Posts Tagged ‘Fight’

Fight, Flight or Freeze

Posted: January 16, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles
Tags: , , ,

When Encountering a threat, humans typically have one of two instinctual behavioural reactions, with an occasional third.

Fight, Flight, or Freeze

 

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For many, especially untrained individuals or for those exposed to a threat they are simply overwhelmed by, this can be a subconscious automatic decision. For more trained individuals this response can be honed and controlled at a more conscious level. Whether the decision is a conscious one or not, your brain will do a quick calculation based on your past experience, your skill level and conditioning and determine which option is best. The most important part is often not which decision is made, but the speed at which the final decision is reached and whether or not you can commit to it.

“Strike fast, but run faster” – Unknown

The below is an excerpt from a previous article found here.

“The fight or flight response refers to physiological reaction that occurs when a person is placed in a threatening situation. Fight or flight simply describes the two basic decisions that are instantaneously made to resolve the dangerous situation, which is the decision to either quickly escape or to stay and fight.

The physiological effects of this response begins with one or several of the five senses, typically vision. A person will see threatening stimili, such a person or animal. The stimili is then sent as a signal via the optic nerve to be processed by the brain, generally in the amygdala, known as the ‘fear center’ which sends signals to the hypothalamus, which activates the nervous system. A signal then stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which sends impulses down the spinal column to the adrenal gland, which releases epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. This hormone will cause the heart rate to increase and is sent throughout the body as the heart beats faster. Epinephrine will signal the liver to release glucose, which will then be converted into ATP, which is used to activate muscles. This heightened level of epinephrine in the body will also activate the lungs, causing the breathing rate to increase in order for the body take in and utilize more oxygen through dilated blood vessels. The pupils in the eyes will also dilate to facilitate better lighting and vision as blood vessels in the ears dilate for increased auditory perception. In order to efficiently escape an attack or to fight, this response also subdues bodily processes which are unnecessary during a dangerous situation, such as digestion. The elevated levels of this hormone and increased activation of these bodily processes will increase body heat, which is also useful as it allows your muscles to ‘warm up’ in seconds as the mind registers the threat.

autonomic-nervous-system.jpgPsychologically, the combination of the increased heart rate, sweating, and the explosion of energy in the muscles, create a sense of acute awareness of the current situation and the ability to act quickly. While this illustrates a case in which the entire process runs smoothly, you must also be aware of the case in which it fails, known as condition black. Condition black is also known as ‘freezing’ during a dangerous situation, preventing the individual from fleeing or fighting. Cognitively, a sense of increased aggression will be associated with the ‘fight’ response and a combination of fear and anxiety for ‘flight’, while freezing is associated with fear and anxiety, but also a feeling of physical stiffness. During this freeze response, the parasympathetic nervous system dumps large amounts of hormones into the body, the same hormones that return the body to its relaxed state after a fight. The sudden increase of these hormones during a dangerous situation have the opposite effect of the fight or flight response, mixing panic with an inability to act quickly. Although freezing can be useful in situations in which a person must remain still in order to hide from an attacker, it can be detrimental when faced with an attacker head on.”

In Krav Maga, we accept these natural reactions and work with them. Generally, we have a decision to make. If we are following the proper stages of Self defense, then we will choose Flight, as (A) Avoidance is the first choice when we have it and it is appropriate (For civilians it usually is, for those whose jobs required them to stay then it will not be appropriate). Of if we cannot run and avoid the fight, and we cannot (D) diffuse the situation, then we fight. Depending on the scenario and how quickly you realized the fight is unavoidable you will either Strike first (PE) or react to their attack defensively (RE).

The Freeze reaction is a double edge sword. It is either a correct tactical response to stop moving.

Example 1: you are walking in the plains of Africa, you spot something. That something you think is a pair of eyes peering at you from the tall grass. You FREEZE! This is both to ensure that you identify the threat correctly, before making a decision. And not to activate the predator’s response to running.

