Posts Tagged ‘Safety’

Realistic attacks prevent your partner from developing a false sense of their abilities.
Audio by Jonathan Fader

As I mentioned few times in this series, and in my original “Are You a Good Training Partner” post, providing a realistic attack is very important for martial arts training. Being able to provide that for your partner is an important component in learning proper techniques and of being a good partner in general. This post will focus on how to go about providing such attacks.

Safety, as always, is extremely important, as is communication, so coming out of the gates swinging and throwing your first attack of the drill like a raging bull, is probably a bad idea. However, once you have those first couple of attacks out of the way and each person is comfortable with the movements involved in the defence, it’s time to up the intensity and speed (ie. realism) of your attacks. Always let your partner know you are going to be notching it up, and understand how to do so in a safe manner, which can mean different things for different attacks.

Let’s start with striking:

Upping the intensity doesn’t mean trying to knock your partner out, but should definitely involve increasing the speed of your attacks. It’s important to learn these adjustments while still keeping the power low; you can punch or kick quickly without throwing your whole power into the strike. Some people refer to this as “pulling your punches,” I prefer to think of it as pretending to hit a brick wall; you know you don’t want to hit it with all your might (as you will likely break your hand), but you can still hit it quickly and solidly.

Keeping on target is also important. I learned early on in my Krav career that if you do nothing, or fail at the defence, you should get hit. So the strikes need to be directed at their intended targets (chin, nose, knee, groin, etc) or the movements needed to defend against the strike will be different from how they would be in reality, and this isn’t effective training. People sometimes get into the habit of knowing how the defence is supposed to work, and as a result start throwing punches to where they end up after they have been deflected rather than where they should be landing. If I’m supposed to be parrying a punch to the head, but you punch to the side of my head, how do I know if my parry will really work?

Grabs and holds:

With grabs and holds I have found that once you have put the defender in the hold with enough force that they must struggle, I simply lock my arms or legs into place and resist movement rather than applying more pressure. This allows you to really make the person fight to get out, without risking hurting them, or choking them out in the case of headlocks and chokes. Of course, the nuance of this depends on the sizes of the two partners or size difference between them.

Speed can also be important here, as in Krav we practice both avoiding getting put into the hold, as well as how to get out if we fail at the first task. So, when attempting to put someone into a hold, like with striking, do it quickly, in order to imitate a real life situation. The jarring force this can produce is also important, as it’s a stimulus that can disrupt and off-balance someone, which is an important factor both in the training your defence technique and preparing you for the stress of real life attacks (an important aspect of effective training).

Lastly, once you have quickly, and with enough force, put your partner into the desired hold or lock, try to keep it on. Really make your partner struggle and work the problem. If you just remove all force once they start to escape you aren’t really helping them build technique and prepare for a real life encounters.

Finaly get verbal:

This is something that I find is very lacking in a lot of partners. Just think back to the last time you were in class and things were either calm and quiet or people were laughing and having fun… did you really feel like you were defending yourself? Hey, I get it, it is great to have fun at training and everyone should feel safe and comfortable there, but just as we like to imitate a real life scenario with the attacks and force used, physical attacks almost always come with a verbal component. People don’t often walk up to you silently and throw a punch at you.

This also offers you a chance to practice your stage 2 self-defence, de-escalation. Again, this can be a very uncomfortable stimulus, so it is essential that you be aware of how it feels. I have startled training partners simply by yelling HEY or ARGHHH at them; this verbal action was enough to disrupt there defence. Similarly, imitating the behavior of drunk, high, or deranged people can also be a beneficial training component.

Again, making people feel safe and comfortable is very important, so communication is very much key here, but it is a part of training that should not be ignored. I have found that people I have trained with for a while, and am very comfortable with, understand the importance and we were able to get quite aggressive with each other, really simulating some distressing street situations.

Putting all this together can make for some really great training, but, most importantly, you need to communicate with your partner so that everyone feels safe, comfortable, and knows the benefit of the added realism.

Written by Evan J (UTKM Yellow Belt)

Audio by Jonathan Fader

As I have mentioned earlier in my series on being a good training partner, it is important that people feel comfortable while training, but also that they are challenged. If you have trained with Jon (UTKM Co-founder/Lead Instructor) for any period of time, you have probably heard him say “you can’t cheat physics.” This is true, and it becomes especially important to remember for the bigger, more athletic, members of the class, though can be just as important for the new, inexperienced students, so I will tackle this topic with these two groups in mind.

