Posts Tagged ‘CQB’

Warriors Den Graphic I tunes

Amit Himelstein with the UTKM Instructor Crew.jpg“Amit has been part of the martial arts world since the age of 8. Started his journey in Karate, and progressed from there into the full contact world. As a teenager, Amit represented the Israeli National Team in competitions in Israel and around the world.  At the age of 18  he joined the IDF Special Forces and served as a Krav Maga instructor. The military experience gave him the best “training” ground for CQB.
After his army service, Amit moved to China and joined a training team of traditional Kung fu, Sanshou and Shuai jiao. He trained and compete there for 3 years.

After returned to Israel Amit opened the “Israel Sanshou academy ”, a martial arts academy for Sanshou, shuai jiao and tactical training. Chose Sanshou as the main focus. Sanshou is a fighting system that is used in the training program of the Chinese police and as the main combat sport in China. Sanshou combines striking and wrestling skills. The academy and Amit himself  keep computing in sanshou, grappling , traditional wrestling and MMA.

In addition, Amit is working with police and army units on kapap and CQB training.

The IKF- Israel Kapap Federation: In 2010 Amit  joined the federation. He added his experience in martial arts and Army CQB to the Kapap methods.

The IKF is working on a variety of projects and seminars around the world.  Special units, police, anti-bulling programs for teenagers and children and self defence programs for civilians.”

Source – http://www.ikf-cqb.com/about

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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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Florian Garel is an old friend and training partner of mine.  He is a seasoned Muay Thai, grappling, karate practitioner, instructor and active MMA fighter signed under “One FC“.  Before you step into the dojo you can see the classes though the clear glass. You can see either a bunch of little kids doing kicks and punches alone with Florian in a Zendoaki Karate gi, or you will see a bunch of MMA fighters boxing each other and doing take downs.

In truth, I have rarely seen any dojo  has such an open view to the outside world as Florian’s gym. Many times people will stop and just watch the practice in amazement, especially in Taiwan, a society that values harmony and peace over aggression and prowess of fighting. Children were often taught not to be physical with each other and keep their hands to themselves. Wrestling with friends in mud is an image that only exists in Hollywood movies, but the society is changing. More and more of these audiences are jumping into the practice of MMA and Full Contact Karate.

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The dojo is not big and is about 1000 square feet. There is no lavish equipment but only the necessary gear such as mats, punching pads and other important stuff. It reminds me of the old school MMA gym, and people are here to train and to fight.  Florian’s regular MMA class is not big, generally 5 to 8 people, but many local Taiwanese Pro and Amateur MMA fighters train there with Florian. This speaks to the quality of Florian’s teaching. I participated in several of Florian’s MMA classes and I have to say that Florian has excellent instruction when comes to takedowns. This might surprise you, but the first time Florian and I fought was in 2008, and I was the one taking him down with my superb Judo skill. Now, after years of Sambo and pro-MMA fights, I am the one who can benefit from Florian’s teachings.

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Florian’s take down and grappling style is based more on Sambo and wrestling instead of grappling. It is more active and focuses on getting on top of the opponent. It is also a very MMA focused type of grappling instead of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that I practice and see. The tempo is much faster and techniques are less refining but brutal – Russian style. This is the beauty of Taiwan. It seems to attract styles from around the world instead of limiting to one style.

The teaching style of Florian’s class is considered as Linear Teaching. Florian would teach one technique and then the modification, defense, and so on and so on. From my experience this is the best method of teaching, and Royce Gracie used the same teaching method at the seminar where I was his assistant. Students spar and perform takedowns against each other using the right amount of force and technique and no one has an ego there. Students’ behaviors in sparring reflect the instructor’s attitude and ego, and I have to say Florian does a better job than me.

It is a true United Nations at Florian’s school. You will spar with Pilipino migrant workers in boxing, roll with Canadian MMA fighters, and do ground-and-pound with local Taiwanese students. Martial Arts truly bring people together and bridge the gap of language.