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The ability to recognize eyes and a face is so ingrained in our biology our brains have a part of the brain dedicated to this task. This is a very primal predator response. I see Face, I decided, Fight, flight or freeze. Remember, these responses are engrained into our biology as part of our survival instinct. So dont, fight them but instead train them.

Example 2: You are a special operations group moving silently through the night. You are still 1km from your designated target. a group of teens is up late night passed the local curfew, you freeze so as not to be identified by remaining motionless and silent. The threat of detection passes and you continue.

OR the freeze response can become code black and turn into a catastrophic mental failure preventing you from acting at all in a Non-Functional Freeze. This is the kind of freeze we hope to avoid. Some individuals are fortunate enough not to have a code black or NFF trigger. Others will only know when it happens. If it happens for the first time hopefully you have made correct life decisions and avoid dangerous or life-threatening situations. If not, you may be in for a world of hurt.

One of the most effective ways to avoid a code black situation especially under the threat of violence is to train. Training is a form of exposure therapy, especially Krav Maga. Krav Maga cannot be called Krav Maga if the training never forces you to push your physical and mental limits through stress testing. This regular and relatively safe training exposes you to higher levels of mental and physical stress in slow doses which allows your body to adapt and get used to it. The more you are used to it the easier you can turn a freeze response from an NFF to a tactical freeze to action thus making the correct decisions and avoiding being overwhelmed by a real-world threat.

So under threat of life and death, do you know which response you are most likely to have? The right one, could save your life, but the wrong one…

**Topics under any principle category (EX. Krav Maga Principles) may be updated from time to time so always check in every few months to see if the posts have been updated.

 

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*This is not a sponsored review. This is a simple recount of Borhan Jiang’s experience at this BJJ school in Taiwan.

52852_160175370687660_2773181_oIn 2009, I was a member of a team of fighters that competed in the Bangkok BJJ International Open. We were made up of members from Taiwan BJJ Academy (台灣巴西柔術學院), Evolution MMA, and Tough MMA. The team did an excellent job, training with and coaching each other throughout the tournament, and I personally won bronze in my division. I had some great memories with this institution. This is one of the most well known and established BJJ schools in Taiwan, and it can be said that this academy has truly contributed to the development of BJJ in Taiwan.

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When I trained at the school, it was located near Taipei city hall. The gym had only the essentials – mats. It was small, and since it was on the upper level, it was potentially dangerous to train in if too many members were there at once.

Now they have a new space, which is located in a huge basement. It has plenty of space, lockers, a shower room, changing rooms, and a small shop. It also has full-time staff at the front counter, so you can talk to them instead of interrupting instructors who are teaching class.

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1426135_1809666515926976_7135114262649744218_nMokto sensei takes his BJJ craft very seriously. He is not a native Chinese, but can communicate fluently and teaches BJJ in Chinese. The students at Taiwan BJJ are precise with their movements, and seem more cautious than North American fighters. Some of them also have excellent stand-up game, which is not very common in BJJ.

Generally speaking, different BJJ schools apply their BJJ differently. Some cater to competition, some cater more to self-defense training. I’d say Taiwan BJJ’s grappling style caters more toward sports BJJ and competitions. Overall, I would recommend anyone who is visiting Taiwan to train at Taiwan BJJ Academy. It is professional and friendly, and in some ways, this school still has a pioneer spirit as the first serious BJJ school in Taiwan. Come here to find other people who like to roll and train.

 

 

This February, I had the pleasure to host Lior Offenbach’s combat Krav Maga instructor course and his Law Enforcement and civilian seminar here at Urban Tactics Krav Maga, Vancouver. The instructor course is 7 days long and each seminar is 1 day long. Lior and I shared the same teacher, Mr. Zeev Cohen. At Zeev’s school, I saw how a normal Israeli Krav Maga class should be conducted; tough, aggressive, no time wasted……etc. Enormous gratitude to Lior who is willing to come to Vancouver where most other big Krav Maga organization would not want to come because of population density. Overall this was my 7th Krav Maga instructor course in my Krav Maga career and it’s interesting to compare Lior’s course and teaching method with other instructors and courses I received in the past.