If you are a bigger person, let’s say 82kg (180lb) and above, you should be aware that, even without putting in a lot of effort your, body can generate a lot of power. I mean, have you ever had someone much bigger than you bump into you by accident? Even if they really didn’t mean it, you feel it. So it is important that if you are in this size range you remain hyper-aware of your body dynamics (force of movement, speed of movement, range of motion, etc.) while striking, obviously, but also during grappling techniques, placing people in holds or control, and any time your body mass comes into contact with another person. The concerns are amplified exponentially as the size difference between training partners increases; ie. a larger than average person with a smaller than average person. So how do we work around this issue?

  1. Think Critically – Be aware that it can be a problem, and why! If you’re training with a 80lb‘er, simply saying “It’s not my fault! I barley touched them!” as they go flying across the room, doesn’t cut it. YES, IT IS YOUR FAULT!! (And, NO, the problem isn’t that they “just aren’t tough enough.”) Don’t take it personally (we’re not calling you fat), you simply failed to consider that physics matters. So, stop and consider who you’re training with and realize that this may be an issue, then adjust accordingly.
  2. Communicate – “Hey, let me know if I’m going too hard” or “how hard do you want to go?” are great ways to open the conversation. As you train with people more regularly you will get a feel for what each person can handle, as well as what they are comfortable with. Again, with communication comes the understanding that you will likely have to be the one to do the adjusting; if there is a size difference the bigger person has to accommodate the smaller. It’s not personal in either direction, it’s just physics.
    • Communicate More! – Information flows both ways; smaller people must speak up if their partner is going harder than they are comfortable with. This applies even if there isn’t a size difference, as a disparity in your skill level or the presence of an injury will also necessitate more caution and really diligent power control. If there is any concern that your partner should be aware of, TELL THEM!
    • Communicate Always! Keep that communication going throughout the session, as you will almost always, with out realizing it, slowly ramp up your power. Checking in is a good thing for both parties; it maintains safety and gives your partners the chance to tell you if they are ready for a bit more “heat.”
  3. Ease Into It – Respect the fact that, be it skill, strength, or toughness, your standards are not everyone else’s. Go extra light and then notch it up ’til every one is comfortable. What does going “light” or “extra light” mean? Well, for example, if you’re striking, limit the amount of power you put behind your strikes. This doesn’t have to mean sacrificing speed or form, just dial back the power like you would if you were shaking a small child’s hand vs shaking The Rock‘s; how you go about it doesn’t change, just the power. Similarly, when engaging in grabs and holds let your partner struggle. Start with the just the minimum amount of power to really make them work through the technique. As they improve, your pressure and “realism” should increase. You will figure out pretty quickly what your partner is capable of (and learning to feel for an opponent’s reactions is an important skill for you!) This can also apply to pad holding: We do many drills where you, as the pad holder, are required to activate or engage the your partner by bumping, tapping, or pushing them with the pad, so be gentle ’til you establish the right amount of “bump” required.

All of the above apply to grappling as well. Try not to rely on your size as a weapon! Muscling your way to victory may feel good, but always applying strength to overpower an opponent prevents you from improving your actual skill with the techniques. Some day you will encounter someone stronger than you…

Then there is the other part of the equation.

If you are new to martial arts, even if you’re small or training with a bigger, more experienced person, coming out guns blazing, before you have learnt correct technique, can pose it’s own problems. Whether this behaviour leads to injury to yourself, by putting stress on your joints in positions that they are not able to handle, or results in sacrificing learning of the proper technique because you are moving too fast or just muscling your way through a problem, your training suffers. I have said this new people more times than I can count; “Slow down.” Take it easy until you understand the movement, then slowly up the speed, power, and intensity, as your skill increases. This also reduces the (very likely) chance that you will injure your partner by throwing an uncoordinated attack that goes nowhere near where the drill intended it to.

