The Safety of Assumption – Assume Weapons, Assume Friends, Assume it did’t Work

Posted: February 6, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles
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They say in life that if you assume, you just make an ASS out of U and ME. The problem is, sometimes assuming could save your life. Just like in life, we have to make certain assumptions in Krav Maga to ensure our maximum survival in any situations.

Assume they have a weapon

Assuming that your attacker has a weapon even if it is not readily identifiable could save your life. This is because, when weapons are involved it changes what should or should not do with regards to controlling a person or your tactics. Obviously, if you know there is a weapon you will not fall into such traps but if you don’t see one, but assume they have one then you can also avoid such mistakes.

An example would be controlling the arm. In wrestling, it is totally acceptable to under hook the opponents arm above the elbow near the shoulder. This is often called a Whizzer. Unfortunately, while such a control may be great at controlling their body, it does not, however, control their arms ability to bend at the elbow. A motion, perfect for stabbing and slashing. You may get your Whizzer control, but maybe it was dark, and maybe you didn’t see the weapon, now you assumed incorrectly and your control is no longer sufficient for weapon control. In this particular case, a better control must immobilize their arms ability to stab or slash. Just like in splinting for first aid always isolated the joints below and one above. If a person has a knife, they are holding the knife which essentially eliminates those from moving, so you should do your best to control near the wrist and prevent the elbow from moving easily.

This is just one example, however, assuming they have a weapon drastically changes your acceptable control mechanism and your tactics.

Another example would be if you are a sports striker, say Muay Thai or kickboxing. You decide you want to “dance” with your attacker because you recognize your skillset to be far greater. However, you failed to assume they had a weapon and you go for a clinch controlling their head and neck. They’ve had enough, they pull a weapon and next thing you know your guts are all over the floor.

Most styles, fail to assume this and train for it appropriately. Your style may be perfect for unarmed, but if you have little to no experiences with knives or guns you may have a problem. See the example in this tragic story here. In this case, the weapon was identifiable, but it still wasn’t enough.

Weapons change everything.

Assume they have friends

Another thing we need to assume is that the attacker travels in groups. Remember, in the real world there is no ref, there is no cage and any person even not their friend can jump in. You could agree, to a fair fight for example, and you start to win, but their friends think its unfair and jump in and you went from winning to losing.

Or you got away from the initial attack but forgot to scan and look around and didn’t see the other attacker 20 feet away who now lays you out because you mistakenly thought you were already safe.

Forget Honor, forget rules of engagement and just assume that their friend is ready to cold-cock you in the back of the head. Because failing to constantly check for more than one attacker, could turn a “good” encounter with violence into the one we all fear. Worse yet, if one person has attacked you and there is a group it is easy for mob mentality to kick in and normally peaceful “friends” now become bloodthirsty goons.

So remember, until you are truly away to safety, assume there is another attacker

Assume it didn’t work

While we try to use the most efficient reliable techniques, in the end of the day you need to remember. Techniques can fail, 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 sufficient to stop the threat then I must always Continue constantly, while maximizing my effectiveness until the threat is in fact stop. Words do not always work, no matter how much we would like, so then we must continue our strategy. The same however can be said for violence, if it doesn’t initially work, we either need to escalate or escape to fight another day. The truth is, that in the moment we don’t really know until the dust has settled. So, it is a safe thing to assume that would you did, didn’t work so that you don’t prematurely stop and end up the losing end of the fight.

**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.

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