 

My Krav Maga Instructor Training History so far:

 

  1. IKMF civilian instructor course part 01- Netanya – Avi Moyal, Gabi Noah
  2. IKMF civilian instructor course part 02 – Montreal – Avi Moyal, Thierry
  3. IKMF civilian instructor course part 02 and G2 Grading Test – Hong Kong – Avi Moyal
  4. IKMF civilian instructor course part 01 – Taiwan – Avi Moyal
  5. KMG Military Krav Maga instructor – Serbia – Eyal Yaniolv, Moran Laskov
  6. CT 707 Krav Maga instructor – Buffalo City – Nir Maman
  7. Combat Krav Maga – Vancouver – Lior Offenbach

 

The Course

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This is not a fighting course. I do not recall sparring even once during this course which is similar to most of my previous Krav Maga Instructor courses where sparing was kept to the minimum. The reason for minimal sparring is this is an instructor course; not an operating course. As an instructor and operator in combat fighting, you should already have enough operating experience in Krav Maga or other combative sports or systems before taking this course and you should be sparring and/or fighting on a weekly basis anyway. In Lior’s course, we spent about 60 percent of our time on technique and 40 percent on teaching each other the new techniques we learned as a class. During that 40% teaching component of the course, participants use each other as students and practice teaching classes over and over again. Of course, Lior is staring at the student acting as instructor like a hawk; looking for every little mistake.

Learning the technique is a tiring process but for most it is more tiring trying to learn how to run a class in a fast pasted, no nonsense Israeli Krav Maga manner. The hardest part is you are literately re-teaching what you just learned a couple hours prior to your fellow classmates. During the teaching phase Lior will push your buttons, stress you out and ask random questions to simulate what you will face as an instructor in a real class.

 

Lior covered every detail of every phase of the class; from the “wow factor to anchor the audience (students) to how to cut techniques into manageable training steps so both the instructors and the students can remember.” If you are fortunate enough to take Lior’s Krav Maga classes you will be amazed at how smooth things are run and that is because Lior is like the “Steve Jobs” of the Krav Maga world. He does all the hard work in the background so things operate smoothly for the public. After all, Lior taught a couple hundred people per class every night while he was operating a Krav Maga school in Tel Aviv.

 

Techniques:

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Overall there was about an 80% overlap of technique that I already knew and 20% was either something new or a modification; but there was a lot of key elements and vital information on Krav Maga techniques and tactics only a seasoned and street experienced police officer and Krav Maga expert would know. I have to say I have never met any Krav Maga instructor with so much experience in actually using “Krav Maga” in real life other than Nir Maman.

 

I mean no disrespect to any instructors I have learned from in the past but I can categorize instructors into a few categories:

 

  1. Technician
  2. Teacher
  3. Warrior

 

All Krav Maga or other system instructors have these three roles in them. The only difference is the percentage of each element they embody. Lior scored superb in both the technician and teacher elements but he scored extremely high in the warrior section. Coming from a sports combative system and army background, I often get into debates as to whether or not Krav Maga is a “ Self-defense “ system or a “ Fighting “ system as its name translates to, “Contact Combat”. Personally, I think the big Krav Maga organizations are leaning more toward the “ self-defense “ and “ technique “ approach rather than the hardcore warrior training as in the old school Krav Maga. Lior’s presence in this community is a welcome fresh breeze to those who still believe that Krav Maga can be combative as well as defensive in practice.

 

 

Overall Philosophy:

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Lior is a big fan of the generalization of attacks versus creating hundreds of thousands of defense techniques against hundreds of thousands of attacks – why not use what works? For example, almost all of the techniques against empty hands attack can be converted into attacks from knives.

 

Most good instructors point out that too many choices confuse people – Hick’s law. Of course there are specific threats that need specific techniques. Lior challenged us, especially those who are instructors already, to question what techniques we could take out of our syllabus to make Krav Maga even easier to learn for students.

