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Krav Maga – Weapons of Opportunity

Posted: February 13, 2020 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles
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Krav Maga – Weapons of Opportunity: A basic Guide

In any martial arts there is a lot of time spend developing the unarmed hand to hand combat components of they style. The reason for this is that in most cases the lack of weapons whether for practical or legal reasons makes this kind of scenario the most dangerous situation requiring the most amount of training.

Some styles even work on specific weapons uses from pistols to bow staffs. In many cases carrying such weapons for self defense may be illegal or may be a simpler matter of it is not practical to walk around with a bow staff in modern society.

This does not mean however, that there are not weapons to be found. In fact weapons of opportunity as we call them in Krav Maga are only limited by your imagination, your willingness to use them and of course the legal ramifications of the specific choice of weapon.

When opportunity arises, weapons of opportunity should be used if it is appropriate and avoids further harm to your self. For the sake of simplicity we divide weapons of opportunity into a few categories. “Sticky”, “Whipy” “Pokey” “Throwy” & “Smashy”

Sticky

These are weapons that can be wielded like a stick, they could literally be a stick made for it like a Kali/Eskrima Stick or something close enough. Below are some examples of objects that can be used as stick like weapons:

  • Umbrellas
  • Rolled up Magazines
  • Rolled up News Papers
  • An actual stick (from a tree)
  • Batons

Whipy

These are weapons be used in a whip like fashion whether it be an actual whip or something more like clothing. Because their weight is not balanced and they are usually have a great level of movement and flexibility these can be hard to control but are quite readily available. Below are some examples of objects that can be used as stick like weapons:

  • Jackets
  • Sweaters
  • Belts
  • Purses
  • Backpacks
  • Ropes
  • Towels

Pokey

These are weapons be used in a stabbing motion, weather they are literally able to penetrate or not is less important but know that if they can break skin then they may be lethal. With these types of weapons the eyes are your best target. Below are some examples of objects that can be used as stick like weapons:

  • Umbrellas
  • Sticks
  • Fingernails
  • Jewelry
  • Keys
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Chair legs

Throwy

These are weapons are anything you can and more importantly are willing to throw. Generally you should be throwing it at their head or eyes as this will get the best results. However, throwing could be relative and this could also mean pushing or shoving things in the path of would be attackers. Below are some examples of objects that can be used as stick like weapons:

  • Keys
  • Coins
  • Bags
  • Chairs
  • Rocks
  • Cups

Smashy

These are weapons are anything you can hold that gives your striking power more bang for its buck. Just know depending on the mass of the object and where you hit your opponent with they can be quite lethal. Below are some examples of objects that can be used as stick like weapons:

  • Rocks
  • Bricks
  • Bugs
  • Bottles

Legal Considerations

It should be noted that the authors of this are not legal experts and this does not constitute legal advice.

While we cannot speak for every country we can assume that many westernize countries have similar laws than that of ours in Canada.

Carrying weapons for self defense can be a very risky thing here. If you use something that you had on your persons for self defense that was designed as a weapon then it is likely that if you face court then they will attempt to make the case that you had intent [to seriously injure, maim or kill] even if it was in self defense.

This is why it is a safer bet to use things that were designed for other purposes and are not obviously a weapon. For example a purse which would be a “whipy” thing if used from the strap would not generally be considered a weapon on its own but rather a “weapon of opportunity”.

However if you were to say add a brick to the purse then as this is an odd choice to carry in a purse it could again indicate intent. As adding the brick added mass and the likely hood of doing serious damage to any attackers.

“With a pencil”

Consider an alternative. Lets say you are a student and you need a pencil case for your pens (if you still use those things), then perhaps a pencil case that is hard cased with some mass. The intent of it being in your purse would be for pencils or pens but it can increase the ability of your purse to do damage with out seeming suspicious or out of the norm. Additionally, you now have some pens or pencils which are also great albeit somewhat deadly weapons of opportunity.

After all the boogeyman, John wick himself is known for killing several men with a pencil.

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Krav Maga – Multiple Attackers

Posted: January 30, 2020 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles
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Krav Maga Multiple attackers

In the world of the movies, it seems easy for a reasonably skilled individual to deal with multiple attackers or opponents at the same time. This assumes that every one of the would-be foes patiently takes their turn to fight you. This also assumes you are in peak physical condition with unlimited stamina. Both of these things most of the time are simply not true. You might find your self surrounded and drunk because you made the wrong comment in a bar. In such a case your balance, depth perception, and timing will most likely be compromised. Additionally, they may try to grab and hold you while one of them or many of them take turns beating you into an inch of your life.

The reality of situations where there are multiple attackers is that you cannot fight forever, they will not fight fair and there may even have weapons.

The other scenario is you just happened to find yourself in a situation where one person hit someone and due to the confined nature of the space and the overcrowding a brawl breaks out. In these wild scenarios, you were not specifically the target but may none the less find your self fighting or defending against multiple attackers.

No matter the situation your best practice is to avoid such situations.

These strategies also are not covering ground fighting or weapons. As in order to add these into this strategy, you must first understand these topics in depth. If these scenarios are added in just know, Fight hard, Fight Fast and do not stop!