So what can you do to mitigate inexperience? Well, same as above:

  1. Think Critically – Accept the fact that you are new, and be aware that being overly enthusiastic can be a problem. All of us started out looking like crap throwing our first few punches. No one is judging you (and if they are, find a different school, because these people aren’t into learning or teaching!) You are just new, keep that in mind and adjust your expectations for how classes are going to look for you for a little while. Self-defence, fighting, and violence in general, are a foreign concept for most people, give yourself the time to learn.
  2. Communicate – “Hey, I’m new, bear with me while I get the hang of this” or “ I’ve never done this technique, let me know if I’m doing something wrong”. People aren’t going to run away from you because your new, nor will they judge or make fun of you, so tell them. You will get a lot more out of the session if you are up front with your training partner and keep communication going, ask questions, look at what they do and ask them why they do it like that or how it works.
  3. Relax – Take into consideration everything above; adjust your expectations and allow the process to work. Breathe, slow down, and focus on the technique, there will be a time and place for adding in aggression, power, and intensity, but let that time come naturally don’t force it.

All of this is very important to keep everyone in the gym safe, comfortable, and progressing through the learning process. But don’t fall into the trap of making things too easy and not challenging your partner. I will cover the nuances of this in more detail in my next post; Providing a Realistic Attack.

Written by Evan J (UTKM Yellow Belt)

 

Choosing the wrong training partner could have disastrous consequences (source)
Audio by Jonathan Fader w/additions

Recently, we have been doing a series on injury in martial arts, from the emotional aspect to recovery. In this one we are going to discuss one way to help in preventing injuries.

That is learning to pick the right partner.

The reason for this is the right partner can make your training experience even better, whereas the wrong partner can make injuries can happen. In Krav Maga and other martial arts there is phenomenon referred to as the “spastic white belt”. These are individuals who are chaotic in their movements or they are much bigger than others and try to muscle through everything (even if they do not know it the technique). This odd species of new student is common in any gym, and, while it is ultimately the instructor’s job to manage them, you have to watch out for them and know how to protect yourself. You are, after all, an adult; thus you can make adult decisions.

This means, when it comes time to pick a partner, know who you would like to be with to optimize your training.

Of course, if you are new then the Instructor should be assigning you a more experienced student to work with, in order to help guide you in the process. Although sometimes it’s simply the luck of the draw, as the instructor has no control over who shows up to any one class.

Beyond that, when an instructor says “find a partner” that’s when you need to act swiftly to pair with a person (or persons) who you know you can train effectively with. Often what happens when the students are told to get a partner everyone kind of looks around and waits, but this is how you often end up being “picked last,” and getting stuck with someone you, and everyone else, didn’t want to be with.

If you are lucky the instructor will be on point and notice your discomfort, or they don’t like the pairing, due to size or skill, and will change it for you. However, once again, you are an adult and there is only one instructor, so partner picking really becomes about ownership and taking responsibility for this very important task.

What things should you consider:

  1. Have you trained with them before? – This sounds obvious but it isn’t always. If you have trained with someone before and you are comfortable with them, then try to partner with them quickly. Or if you have trained with someone before and you didn’t enjoy it then try to avoid them (as politely as possible). Of course, if there is a big issue or a valid concern, make sure to talk to your instructor. In general, you want to partner with people you are comfortable with, so that you are relaxed and focused while learning, and therefore can train properly.
  2. Have you seen them training before? – If you have not trained with a person, then have you seen them train with others? If not, then ask yourself “were you practicing proper situational awareness?” If you were, then you should have some idea if they are a good option for you based on their actions, and the reactions of their past partners.
  3. Is their size and skill appropriate to the drill? – Unless the instructor has specifically asked you to train with someone much larger than you, then, especially as a beginner, it might be better to partner with someone who isn’t too big or too small. For some activities, like holding pads, size and skill won’t matter as much (unless they are a heavy weight, in which case it might not matter who holds the pads, it still hurts). Other techniques, like bear hugs or grabs, will be difficult at first if the person is to big and strong compared to you. When you are starting out you need to get the technical aspects down first before you can “go ham” with full aggression.
  4. Do they have a “reputation” at the school? – Have you heard people complain about this person’s power control? Have you been warned to watch out for them in certain context, eg. sparring? Are they known for going to hard or not following drills correctly? Forewarned is forearmed! Some people may be great to drill with, but in sparring they can’t control their power, some just don’t get the basics of holding pads. In any case, bring it to the attention of the instructor if the situation doesn’t improve or is dangerous.

Of course, at the end of the day, some people just need a bit of work and help to be good partners. Most people don’t want to do things wrong, and they certainly don’t want to earn the title “spastic white belt” and become pariahs in their gym. It could be that a few minutes before or after class is all it takes to clue someone in about how to hold pads, why a drill flows a certain way, or how to figure out pulling punches/kicks. Helping someone improve, or informing them of something they didn’t realize they were doing incorrectly will benefit them, you, and the rest of the students. While this is largely up to the instructor, again, if you are an adult, working on your communication skills with your training partners is important. It is, after all, a very important aspect of stage 1 and 2 self-defence.