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Zendokai Karate Association in Japan was founded in 1999 by a great Karate Master Mr. Takashi Ozawa. Zendokai Karate is a type of sophisticated Multi-Martial Art based on Japanese Karate that includes punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, and joint locking techniques, while standing and fighting on the ground.  The easiest way to describe Zendoaki Karate is that it is MMA in a gi with some karate moves.

1147749_613530242023622_1767328248_oAt every Saturday Open Mat you will see guests from other dojos coming to train at Florian’s school and he would train with other gyms as well. This is Taiwan. It has a small population when it comes to Martial Arts and even a smaller population when comes to MMA and grappling, but the people are really close and there is a brotherhood among everyone and seldom will you will see rivalry between gyms as you sometimes see in North America. When the community is this small people need each other to survive. For Taiwanese people, it is a far cry from “don’t make physical contact with others”, to rolling on the ground trying to tap each other out. A lot of things have changed and, in my opinion, for the better. I hope…no,I know Florian’s MMA and Karate dojo will prosper in Taiwan because this is what we need.

Written By: Borki Yony

Photo By: Zendokai Karate ( Taiwan ) & Florian Garel

Zendokai’s website & facebook : https://www.facebook.com/taiwan.zendokai?pnref=lhc

If I say Urban Tactics Krav Maga is one of the most diversified and dynamic Krav Maga schools in North America, I think there would be very little dispute. Other than having been certified under 4 International Krav Maga Federations, one of our specialties is firearm training and Krav Maga techniques related to firearms, from firearm disarms, tactical shooting to military Krav Maga. We are privileged to have extensive knowledge from our military background as combat arms soldiers and shooting instructors in the Defense Industry.

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50 cal, the author’s favorite gun during his service with CDN Army

However, sometimes when we ask our civilian students at our Krav Maga school here in Vancouver if they would like to participate in some of Krav Maga seminars related to firearms or Firearm Possession Course, some of them ask “Why? What’s the point to learn about guns ? I will never use it.“  ” what’s the point of using guns as cold steel weapon? I will just shoot the guy. ”  Many Vancouverites do not own firearms nor have an interest in it. I was amazed with these students’ response that they do not want to participate because they think any form of firearm training is not useful in a real life threat.

Let us be clear about something:

  1. Armed robbers or other bad guys do not attack their targets with their bare hands. They always want to achieve superiority by having either a knife or a gun; only honorable people fight in equal amount of forces and let their skill determine who the winner is. Bad guys are not looking for a fair fight; they are looking for an easy pay day. If, unfortunately, you end up at the end of barrel and you faint at the first sight of a gun, the chance of you acting calmly is pretty slim. Knowledge is key to calmness and being collective under pressure. To know what type of firearm and the condition of the firearm is vital to survival in dealing with an armed assailant.
  1. If you disarm someone‘s firearm you need to know how to use it, even if you want to disable the gun to prevent the bad guy from using it again. You need to know how to do so fluidly and accurately under stress. Over and over again I see Krav Maga schools or other Krav Maga instructors teach people how to disarm attackers with a gun, but their immediate actions after the disarm makes my heart skip a beat.  Most of them clearly do not know how a real firearm functions, different functionality between a revolver and semi-automatic pistol, nor how to point the gun at the person if they chose to take lethal action. Just because you point a gun at an attacker does not magically make this person stop from taking the gun back or to attack you again. Do you have the will and skill to fire a gun if you chose to and, if you can hit accurately the bad guy, without hurting the bystanders or yourself? If you do not wish to shoot someone, how do you use guns as cold steel weapon and combine with Krav Maga moves ?
  1. Since almost most Israelis have served in the IDF; firearms have always been part of general Krav Maga curriculum from Day One in Israel. After all, almost every 18, 19 old Israeli youth can take apart, put it back a M-16 and be confident with it on the range. Most North American Krav Maga students and instructors cannot rival Israeli Krav Maga student and instructors’ firearm experience. Nonetheless, In order to learn the full system of Krav Maga, you better be good at firearms. You need to learn how to shoot it, disassemble it, then finally disarm it if you have to. Firearm training is a serious issue and takes lots of training time; more so than any other aspects in Krav Maga. People generally need lots of range time with guns to eliminate the fear of the “Boom Stick“, but also be confident that guns are merely tools and be comfortable with them as extension of their limbs.
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Are you Ash or Villagers ?