 

According to Wikipedia:

Hick’s law, or the Hick–Hyman Law, named after British and American psychologists William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman, describes the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices he or she has: increasing the number of choices will increase the decision time logarithmically. The Hick–Hyman law assesses cognitive information capacity in choice reaction experiments. The amount of time taken to process a certain amount of bits in the Hick–Hyman law is known as the rate of gain of information.

 Strong Base as beginning to everything:

One thing that most Krav Maga or martial arts instructors overlook is the importance of a strong base. For Lior, without a strong base you might as well roll over and accept your fate because all upper body defenses require a strong base in order for these defenses to function. The first step for all of our moves during the class is a strong fighting stance and base. Some traditional Chinese martial artists comment that the way Combat Krav Maga focuses so much on the base almost reminds them of the old school Chinese Kung Fu from 1890 – 1944 when people were using Kung Fu literately to fight for their lives on daily basis. It is a high praise consider at this period of time Chinese Army were using giant sword facing the Japanese Imperial Army and god fathers of modern combative such as Mr. Fairbarin and Sykes were horning their street fighting skill on the street of Shanghai.

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Kick it Old School

 

Adding pushing and pulling movement to all attacks:

As mentioned before, I learned most of the techniques covered in Lior’s course in previous other Krav Maga instructor courses; but adding pushing and pulling movements from/to the attackers changed the dynamic of those techniques. Honestly speaking, it is unrealistic to think most attacks will not come in force. Unfortunately, few Krav Maga instructors consider [that] when they teach their students and I have to admit, I am “guilty as charged” as well at times.

 

Conclusions:

Lior Offenbach with Jonathan Fader and Borhan Jiang

Overall this is not a super physically demanding course but a superb mentally demanding course. The seminar on the other hand is both tough and physically demanding. Lior is very detail orientated when it comes to teaching every technique. A move is not just a move and a technique is not just a technique. In Combat Krav Maga there is a lot of detail, physics, psychology, etc., behind each and every one of those moves. After all, the devil hides in the detail and after learning those details and being able to perform without thinking, we shall fight like devils – just like Lior.

 

 

Red men challenge force protection personnel

If I had a dollar for every time a Law Enforcement officer told me that he or she was too busy to train, I believe I could buy myself a fancy steak dinner………..with deserts. Joking aside, few LE ( Law Enforcement ) officers want to train on their own time. After talking to many LE officers the from Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Border Service Agency, Vancouver Police Department, Translink police, New West Police, Buffalo City Police, Federal Corrections gave me some insight as to why they do not want to train  and add skills outside of the job.

Some of the reasons include:

  1. They are too tired to train after their shift is over
  2. They feel they are not obligated to spend their own money and time when the agency (command) should provide the necessary tools and trainings for their work
  3. They are afraid to train in systems that might or will contradict with what they are taught in the academy. They do not want to get themselves in trouble during the arrest process.
  4. They simply have no interests to train themselves
  5. Budget

 

Let’s take a look at these.

Reason 1 : I am too tired to train after my shift is over

Police+Car+Trunk

Policing is a tough job and, unless a person has done it before, you cannot relate to the challenges of the job both mentally and physically. First, they carry 25lb to 35 lb of police gear constantly. That alone is physically draining. Second, the night shift is just plain tough on anyone. Third, most agencies are undermanned and they often pull double shifts. Some agencies are more difficult than others because of the nature of its work. For example, in municipal forces most LE officers are trained as first responder on the scene. They are able to pass the follow-up tasks such as detective work with other departments of the same agency. That is not the case with federal agencies such as the RCMP. RCMP officers are responsible for the entire investigation of the crime and everything that is related to the crime. That puts an extra burden on their work day. These are not just jobs but ongoing, often disturbing cases.

Reason 2: They feel they are not obligated to spend their own money or time because the agency (command) should provide the necessary tools and training for their work

In the academy or depot, some argue that the police training is good for 90 % of the police work; from writing a report to a gun fight. If there is anything else more that needs to be done, the agency should provide it because that’s their job. The higher ups should come up with the training program and allow officers to train during their shift.

