.

For evasive body moves, it is important to recognize that the throw of the shoulder, or the head to the side or downward, the twist of the hips or torso should start the motion when push comes to shove. 

When being alert and from the farther distance, one can use the feet to start defensive motion. The reaction time is greater in that case.

That sequential execution of attack or defense is built-in to any attack or defense method coupled with the tactical implementation to prevent any possible follow up attack, by re-positioning the body and limbs in a convenient location or/and understanding and drilling follow up attacks or defenses which are possible under the constraint of the reaction time.

Finally prioritization is the principle that is added to the mix, and it helps determine what is preferable of all options available in each scenario. 

Normally you would pick the most efficient one, and the most tactically sound assuming your opponent can use any physical method of attack possible without mental limitations. 

The key is the reaction time which is the window of opportunity diminished as the range gets closer.

Let us not forget, that in attempting to drill reality based self defense, we should be very careful not to make means of control methods other than striking, tearing or cutting constricting pressure points into ends. 

If we do so, we are not teaching good habits to build efficient self defense skills to our students.  While it might promote excelling in sports, when it comes to self defense, it could cost them their lives!

This is simply because if we assume that a trained opponent will have enough reaction time to recuperate and counter our efforts, we are simply wasting our time in unrealistic expectations from our thoughtfully designed drills.

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