3/29/15

Demonstrating Reversal of Fortunes in Self Defense / Boaz Aviram, Pure Krav Maga Founder

How to judge a composition of attacks or counter attacks – Can you tell what is Krav Maga?

Often people design series of attacks to continue until they hit to distract, miss and distract, buy time and finish with a devastating blow. Some people even think they should devise a composition of counters as well with series of defenses where each could be with or without a counter attack. The same ideas of the attack drills could be applied to the counter part.

This could be made of kicks, blows, throws, leverage breaks chokes and tears.

As much as entertaining and impressive it might look, remember that you are not dealing with a chicken that you pluck its feathers, then pluck its throat and then it is still running with no head!
It is possible that some of these ideas were more to generate counter bad impression from unimpressive demonstration. While simplifying the exhibition of reversal of fortunes training methods got lost in a sea of safe play.

Often these demos are also incorporated into drills and students learn to memorize sequences as such. However for this to work both attacker and defender agree to play their roll and somehow manage to act the desired amount of speed and resistance for it to work.

In Judo for example you learn to break your falls safely. It seems that every martial art deal somewhat with gravity and you use it to generate impact force and leverage. In that case, perhaps Krav Maga will not work on the moon! Do boxing coaches teach Judo break falls to minimize the danger of the head hitting the floor with straight body creating additional impact with the ground? 


Then you learn how to use your opponent as a box to lift and throw on many angles. Then you learn how to turn your opponent like a turtle on his back.

Judo is a classic extraction of throwing and grappling techniques from Aiki-Jujitsu where the extracted parts are used for sports which is basically fitness coupled with competitive challenge.


Put back to Jujitsu the idea of a throw is to use the opponent advance momentum to take him off balance and bring him helpless to the floor perhaps with heavy armor, slow him down for a stomp to the head or a choke.

With evolution caveman would barely kick but rather use his hands to control its prey this type of principles of taking out of balance with resistance and counter resistance until he would learn to use leverage in clubbing. Bears dogs and other animals still use that push and pull change of direction with their bite as they tear the throat of their resisting prey.

Horses kick and so do other animals, and when caveman’s skeleton changes, he was able to learn how to kick as well. Generation of impact through a cat’s slap with a nail tear or a simple stomp kick was added to humans defensive and survival skills.

At some point people thought they can work on this mimicking the use of weapon, forces of blows and leverage. Sure it makes sense, but not being able to put it all together, and the timing of changing from sports fighting drills and overdoing them to preserve safety and forget the essence and original purpose brought people to overdevelop skills for the purpose of sports without being able to apply them efficiently back to survival defense.

So is it good to develop good jaws and neck to use a bear’s fighting method? What about the strong paws that he slaps with in the long range? Carry a knife instead? Develop heels with calluses strong as a horse foot? Well if you are sitting there crazy, lonely with anger and fear of your next confrontation, perhaps it is a good idea for you. But really it is much better to see the whole picture. Which animal prevails usually?

Why in each animal species some prevail in internal fights? Lots of principles to extract… Finally each animal uses the way it is built as basis for its fighting method. Aside wishing you were born an Eagle a Lion or a Snake, you need to learn to understand the essence of fighting among humans. How to beware of snakes and bears? That is another story.

Now back to a Self Defense Demo where your point is to demonstrate how to control an attacker. Ask yourself if the demo shows how to get rid of an attacker in a split second, or how to compensate for lack of committed execution of a technique due to its deadly danger.

Are you taking sports like Judo, Boxing etc and using their training drills for your tactical scheme, or are you using their principles only to generate leverage, change of resistance, and learning to generate and control the force of impact?

In most martial arts today, the extracted sports elements used for sports are intermingled back into the whole system originally designed for fighting training. Many modern systems starting point was what was available from the older systems. You cant maximize the perfection of clean throws while neglecting the principles of a clean knockout.

When allowing the application of impact and push and pull forces in the same sport you cant ignore scenarios where the referee stops the fight or give a warning. You cant ignore the ability of the opponent to come back, wake up from a coma and fight again. Throwing on the ground gives you a split second to push the danger away from you.

That danger might come back in full force. Throwing a combination of punches, buys you splits seconds until you hit. But if you do not hit, that danger can come back in full force. What if you get blocked and countered in the first move of the combination? Training ideas and techniques are always good. But if they do not have a specific tested way to achieve the goal in mind they do not serve the purpose.

A fighting system should be suitable and logical throughout the matrix. If students do not understand or get the wrong impression of what is going on the drills become less of a suitable fighting system.

Do not underestimate sports athletes A Judo blackbelt could grab your arms and legs and shake your balance of using gravity to make you take a fall that will cause the air to escape your lungs. He can follow up with a restraining technique and a choke or armbar. Lots of years of training for that thing.

A Boxer can throw a combination and a Knockout punch without having to grab you. For him your jaw is like a target on the shooting range. Perhaps your stomach and floating ribs as well. Any of these athletes could also fight dirty. But what if you know how to counter all these? What if you block kick his knee as he advances?

What if your awareness can predict what could happen before it happens? Surely an athlete is more inclined to move is and start using his skills. If you had a good short course in self defense, hopefully you will realize before it starts what could happen and do everything to stop it preemptively.

Your advantage knows that you are not getting into a sports match but rather not letting anyone inflict harm on your body. Hopefully in that self defense course you took aside precise awareness you also learned to hit targets in motions to take targets of balance while they resist and to apply well tested fighting principles using your mind and body.

Almost same drills but with Self Defense in mind… You need to do them to get better and get the confidence until they become your second nature. In intensive course the idea is to feed them to you intensively. The rest is up to you. If you can throw a punch lunge a kick escape from leverage using soft pressure points and see the whole picture you have awareness.

As you watch some athletes with better track of victory, ask yourself: Are they in better shape? Or do they have better techniques, and tactical approach? Better Experience? In thousands of years of humanity there is much more experience than anyone can fathom. The question is what kind of experience and how you funnel through it to sort it out for useful and less useful.



An athlete might have experience of doing the same thousands of times. However often he does not have the habit of looking at the whole picture of self defense. But as hard to believe it might look to learn how to balance yourself on a bicycle, an intensive training method can achieve a lot more than that in few days of body mind programming.

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