Either way, mastering the art of picking a partner and/or building your partners up is more important than you think. After all, without good training partners you will not develop at the rate you want. Or worse, injury might be in your future if you pick the wrong partner. So, think hard, communicate effectively, learn to spot those who work for you as a partner, and get to them quickly for training.

Written by: Jonathan Fader

BC-Transit-double-decker

It was my father’s birthday a few days ago so this past weekend I took my two daughters (13 and 9) with me to Victoria to attend a celebration dinner.  For various reasons I decided that we would walk on the ferry and catch the city bus into town instead of driving, and this decision led to a very interesting experience.

The bus we boarded had two tiers so we went up to the top deck and grabbed our seats.  We were lucky to get in line early because the bus started filling up very quickly, and the top deck is always popular.  We were seated with plenty of time to spare so we watched everyone else get on.  One group that came up to the top were five Korean students/friends and they walked to the back of the deck and sat down on the long seat so they could all be together.  They were quite friendly and it looked like they were looking forward to an enjoyable ride into town.

People were seated and waiting for the bus to start up when another passenger came up the stairs.  He was about early 50s, Caucasian with a thin build, wearing scruffy clothes, a baseball cap, and it looked like he hadn’t shaved for a few days.  In spite of seeing that all the seats were occupied, he began walking down the aisle and said in a loud voice, “Who here is going to give up their seat for an old man?” and continued towards the back of the bus.  I’d say that most people were confused and they watched him as he continued down the aisle.  When he got to the back he saw the group of Koreans and said to one person, “Is it going to be you?”, then pointed to another person and said, “Or you?”.  By this time my adrenaline was already pumping and I was watching very carefully to see if the situation would escalate.  Initially nobody was moving, but then slowly one Korean got up and gave him his seat with a smile, and was content to stand for the trip into town.  The man then plopped himself down, sat back, and pulled his cap over his head as if to take a nap.

At this point it was clear that people were shocked at the audacity of the man and couldn’t believe that a person could do something like that.  As I looked down the aisle I was watching the situation and saw a younger, heavier set man starting to huff and puff a bit, but it went no further than that.  The bus started up, but before it started moving the bus driver made an announcement over the speakers that no standing is allowed on the top floor and that everyone needs to take a seat.  The Korean friends started looking at each other because this then meant that their group would be separated if their friend who was standing had to go down to the first level.  They looked at the man who took their seat and he stared back and asked “Who’s it going it be?”.  At this point the heavier set man said, “Why not you?” but again, that’s where his involvement ended.  At this point all the Koreans got up from their seat and started walking towards the front of the bus to where the stairway was located.  As they were walking away the man started waving after them and said “Bye bye”.

The incident made me think, “Did I do the right thing by not getting involved?”.  I feel that the answer is yes, I did the right thing by being aware but not getting directly involved.  Why?  Because the Korean friend willingly gave up his seat, with no physical altercation.  But by not getting physically involved did that mean I wasn’t aware of the situation?  Absolutely not.  From the time that the man asked who was going to give up their seat for him until well past the time that the Korean group had gone down to the first level, I was on alert.  My adrenaline was up and my senses were heightened.  Thoughts had gone through my head such as being aware of being in a confined space environment so close quarter techniques (knees, elbows) would be required, to whether or not he was carrying a weapon.  My 13-year old daughter, who is also taking Krav Maga, said that as the man was walking down the aisle towards the back she noticed that one hand was in his back pocket and as sirens were blaring in her head, she thought “Knife!”.  She also told me that her adrenaline was up and that she was jittery for a while afterwards.

Situations like this make me very grateful to my KM training.  To my surprise, the awareness just kicked in by itself and I began immediately assessing the situation in the event that the situation escalated.  Before the training, I would wish that I had the tools and knowledge to know what to do, but now that I’ve been training for almost 3 years I have the confidence and control over both my emotions and body to be ready to strike if required.  It’s not paranoia, it’s preparedness and awareness.  How do I know this?  Because I enjoyed the rest of the weekend with my family without looking over my shoulder, wondering if someone was going to jump out of the bushes and attack me.  Until the next situation should arise, the lion goes back to sleep, but always ready to wake up and respond if the situation should arise.  I am also proud of my daughter for being aware of the situation as it was unfolding.