Preventative measures

First off, as mentioned avoidance is key. If you do not find your self in such situations you have done well. Or rather you have done what most people do and do not find themselves in such situations.  While there are many factors to consider that lead to these dangerous situations here are a few thoughts on how to avoid them:

  • Make good life choices
  • Practice good awareness
  • Do not piss people off in crowded scenarios
  • Don’t go to places you feel unsafe (Bars or nightclubs you know to be dangerous)
  • Don’t be part of gangs
  • Learn good diffusion skills
  • Recognize when things are going sideways and leave early

 

The Basic Multiple Attacker Strategy for Krav Maga:

Your goal in multiple attacker situations should always be to create space, find your opening and run. In a basic scenario, your would-be attackers are less aggressive perhaps not that aggressive or simply do not know what they are doing. While these situations are not great they are easier to deal with than a full-on swarm. If in doubt follow these principles

Basic multiple attacker strategies

  1. Avoid it all together– First and foremost do everything you can to avoid these scenarios. This includes practicing proper avoidance and generally acting in a manner that does not create violent enemies or put you in places where such situations are likely. Additionally, do your best to diffuse the situation verbally. You might be surprised how often this might work.
  2. Run – Just Run! really it’s just that easy. Of course, if you do not have decent cardio you may have a problem. Truly though running and getting to safety is your best bet.
  3. Do not get cornered – If you are delayed in running or your did not realize what was going on until there are multiple aggressive opponents do not allow your self to be pushed into a corner or a wall or any other place where your back is against something. Try to keep your self moving so you can always turn and run.
  4. Identify your exits – If you were cornered or you are not moving yet make sure you identify the easiest places to run to or which of the attackers will be the easiest to deal with. Keep these options available so that when you do have to fight you can do it with a plan.
  5. Keep your attackers aligned – If you are able to by your own movement or theirs keep your opponents as close to a single file line as you can. If they have to fight over each other it will make it harder for them to get at you in a meaningful way.
  6. Strike first, Cover and Move Fast– When all else has failed, strike first! Strike with whatever means you deem appropriate and go for the closest target available. Cover and strike as you need to find your exit.
  7. Run – If you did not run before, now should be the time to run again. You created your exit while disrupting your opponents so now is the time to move and move fast.

Understand that these basic multiple attacker situations can at any point get bad fast in which case jump to the advance strategy below.

The Advance Multiple Attacker Strategy for Krav Maga:

In this scenario, the attackers are aggressive, malicious and are definitely not taking turns. When these happen it will seem like a flurry of punches, kicks or who knows what that thing was. These situations its a mix of fighting and running while being as effective as possible. The goal of such situations is to eliminate as many of the threats as possible so that they cannot or do not want to continue attacking. So how do you deal with this scenario? here’s a strategy.

  1. Avoid it all together– This has not changed. Except if you are in this situation you probably screwed up.
  2. Run – The moment you can. RUN. Do whatever it takes to get to this point.
  3. Identify your exits – If you did not already or at any point are able to find your exits. These are what you should be working towards the entire exhausting time you are fighting.
  4. Get Control of one person and do damage – Try to get a hold of a person in a meaningful way, while doing damage that will stop them from fighting like knees to the groin or head, eye gouges head buts all while you keep moving.
  5. Switch Opponents –The moment another attacker gets close switch to them (We use the “monkey bar” method) and start applying your damage as per the above point.
  6. Run and Assess – The moment you can, create space and run. You must assess as they may still be coming but at least you have space now.
  7. Continue to fight if needed– If they are still coming then apply 4 and 5 repetitively until they are not a threat or you have found your safe exit.
  8. Use weapons of opportunity – If at any point you are able to use weapons of opportunity. Whatever you can use, use. These scenarios are not time to be thinking about the laws, it is simply a matter of survival.

Krav Maga - UTKM - The Ground Attacker-has-knifeIt is a well-known fact that in Krav Maga we want to avoid the ground as much as possible. Despite the fact, the first rule in Krav Maga is don’t go to the ground we also need to expect it as a possibility. The ground is a horrible place to be on the street as you can be more easily injured depending on the environment. You will have a far more difficult time escaping to safety and if other people jump in that are not your friends or if weapons are introduced, which you should always assume as a possibility, it can go sideways faster than the blink of an eye.

In Krav Maga it is often assumed that simply through aggression, groin strikes and targeting the eyes we can easily fend off any attacker from the ground. The problem is this assumes too much in a bad way. It assumes the attacker isn’t hyper-aggressive, on drugs (cannot feel pain), and is not putting aggressive forward pressure on you preventing you from getting up. Unfortunately for much of the history of Krav Maga, most instructors were focusing more on the stand-up portions and did not develop their ground skills. Only in recent years have life long Krav Maga practitioners realized that ground fighting was our greatest weakness.

Preventative measures

The best way to stop any situation from happening is to understand it. If we accept that Krav Maga has a weakness when it comes to the ground then it would be a good idea to train ground specific styles. At UTKM it is believed that all Krav Maga practitioners should achieve a minimum of a BJJ Blue belt or equivalent. For example if you did competitive wrestling for 5 years, it is reasonable to assume you understand how to control another person on the ground.

While a good Krav Maga program must incorporate ground fighting as part of their training, due to the vast amount of knowledge needed to cover it is difficult to dedicate the appropriate time to ground training. Additionally, the approach to the Ground in Krav maga as laid out below does not always allow for good grappling skills to really be developed should you encounter someone who is very competent. Because of this, it is best to train outside of your Krav Maga training with ground specialists.

Understanding the ground and what someone is trying to do will give you the time to stop them even briefly to begin to apply the Krav Maga ground strategies.

So what are you waiting for? Get training!

