In the past few months, we have had several instances when two fellows would go full out during the sparring (which we do not allow for safety) session and one of the instructors had to physically jump in and break the two fighters apart.  Through the eyes of people not knowing our school culture, these students’ behavior appears to be disrespectful and dangerous.

 Dangerous?  Yes.  Disrespectful?  Not at all.  One of our primarily goal as Krav Maga instructors is to observe your reactions when facing a threat and assess your actions in distress.

 Losing control of yourselves and becoming overly aggressive is just part of Krav Maga training.  As the old saying goes, in battle you do not know how you are going to react when the first bullet whistles past your head.  You do not know how you are going to react when someone punches at your face or puts a knife against your throat until it happens.  The only way to know how a student will react, is to put the student in as close to a real experience as possible.

 Losing control and becoming overly aggressive is just how some people react. Some freeze and are unable to move, and most of the students lose their fine motor movement and don’t know what to do.


This is just part of Krav Maga training.

 However, the second stage is to regain your own self-control, listen to the words of command of the safety officer and instructors, and apply the correct defense techniques.

 Two reasons:


1.      Safety of Others


During scenario play or sparring, we are not real robbers but training partners. Blood and sweat make us family and if we seriously injure each other then it defeats the purpose of learning Krav Maga.  We are learning Krav Maga to defend ourselves and our loved ones, not to hurt others despite your own emotional feelings.  After all, the one who controls his or her own emotions controls his or her own fate in a real fight.


2.      You do not want to go to jail


In Kung Fu movies, there is always some kind of “Secret Death Touch” or “5 Steps Heart Breaking Punch”, etc.  We do not have these kinds of fancy technique names in Krav Maga but every move we do is deadly: a full blown shot to the back of neck will sever the spinal cord, an elbow to the throat will collapse the windpipe, or a knee to the ribs will cause a bone fracture and possibly cause severe internal bleeding. The human body is very fragile.  Many vulnerable body points that are restricted in sports fighting are the first things we hit in Krav Maga.  At the advance level we would even re-use the weapon that we disarm to use against the attackers.   It is a fine line between self-defense and 2nd Degree murder.

 In essence, we do want that inner aggression from our students.  Aggression is the fuel to channel your body to counter-attack while facing dangers, but this aggression has to be controlled aggression.  As one of my instructors, Eyal Yanilov once said, ”You have to be as clear and calm as a tiger going for its prey.  A tiger does not attack its prey because the tiger hates nor is angry at its prey, but merely because the tiger is hungry.


Written by: Borhan J

Edited by: Warren C & Jonathan F