Posts Tagged ‘ancient’

Recently I had a conversation with Dimitrios Andritsos from KMG Beligium. We were discussing the type of KM instructors out there in this community and the differences between them. We both agreed that although many people teach KM, everyone teaches it very differently.

This interesting phenomenon is in part due to the process of becoming a KM instructor. Generally KM instructors are trained through intensive 4  to 20 day courses; approximately 8 hours each day. Although that is enough hours to teach an experienced martial arts instructor the techniques of KM, it is not enough to change their behaviors and thinking, or provide full knowledge, tactics and the skill set of a KM instructor. For those who are fortunate enough to continue their training with a good KM lead instructor or organization in their local country, this issue is solved. These local organizations produce many pure blooded KM instructors with extensive knowledge of KM, field tactics, firearms, shooting etc. Israel and Serbia are the two countries that produce the purest and scariest KM instructors I have personally known.

Those who chose not to continue their KM education have to fill the knowledge and skill gap with their previous martial arts background. Hence, the KM world is diverse and different from school to school and instructor to instructor. Here are the three types of KM instructors out there:

  1. Soldier

Due to KM’s origins and ability to be adopted into military training, many soldiers around the world were attracted to the KM community. These type of instructors have the correct mentality and tactics when comes to KM, but the skill set and techniques are generally not the sharpest. Hand to hand combat is a very different special set of skills. It needs years of training to indoctrinate these into a person’s body.

  1. Fighter

Here I mean both martial artist and sports fighter. Most KM instructors come from this group and some are superb at transferring KM techniques and systems into their existing training database, but some bring their past martial art training into KM training. Some of these systems are compatible with KM’s mentality and training methods. Some are not. In general, I find instructors with a sport fighting background have good training methods for their students.

  1. Fitness Guy

Some fitness professionals with limited martial arts experience also start teaching Krav Maga classes. Their classes are a hybrid of Krav Maga and a fitness workout. This is the norm for most Krav Maga classes in North America. After all, this type of class attracts the most consumers, who want to get fit doing something that is fun; however, this type of class has little value when it comes to enabling one to walk in peace.

KM is not supposed be a system that requires a long period of training, but comprehensive training should not be as fast as some schools claim. The reason why Israelis do this is because:

  1. This is how the army does it – it takes from 1 to 3 months, depending on the unit, to develop an IDF Krav Maga instructor.
  2. Many Israeli organizations do not have the patience to stay in other countries and tutor pupils from beginner to instructor.
  3. Israeli people, generally speaking, are meant for KM. Do not forget, the majority of Israelis do their national military service of 2 to 3 years. The military train people both mentally and physically. A smaller amount of instructor training will work for countries that have a more militant background like Serbia, Russia, Poland etc., but for countries where average citizens do not serve and have limited access to firearms, a shorter period of training will not be sufficient.

In essence, we are all different, but one goal should be the same: that is to continue educating ourselves in every possible way on the subjects of Krav Maga, fighting, psychology, teaching, sports science, firearms, shooting, bladed combat etc. We need to recognize our strengths and weaknesses and become a hybrid of all three subject experts.

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Ottawa Shooting 20141022For those who do not live in Canada, last week there were two separate attacks against Canadian soldiers in Ottawa and Quebec. The one in Ottawa especially hit home for me. The death of Cpl Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Hamilton upset me deeply.

I have worked in a similar position as Cpl Cirillo at Parliament Hill from 2005 – 2007 as I was a member of the Capital Ceremony Gun Detachment. We provided ceremony gun salutes for diplomatic occasions and important events such as Police Memorial day on the right side of Parliament Hill.  For three years, I did that about twice or three times a month on top of my regular army duty as an army reservist. All of the soldiers who work at the Parliament were unarmed and the most dangerous thing to us was the chilly wind of Ottawa during the winter, or the hot sun during the summer. Life was good and peaceful. You felt pride and sense of duty wearing your uniform representing Canada. The dying and pain of our brethren in Afghanistan seemed very far away from where we stood.

The death of Cpl Cirillo changes all that.  A terrorist hits home and we were not prepared; not at our home, not at our nation’s capital. Canada is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Except for the War of 1812, almost all of our military operations were launched on foreign soil instead of against foreign invaders on our soil. We Canadians do not know what the meaning of being scared is. We do not worry if the bus is going to blow up or if there will be a rocket landing on our roof. We are naive and innocents We live our lives not worrying if someone will deprive us of our lives in the next few seconds. Canadians who dare to venture outside of our comfortable nation know that we Canadians are fortunate and blessed. We live in Elysium.