Reason 3: They are afraid to train in systems that will contradict with what they are taught in the academy and get themselves in trouble during the arrest process.

This logic is probably the most legit reason for officers not to want to train in systems like Krav Maga which is a highly aggressive and striking based system. Sadly, recording technology means that everything our officers do is put under the public microscope. The general public has an “untrained“ eye and judges any aggressive move such as striking as an inappropriate use of force. The public will judge a situation based on their perceptions and not from the mindset established by training. It is a sad reality that modern LE officers have to face in today’s world.

Reason 4: They simply have no interest to train themselves

I have met many good LE officers who take no interests in firearms and martial art training. One of our former students said, “ You do not want to go and spend several hours on your day off to shoot guns when you carry one 24/7. “ Many LE officers just do not have the dedication and interests to train in martial arts on their leisure time.

Reason 5: Budget

Believe or not, LE officers are well paid in Canada compared to their US counterparts. Like everyone else, they have their economical burdens such as mortgage, child support and so on. Some people just cannot justify paying a gym membership to train themselves when most of the time they are not going to use the training. Many of us live well and we can probably make a distinction between things that are wants rather than needs.

Those are legit reasons and most issues come from the agency (commands) not individual officers. However, living in this imperfect world we can only rely on ourselves to address some of the issues. After all, isn’t that what being a LE officer is all about — being the solution, not the problem?

Solutions:

  1. In the sports medicine world, LEO’s, firefighters and military personnel are known, as “ industrial athletes.” Meaning, no matter how tired they are from their shift they still have to maintain a certain fitness standard for their job. They can always choose sports like boxing and grappling that are also great cardio and muscle workouts on top of training good hand-to-hand fighting skills. Kill two birds with one stone.

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  1. I recommend that people spend their own money on extra training. Just like everything in government, most agencies only do the bare minimum. After all, just like everyone else, the department has a limited budget. For command, buying new pistols might be viewed as more important than hand-to-hand or combative training. If LEO’s are worried about their personal budgets, find out if there is a discount. Most martial art gyms and ranges offers LE/ MIL discounts ( UTKM offers 30 % off ). Some people might have skills useful for a seminar and could barter an exchange.

 

  1. If people are worried about using excessive force learned in training outside of command, the concern is legit. Consider the school and their experience working with LEO’s. They know that the more training their students have, the more likely they are able to respond effectively under stressful conditions. Better-trained first responders are more comfortable getting physical, responding faster, and staying calmer. Well-trained people become more effective during extreme stress compared to people who have less training. A reporter asked UFC champion Jon Jones once “Are you afraid of walking into ring? “ Jon Jones said “ It is my job. You don’t ask a mail man if he is afraid of walking into a post office.”

 

It is your job and you chose this route. The more prepared people are for the job, the less mistakes you are going to make.

4& 5. Marry your job with your interests and pick a hobby that is related to your work. Life is fair: everyone only has 24 hours but it is how we use that 24 hours hat makes a difference. Some cops once said that “Policing is not a job but a life-style.” We all have different hobbies: fishing, movies, running and so on. If we can choose hobbies that can enhance our ability to do our jobs, then why not ? After all, we can all go fishing when we retire.

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“ If you only have a hammer in your tool belt then every problem looks like a nail “ When LEO’s do not have the right tools to handle the dynamics of police work, it usually leads to “ excessive force “ or even “ deadly force.”

Honestly, this reasoning reflects on the agency and command; however, in this imperfect world it is usually the individual who takes on the duty to make the necessary change. Don’t fall victim to your department or command’s lack of foresight and politically inspired budget cuts. Ask a person who requires your protection and service to show-up ready to do your job. You think your training is not up to speed I pledge to “ take the steps to find the solution to those issues because otherwise, you are a liability to the public safety not an asset. “

Most importantly, work with your family and community for ways they can support you in helping you find the resources of time and money to train. We all want our LEO’s, first responders, military, and firefighters to return home safely.