The Basic Ground Strategy for Krav Maga:

Your goal on the ground should always be to create space, get to a neutral (non-grappling position) and get to your feet. However, if this is not possible follow the order of operation. Just know that no matter where you are in this sequence if, at any point that you can get to your feet, you must do so.

Ground fighting order of operation

  1. Do Not be on the Ground – First and foremost do everything you can to avoid the ground. This includes things like work on your balance, train in grappling, strengthen your core, practice proper avoidance and really anything that does not put you there. If you are not on the ground you do not need to worry about it.
  2. Learn to Fall – If you do end up on the ground there is a good chance you fell or were thrown. It is also likely that the surface you fell on was considerably harder than the mats you train on in the gym. If you don’t know how to fall properly there is a good chance you will not be getting up again. Because if you did not pay attention during break fall training it is likely your head has now bounced off the pavement, or you posted your hand when you should not have and you broke your wrist. Learning to fall is just as important as learning to pick your self up again.
  3. Get up – If you fell or were thrown but the opponent is not controlling you, it is not being overly aggressive or there is ample space to get up and do it fast. While you should use the correct techniques as taught to you in class really any method you use that gets you up on your feet is the correct one. So make a decision, make it fast and get to your feet.
  4. Be Defensive & Offensive – If the attacker is putting some pressure, but is still on their feet then you need to take a defensive position that allows you to protect your self and also attack. We recommend kicking the knees as this will cause them to back up giving you the space to get up. You can kick the groin if it is available but this may also cause them to fall on to you. If they do put their head in their range then good old fashion up kicks will do nicely. We do not recommend putting everything you have into a single kick as if you miss and they are aggressive you may find your self in a worse position.
  5. Use a Sweep – If they are moving in and you are able to use a sweep that puts them on the ground, and or in a worse position and you on your feet and or in a better position. Sweeps should be used before they start a grappling fight. While sweeps can still be used, they should be done prior to it being a full ground fight.
  6. Ground Fight – If you are now both on the ground its a ground fight. Use all your skills to go from a worse position to a better position with the goal of getting back to your feet. The only time you should choose to stay here is if it is life or death, or professional requirements dictate you stay here (Such as arrest and control protocols). However, if you stay on the ground to control a person remember, they may still have friends and even in Security and Law Enforcement scenarios, if you do not have back up right near you it may be best to get to your feet and control the person.

Weapons on the ground

If there is a weapon involved in a ground fight it complicates things dramatically. In particular knives and guns. You first must understand what weapon you are dealing with before you can safely manage it on the ground. See The Gun, The Knife and The Stick for more details.

But if you find your self in a ground fight with a weapon, follow the below strategy.

  1. Control the weapon arm – At all points, you should be controlling the weapon arm to prevent its use against your self. While we strongly do not recommend the Kimura grip in a standing position now is certainly a good time to implement it. Otherwise, use whatever methods you know that keep’s you safe and the weapon arm controlled so it cannot easily be used against you. This however is often a struggle, is messy and will really be about who wants it more.
  2. Disarm if possible – If you are able to disarm the weapon from the position you are in doing so. Whether you choose to use it against them will be a matter of personal choice. Sometimes it is required some times it is not. Just make sure you understand weapons and use of force laws where you are. However, consider this. It is better to be judged by 12 (a jury) than to be carried by 6 (in a coffin).
  3. Get to a better position– If you were unable to do a disarm, or if you were it is still time to get to a better position allowing more control and a path to escape. If you did not do a disarm then switching to a better position requires also controlling the weapon or the weapon arm. If you did do a disarm, then you will have to ensure you maintain control of the weapon while you get to a better position. How you get to a better position will largely depend on your skill, knowledge and what the attacker is doing. Just know that while you should use the techniques you were taught anything you do that gets you to a better position safely is good enough.
  4. Disarm if possible– If you are now in a better position that allows dominant control disarm the weapon using the methods you know. If you are unable to control the person enough to safely disarm the weapon then skip to the next step. If you can safely disarm the weapon then you should keep it on your persons to either use or present as evidence later on. If you also choose to maintain control of the attacker then you must keep your wits about you as there could still be other attackers.
  5. Create Space, get to your feet and Assess – Once you either have the weapon, the attacker has stopped, or you are losing control create lots of space by backing up. You then must asses what to do next. In most places, if you just took a weapon away from an attacker, you should call the police or appropriate authorities. Do not wait as the attacker could call first and lie about the scenario. You may also need to be prepared to continue fighting and now may be the time to use the weapon in your defense.

 

UTKM Krav Maga Stick FightingSticks or Stick like weapons have been around probably longer than anything else. Where once it was simply a matter of grabbing a branch or twig to keep an attacking animal at distance humans have now developed entire systems dedicated to stick fighting. The thing is, in most cases of self-defense it is unlikely you will actually be in a stick fight rather you will be unarmed and you are faced with an attack with a stick, cane, umbrella, baseball bat or another item that can be wielded like a stick and be considered a blunt force trauma weapon.

The main concern with a stick like a weapon is the impact area. If you get it in the abdomen it will certainly hurt and may do internal damage but will not necessarily stop you from defending your self. If you get hit in the head and if the stick has enough mass it can mean lights out for you. Block a stick with your forearm and you may find your self with a broken Ulna.