Everything has changed now, and I have to admit that I am scared. We are facing a new type of enemy who do not wear uniforms and they live among us. They are not criminal. They are not cowards and they have very little regard for other people’s lives. How do you combat that?

 By not giving in, we can be fearful of the events but we do not fear those who wish us harm. If we are fearful of the event then we are aware of the situation. Emotion is normal and those who say they have no fear are either ill-informed or lying. As living creatures we fear death, but that makes us more careful or  allows us to cherish our time on Earth more. Those who train will train even harder and be thankful for everyday we have on Earth. Now we have a purpose for why we train Krav Maga. We do not rely others to protect us and we are the guardians of our safety and captains of our fate. We are not lambs but lions. We fear for our lives but fear will only drive us to move faster, scan wider and punch harder. We want to live, and we want to save lives. That is why we will triumph over terrorism by doing exactly what terrorists expect us not to do; to live under the sun with our chin high. 

Written By: Borki Yony

Edited By: Warren C

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The knife- is a simple yet deadly weapon that has been around since the dawn of time and comes in many forms. The switch blade, Gravity blades, Fixed blades, Double sided blades, Shivs (home made), Single sided blades and Butterfly knives just to name a few. The reality is a blade could be anything with a sharpened edge and can be made from metal, plastic, glass, rock etc… The ever changing nature of this weapon does not take away from its ability to injure and kill, and it is arguably more deadly than the gun due to how easy to acquire and procure a knife. In fact, the blade is the number one cause for homicide deaths in Canada. ( reference: 1 & 2 )

Throughout your life you may hear many different thoughts on blade techniques and defenses but your greatest weapon when dealing with blades is simply, YOUR COMMON SENSE.

If someone with a blade approaches you the simplest and most logical defenses are:

  1. Do as they say
  2. Run!  ( fast ! and don’t fall )
  3. Use objects such as a bag, chair, stool etc.. to block the knife and hopefully disarm the individual

When it comes to blades there is one thing to remember, if you choose to engage the individual wielding the blade, – EXPECT TO GET CUT! Due to the simplicity, fluidity and speed of bladed attacks even the most proficient knife fighter & self defense expert will still get cut.

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There are two main categories of Knife attacks:

  1. The Simple/Static attacks
  2. The Complex/Fluid attacks

The Simple/Static attacks

The first category ( Simple/ Static Attacks ) is the one that is most dealt with in Krav Maga. The reason for this is that these are the most common types of attacks. These attacks occur when a person stabs straight down like an ice pick, straight up in a thrust, or straight forward to the head, midsection or groin area. These are all Stabbing motions. In these attacks the attackers arm is usually locked in a particular state. These attacks are usually crimes of passion, such as attacks of rage and are usually the first attack of an untrained individual. Statistically women are more likely to thrust downward and males are more likely to thrust upward.

Here are some examples:

  1. One prisoner is talking to another; one had a blade in his pocket. The conversation goes badly and the one with the knife puts his hand in his pocket pulls it out at waist level and thrusts it upwards into the gut of the other.
  2. You are waiting at a bus stop. A drug addict approaches you and pulls a knife out and asks you for money. You make a sudden movement that spooks him. In his questionable state he panics and thrusts forward into your chest.
  3. A woman walks into the kitchen only to find her husband cheating on her with another woman. In a fit of rage she grabs a knife, charging at the adulterous pair and thrusts downwards.

Because they are direct stabbing motions they can be instantly fatal should they pierce a vital organ or artery. The Roman historian Tacitus commented over 2000 years that only require “two inches of steel to kill a man.” Though tough to deal with, due to the untrained nature of these attacks, they can be managed. In Krav Maga system this is why the 360 degree defense was developed. It uses natural reactions and gross motor function as well as sweeping motions to deal with the straight attacks.