My annual trip to Taiwan always takes me to the some of the best martial art
schools & MMA gymin Taiwan. The martial art culture and spirit deep within Taiwanese
people. Compare to Canada, the Taiwanese martial art community is subtle, small, and tight. Like or not, the Taiwanese society is not a big fan of martial prowess and less reveal about this type of culture. You would not know some of your friends, neighbor are martial art lovers unless they tell you.

Ranlee Muay Thai Gym 仁李泰拳館

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Impressions:

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Borhan in the middle

During my visit in Kaohsiung, the southern city of Taiwan, our Taiwanese UTKM instructor Pedro brought me to his Muay Thai Gym: Ranlee Muay Thai Gym. Training here is old school Muay Tai training: hard, tough and authentic. I would even say more authentic than the Muay Thai training I receive when I was in Vancouver. No offense to my Canadian Muay Thai trainer.Simply put – many North American Muay Thai gym has adopt its style more suitable for MMA purpose. Whereas in Thailand and Taiwan, Muay Thai stills remains more traditional and a Muay Thai gym can thrive by being single discipline focus. It would be difficult for the gym in Canada to do the same.

Coach:

Coach Ranlee is a veteran in Muay Thai world and remains closely connection with the Muay Thai community in Thailand and also Burmese boxing ( Lethwei ). Interesting background regarding Coach Lee; Coach Lee grows up in Burma as the descendants of the last KMT legions that got stuck in Burma. Some of these KMT soldiers later become the king pin of the infamous Golden triangle. There is a toughness and ruthless growing up in place and time like that. Burmese boxing ( Lethwei ) is quite similar to Muay Thai but allows head butt and use ropes instead gloves during a match.

Coach Lee also retain several formal pro-Muay Thai boxers such as Erik Massion from
Germany help him train new recruits. Both coach Ranlee and Erik Massion hold incredible pad works for their students and know when to push and when to cut the student some breaks. Holding pad for your students is another skill set that takes years to develop.

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Facility :12494797_1027151884015092_2694413682173487653_n

Overall, Ranlee Muay Thai Gym offers a very old school, self-made type of training experience, exactly like  gyms in Thailand. Everything is hand-made; from punching bags, boxing stages to signs. However, the teaching is top notch. Everyone in the gym breathes and lives Muay Thai as things should be in an Asian gym. This gym has produces some of the top notch fighters including our very own Pedro ( first UTKM instructor)

Overall:

When you are in Taiwan you have to come here and learn some Muay Thai here.

Location:

高雄市鳳山區光遠路120巷16號
4樓

phone: 0986 185 519

 

Traveling Krav Student – A Perspective in Constant Shift.

I have the pleasure of a job that travels up to 75% of my time and all of the fun, adventure, and pain that can go with it. Traveling alone provides both a sense of freedom and a near constant potential for events to go either positively or negatively in the extreme. A necessity for preparedness for that “worst possible case” has turned my focus to Krav as a highly practical mind and skill set for my life. Through training, I’ve begun shifting how I move through, react to, and think about my surrounding.  Adopting an awareness as well as constantly planning for immediate, violent, and the very real possibility for danger would have driven me to paranoia and edginess in the past, but physically preparing for these events in combination with the mental shift has had the opposite effect; I am alert and aware, but confident, calm, and relaxed in my daily environments.  As a bonus, maintaining that alert state has taken my head out of my phone and into the fascinating and beautiful world we inhabit.  As I travel, I see more, learn more, and interact with incredible people more than I ever have before.  I am dedicated to continuing this forward progress through Krav; both the physical and mental art.