Last but not least, we do Krav Maga for a reason. We do it not for fitness or completion but to protect our lives. My friend, you want to ask yourself: Is there ever enough training when it comes to protecting your lives, especially about the most efficient killing tool created by man?

Written By: Borki Yony

Edited By: Warren C

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

In this video there are four of my buddies from Military Krav Maga Instructor course. I have to say this is probably one of the best demo video I ever seen. The quality is superb.

You guys can read about my Serbian adventurous at here.

http://urbantacticskravmaga.com/2013/09/17/from-serbia-with-love-military-krav-maga-instructor-course-in-belgrade/

By: Borhan Jiang

Gaza Flotilla Raid on May 2010, is a good example of a failed military operation and it also shows the limitation of Krav Maga ( hand to hand combat ).

Footage of the instance

Footage of the IDF Krav Maga training

Background:

On May 31, 2010, Shayetet 13 took part in Operation Sea Breeze or Operation Sky Winds against a flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza. The commandos, armed with non-lethal weaponry and 9mm pistols as sidearms, abseiled from helicopters and boarded from speedboats, and apprehended five ships with mostly passive resistance. Aboard the MV Mavi Marmara, the commandos were attacked by dozens of activists armed with knives, iron bars, slingshots and improvised weapons, and allegedly with firearms, including those seized from commandos. Three soldiers were captured, carried below deck, and were temporarily held in a passenger hall. The commandos initially used non-lethal force, but after this proved ineffective, they opened fire with live ammunition and seized control of the ship. Nine activists were killed, and several dozen were wounded. Seven commandos were also wounded, two of them seriously. International condemnation of the action followed.Subsequently, S’13 commandos boarded and seized the aid ship MV Rachel Corrie with no resistance.

1. Group fighting

“You are simply not going to win over a mob.” Plenty of Kung Fu movies instill false ideas of a 1-vs-Many situation. In these films, the Kung Fu master is able to fight 10 – 50 people all by himself easily and effortlessly. As you can see in the footage, it only exists in Hollywood. Shayetet 13 is among the top 3 special forces within the IDF. Members of Shayetet 13 are the finest soldiers IDF can offer and these naval commandos are probably the most aggressive and fearsome of all. One of its unofficial mottos is “When force does not work, use more force.”  The Krav Maga training of Shayetet 13 is as brutal as any other spec-op unit, if not more. However, these soldiers are human, just like you and me.

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Let’s look at it more closely. A soldier is able to do 5 moves in one second. These moves include most Krav Maga techniques: e.g, elbow, fist, kick, etc.  Each member of a mob can do, for example, “about only 3 moves because of sea sickness, lack of training, etc.”

In the film, each soldier was attacked by about 10 -15 mob members at any moment. 15 x 3 = 45 moves, so a soldier can only do 5 moves countering 45 moves by a mob in one second.  5 vs 45.  You see why being a Kung Fu master or top Naval commando makes no difference in front of a mob?

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2. Space & Environment


Human beings are unable to deal with attacks from all angles. In this instance, the commando fast roped down, and in the middle of the rope he was quickly overwhelmed by the mob. Generally speaking, attacks can come from the front, left, right and rear (4 angles) but most of our senses are only equipped to deal with attacks from the front. Although it might be a mission requirement to fast rope in the middle of the deck, the commandos were unable to use walls and other obstacles to funnel the attackers into a more manageable angle.

gaza-flotilla-hamas-terrorists-03_425In the video you can see commandos were thrown off the deck by the mob. In a fight, the environment is neutral. It can be used against your enemy or you. The environment takes no side.

3. Use of weapon

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some of the weapons found on the ship. The dangers of these item is irrefutable.

