The Binary System of Knife Defense/Boaz Aviram

There are two approaches for knife attacks. One is to reach your vitals immediately with one cut or stab, and the other is to reach your limbs first for distraction and then continue with the vitals. While the arms and legs of both opponents can reach the edge of the hotzone (the breakeven point of who reaches first or enter the zone where the other would not have enough time to counter the attack if he did not plan on it beforehand), yet you need to bypass it to reach the vital in the core of the body in the head and neck area, torso, or pelvis.

Your core body is a target, your arms and legs are a target as well. It's all about the positional proximity using your judgment what to attack first.

Some knife training systems devise advance through continuous attack of where your limbs could reach until they reach your core. The idea behind this theory is to ensure killing with no interruption by a trained opponent. However, as simple as it is, hand to hand combat is much more complex than that, and this is not the answer for success.

Some knife training system emphasize reaching the core pressure points first. If done by surprise it would be successful, but yet it is not a complete answer for a training system considering the possibilities of the possibility of reaching the limbs first. Judgment is the call for success at any time. The missing key is the concept of reaction time. How much time do you have at any point and time to try and prevail with the most efficient solution. It's all a matter of splits of a second so the bulk of your training should be to hone your skills or reach and judgment.

The problem with drilling attack combinations trying to counter any possible resistance is not a good assumption. This is because as you advance you become a target until you reach your target's pressure points first with sufficient impact to affect the central nervous system to a point of sufficient confusion to stop any possible attack.

The Israel Defence Force at its inception or in the pre IDF time, with very little unsophisticated firearms, and still frequent use of the body as a weapon for self defense and attack, happened to have some very good people. It's not that IDF soldiers don't get killed or hurt, but it is the historical ratios that are success for its reputation.

In the department of Hand to hand Combat, Imrich Lichtenfeld a multi disciplinary athlete in combat sports, gymnastics, and aquatics was chosen to lead the IDF hand to hand combat department. There were probably 10 of other instructors which emigrated to Palestine becoming Israel. Imrich had also 2 years of service in the British Legions prior to that, and a realistic street brutal resistance to the Nazi Youth Groups in Europe. Some of the other physical fit and combat sport Instructors might have similar experience as well. For most people that had years of experience in multi disciplinary combat sports and came to meet and listen to Imrich with an open mind they would leave with a feeling of enlightened they never expected before.

The problem is learning techniques and drilling without having the logic to see the interrelationships between the training and the goals. At the time Imrich and Eli Avikzar his successor as the Israel Defence Force Krav Maga Chief, had devised several techniques and drills against knife attacks. It seems that they were extracted out of many techniques available in the martial arts and were stretched to their limits. So were the defenses. However, the few drills and techniques answered the myriads of possibilities. Combined together with understanding of what is going on they form the most intensive accurate way to train in hand to hand combat.

Thousands of years of Martial Art Masters could not document anything close to the original Israel Defence Force Krav Maga! Instead they could only contribute to the arts of theatrical production and stir people's imagination in the wrong way when it comes to survival but yet in the good way when it comes to hope and spiritual belief in self improvement.

Yet even today, people of all walks are lost when it comes to self defense and hand to hand combat because it is very complex and dangerous that they find comfort with keeping spiritual distance from it until they are forced to be proven wrong.

The original techniques and knife methods included lunging with a straight stab, diagonal topdown and bottom up slashes, top down and bottom up stabs. Proper knife holding methods and learning of respective pressure points aimed for were included in the training. Stress on efficiency and follow up attacks were learned as well.

The defenses against the most efficient methods of attacks were drilled. Two approached for each of the above attack methods were practices. One approach was to the front center body, and the other to the dead-side (moving to the back of the opponent after the initial deflection or block.

Then with knife vs. Knife drilling were combining a block through a cut or a slash or a poke to the hands first followed up with a stab or a slash to the core pressure points.

I was the third in lineage of Israel Defense Force Krav Maga Chief Instructor and I've added another drill of bare arms vs. knife against Front hand distracting , while rear hand is stabbing.

You still see various ways of drilling against a knife and various not so great methods of knife attack being practiced around the globe. The problem is when students are bogged down drilling all kinds of techniques they are not paying attention to the essence of what they are doing. Therefore they spend more than 50 percent of the time drilling methods that are not possible to use against a resisting competing attacker. The problem with the other 50 percent of the good drills is that they  are irrelevant for knife fighting, or do not register the appropriate importance for them to preferably resurface in time of real combat.

The Original IDF Krav Maga is intensive and the knife chapter is allotted about 6 hours of total training. Of course you can keep rehearsing it on weekly, monthly or annual  training. But like learning the alphabet, after you can recognize the letters and are accustomed putting them into sentences and using them, you are not in the habit of writing them separately. And of course if you did them wrong initially or insufficiently , your handwriting could become illegible to the point it won't even make any sense to you. 

Going back to historical fact mentioned earlier, remember that not every person is alike, so not every instructor. The comprehensive life experience you gain in life, the application of your logic, and the propensity of paying attention to what's important is very different. But to really grasp and master Krav Maga, why not stick to Pure Krav Maga, because this training system was honed and geared toward giving the average man the true opportunity to master it intensively.
Watch some Bare Arms vs. Knife Pure Krav Maga Drills

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