You say your are doing Krav Maga Knife Techniques but are you just using the Hebrew Words Krav Maga? / Boaz Aviram

Knife Defenses and Pistol Defenses and Bat Defenses in the Original Israel Defense Force Krav Maga had a unique prescribed technique for each one of the angles off attack. For the average student it always amounted to learn that technique or learn this technique. For the founders of Krav Maga, it was a method of dog training. 

After years of Jujitsu training, learning a variety of methods of release from front choke, learning the methods Krav Maga release from chokes led me to believe, that in Jujitsu, over the years, instructors and students created variations out of context. 

They took methods of creating leverage from one tactic and applied it to others multiplying the number of techniques and options which might work against a complying and respectful student but not against an attacker with intent to prevail. 

Remember for each grip or strike there is not only a unique angle and leverage but also a different impact on a pressure point. Each grip takes different amount of time and you need to consider your opponent's capability to turn the fortunes by having sufficient time to recognize what you are about to do and counter it. Just sticking to your idea and hoping that with repetition you will become faster is not a set realistic goal.

For example a release from a shirt hold should be totally different than a release from a shirt grab. While the shirt grab can be used to shake and humiliate you, it can be used to take you out of balance and throw you, and it can be used to pull you closer for a head butt, a knee kick, a punch, or a knife stab.

A choke on the other hand can break your windpipe in two splits of a second. You immediately feel the pressure on your windpipe. If you do not economize your motion, your throat will be plucked. 

However if your training partner is massaging your neck when you ask him to choke you, then you are horrible for throwing him to the ground or even punching him without paying him for the service.

The founders of Krav Maga never tried to appear unique just for being different. They were testing each technique as the most suitable tactical approach to a prescribed scenario taking into account the invisible elements of hand-to-hand-combat.

Imrich Lictenfeld aka Immi Sde Or, had sufficient background in Jujitsu, Boxing, Wrestling, Swimming and Gymnastic Acrobatics. He also had sufficient background in the British Fairbairn hand-to-hand-combat training. 

Immi also was introduced to other Martial Artists in the IDF and there were always challenges and amicable solutions. Eli Avikzar Immi's successor in the IDF, was proficient with Krav Maga, Karate, Judo, and Aikido.

While like any other military organization, once you are in charge you are the authority, there are always opportunity for challengers in the forms of public application of high ranking martial artist to teach in the IDF, to do a demo, to free teach, and students of any other martial arts who are serving in a special unit to challenge their Krav Maga instructor in the Israel Defense Force.   Why then they concluded of a short curriculum only?  

Krav Maga's short chapter of impact generation is limited to the following:  eight times two (front and cross hand) hand strikes,  eight elbow strikes, eleven times two (front and cross leg)kicks, five hand tactics vs. kicks,  seven hand tactics vs. punches(there was one more which was eliminated for tactical misfit),one(times 2) leg tactics vs. kicks, and two body tactics vs. punches.  

This Impact generation to all directions chapter of hand to hand combat teaches you the bulk of fast and effective reach to pressure points, while helping your training partners drill their defenses effectively.

Now lets talk about knife defenses!  Today there are thousands of people using the name Krav Maga and teaching all kinds of mixed salad Jujitsu, Karate, Grappling, Muay Thai, and Boxing techniques.

Immi was against these types of Jujitsu moves because it seems they would not work against a person that swings with the knife with intent to stab or cut you. It is complex the idea of counter attack and the control of the knife and figuring out what happens in training and how it is compared to what will happen in real life.

But you need to sort it out properly. In a way it is a logical estimate tested by keeping encouraging the attacker role to stab you properly slipping his arm out with that retracted swing motion ready for the second stab.

If you hit him hard enough it will be over. You can hit his shoulder hard with the palm with open hand and see that it works. But if he recuperates it starts over. Not hitting hard enough or not being able to hit at the exact same moment, opens you up to the need of control until you can hit.

Combination of the two lesser power in the strike and control could be used if you value the attacker's life more than yours. But even a mixed salad that is not precise could cause a fatal mistake.  You either strike or catch whichever is more convenient to do first but the second must follow immediately unless the strike killed the opponent.

If you are going to grab, you better have a cut proof method which means you can see where the blade is and be able to have a speedy grip and control so he cannot pull it out fast enough, cut you on its way out and or stab you again.

Testing a technique, the main question is to try and eliminate that particular stab. Perfect the stab and see if you can grab it without interruption. Remember the attacker can also drop the knife and punch or just punch and keep the knife, or pull the knife out and cut you on its way and stab again.

Of course once you have your whole body weight on it, it is hard for him to pull it out. But do you have the time to get there knowing he can pull the knife immediately and cut you or punch you with his free hand...

The abdominal stab goes in a swing motion. The knife or bayonet intends to penetrate the abdomen center and with a circular motion rip the intestines by a lift and pullout. That swing motion helps cut a resisting opponent's arm if he tries to hook on it improperly. The whole arm is used as a pendulum to create the momentum. The idea is to get close to maintain the element of surprise.

The top-down stab could be swung as a cutting motion against your arms, or repeated hammer like strike against your face, clavicle and chest , or if you get close it could be used to stab your top back or side of your body.

Straight stabs have the farthest reach and if you try to jump back or to the sides, a second stab will surely reach you. If you move forward using improper techniques, you will get stabbed again. 

It is also hard to attack back in the exact same time of the stab if you are blocking, and if you had enough time offhand you could have done it with a kick. The slash has almost the same range of a straight stab, but it is a forceful circular motion where the tip of the blade can nick your arteries of your arms and neck. 

You need the body swing motion to help that slash. If you try to do a small motion with your arm and wrist without the body's support unless you have a razor sharp knife, you will not be very successful. To reach the femoral artery for example you will need a pretty much a sharp devise with a perfect shape of a hook.

So if you are a serious student or instructor stick with the original Krav Maga techniques and study in depth what's behind them. That could save your face as an instructor, and save your life as an instructor and save your students lives.

Click to Watch Video Clip - Bare Hands vs. Knife.
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