It is the saddest thing to see some martial art & Krav Maga instructors instilling false confidence to their students regarding the power of empty hands. IDF soldiers were attacked by metal rods, knives, fists, stones, etc. Every blow is potentially deadly to a human body. In situations like this almost every military and Law Enforcement in Western society allows its members to use deadly force. The idea of using non-lethal devices or Krav Maga to fight off this kind of situation is simply unrealistic and ludicrous.

4. Underestimate the threat

Prior to Shayetet 13’s commandos boarding MV Mavi Marmara, they had boarded several other vessels, and faced no trouble. The commandos were under strict orders not to use lethal force from the higher ups and were doing search with paintball guns and pistols. The situation quickly went out of hand even before the commandos boarded the ships. The mob is swinging the rope which commandos roped from and some of commandos actually fell from the middle of the air. It is unsure if the commandos got complacent because of the previous operations on other ships but the head of operations and the IDF higher up definitely got complacent and underestimated the unpredictability and aggressive nature of these passengers on board. The threat is very real even when you are at overwhelming odds on your side: Navy vs civilian yards, commandos vs civilians.

Gaza Blockade Soldier Photos

Conclusion:

As one of my instructors Nir Maman ( Krav Maga and Counter Terror specialist ) once said, “The essence and tactics of Krav Maga in IDF is the same as how we shoot, how we clear rooms and deploy in battle ” In North America, many civilian instructors have emphasized too much on the hand-to-hand aspect of Krav Maga and failed to recognize that Israeli Krav Maga mentality is always about using superior weapons over the enemy.  “If the enemy has a stick, I have a gun. If the enemy has a gun, I have a tank. If the enemy has a tank, I have my F-15. Krav Maga is not a martial art and is not about fighting equally but a system about neutralizing the threat with superior forces with minimum of losses at your side.

The Gaza Flotilla Raid is an excellent example of the one time that the IDF underestimated the threats and did not deploy enough forces accordingly.  A mistake that almost cost these commandos’ lives.  The same can happen to us, so as Krav Maga practitioners we should acknowledge that we are not invulnerable to harm and our tactics can be flawed.

Written By: Borki Ben-Yony

Edited By: Warren Chow

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Borhan’s Military Krav Maga Instructor Course

My time in Serbia must have been one of the most interesting and intense Krav Maga trainings I have ever experienced. I have always had strong interest in the military aspect of Krav Maga since I started my Krav Maga training in 2007 in Israel. Then, I was under the guidance of Master Zeev Cohen, one of the best Krav Maga instructors in Israel. The aggression and toughness in Zeev’s class left a strong impression on me. As I continued my Krav Maga training in North America and Asia, Krav Maga seemed to be less combative and aggressive. Almost all Krav Maga schools that I know now focus more on the self defense aspect, with very little focus on Krav Maga’s original purpose “ Contact Combat.” I decided to find the missing link between Imi’s original Krav Maga and today’s civilian Krav Maga. I enrolled myself in a military Krav Maga instructor course run by Krav Maga Global in Serbia. With a bit of nervousness, I arrived in Belgrade, Serbia. The last time I heard about this country, NATO ( including Canada ) was giving this city a new real-estate upgrade. The ruins of the bombings can still be seen in some parts of the city. Belgrade and its sub city Zeumn is a bit rundown. Though not the prettiest streets in Europe, the streets are always clean, and although the occupants are not the richest, they always carry themselves with pride.

I showed up three days prior to the actual course start. The course is 15 days for any military personnel with no prior Krav Maga experience and 10 days for Krav Maga instructors who already passed Krav Maga Global’s instructor course ( GIC ). I did my instructor course in 2008 and I desperately needed a refresher. The training took place in a police training base in the suburb called Zemun. My course consisted of 5 foreigners, 4 Serbian Emergency Response Team Police Officers and 6 local Serbian KMG instructors. Out of the 5 foreigners, we had a formal British Army Artillery Staff Sergeant, a Formal East German Paratrooper, one German and one UK KMG civilian instructors. Our Serbian KMG instructors groups consisted of three active Serbian Army soldiers, one fire marshal and one police officer. Knowing that I came from Canada and had done my service there, some of these Serbians jokingly said “Oh ! Canada, your country exported some special gifts along with America back in the day” Their tone seemed to be friendly…..at least for now.

