Krav Maga was developed to deal with risks to safety and life, while under extreme duress, which makes the style very aggressive and functional. However, since its creation, countries have grown and laws have changed. Not all nations, or regions, have the same outlook on what is considered an appropriate use of force. In many developed countries, it is expected that trained individuals minimize their use of force to only that which is absolutely necessary. Therefore, know your national and local laws; know what is considered too much force in your country. In some places, the law may consider killing acceptable, so long as it is in self-defence. But, in other places, that may not be the case. It is up to you, and only you, to use your discretion when deciding what amount of force is appropriate. The above graphic is a guide to situations in which one should or shouldn’t use force. This is only a guide; we can’t tell you what is right or wrong. Know the laws, and use your discretion.
Understand that, how fast you can react or make a decision is based on many factors, especially training and experience. It will also be impacted by what state of mental awareness you are in. One key advantage is training yourself to be “situationally aware” or at the mental colour code Yellow. (See Awareness Colour Code for more detail). No matter what your training or experience, if you fail to be situationally aware and identify the threat, your reactions may be too slow. Add that lack of awareness and delayed reaction time to the already complex decision-making process, as seen above, and you may start to understand why so many are woefully unprepared to deal with that initial burst of violence.
There is a reason that the best self-defence is to not be there in the first place. Because the more complex the situation, the more complex the decision making, then the more likely there will be an error in judgment. Real life is messy, and mistakes happen, no matter how well you are prepared. This is why, unless it is your job to engage, practice avoidance and de-escalation as a general lifestyle (See The Stages of Self-defence).
After all, “You win 100% of the fights you are not in.” – Nir Maman – CT707 Founder.
“Use of Force” is a term used to describe a model, of one form or another, that is a decision-making tree to decide when and how to use violence to counter-violence. It must be remembered that, in the immediate situation and acute exposure to a violent act, if you are unable to avoid or de-escalate the situation, then you must meet violence with violence. There is no way to overcome this, it is the time to fight fire with fire. In that one moment, you MUST meet violence hard, fast, and with aggression; all while applying the appropriate level of force for the level of violence being presented. It will always be messy, it may be full of mistakes, but if you make the correct decisions you (and possibly others) will go home to safety.
**Topics under any principle category (Eg. Krav Maga Principles) may be updated from time to time. So check-in every few months to see if the posts have been updated.