On the other hand, if you can get a hold of a stick, or stick-like weapon you may find your self with a great generally non-lethal option to defend your self. How lethal a stick weapon is will depend largely on its mass and what it is made of. Hit someone in the head with a rattan eskrima stick in the head and you will probably daze them. But take a metal crowbar with a hook on it and you could kill them. There is also a very big difference between dense and less dense materials. A truncheon made of ebony, for example, is going to hurt and do much more damage than one made of bamboo, though they would both be terrible to be hit with. The lethality of it would also depend on the intent of who is wielding it and how they wield it.

Either way for self-defense in most cases stick or stick-like objects are a far better choice in the 21st, mostly for legal reasons than a knife or a gun. Of course, if Knives or guns are legal where you live for self-defense then you better be ready to kill with them or else why even bother.

To Deal with Sticks you must understand a few things.

Committed vs Non-Committed as well as blender mode.

Although less important for sticks understanding Attack Types. can be very important is it may tell you how competent the attacker is with the stick.

Difficulty Levels of the Attack Pattern:

  • Committed is the easiest to deal with – Basic Techniques will work well, Running is the best option.
  • Non-Committed is more difficult – Basic techniques, combined with faster reaction time and good footwork will be needed. Running is the best option.
  • Blender Moder – Though far less problematic than a knife, blender mode with a stick usually means the individual is fairly proficient with it and will be harder to deal with. Remember, protect your head above all else.

Stick Like Weapons:

This is mentioned many times so what does it mean. It means anything that can be wielded like a Stick with one or two hands that does not have a blade on it. Items include but are not limited too:

  • Rattan Sticks
  • Short light tree branches
  • Bats
  • Buttons
  • Rolled up News Paper or Magazine
  • Umbrellas
  • Clubs

How each of these can be swung or handled will depend on its mass, Shape, and Size with some being easier to wield than others.

Disarming Sticks:

Unlike Guns or Knives, if you take away the advantage of a stick being medium to long-range and get in close how you choose to disarm it is a little more circumstantial. You can disarm it while the opponent is still standing or you can take them down in a controlled fashion and then take the stick. Really it’s up to your discretion, skill, and the situation.

How to deal with Stick Attacks:

Even though a stick is not as lethal as a gun or knife, it still can be. No matter what happens protect your head and other major hard parts of your body. Remember, soft on hard on soft. If you are going to take an impact or hit it is better on a softer part of your body, but remember, no one said it wouldn’t hurt. This is because if the stick is hard enough and hits with enough force on a hard part of your body it can easily break the bones in that area. If you get hit in the head, however, it can immediately incapacitate you rendering you unable to defend your self. Remember, when dealing with sticks considers the following.

  1. Run – This is always the best option if you are able to. You may not be able to though or you may need to protect others
  2. Use a Stick – If you are able to use a stick or stick-like weapon to counter. Though they may not always be available
  3. Use Weapons of opportunity – Use whatever you can around you to give you an advantage. Use sticks, bags, bricks, jackets, obstacles, and anything you can think of to increase your chances to survive.
  4. Use a Gun – We do not recommend this unless it is life and death. The reason in many places where it is legal to carry a firearm for self-defense this may be considered excessive force and may still mean jail time yourself so be careful and consider the following:
    1. Is it legal where you are to have a gun on you for Self Defense
    2. Do you have a Legal gun on you?
    3. Do you have the required skills to operate the gun under duress
  5. Use hand to hand Combatives – When all else fails, use your body as a weapon. This should always be the last resort when dealing with armed opponents.

Hand to Hand Combative Strategies

  1. Distance & Timing– Maintaining your Distance is key as the opponent with a stick can get you at a greater range, with greater impact than you can. You may have to jump back, sideways rapidly or bob and weave at speeds you didn’t think you were capable of. Thats why its better to just stay out of range until you are ready to strike. The timing is equally important especially if the opponent is hyper-aggressive and quick in nature. Mess this up and you are going to get hit. If you do though, close the distance rapidly without hesitation.
  2. Explode In – when you are ready to move you need to move fast, you need to move explosively and you need to move without hesitation all while protecting your head and face. A common method is the Universal shield. At UTKM we only advise this move when you are close and that is chambering the attack or if you are not sure what the weapon is exactly but it must be close or medium range only. Any other time or as we recommend in general the standard Krav Maga Dive defense. It keeps you aligned while allowing you the optimal position to explode forward all while protecting your head and neck.
  3. Control the weapon arm – once you are in, control one or both of the weapon arms. Now that you have taken away the advantage of the Stick Weapon, assert your dominance with Retzef while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting them.
  4. Standing Disarm – Either rapidly or after they are mildly subdued but still standing you may disarm the weapon using any reasonable method you know. If this fails you will need to apply more compliance techniques and move on. If you were able to take the stick you can now use it to defend your self.
  5. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  6. Controlled Disarm – Now they may be disarmed. Unlike a Knife you can focus more on controlling the assailant though controlling the weapon are will still be important. This is because it will be harder for them to do significant damage if they are not in a dominant position but do not forget they still have a weapon. The faster you can get it out of their hands the better. Do not forget you must still be aware of possible additional attackers and may need to rapidly disengage which is another reason to get the weapon. Once you disarm it, put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up.

How to Use a Stick Offensively

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on how to use a stick then this is not it. The UTKM Krav Maga approach is simple. For more in-depth stick fighting practice one of the many variations of the Philipino martial arts like Kali, Eskrima, Arnis.