The first five days of the course were conducted by KMG instructor Moran Laskow, who was a Krav Maga instructor during his service in the IDF and later served as a shooting instructor for Israel’s Military Industry. Moran is the perfect example of what a Krav Maga instructor ought to be; fit, keen, good looking, knowledgeable and personable. In fact, I believe there is a secret fan club for Moran within the Krav Maga community. In class, we each got issued an AK-47 ( Yugo Version ), a pistol, duty belt with holster, a helmet and a vest.

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Everyday from 8 am – 6 pm, we would be in the gym or range learning how to be proficient with our AK-47 S, with or without bullets. We practiced using our rifle as a cold weapon doing attacks such as Magazine thrust, Rifle Butt strike, and downward cut, etc, and to be able to do these attacks in different combinations. There is also a series of defenses against people trying to grab your weapon from the rear, front or side, or people swinging a stick at you from above, from the side or from underneath. We would practice theses techniques slowly in the air in the beginning and then later attack with all our might against a bag or each other. I can tell you that wielding a heavy AK-47 S for hours is a hard work out. If they were not prohibited in Canada I would create a work out called AK-47 Fit.

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During one of the mock attacks, I accidentally hit my partner Neja’s face with the foresight of my pistol. Blood poured out of his face and he needed several stitches to get the deep cut fixed up. I kind of felt bad after the instance especially since Neja is one of the toughest Serbian ERT members. After that the thought occurred to me that I am far too pretty to end up in a Serbian prison.

On top of using a rifle as a cold weapon, we also spent many hours learning basic shooting, reloading, tactical reloads, combat reloads and instinctive shooting with our rifles and pistols. My poor marksmanship earned me the nickname “Beneli.” I am pretty sure I did not earn it because of the damage I had done to the target but more to do with the grouping on my target. At the range, Moran pointed out that “We are Krav Maga instructors, not shooting instructors, and any Krav Maga training that might involve in shooting, it is best to have shooting instructor on the side for technical support and guidance.”  In military Krav Maga, we have many Krav Maga drills that combines the use of Krav Maga, shooting and tactical movements. Israelis believe that in modern CQB stoppage or reload leaves soldiers or police officers vulnerable, and trying to clear stoppage or reload within close range of an attacker is very unwise. The American Law Enforcement also concluded the same theory which is called the 21 Feet rule. Maron would put us through a lot of mock attacks in which we would have to decide to clear our weapon or strike our attackers with our weapons.

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I can tell you that even in an open gym with excellent lighting, having someone charging at you with full force will make reloading or clearing stoppage difficult to achieve. Later we would have multiple attackers with stick and knives and also receive surprise attacks with our eyes closed. Like Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan before they get punched in the face.” In every drill, we relied solely on our training and instincts to survive. In one of the drills we called Zombie drill, four attackers with sticks, knives, pads and fists will attack you in slow speed. I tended to get paired up with those Serbian ERT members and the idea of slow speed usually does not register with them. I recall the stress was so overwhelming and tiring all I can do is simply raise my rifle to defend my head and run for my life.

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Other than rifle, we also received training on how to use a pistol as a striking method. Although a pistol is more within the realm of Law Enforcement, it is still not a bad idea to learn how to use a pistol in close range. When pistols were first introduced, they were designed for one hand usage only; however, in modern doctrine, most military and LE focus most pistol training with two hands in order to increase accuracy. Because of the possibility to deal with surprise attacks, in Krav Maga we tried to use one hand to operate the pistol in close range. This way, we could use the other hand to strike and block attacks from the enemies. Other than our free hand, we could also use the pistol to strike from above, right, downward, left ( turn the pistol 180 horizontally ), and front thrust. It is very important to know how to strike with a pistol. Swing it the wrong way, and you might disarm yourself. One of the course mates ERT member Constable A shared with us his personal experience about striking with a pistol.

Two armed robbers went into a shop and committed robbery.

