Krav Maga is an Israeli military self-defense and fighting system that is arguably the most effective martial art in real-life hand-to-hand combat situations. Krav Maga combines self-defense with situational awareness and draws techniques from aikido, boxing, wrestling, judo, and karate.
What sets Krav Maga apart from its predecessors is its training in difficult and unexpected situations, its extreme efficiency and improvisational approach, and its training to protect a third party. Krav Maga incorporates the use of weapons and turning everyday objects into weapons in order to defeat an attacker as quickly and easily as possible.
While many traditional martial arts rely on predictable and calculated movements, a real-life attacker will be aggressive and highly unpredictable. Training in Krav Maga will allow you to read the body movements and psychology of a situation, and understand what to expect next from your attacker. This deep understanding of situational awareness increases your chances of survival.
Krav Maga will teach you how to win a street fight by instructing you how to:
- Simultaneously attack and defend
- Develop physical aggression, which is the most important component in a fight
- Continue to strike your opponent until they are completely incapacitated
- Attack preemptively or counterattacking as soon as possible
- Use any objects you have access to that could be used to become a weapon to hit an opponent
- Target attacks to the body’s most vulnerable points, including the eyes, neck or throat, face, solar plexus, groin, ribs, knee, foot, fingers, liver, etc. No body part is off-limits
- Use simple and easily repeatable strikes
- Maintain awareness of your surroundings while dealing with your attacker in order to look for escape routes, additional attackers, or objects that could become a weapon
- Recognize the importance of instinctive response under stress
Krav Maga Techniques You Can Use
Fight For Your Life
One of the basic principles in Krav Maga is that in a street fight, there are no rules. You must fight for your life, targeting sensitive areas on your attacker and repeatedly striking them so that they do not recover.
For example, just hitting your opponent in the face will give him more than 70% chance to recover, but hitting his eye or neck will lower that chance to about 20%. A hit to the groin, dislocating a joint, or breaking a bone will give him 0% chance to recover – allowing you to end the fight faster and with less effort from you.
How to Escape a One-Hand Choke
If your attacker pushes you up against a wall with one hand, you can use Krav Maga training to escape:
- Tuck your chin down and in towards your chest, which will put pressure on your attacker’s thumb and weaken his hold.
- Raise your hands close to the attacker’s wrist. Using your non-dominant hand, grab your attacker’s wrist and drive it down toward the ground, while simultaneously using your dominant hand to hit your attacker’s nose, jaw, or throat.
- Put your entire body into your hit to add force and momentum.
- Continue to knee your attacker in the groin and hit vulnerable areas.
How to Escape if a Knife is Pressed to Your Throat
If your attacker comes from behind you and presses a knife to your throat, instinct will tell you to comply. The immediate threat to your life is a powerful convincer. But the best way to handle this type of attack is:
- Act as though you are fully complying with your attacker’s demands. Any initial movement could cause an accidental cut to your throat.
- In one quick motion, place both hands on the attacker’s wrist that is holding the weapon. Pull his arm down and keep it tight to your chest. Drop your entire weight down, tuck your chin, and look down at the blade. This shifts the likely cut from the blade to your face, which is much less deadly than your throat.
- Use your hand that’s closest to the attacker to hit him in the groin, then return to holding his wrist.
- Your attacker’s arm should still be wrapped around your neck as your hands pin his wrist near your chest. Tuck your head under his armpit, keeping your chin down and the wrist holding the weapon secured. Pivot your feet and body so you’re on the side of your attacker instead of back to front.
- Stomp as hard as you can on your attacker’s foot, and shove him to the ground.
How to Escape a Stomp Kick to the Groin
If you are attacked with a kick or knee to the groin or midsection, you will be faced with agonizing pain and likely double over. This makes you extremely vulnerable to follow-up attacks. If this happens, you want to:
- Use the hand that mirrors his attack (i.e. his right leg to your left hand) to divert his leg by swiping across your body in a windshield wiper movement. You want to use the entire length of your arm to do this; don’t just grab his leg.
- Step sideways, away from the direction of his leg, using momentum to set you to your attacker’s side or back.
- Strike his face with a closed fist immediately after blocking.
These three types of attacks are all too common, but by training in Krav Maga, maintaining your composure and your confidence, and acting quickly and with force, you can effectively escape all three situations. Even the presence of a deadly weapon can be overcome with Krav Maga training.