Retzef – Constant, Continous Attack

Posted: January 30, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles

Retsef is an offensive strategy that when choosing to fight we must implement in any self-defence scenario.

Retzef means: a constant continuous attack in which the intention is to overwhelm your attacker with constant pressure.



Street Fight E Honda applying his Hundred hand slap. Littler did he know, it s a form of Retzef


Essentially crazy beats big. The more ferocious, more relentless and the more aggressive your attack, the more likely you are to overcome even larger opponents even if for just a moment. That moment, however, may be just the time you need to escape and evade to safety.

When following the stages of self-defence, we may find our selfs unable to apply the first two stages and end up in either, A Pre-Emptive first Strike (PE) or if we are caught off guard reactive situation (RA).

Retzef works because of the principles as laid out Action vs Reaction: The Stages of mental processing. By applying constant Continous pressure, while causing pain, Off Balancing or disrupting, you will constantly recent their mental processing to stage one or 2 of the 4 allowing you to overwhelm your opponent if only for a short time. You Should also be bursting in from Longer ranges to closer ranges to gain control of your attacker. At this point, you can either disengage and run or take down for a detain or arrest.

This strategy not only works in the micro but can work in the macro. Consider war. Retzef is a strategy applied by the IDF. Any engagement should be swift, and with such force that the enemy has little time to recuperate in the immediate. This crazy beats big strategy is one of the reasons the IDF has been so successful over the years. Or consider guerrilla warfare, it is a strategy that applies in a different sense. While constantly attacking a larger force, and then disappearing just to do it again, it puts immense strain on the larger forces resources and moral.

In The micro, of course, it is simply to overwhelm the senses of the attacker long enough to apply our strategy whether it be to run or to detain. If we fail to apply retzef any break in pressure could be the second our attacker need to recover to apply their strategy. And in the case they are much bigger, they may only need to hit us once to win their fight.

One of the deciding factors in whether a move or decision is appropriate when applying retzef consider if it is a passive movement or an active movement.

Passive Movement: An intentional or unintentional movement that does not cause pain, Disrupt or off balances

Active Movement: An intentional or unintentional movement that causes pain, disrupts or off balances

When applying Retzef, each motion will be an active moment with a limited delay in between each successive attack.

So remember, if you are going to attack in the name of self-defence it must with constant continuous and aggressive pressure.

**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. […] or you 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 […]

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