Off duty officer Constable A was shopping with his girlfriend at the same store. After sending his girlfriend to safety, officer A announced to the robbers that he is a police officer, presented his duty pistol and demanded them to drop their weapons. The robbers refused and approach officer A with pistols. Officer A was afraid to shoot at the robbers worrying about collateral damage. After one of robbers was in close range with officer A he struck one of the robbers with the bottom of his pistol ( magazine ). When officer A strucks the robber, he accidentally discharge his firearm near the robber’s head. The robber ran off to the exit.

The 2nd robber approached officer A, officer A was worried to discharge his weapon again so he struck the robber with his left fist and the muzzle of his pistol. During the process, officer A’s index finger naturally grab the trigger of his pistol ( his natural reaction is to make a fist when he strike with his hand ) and he worried the firearm would go off at any moment.

One of the most tiring exercises we did throughout the course was a mixed obstacle course combined with Krav Maga. Doing military obstacle courses is hard enough on its own. Now we were combining it with people attacking after each stage. This brought it to the whole new level. However, just like real life, your enemies are not going to pick the time when you are fresh and energetic to attack you. Think about it! When would you choose to attack your opponents?

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The second part of the course was conducted by Eyal. It is a true privilege to meet Eyal, not to mention to train under him. After all, Eyal was responsible for creating IKMF ( International Krav Maga Federation ) and building the foundation of the modern day Krav Maga syllabus. Some would say that he is the main person who spread Krav Maga around the world. The man is a living library of Krav Maga. Physically, the course by now became less intensive compared to the first six days but mentally we were being challenged every single second. We were learning the proper procedure and methods on how to teach a military unit and how to conduct CQB Drills and live Shooting Drills with Krav Maga.

Most countries have their own CQB techniques ( Close Quarter Battle ) on how to clear a room, cut corners or enter a room. It is not our job as Krav Maga instructors to suggest to them how to conduct room clearing but we can add many scenarios that can enhance their ability in a close range situation. I have to say this was probably the most fun we had throughout the entire course,  because we are put everything we learnt together into practice it was a chance for us to create all kinds of mayhem to our fellow course mates.

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The students were separated into two groups. One group of people were the soldiers and the other group of people were the “enemy”. One by one we had to go inside the CQB Training house and complete a mission, and this was usually done after grueling and harsh physical Krav Maga exercises wearing full gear. After the physical exercise, I was tired and my adrenaline was as high as a kite. I burst into the door and those bastards even put traps above the door. After I got into the door, all kinds of situations came up. These situations ranged from preventing a suicide attack to full out knife attacks with numerous attackers. I literally had to put all my Krav Maga skills into use. Of course, payback is a bitch, and the other team did not like me at all when I played as a stick whaling maniac hidden inside a dust cover for their turn.

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Another exciting Krav Maga drill is combining tactical shooting with Krav Maga. Anyone can stand in a range and take a nice shot but let’s see how well one can control his or her breathing and still operate a rifle accordingly after a full-on Krav Maga fight. Again on the range, I proved that the nickname “Beneli” suits me very well. This drill showed the reality of shooting under stress. Anyone can get a good grouping sitting on the bench and taking his or her sweet time to pull the trigger but to shoot under pressure is a whole new different story. In order to run this drill safely and precisely, many details need to be taking care of. It is very likely to have disaster if one is not being safe or knowledgeable in both Krav Maga and shooting. You need at least one Krav Maga instructor and a shooting instructor to accompany each student during the whole course.

One of the shooting exercises we had was conducted by world renowned IPSC shooter, Major Ljubisa Momcilovic, who came in 8th in the IPSC European Championship ( Factory Division ). He is also a team member of CZ IPSC team. Other than his IPSC experience, Major Momcilovic also served many years in an elite close protection unit in Serbia Police and is an official shooting instructor for Serbian Police forces. Having worked in the firearm industry and attended numerous shooting courses in the military and civilian side, Mr. Momcilovic’s shooting and movements are probably one of the best, if not the best, I ever seen. Even with all these experiences, Major Momcilovic was very friendly and approachable. His lecture was straight to the point. Here are a few important points I took away from Major Momcilovic’s class.