In hindsight, the situation was a non-issue and perhaps I’m making a bigger deal over it than it deserves.  However, I would rather this be the case than be one of the other passengers on the bus unaware of how quickly situations can escalate, and not be able to do anything about it if the time came.

By: Warren Chow

Recently I posted pictures from my NRA ranger safety officer course on Facebook. A friend posted: “I do not like guns”. It was a legit comment that expresses many people’s view on firearms. Living in Vancouver, a pretty left wing & hippie city, you will often  hear similar comments when it comes to guns. Particularly after all the news on shootings, school yard massacres, and active shooter incidents etc., it is not a surprise that we hear comments like this frequently. We are only human and after all, firearms can be use as tools of killing and war.

The very picture that cause the storm ;-)

The very picture that cause the storm 😉

However, what are you going to do after feeling emotional? Just keep feeling emotional and not deal with it? Why not be educated on the subject that causes you to be emotional? Wouldn’t it be nice to have knowledge about the things you fear, dislike, hate? After all, knowledge is power and what is more powerful than to be able to control your own emotions?

Luckily, in Canada there is a course about firearms mandated by the Canadian federal government itself. The Canadian Firearm Safety Course & Canadian Restricted Firearm Safety Course are comprehensive courses on firearm safe handling. They enabling people to distinguish types of firearms and ammunition, understand range safety, and provide essential knowledge about firearms necessary to handle guns safely. After taking these courses, a couple of shooting courses will equip you with a better understanding when it comes to firearms in your own state or province, and country.

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I believe most people in North America are neutral when comes to the topic of firearms; neither extreme right nor extreme left. But even if you are in the extreme left and argue that no one should own firearms except police and military, you should still take the firearm course and shooting course, so you have the grounds on on which to base your opinions. In this day and age everyone has an opinion about everything. Not, however, always a knowledgeable opinion. Too often people without credentials, research or knowledge “take over the mic” and get the spotlight. But now the public doesn’t waste time listening to other people’s opinions if they are based on “emotion” and any logical person with firm beliefs of their own does not base their action upon other people’s “feelings”. The response to emotion is usually emotion. Pro gun people feel threatened when their rights are being questioned or could potentially be taken away; they become emotional and so starts the ugly circle between pro-gun and anti-gun.  You hear ignorant opinions and laughable suggestions from the extreme left, then plain scary and militant ideology from the extreme right.

Like it or not, firearms have accompanied the people of North America ( both USA and Canada ) for centuries and continue to do so in today’s society. There is a pragmatic reason for this, regardless of whether or not that reason is hunting, recreation, or self defense against home invasion or animals. It is wrong to hold our interpretation of whether or not someone needs a firearm or not based upon our own personal experience. In the case of open carry, one of the hardest licenses to get in Canada, just this month a cougar attacked a pipeline worker near Grande Prairie, Alberta. A person who works and lives in the city cannot possibly imagine how great it would have been if these two pipeline workers had been able to open carry a pistol when they encountered this cougar in the wild.

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In this day and age the hardest thing to do is to admit “I am not a subject expert and I will get back to you after I do my research”. Everyone wants to be smart, everyone wants to act like they have an opinion of their own, but often their information comes from facebook, the internet and movies. The power is within you. Ask yourself: “Would you rather be educated or be emotional?”

Reference:

1. http://globalnews.ca/video/1808081/alberta-man-survives-cougar-attack

Written by: Borki Yony

Edited by: Josh Hensman

holding cellphones

I noticed a funny thing the other day that I have never put much thought into. I had forgotten something at the grocery store so at 11pm at night I headed back out to walk to the store.

I currently live in a relatively nice area of one of the suburbs of Vancouver, Cars lined the street and the trees grow tall hanging over the sidewalks. It was a clear mild night perfect for a late night outing. I looked up and about 200m down the sidewalk I saw a young woman. Her hands were out, and she was walking at a comfortable pace. As we got closer and closer she pulled out her smart phone and looked down at it as she walked passed me.

It dawned on me. Our technology is increasingly giving us a false sense of security. In this case, her looking down at her phone would do nothing to prevent me from attacking her if I was a bad person. Not only this, from a self defense point of view, the fact she has taken her eyes off of me for the perceived safety of the phone has actually put her in a worse situation.