For us it is simple. Target the head or hard surfaces like the clavicle, elbows and arms, ribs, or Knees. AstrixOur attack Pattens are simple, think an Astrix with six striking angles both forehand and back with a Jab or thrust. Just like any other style a flick of the wrist mixed with good footwork turns this into a formidable weapon indeed. It should be reminded once again though that while a stick-like weapon is preferred for general self-defense especially in the west due to their less-lethal nature they can of course still be lethal if you know how to use them and have the will to make them so. 

 

UTKM Krav Maga Gun Disarms.jpgThe gun is the tool that changed the world. Where once only the wealthy and elite had the time to train for hand to hand combat while the rest were to busy just trying to survive when the firearm arrived it made it so that the everyman could more reasonably defend themselves. It also changed how we fight wars, as no longer could war be fought on the bravery of the full-on cavalry charge. It really changed the world and it many ways slowly led to the democracy we have today, as we consider them the great social equalizer.

From a fundamental self-defense perspective though, what is a firearm? It is a straight line attack that offers an attack range greater than that of our bodies’ normal capabilities.

From a technical standpoint disarming guns is easier than dealing with knives. However, it is rarely as easy as you think. What if the opponent resists or you miss the initial disarm. When things go wrong, which we should assume they should, you will need to revert to your fundamental hand to hand combat skills while gaining control of the weapon in question. This, despite what many Krav Maga organizations imply, makes firearms disarms more advanced in nature and should not be for beginners.

Disarming Guns:

You must remember that Guns are a long-range weapon, and thus, you will only be able to disarm them if the attacker has been foolish enough to get within arms reach and has failed to control you in a manner that would prevent you from moving to disarm. This would include both Pistols and Rifles.

Disarming rifles is actually far easier than disarming pistols due to the size difference. Pistols are meant for shorter range engagements than rifles which makes them more dangerous in the closer ranges we need to be to disarm them.

Disarming a gun unlike knives should always be done from the standing position and takedown attempts are strongly not advised as you may lose muzzle control in the process.

How to deal with Gun Attacks:

No matter the type of the gun the main thing to consider is your range from the attacker and what tools you have in your proverbial toolbox. Other things to consider are if the attacker is an active shooter or a static threat.

Active Shooter

  1. Run and find Cover – This is always the best option if you are able to and are unarmed. If they have a You may not be able to though or you may need to protect others
  2. Use a Gun and SHOOT BACK! – In Israel, this is a real knife defense. However, you need to ask your self the following.
    1. Is it legal where you are to have a gun on you for Self Defense
    2. Do you have a Legal gun on you?
    3. Do you have the required skills to operate the gun under duress
  3. Charge them – This does not mean charge them head-on, but this could be a possibility if they are a terrible shot particularly with a handgun. If they have a rifle then charging head-on is not advisable. BUT, the faster the threat is taken down the faster everyone is safe. If more than one person come from different angles and charge and jump on the attacker it is the fastest way to stop the threat. Just know, there is no guarantee you will not be hurt thus this is not a decision to take lightly. Fundamentally, you must overwhelm them by Causing pain, Off Balancing and disrupting all while getting control of the weapon.

Another thing to consider is other people. There is a belief in gun disarms that you must never point the gun at anyone but the attacker. While this is certainly preferably trying too hard not to point it at other people during the attempt may result in hesitation and failure. So long as you do not get shot you can stop the threat which is the main goal. If someone is an active shooter then their goal is to shoot as many people as possible. By going for them and the gun you will 100% reduce the overall casualties and if you think otherwise you may not understand the mentality of such people. If you do disarm a gun from an active attacker and in the process, someone else gets shot, just know it is NOT your fault and you did the right thing.

Static Threat: Disarming a Gun

If you are able to get close enough to actually get a hold of the gun or weapon in question then you are in luck, your attacker has failed to take advantage of their strategic advantage of range.

These scenarios may also be the time you regret not taking acting classes. This is because a person with a gun who is close may not be looking to actually shoot you, but they may also. You may need to act in a manner that allows you to get in range. Some times you have to feign weakness or play along with what they want.

With that being said, the ideology that “Just do what they want”, is always the correct decision is incorrect. It MAY be the correct decision, but it also may mean your death. Only you will know. Sometimes they may leave after you do what they want, sometimes they might just kill you because it’s easier not to have witnessed or sometimes they just might panic and shoot you accidentally. This is why in Krav Maga we must stop the threat before it becomes worse.

It is also important to remember the Gun as a weapon operates on the straight line which means you need to get off the centerline either by re-directing the gun or getting yourself off the centerline or both. One thing to remember is that fine motor movement is not preferred in Krav Maga, yet when it comes to guns you may need to grab the gun. It is important then to remember, you must first push it off the centerline and then grab it. At speed, it looks like one step but it must always be two distinct steps.

Regardless, at all points, you MUST control the Muzzle direction as it is the dangerous part.