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World Top shooter Major Momcilovic

  • A shooter who performs with 80% -90% accuracy on the range means he or she probably can only have 60% accuracy in real life under a real threat.
  • In real life shooting it is usually “ reaction of you“ after “ action of enemies. “
  • Find the Balance between Speed & Accuracy. Speed without accuracy is nothing, but accuracy without speed means you are dead.
  • There are all different theories on stance; waver, isolate, modified waver, no matter what stance you choose, your shooting stance should be a position in which you can stand on your feet for a long period of time and be comfortable.
  • There is no need to change your shooting position for accuracy shooting and combat shooting.
  •  Maximum Speed = how fast you can put your sight on target.

Prior to Major Momcilovic’s lecture, I had a very negative view on IPSC. I thought it was unrealistic in real life. Major Momcilovic points out that IPSC is an excellent shooting training. Shooting and tactics combined together produce a good soldier or police officer. In essence, shooting supports tactics.

The last couple of techniques we learned at the course were dealing with a terrorist holding a grenade. We had to quickly disarm the terrorist from all angles. For me, this was probably the hardest technique I had to master. Because with my tiny girly hands it was difficult for me to cover the terrorist’s hand with mine. Luckily, in a security team it is usually the big guy who does the disarming. The threat of a terrorist holding a grenade is very real. The recent terror attacks involving grenades are:

  •  Liege attack, Belgian: 13 December 13, 2011.
  •  Ram Janmabhoomi Attack, India: 05 July, 2005.
  •  Rome & Vienna Airport attack, Italy: 27 December, 1985.

Although dangerous, dealing with a hand grenade is not a death sentence. Unlike hand grenades with big explosions in movies, in real life hand grenades use fragments to kill, not explosions. There is a good chance for people around the hand grenade to survive if you can find a way to cover it in time. The latest British Victoria Cross Winner saved his mates this way by laying over a grenade with the small of his back.
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The second part of the course consisted of a lot of classroom lectures. We had more classes on Krav Maga theories and military organization structure. In general, Krav Maga is separated into Offensive Combat and Self Defense. The two portions have a very different approach when comes to dealing against threats. Offensive Combat means Maximum damage to the enemy in minimum time with minimum damage to yourself, yet Self Defense means not to get into a fight. Soldiers seek enemies ( danger ), civilians avoid enemies ( danger ).

In most civilian Krav Maga School they only focus on the Self Defense portion of Krav Maga because of legality issues. In combat, a soldier has to turn on his kill switch and fight like a lion within seconds. There is no personal hatred or anger involved when comes to killing your enemy: “A lion does not hate a lamb, a lion is just hungry”, and vice versa “ A soldier is just doing his job.” It is like the famous line in Full Metal Jacket when Joker graduated from boot camp: “Marine Corp does not need a robot, it needs a killer.“ Unlike most attacks in the civilian world, most attacks in battle are nothing personal. We try not to educate the civilians to act the same because that might get them in jail. After all, War is simple, civilian society is complex; a soldier doing the one thing in war can make him a hero, doing the exact same thing in peace time will get him in jail.

The Self Defense portion of Krav Maga came about when IDF paratroopers would punch MPs who tried to give them tickets for dress deficiency. A method of self defense is needed so those poor MPs do not get crushed like hamburger in front of those paratroopers. The Self Defense portion of Krav Maga really came to age during the Intifida (Palestinians uprising) – Israelis are facing more and more attacks ranging from stone, sticks, knives to guns from the Palestinian terrorists.

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Since the maturing of modern firearms, most military’s doctrine is about killing your enemy as far away as possible; the further the better. However, as warfare becomes more complex, soldiers have to operate in urban settings acting not just a warrior but sometimes police officers and diplomats. They have to be able to conduct peace keeping or humanitarian operation yet maintain their abilities to fight wars. If a soldier only has a hammer he can only solve problems by hitting really hard, but with Krav Maga he can solve problems with all kinds of tools. As many instances tell us, the need for a good hand-to-hand combat program is more dire every day.