If she had been looking at me and I attacked she would be able to have some kind of normal human instinctual flinch response, such as throwing her hands up to protect her face. However, now with her eyes down, focused on the screen pretending I was not there she would have no time to even do that. Technology has gotten in the way of our ability to even react with our normal instinctual reactions. This is bad.

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I thought about it even further and I am partially guilty of this myself. I know that if I am walking and I have my phone in my hand, while I am always paying attention it will drastically reduce the speed at which I can react. Why? because in the back of my head I think, this phone is my life, I run my business from it and it is expensive thus, I must protect it. I even may try to justify this fact by suggesting that the phone cannot defend itself so I must protect it.
This of course is not a good mentality, as a phone is just a thing and my life is well, mine and I would like to stay alive.

I know that with the phone in my hand I am at least initially operating as if I only have one good hand as my other will be holding on to the phone. Instead of the dropping it immediately or throwing it like I know I should it is likely that I will protect it first. Again, this is bad.

Granted, If I am in an area that I am really not comfortable in I always put it away and remain observant, but complacency can happen and I could still potentially be in a bad situations and not know it because I am still focused on my phone.

Imagine this, you are on a crowded subway or light transit system. What will you most likely see now in the 21st century?

You will see the same thing, many people looking down at their phones. If someone is attacked or being aggressive the only thing people will do is look up, see what’s going on and then look down back to their “safety”. There may be even one so bold as to film it and post it on YouTube for later viewing. Of course this is the Bystander effect at its greatest. The advantage now, compared to 50 years ago, is that there is evidence for later prosecution or arrest, but for those being attacked this is too little too late.

So I say to you, stop using your phone to avoid paying attention, it does not make the situation safer. If you see someone or something your are unsure of or do not like, pay attention. Put your phone in your pocket or purse and observe. You do not need to look at the person or thing in question, simply pay attention. Your phone will not save you in the moment but your situational awareness will.

Written By: Jonathan Fader

 In the past few months, we have had several instances when two fellows would go full out during the sparring (which we do not allow for safety) session and one of the instructors had to physically jump in and break the two fighters apart.  Through the eyes of people not knowing our school culture, these students’ behavior appears to be disrespectful and dangerous.

 Dangerous?  Yes.  Disrespectful?  Not at all.  One of our primarily goal as Krav Maga instructors is to observe your reactions when facing a threat and assess your actions in distress.

 Losing control of yourselves and becoming overly aggressive is just part of Krav Maga training.  As the old saying goes, in battle you do not know how you are going to react when the first bullet whistles past your head.  You do not know how you are going to react when someone punches at your face or puts a knife against your throat until it happens.  The only way to know how a student will react, is to put the student in as close to a real experience as possible.

 Losing control and becoming overly aggressive is just how some people react. Some freeze and are unable to move, and most of the students lose their fine motor movement and don’t know what to do.

 

This is just part of Krav Maga training.

 However, the second stage is to regain your own self-control, listen to the words of command of the safety officer and instructors, and apply the correct defense techniques.

 Two reasons:

 

1.      Safety of Others

 

During scenario play or sparring, we are not real robbers but training partners. Blood and sweat make us family and if we seriously injure each other then it defeats the purpose of learning Krav Maga.  We are learning Krav Maga to defend ourselves and our loved ones, not to hurt others despite your own emotional feelings.  After all, the one who controls his or her own emotions controls his or her own fate in a real fight.

 

2.      You do not want to go to jail

 

In Kung Fu movies, there is always some kind of “Secret Death Touch” or “5 Steps Heart Breaking Punch”, etc.  We do not have these kinds of fancy technique names in Krav Maga but every move we do is deadly: a full blown shot to the back of neck will sever the spinal cord, an elbow to the throat will collapse the windpipe, or a knee to the ribs will cause a bone fracture and possibly cause severe internal bleeding. The human body is very fragile.  Many vulnerable body points that are restricted in sports fighting are the first things we hit in Krav Maga.  At the advance level we would even re-use the weapon that we disarm to use against the attackers.   It is a fine line between self-defense and 2nd Degree murder.

 In essence, we do want that inner aggression from our students.  Aggression is the fuel to channel your body to counter-attack while facing dangers, but this aggression has to be controlled aggression.  As one of my instructors, Eyal Yanilov once said, ”You have to be as clear and calm as a tiger going for its prey.  A tiger does not attack its prey because the tiger hates nor is angry at its prey, but merely because the tiger is hungry.

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Written by: Borhan J

Edited by: Warren C & Jonathan F