INTRODUCTION TO KRAV MAGA
KRAV MAGA (contact
combat) is a noncompetitive self defense system developed in Israel that involves striking techniques,
wrestling and grappling. Krav Maga is prevalently known for its focus on
real-world situations and extremely efficient, brutal counter-attacks.
Krav Maga advocates a philosophy emphasizing threat neutralization,
simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers, and aggression. Krav
Maga is used by Israeli Defense Forces, and
several closely related variations have been developed and adopted by law
enforcement and intelligence organizations, Mossad and Shin Bet.
Outside Israel, Krav Maga is allegedly used by various special police, military
and intelligence forces, such as American CIA, FBI, US Marshals,
USAF, DEA, Federal Air
Marshals, various police departments (SWAT teams),
French GIGN, Belgian
Army, etc. There are several organizations teaching variations of
Krav Maga internationally.
Krav Maga in Hebrew means
"hand-to-hand combat". Krav meaning
"battle" and Maga meaning
"contact". Hence, Krav Maga is a generic name, somewhat like saying
Martial Arts. A key principle of Krav Maga is finishing a fight
as quickly as possible and therefore all attacks are aimed towards the most
vulnerable parts of the body (e.g., face, neck, groin, knee, etc.). Because
there are no sporting rules, individuals trained in Krav Maga are not limited
to techniques that avoid severely injuring their opponents, but training and
sparring drills provide maximum safety to the students by the use of protective
equipment and the use of reasonable force. For example, kicks to the groin
during sparring is commonplace, but groin protection must be worn and students
should demonstrate due diligence with regards for their partners' safety.
Students learn to defend against all variety of attacks before engaging in
full-contact sparring. Students are taught to respond to attacks in the
quickest and most efficient way; a common lesson taught is 'always use the
nearest tool for the job'. This basically means use whichever limb is closest
to your attacker at the time and whichever feels most natural. Men and women
generally undergo the same drills. It has no sporting federation and there
are no official uniforms such as a gi. Usual training attire consists
of a t-shirt and loose fitting trousers. Krav Maga is also one of the few
martial arts in which footwear is habitually worn due to it being 'reality
based training'. Most organizations recognize progress through training with
rank badges, different levels, and belts.
General principles include:
Counter attacking as soon as possible
(or attacking preemptively).
Targeting attacks to the body's most
vulnerable points such as the eyes, jaw, throat, groin, knee, etc.
Neutralizing the opponent as quickly as
possible by responding with an
unbroken stream of counter attacks and if necessary a take down/joint break.
Maintaining awareness of surroundings
while dealing with the threat in order to look for escape routes, further
attackers, objects that could be used to defend or help attack and so on.
Basic training entails a warm up,
learning the essential pressure points and how to approach and control an
opponent utilizing the application of force. Students learn how to execute
strikes and kicks including punches, hammer fists, elbows, various kicks and
knees. Students learn defenses against takedowns, chokes, bear hugs, arm bars
and various other possible attacks. Training also includes learning to defend
against various weapons including knives, bats, guns etc. Pressure drills are
also common so that students can experience being attacked by multiple
attackers. Other pressure tests include students closing their eyes and then
having to react to a variety of potential threats. Fitness and endurance
training is also incorporated into regular classes.
Training can also cover
situational awareness to develop an understanding of one's surroundings and
potentially threatening circumstances before an attack occurs. It may also
cover ways to deal with potentially violent situations, and physical and verbal
methods to avoid violence whenever possible.
krav Maga techniques are preformed according to main Krav Maga principles:
Avoidance, prevention, escape
Handling throws and falls to
all directions and angles.
Attacks and counterattacks,
performed to all targets, distances and directions and in all rhythms. Executed from all positions and postures. Use of all sorts of
common objects for defensive purposes.
Defending all unarmed
attacks: punches, strikes and kicks. Releases from all sorts of grabs and
Defending all armed attacks
and threats: knives, sharp objects, sticks and other blunt objects; of all
kind of firearms.
Dealing with attacks coming
from all possible directions and places; Whether performed by a single or
multiple attackers; at all possible locations:
confined or open areas; On all types of grounds; When free or in limited
space of movement; While standing, on the move,
sitting down, laying down on the back, side or facing down etc.
Physical and mental control
Krav Maga techniques prepare
the trainees to function in all circumstances and fighting environments, according to their needs, job descriptions and probable risks.
Keeping those in mind, there are
several ways to divide the Krav Maga system into groups.
Separates the krav Maga self defense
system into five main designated sectors:
Customized Krav Maga
Defines Krav Maga techniques
according to timeline of an attack into families of defenses, Attacks,
Counterattacks, Releases and Late releases.
Techniques were categorized into a
few groups comprising of the following:
Release from hair grabs
Release from bear hugs
Release from Arm lock
Release from Chokes
Release from Shirt grabs
Defense against Hand attacks
Defense against Leg attacks
Defense against knife threat
Defense against stick threat
Defense against kick threat