I find Krav establishments wherever I travel, and participate in their classes to learn all I can, from everyone I can.  I place value in learning from a variety of people and perspectives to broaden my own thinking of techniques, situations, and ideas.  At Urban Tactics I found instructors and students who embody all that Krav is, and they graced me with a welcoming and interesting experience.  They didn’t hold anything back, and I am happy to say that I was exhausted by the end of each lesson.  Borhan and Jon are great instructors bringing a variety of new techniques and new critiques to my repertoire that I will continue to develop and incorporate into my practice. Skills and drills can prepare a person, but the sparring was certainly a humbling experience. It was headgear and mouth guards, gloves and very little held back. Call me strange, but I was glad to learn some lessons at the far reaches of an opponent’s gloves. I have a healthy respect for how much I have yet to learn. Yet, I was able to bring new ideas back to my hometown gym and spread some of the lessons among others.  I greatly appreciate the conversations I had with those at Urban Tactics that broadened our scope.  Krav is all about using whatever works, after all, and I certainly learned many variations and adjustments that may be handy in rough situations.

Best of all, it was fun.  Smiles were seen all around through and despite the heavy breathing of all the students.  The culture is one of dedication, respect, and shared goals.  I feel lucky to have been a part of it.  One last lesson to share: it’s humbling, entertaining, and encouraging to hear laughter through a mouth guard.

Written by: Abby Evers

Delta Krav Maga: http://deltakravmaga.com/

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I have the privilege to discuss used of force and self defense with a veteran police officer. She is also a very capable martial artist. We are discussing: would the law judged trained professionals more harshly than average citizens who are not trained and here are her responses. ( noted – this is only her perspective as a veteran police officer does not represent the full picture of the justice system of Canada’s Criminal Code system and we will have other experts’ articles up in the future )

  1. (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if

        (a) they believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;

        (b) the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and

        (c) the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.

Bill C-26 Reforms to Self Defense and Defense of Property: Technical Guide for Practitioners

So the optimal wording that you need to get out of the criminal code here is what is reasonable.  That will be determined by what the person believes the threat to be, how they articulate it and also how they articulate what they did in response to the perceived threat. How a person perceives a situation will depend on their experience, skill set (how competent they are with that skill set), size, state of mind, location, what the threat is physically and how they interpret that threat….

So if I come across a person with a knife and they threaten me with it…if I believe that they will use that knife to harm me I am well within my rights to protect myself and if that means using deadly force then that is what it means.  If I am confident that I can disarm him and lock him up till help comes or so I can get away and in the meantime I break his arm or leg, then that is justified too. A smaller stature person may have to use tactics that someone of the same size, weight, strength etc as the attacker may not have to…or a larger, stronger person on the verge of blacking out because he or she is being knocked unconsciousness could use force that is potentially deadly on a smaller, physically weaker person.  Or a larger person facing a smaller person with a knife, pipe or another weapon…Yes/No?  Again, situational…

In a multiple assailant situation…the threat of grievous bodily harm or death has increased exponentially, so would you be justified in creating an unsustainable injury on the parties involved to create an opportunity to get away?  They all had 359 other directions they could have chosen to go but they came at you…so what are you to interpret regarding their mindset? If someone is going for my gun…that is a deadly force encounter.  There is only one thing I can deduct from that action.  They want to take my gun to harm me or someone else.  So can I use deadly force?  Or force that will cause grievous bodily harm?  Yes…but I will need to articulate the reasons…including how I felt during the incident.

There is no blanket answer…each situation will be different with all sorts of unique outliers.  The important thing to remember is the term reasonable force…was what you did reasonable given the circumstances, how you perceived the threat, what was happening to you etc…Beating someone who was trying to take your wallet into a state of unconsciousness could easily be viewed as unreasonable. In a similar scenario however, where you tossed your wallet to the side for them but they continued to come for you, may present a different set of circumstances.

When you are in a situation where the bar star is trying to posture in front of his buddies or girlfriends, you need to show you did everything you could to try and diffuse the situation, including trying to leave.  Then if that is ineffective whatever physical force you use has to be justified…why did you do what you did?  As trained fighters/instructors we have more tools to draw from but we should also be very skilled at articulating why we used what we used and when we used it; what the expected outcome of our actions was etc would also need to be articulated.  We are in a better position than the average person to explain and paint the picture clearly for the courts.  Whether it is an unskilled civilian smashing a brick against the side of the head of her assailant or a skilled fighter who delivers a back kick to the subject’s throat doesn’t really matter…the determining factor is why did you act?

