Cause Pain, Off Balance, Disrupt

Posted: January 23, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles

In Krav Maga we have two basic Choices, Fight or Flight. This usually occurs when we were unable to or failed to practice steps one and two of the stages of self-defence. Whenever we are forced to fight either in PE or RA Self Defense, we must always do one of 3 three things.


Cause Pain, Off Balance and/or Disrupt their mental process as we apply Retzev.

These three methods are how we beat the game of action vs reaction and keep the opponent in stage one or two of the decision-making and action model.

Cause Pain

Causing pain can be done by any well-placed strike to the head groin, or other vulnerable parts of the body. It is the most obvious option and is effective most of the time. There are times when a person with a high pain tolerance or training is less affected by a strike or pain stimulus than you were expecting. Another scenario is the individual is on drugs and will not feel pain meaning you will need to rely on the other options.

Off Balance

The easiest way to off balance a person is by being the aggressor and using your body mass. The bursting motion of Krav Maga application is extremely effective at this as it puts the majority of your mass into the other person. Ano



An Example of Bursting in 360. Though it should be to the face.


ther way that is less aggressive is to simply move forward in an aggressive manner causing them to step backwards. This option is common in professional fighting to take the power away from the opponents strikes. An opponent who is moving backwards usually cannot strike as hard as they would if they were moving forward. Off balancing can easily be combined with strikes with more competent proficiency. It may be problematic however if the person is significantly bigger than you.

Disrupt their mental process

This option can be directly or indirectly. If you caused pain or off-balance an opponent they will already have had their mental processes disrupted resetting them to stage one or two of the decision making action model. However, a good….HEY LOOK OVER THERE!!!…. can also be a method of distraction. Anything you do that causes them to look away, or pause is an effective method for disrupting opponents mental processes.

It must be understood that you must always attempt to apply three or more of these as we must always assume that what we just did, did not work. This is where Retzev or continuous attack applies with aggression and the will to survive will come in. Remember, when techniques and principles fail, you must do everything in your power, with all your will and strength to survive long enough to escape to safety.

**Topics under any principle category (EX. Krav Maga Principles) may be updated from time to time so always check in every few months to see if the posts have been updated.

  1. […] looking nice take longer than a straight line approach would have taken. Remember, the faster you off balance, disrupt or cause pain that faster you can stop the threat. But if you add beautiful yet complicated movements it is […]

  2. […] could miss, or they could be better. It’s because of this, we have strategies like Retzef and Cause pain, Off Balance and Disrupt. If I assume that what I did for whatever reason was not sufficient to stop the threat then I must […]

  3. […] same principles of Cause Pain, Off Balance and Disrupt the mental process we apply to our assailants can also be applied to us. Therefore we must do what […]

  4. […] quicker you can overwhelm your opponent by off-balancing, causing pain and disrupting while applying Retzev and protecting yourself from the initial attack the more successful you will […]

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