It was a privilege for me to be able to enroll in Krav Maga Global’s Military Krav Maga instructor course in Serbia. Other than the instructors from Israeli HQ being one of the reasons, the course was so enjoyable because of our Serbian hosts. Serbians have the right Krav Maga mentality. They train hard but also technically. Very much like Middle East, the Balkan is a troubled region. I believe in some way many Serbians are training Krav Maga because they know they might have to use it one day to defend their loved one and home. After the course, I am a firm believer that Military Krav Maga is the missing link in today’s Krav Maga world. Anyone who wants to get the full picture of Krav Maga and become a complete Krav Maga fighter should attend this course.

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Written By: Borki Yoni

Edited By: Warren C & Jonathan F

Krav Maga Global: http://krav-maga.com/

Krav Maga Global Serbia: http://krav-maga.rs/

Major Momcilovic Tactical Training Agency: http://www.loadmakeready.com/

Urban Tactics Krav Maga currently offer Military Hand to Hand Combat Course to

Military and LE personnel. This is a very specialize course and is not open to civilians.

The course will cover using rifles and pistols as cold weapon, weapon retention, disarm

Techniques and weapon transition drills.

Please contact us if you would like to have more information.

Urban Tactics HQ

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In two short months I’ll have reached my 1-year anniversary in learning Krav Maga with Urban Tactics.  It has been an interesting journey so far, and I expect that it will continue to remain so.  As with any journeys there are experiences and observations that one faces along the way so I’m now sharing a few of mine.

First of all, the overall class has less of a formal dojo-type feel and more of a casual collegial group-training type of atmosphere.  It could be due to the fact that the room is quite small in comparison to the number of students that often show up for class, but I suspect that it has more to do with the style of teaching that the instructors convey.  It is a welcome change from the previous places in which I trained, because although the atmospheres there were also casual they were almost too much so, and bordered on the instructors being lackadaisical in their instruction.  In contrast, the instructors in this Krav Maga class try to make it more fun, but also will impart a serious message that what the students are learning can be deadly and will carry serious consequences if applied inappropriately or improperly.  They will speak of their own experiences in conflict situations with the objective of driving home the message to make the teachings more relevant.  It is clear from the class that the instructors are passionate about what they know, and they are motivated to build this passion onto the students.

Secondly, the students themselves have made the journey unique.  Given that the tools and techniques that we’re learning are violent and intense, one would think that this would invite a breed of students who also carry this attitude, and want nothing more than to fuel their testosterone-filled egos.  However, I have been pleasantly surprised that this couldn’t be further from the truth and that the students are friendly, supportive, and are there to learn how to fight for the proper reasons of defending themselves and/or their friends/family, and not just so they can go out gang-banging on an alcohol and drugged-fueled Saturday night.  It hasn’t been explicitly mentioned, but I suspect that if a potential student were to come to the class with this type of attitude, they would be filtered out and refused training by the instructors.  In short, the collegial attitude of the students makes for the learning a very positive experience, which is not to be taken for granted given the seriousness of the subject.

Lastly, incorporating sparring into the class is an experience unto itself.  I have taken martial arts in the past where I have participated in tournaments, but they are very controlled environments and rules abound to keep things safe and within specific application of the techniques.  The sparring sessions in these classes is raw and brutal, and more closely parallel what one would find in the street where there is no honour and no rules.  With wearing the protective gear the sparring is still safe, but it’s as close to the high level of intensity and adrenalin-filled scrap that one would experience without facing the risk of serious injury.  Personally, I find the sparring sessions to be the most intimidating, but also ultimately most rewarding, part of the lesson and an appropriate way to end the class.

Life changes, schedules change, and businesses come and go, so I know that taking Krav Maga will eventually be a period in my life in which I will look back and remember what it was like to learn one of the deadliest martial arts on the planet and, hopefully, be good at it.  However, that time is in the future and until that day comes, I will continue to attend classes each week and build on the journey.

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Written By: Warren C