  1. Get Off the Center Line by Re-Directing the gun– The first goal is to get off the center line while immediately controlling the weapon. If it is a modern pistol then and it is appropriate based on the range you should have no problem re-directing then grabbing the pistol as you will be grabbing the slide, not the barrel. If it is a revolver or certain long guns, then grabbing the barrel is strongly NOT advised in which case you may consider the next step as your first step. Many disarm, especially with rifles teach grabbing the barrel first. However, this is a deeply flawed strategy especially with a rifle, as grabbing the barrel will not stop the gun from functioning and even if you are off the centerline even after one shot it will be extremely hot which may cause you to let go prematurely. If you cannot safely get a part of the gun that is plastic, composite or wood then move to the next step.
  2. Get Off the Center Line by Re-Directing the Weapon Arm – If you are unable to get the gun in your first move, then you must re-direct the weapon arm. It is also even more important especially if it is a pistol then you get your head and body off the centerline as well. The reason’s this needs to happen is the gun its self is too close to safely re-direct and grab, or you missed the gun and had to go for the arm.
  3. Control the Weapon Arm(s) – Once you are safely off the centerline you must firmly control the weapon arm. While your goal is to disarm the gun as fast as possible against a strong or aggressive person this can be difficult thus it is imperative that you control the weapon arm so that you remain off the centerline.
  4. Disarm the Gun– This must be done as fast as possible as the quicker it is done the quicker the threat is reduced. The individual may still be a threat even without the gun but at least it is out of their hands. There are only a few positions you will end up in with either pistols or long guns so remember what they are so that no matter what happens in a disarm attempt you can identify the position and do the correct disarm. Either way, Control the Muzzle while you are doing it preferably pointed at the attacker when possible.
  5. Create Space and Assess – Once you have the weapon you must immediately create space. Remember the advantage of the gun is a range, if you stay close you could also be disarmed. Disarming a person does not stop them as a threat so you must be ready to deal with them appropriately.  This step can get a little complicated depending on your skillset and the scenario but here are a few:
    1. Back away with your nonshooting hand up in a defensive position, with the gun down. This is best for civilians. Remember, if you disarm the gun and then immediately point it at the attacker and then the police show up who do you think will be the problem? Prior to this keep the space and be verbally dominant.
      1. A. In a situation where you have disarmed the gun but didn’t create sufficient space, use the gun as a blunt force weapon. Metal, composite and wood hurt far more than a fist. This must be a step as the assumption you can always use the gun as intended is not always true. It may not be loaded, or even functioning thus this becomes a great option to do massive damage to the attacker.
    2. Create space and tap, rack and be prepared to use the gun. This is the standard advice often given. If the gun was loaded or had ammunition in it and is functioning this could be the answer. Tapping and “Racking” or chambering a round may act as a deterrent to the attacker. However, if they attempt to call your bluff then you must be prepared to use this option. If you are not, then you better be prepared to move back fast as you attempt to maintain space.
    3. If you have your own firearm after you disarm and create space. Draw your own firearm. It is preferable to use your own as you know what state it is in at all times (or should). This option can be slow especially if there is not a chambered round. It also means you might also only be shooting from one hand which will decrease your accuracy.

Regardless of which option you need to do it requires good assessment. This is a second by second decision-making process based on your skill, the attacker, the environment and many other factors. The correct decision is very relative and can be difficult to make. The one thing to remember is DO NOT hesitate. Make a decision fast, and hope your training if you have any kicks in.

These many reasons are why at UTKM we do not consider anything firearms related as beginner material and are limited to advanced students.

Krav Maga 360 Knife Defense from BelowOften people think the most problematic weapon to deal with is the gun, yet ask most experts and they would say the knife is far worse. Knives are readily available, are easy to create from a variety of things and can be an effective and fatal tool in the hands of anyone.

On average a mass knife attack will see hight casualties than other types as they are silent and require little skill. When a gunshot goes off and there are screams people know to run. But when screams are heard and no one knows what to do, there is often a delayed sense of panic and by then it may be too late.

To deal with knives you must first understand Attack Patterns:

Committed vs Non-Committed as well as blender mode.

After this, the basic knife principles are based on the Attack Type. To Survive an attack know the following

Difficulty Levels of the Attack Pattern:

  • Committed is the easiest to deal with – Basic Techniques will work well, Running is the best option.
  • Non-Committed is more difficult – Basic techniques, combined with faster reaction time and good footwork will be needed. Running is the best option.
  • Blender Moder – Novice and Advance techniques may work if you are committed without hesitation. Running is still the best option.

Disarming Knives:

While many styles of Krav Maga and other Martial Arts will teach a knife to disarm while both parties are standing, UTKM does not teach this nor endorse this approach. A person with a knife may be faster, stronger or more aggressive and attempting to control at the wrist will preventing their advances and disarming the knife is more about luck.

We only teach and practice disarms when the attacker has been taken to the ground and reasonably been controlled. This is because they have now lost a vast majority of their explosive energy. It also makes it easier to run without them catching up as well as allows for control and arrest techniques all while keeping others safe.

How to deal with Knife Attacks:

No matter the attack pattern or type dealing with knives always starts with these options, If they are not an option in this order then you must use your hand to hand combat skills.

  1. Run – This is always the best option if you are able to. You may not be able to though or you may need to protect others
  2. Use a Gun – In Israel this is real knife defense. However, you need to ask your self the following.
    1. Is it legal where you are to have a gun on you for Self Defense
    2. Do you have a Legal gun on you?
    3. Do you have the required skills to operate the gun under duress
  3. Use Weapons of opportunity – Use whatever you can around you to give you an advantage. Use sticks, bags, bricks, jackets, obstacles, and anything you can think of to increase your chances to survive.

Attack Type: Straight Line

  1. Re-Direct the Attack – It is preferred that you re-direct so that you end up in Reference point 2 (Dead Side), but you can also redirect to reference point 1 (Live Side), but you must be quicker and add in an extra attack.
  2. Control the weapon arm – Control the arm holding the knife while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting your attacker.
  3. Disengage – Safety and forcefully push your opponents away ensuring it is not easy for them to slash back. Keep your hands up, create space and run.
  4. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  5. Disarm – Only now they may be disarmed. No matter what happens on the ground your focus is to get control of their weapon arm and get the weapon away from them. However, you must still be aware of possible additional attackers. Put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up. It should also be remembered that the knife is evidence and should be easy to find after the fact.