Written by: Officer Y

Edited By: Josh Hensman

Sources:

http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/other-autre/rsddp-rlddp/index.html

Many friends from the traditional martial art community have asked me. “So, do you guys teach your students morality, honour, ethics, etc.“ This question always makes me sink into deep thinking about whether or not we should be teaching these things. Coming from a traditional Asian martial art such as Judo and Tae Kwon Do I have benefitted from straight guidance and have learned to respect others and honour my school and my discipline.

Here in Urban Tactics Krav Maga, we do not teach those important things and here is why.

  1. Age

Although we have some students who are teenagers, the vast majority of our students are actually mature adults, and many of them are older than both instructors here in the school. There are very few things I can lecture to them about morality and honour when they have children who are my age. The reason that the vast majority of our students came to us to learn Krav Maga is exactly because they want to expedite training and use their precious time wisely and get the result they want –that is to be able to defend themselves.

  1. No honour in the street

As a historian, when I learn a discipline I am not just learning the techniques but also the history of the discipline. Here is something that might shock you. Many Japanese martial arts such as Judo can trace their origins to the Sengoku period (Warring State) and there sure was no honour on the battlefield. In fact, samurais switched masters as frequently as people switch cell phone companies today. It is very much about survival and being practical just like what our students have to face today. In fact, the idea of honour, respect, etc, did not come into place until the Edo period and Minji period when killing people was no longer considered appropriate in Japanese society. The best example is when Jigorō Kanō revamped traditional jiu jitsu into Judo; from a killing system to a sport. In our view, we are in the Sengoku period not the Edo period.

  1. Legality not honour

Why do we not stomp on our attacker’s head during a counter- attack? Not because honour or safety but simply because of legality. It is not my priority to teach students to move based upon honour, beauty and tradition. My priority is to teach them to survive and stay out of trouble, and if these moves will get them into trouble with the law later then I will not teach them. In every country the law is different and as a Krav Maga instructor my job should be about finding out the laws of self defense instead of teaching people to be a good person. In order to ensure we understand the latest self defense law, here in Urban Tactics Krav Maga, we hire lawyers to do seminars on self defense law. After all, I am a Krav Maga instructor and neither a lawyer nor a priest. Violence is cruel and war is ugly. I would rather have my students to be practical and ready instead of good and decent if their lives were ever threatened. Because morality is a question after one’s life is safe and their belly is feed.

  1. Students character

Some of my friends from traditional martial arts ask me by your way of thinking how do you verify a person’s character and make sure you are not teaching Krav Maga to thugs and criminals. Well! Luckily in Canada we have firearm license and criminal checks. We make sure our students have to get their firearm license and criminal record check after passing their orange belt. I am merely a mortal and with my limited life experience I cannot guarantee that I would not make mistake about judging close to several hundred people’s characters but I can trust the Canadian Federal government and police forces to verify there are no criminals among my students.  If the Canadian Federal government allows my students to purchase and use firearms, I am pretty sure it is ok for me to teach them Krav Maga.

  1. Preach with your body but not your words

I often say to my students that everything I teach you I will do it myself and that’s why I do not teach you anything other than Krav Maga. As a human being, I will make mistakes and can face moral dilemmas. I accept my weaknesses and imperfections and I do not expect my students to not have weak moments or make irrational decisions because of rage, pride and sorrow. In fact, the harsh training and sparring often reveals my student’s true character and by putting my students constantly in bad situation give them chances to practice and be calm. Having a calm mind will prevent them from making wrong choices if they ever encounter problems. After all, generally we make mistakes when we are emotional.

At the end of the day, we as human beings can only do so much. I accept my main purpose is to teach people how to fight and survive. I know we, UTKM, are the best in this field in Canada. The rest of things from morality to ethics, I will leave to the professionals.

Written by: Borki Yony

Edited by: Warren C

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