Posts Tagged ‘Max Birkner’

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.


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.

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

A student of mine, Doug sent me a youtube video and asked my opinion about this video:

I replied to Doug that I agree with most of what the instructor in this video said but I also have my own points to add. I believe punches are still valid attacks. First of all: it is a human reaction to make a fist under threat or other extreme stress. I would suggest that all my students in my class, except for law enforcement officers, make fists when they attack. I’d rather trade broken phalanges for fluid, powerful and natural attacks.

Secondly, in Krav Maga we punch with at a 45-degree angle to reduce impact to the finger bones, and from there we can quickly transfer to hammer strike. Also, by doing this, we condition our knuckles to take impacts. Last but not least, the instructor (camouflage pants) is “telegraphing” his attacks a lot prior to his strike as normal people do. But we are trained Krav Maga fighters: Any trained fighters want to strike the person with his fist rapidly, and with accuracy, power and speed. He or she can do it without telegraphing and giving the other person a chance to flinch. The following sequence attacks should be knee-elbow-kick instead of punches.

Now, this is just my own approach. Like the instructor in this video I have my own beliefs base upon my own training and experience. Doug and other students should form their own points. My body shape and life experience is different from my students and who am I to tell them this is the only way? I believe in telling students the textbook method, other school methods, and asking them to form their own method.

Krav Maga is Science+Experience. Science does not change but individual experience differs from people to people. I do not have all the solutions but I can give you all the science (knowledge + tactics + techniques) and you can find your own answer though your own experience (real life dangers + scenario, play + sparring). The trick is to always be able to find one’s own solution. On the street, I do not know how you will react or what kind of situation you will be in. No matter how seasoned and experienced I am as a Krav Maga instructor or combat psychology expert, I am not you. I can give you some general guidelines on how people react but I am not god nor I can predict the future. Real life situations are chaotic and unpredictable. I recall back in the days when I worked as an armored car guard for cash transport. Our AO (Area of Operations) was in the worst neighborhood of East Vancouver. We were a three-man crew, highly trained and armed to the teeth. We drilled on the worst types of situation’s we could imagine finding ourselves in. One night we came out of the bank and there was a junkie woman climbing on our car and trying to rip off the side mirror of the armored truck. Because of our rules of engagement, my partner and the driver and I could only look at this lady ripping the truck’s side mirror off piece by piece while pounding on the window. All we could do was call the police and hope they would come on time to be able to stop the woman in time to prevent major damage to the car. That’s right; one 80-pound East Vancouver junkie stopped three strong, armed men. There is an SOP (Standard Operation Procedure) for this, and an SOP for that, but no SOP telling us how to deal with a junkie, high as kite, who was ripping our truck apart.

Real life dangers can come in many forms; as instructors we cannot foresee every scenario. It is best if we teach the students the tools of fighting and the mindset of experimentation and exploration so they can form their own methods against dangers on their own paths.

Written By:Borhan

Edited By : Max Birkner