Attack Type: Circular

  1. Block the attack – Block the Attack with good technique and structure (360). Ensuring that you are exploding in if it is high, and getting your lower parts out of the way if it is low.
  2. Control the weapon arm – Control the arm holding the knife while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting your attacker.
  3. Disengage – Safety and forcefully push your opponents away ensuring it is not easy for them to slash back. Keep your hands up, create space and run.
  4. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  5. Disarm – Only now they may be disarmed. No matter what happens on the ground your focus is to get control of their weapon arm and get the weapon away from them. However, you must still be aware of possible additional attackers. Put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up. It should also be remembered that the knife is evidence and should be easy to find after the fact.

Attack Pattern: Blender Mode

At any point the attack type and pattern can switch to the hacking, slashing and stabbing that is blender mode. It also means you may have lost control. If the first 3 options have failed you have limited options as the attacker can switch the attack angle and speed to rapidly to try to control or stop the attack.

  1. Maintain your distance – You must manage the distance between you and the attacker, you often need more space than you think especially against an aggressive attacker.
  2. Cause Pain, Offbalance, Disrupt – You must do something to cause a brief delay in their attack for this is your chance. The UTKM preferred method is a low line side kick, but anything that gives you a chance without serious harm is acceptable.
  3. Explode in with hands up – You must decide to go and when you do you need to move without hesitation. It may look ugly but so long as you protected your vitals and got to the next step you did well.
  4. Control the weapon arm – Control the arm holding the knife while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting your attacker.
  5. Disengage – Safety and forcefully push your opponents away ensuring it is not easy for them to slash back. Keep your hands up, create space and run.
  6. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  7. Disarm – Only now they may be disarmed. No matter what happens on the ground your focus is to get control of their weapon arm and get the weapon away from them. However, you must still be aware of possible additional attackers. Put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up. It should also be remembered that the knife is evidence and should be easy to find after the fact.

Base, Posture, Structure

Posted: November 13, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles, Uncategorized
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Sometimes concepts are universal and are applicable to all styles no matter what your beliefs. One such concept is that of Base, Posture and structure. Though not originally Krav Maga and certainly not one we invented ourselves. Though we loosely taught these, when introduced to this concept by Professor Robert Bernacki and his idea of conceptual BJJ we found ourselves incorporating it more and more into our teachings.

When teaching the concepts of closing the distance, and cause pain, off balance and disrupt we often find our selves talk about the structure of your arms to maintain good control or the posture of your opponent and of course our own stance and base. because these concepts appear so universal not just in self-defense but also in engineering and science it seems fit they also are included in general self defense concepts.

Base

240px-Pyramid.svg

Conser the base in this picture your legs in fighting stance, and the apex your head.

Base is the ability to generate force and receive force while maintaining your stance or position. If you are in a fighting stance you are in good base, as you can generate force by bursting and you can receive a blow within reason without falling to the ground. Without a good base, it will be difficult to fight or defend your self. Often during sparring sessions during our warrior classes individuals still don’t understand this important concept. Sometimes intentionally or accidentally they cross their feet or legs losing strong base and the ability to resist force. Even when they get hit with a light blow they find themselves on the ground. Not because the blow was particularly strong but because it was perfectly timed and had enough force to overcome the weak base of the one who fell. For Krav Maga having a strong base, means having a strong fighting stance. Lose your footing and you lose your base.

Posture

squat_bar_placement.jpg

Here we see the universal nature of posture applied to squats.

Posture is the position of your spine or your opponent’s spine to take a load. When we burst in towards our opponent and get a control position if they have good base and are resisting we can cause, pain and disrupt with a knee or kick to the groin which will allow us to break their posture. Once we have broken their posture it will be much easier to control them. If they have good base and posture it will be very difficult to move or control any opponent. We can’t cheat physics but we can cheat biology, this is why Krav Maga applies the cause pain, off balance and disrupt because without this work through it will be difficult to take on opponents larger than us.

Structure

360 block

Structure as used in 360 defense

Structure is the efficient use of your limbs. If we have good structure in our limbs then we can effectively resist force pushed against us. Consequently, if we break the structure of our opponent’s limbs a turn their limbs into a lever we can easily control them. One of the best examples of good structure in Krav Maga is the 360-degree defense where our arms create a super-efficient block while our arms are at a 90-95 degree angle. This allows us to absorb the impact of circular attacks with minimal effort (energy). This same angle can be applied when in position 1 (reference point 1) to control the person’s forward motion at the head and neck. Other self-defense systems such as Tony Blauer’s SPEAR system would call this the outside 90 and have created an entire system around it. Such is the power of structure.

The Body: Circulatory System

Posted: September 11, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles

Body Circulatory system.jpg

Understanding how the body works is key to being able to defend it appropriately. The reason it is important to understand how the circulatory system works and where the major arteries and Veins are is key when defending against edged or sharp weapons.

