Israeli Krav Maga

Understanding Violence and Purpose of Techniques

For the past 32 years, I have seen various types of students in Krav Maga and other martial arts some have experienced trauma and others come out of curiosity, others are interested in enriching their skills and experiencing violence in a civil manner….

The essence of this journey involves two major actions:
The first is to recognize as many types of violence as possible.

The second is to identify and prevent as much as you can, and this is what I would like to emphasize: there are techniques, and there training on techniques!

Speaking from experience, there is a high significance to the understanding that a technique is not a defensive response to an attack; it is a response to a violent scenario as it is described, and according to the attack we must perform the most effective response, which will result in the best possible outcome.

There are many possibilities and variables we need to take under account, we need to train for, and preserve in our subconscious.
I will give a short example which is relevant for many cases:
When an armed assailant is coming towards the defender, or threats from a close range, we can strike him (meaning one hand deflects the gun) in the face, which will be a good response.
When the armed assailant keeps a straight and steady range, and is static in general, we can grab the gun with two hands and kick the assailant or reduce the range.
When the assailant is constantly moving, and it is hard to be accurate with grabbing the gun, it would be better to grab the arm and immediately counter attack, and only then grab the gun.
When the defender's mental status is poor, due to an injury or exhaustion, the defender can use deception as a tactic, but that requires a very high-level skill, to be able to trick the attacker under pressure.

In a scenario in which you have a loved one you need to protect, the rules change completely and accordingly, in such situation the defender will need to prevail by taking much greater risks, that is the reason the defender will not perform a body defense to save himself, but will need to save the third party first.

When the environment is different, stairs for example, and the defender is lower then the attacker, it is possible to disturb the balance of the attacker by pulling the barrel of the gun, and on a reverse situation, to defend with both hands only….
The point is, there are endless variables to each scenario separately (physical characteristics of the attacker or defender, different environments, readiness of defender, physical or mental status, types of weapons, etc.), which is why there is not a single technique that provides the best response for each kind of threat (gun threat in this case), and according to the scenario, we need to make the best choice of response, in order to do that we need to enrich out "tool box", and the way to do that is to acquire many skills, to deepen drills, to study and examine as many scenarios as we can, and especially to train endlessly!

My point is, you need to understand that a technique is not a total solution for a scenario, and when practicing Krav Maga we must take under consideration the many possible variables, that is the main reason I love Krav Maga and continue training and experiencing all possible scenarios, to prepare me and help me prepare my students for when the time comes, and those skills will be put in use.


The internet is filled with instructors making all sorts of recommendations; some explain they know better then others, although there is no high-level opponent in front of them to respond accordingly to their demonstrations.
So, the more you train yourselves and learn from instructors who train hard themselves for decades, the better prepared you will be to defend yourself when the time comes.
This is what I demand of myself, and this is what I expect of students and instructors!

Tamir Gilad

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