Examples of the 360 defense below:

These defenses are designed from natural human flinching reactions to defend against an initial straight attack. However, the defense is only one part. If it is not followed immediately by an attack to stun the knife wielder then they can simply strike again. The point is, if you don’t know how to defend properly, you are going to get cut or stabbed. This brings me back to my first point, If in doubt:

  1. Do as they say
  2. Run! ( fast ! and don’t fall )
  3. Use objects such as a bag, chair, stool etc.. to block the knife and hopefully disarm the individual

The Complex/Fluid attacks

The second type of attack is in some ways less dangerous and in some ways more dangerous. These types of attacks involve much more slashing and means either the person is just waving the blade trying to hit something or the blade is being wielded by a trained individual. While initially a slash is less deadly than a stab, a slash causing a cut anywhere can cause your heart rate to spike initiating your fight or flight reaction or cause your body to enter shock. In an untrained individual this response can cause panic resulting in further cuts or stab wounds from the attacker. The slashing attacks are also much more difficult to stop. They can be quick and short or wide and erratic. Either way the likelihood of being injured from these attacks is great if someone chooses to engage in it. The best way to deal with these attacks is simple:

  1. Run!
  2. Use objects such as a bag, chair, stool etc.. to block the knife and hopefully disarm the individual

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Choosing to engage someone who is slashing in a controlled or wild fashion is usually a losing battle for any individual. Simply put, if you do not have the speed and timing to deal with these quick attacks you have then gotten yourself in a lot of trouble.

The Knife Fighter

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Movie: The Hunted. One of the best & realistic Knife fighting scene in movie history.

A knife fight is fundamentally different than a random attack and making the mistake of thinking they are the same will result poorly for you. These days, it is all too common for young people or those from other cultures to regularly carry a knife on them at all times. Example: Punjab youth may carry their ceremony dagger (reference:3). The scenario of two individuals pulling out a knife and engaging in combat is all to real in other parts of the world. (reference: 4) For example – Pilipino Kali ( Escrima & Arnis )  sect feud in the 70s. North America might not have its blade culture in modern society but many recent immigrants still keep theirs. A knife fight is knowingly entered and with conscious thought as one can always choose to run away from such a situation. Fighting a trained knife fighter with weapon or empty hand is a very scary and stupid thing and personally I would be more afraid of being attacked by a trained knife expert than someone putting a gun to my head. A systematic knife fighting attacks involved both types of attacks, the more fluid slashing attacks and the more static stabbing attacks. Often a slash is a set up for a stab.

Knife Fighting Ranges:

1. Far – At this range the opposing fighter is too far to directly stab you. Your best bet is to parry their attack by striking/slashing their wrist with your blade causing a cut. Hopefully this one parry will cause them to drop their knife and thus winning you the fight.

2. Close – At this range they are close enough to strike your face or body. At this range, you not only are going to have to strike with your knife but also defend with your free hand. If you do not also use your free hand to defend yourself, then even if you strike them they will also strike you. This causes a lose, lose situation.

3. Clinch – At this range if you do not already have some control of their knife hand you will most likely be stabbed MULTIPLE times. If you have managed to control their knife hand, then even if they have controlled your knife hand as well, you can use attacks such as kicks, elbows and head butts to do damage to your opponent.

Types of knife

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As mentioned previously, knives can come in many shapes and designs, and can have different functions depending on their intended use. All designs can be equally deadly.

Closing Notes

I hope this article provides you with some principals of the knife defense. When dealing with knives as I stated many times the best action is to simply not engage the attacker, run ! The moment you decide to close the distance you are now putting yourself at risk of being cut or stabbed ( Noted: There are still moments closing the distance might be the better option ). Remember, when it comes to dealing with knives, ASSUME you will get cut if you engage. With this mentality you will not be surprised if and when you do. Also, you will be aware that if you think you are going to get cut you can attempt to minimize the damage by controlling where you do get cut. For example: blocking so that you get cut on the outside or bladed side of the forearm rather than the soft inner portion that has all the veins and arteries. There are many school of thoughts when comes to knife defense. This articles is base upon my own trainings and actual experience in operation in West Bank.There might be points you disagree; nevertheless, No matter what you hear and who you hear it from, the fact remains the same, Knives are dangerous and very deadly.

Written By: Jonathan Fader

Edited By: Warren C & Borhan J

Reference

  1. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/12/04/homicides-statistics-canada-2011.html
  2. http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2010/10/26/15834021.html
  3. http://swns.com/news/sikh-students-allowed-to-wear-ceremonial-dagger-to-school-10141/
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vez6y08rB8