For our purposes the 3 major groupings we need to be concerned about:

Neck & Throat

Artery Vein
Major:  Carotid Artery Major: Jugular Vein

Cartoid artery.jpg

 

Hands up is an important concept, as it is to protect our head and neck. When it comes to bladed weapons a well place slash or stab could severe these and cause a bleed out within as little as 6 seconds. These are also the blood pathways being cut off during a rear naked choke. Empty handed we mostly have to worry about being hit in the head or face, but with blades with cannot forget to protect the neck and throat as well.

Arms & Shoulders

Artery Vein
Major:  Brachial Artery

Major: Subclavian Artery

Minor: Radial Arteries

Major: Basilic Vein

Major: Subclavian/Axillary vein

Minor: Radial Veins

brachial-artery.jpgThese locations are general targets of stabs and are generally only targets of individuals who have fairly good use of offensive knife tactics. The brachial artery and its pairing veins run under the bicep and armpit and are generally easy to defend as they are quite deep but a well place targeted stab could cause a quick and fatal blow. Also, the subclavian artery and matching veins are located just under your clavicle bone. Stabs to this region could also target the heart and lungs depending on the length of the blade. As these are closer to the neck an missed ice pick attack to the head cut slide lower and end up in these fatal places. We also have our radial arteries and matching veins, these run in the soft tissue of the forearm. We often think these will be fatal wounds if cut or slashed but generally (barring extreme damage) bleeding can be stopped with good direct pressure. Never the less in the presence of a bald you should avoid exposing the soft sides of your arms and palms.

Legs & Groin

Artery Vein
Major:  Femoral Artery Major: Femoral Vein

femoral-artery-6-638.jpgMuch like the Arteries and Veins in your neck, these can be disastrously fatal if they are severed. The good news is that they are deep in the tissue and hard to reach most of the time. The bad news is if they are severed it can be exceptionally difficult to stop the bleeding without immediate advanced medical attention. Because of this, we choose to avoid exposing it as much as possible when a blade is out. This is one of the many reasons we prefer a low line sidekick as opposed to a front kick when dealing with knives. Although both can be acceptable options.

Learn to walk in peace

Posted: September 4, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles
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so one may walk in peace.jpg

When asked what the purpose of Krav Maga was and what he hoped for his students, Imi Lichtenfeld Quoted as saying,

“so one may walk in peace.”

To us at UTKM, this means so much, in such a short sentence. As Einstein also famously said,

If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself

or more precisely, if you can’t explain it simply, you do not understand it. So for Imi to explain so much in so little means he really must have understood what he was doing.

To us walking in peace means you have balance and security in your life so that you can walk day to day knowing you have the knowledge and skill set to deal with anything life might throw your way.

The obvious to this is the physical. By attending Krav Maga classes you are literally learning the physical skills you need to know where you stand in a physical confrontation.

The less obvious is the mental aspect. Krav Maga can help train your mind and nervous system to become accustomed to stress so that when you are really stressed you are no so overwhelmed.

For some people taking classes is not enough, perhaps you are coming to learn the physical skills to overcome a past traumatic experience. If the class is not enough we of course always recommend you work with an appropriate mental health professional, and of course, with your permission, your Krav Maga instructor and mental health advisors can work together to help you become stronger.

walking in peace could also mean how you look and feel. While Krav Maga’s goal should never actually be fitness, it is certainly a secondary factor or any regular physical training. The more you train Krav Maga, the fitter and healthier you will be. This will, of course, make you feel better on the inside and be confident knowing you look better on the outside. No matter what your stance on such things, it is never wrong to be fitter and healthier.

So no matter your goals, know that the main goal is to teach you to have not just outer peace but also inner peace, albeit Krav Maga’s methodology is a little different than say meditating on a mountaintop for 10 years but they are effective none the less.

So ask your self, are you ready to walk in peace. If so, come, train, be consistent and you will be happier, healthier and know you have the ability to defend yourself both mentally and physically.

Create Space

Posted: August 28, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles
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Create Space push kick.gif

A Push Kick is one method of creating space

Creating space may be the difference between successfully defending yourself or unsuccessfully defending yourself. This is because of the concepts of Action vs Re-action in that action is always faster.

Creating space gives you time and time allows you to have more time to assess and make a better more appropriate reaction. After all, in our 3-dimensional world, don’t forget that time makes our 4th dimension and thus all movement whether it be action or reaction is dictated by such physics concepts. Who said you didn’t need to understand concepts like E=MC^2 but now at least you can make a connection with the practical application.

In the stages of self defense the order is important as the earlier in the stages there is more time and more space for better decision making but as you go down the scale there is usually less space and less time to react thus making it more difficult.

For example in avoidance (A) running or walking the other way will give you space. In Diffusion (D) stepping back with your hands up will create space, though be aware of whats behind you as stepping back might not always be an option. In pre-emptive self defense (PE) techniques will help create space but this may also escalate the scenario. Techniques such as the push kick, educational block or throat jab etc are things that will cause pain, off balance and disrupt enough to effectively create space in a quick manner. Of course, if creating space has only escalated the scenario and we have now gone into full Fight mode then we can no longer create space and as we go on the offense must maintain tight control to prevent the attacker from being able to use space to reset and go on the offensive.

Another way to discuss this is through grappling terms. If I am on the defensive, I need to create space to get to my feet (technical stand up) or create space using wedges and levers to re-guard. Contrary if I am on the offensive I need to take away space, while maintaining pressure and control to achieve my desired results.

Remember, if you can create space, so can the attacker. In the end, whoever acts the quickest with the best most effective strategy will come out on top most of the time. But at least if you have space you are more likely to make the correct decision.