Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

Krav Maga – Multiple Attackers

Posted: January 30, 2020 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles
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Krav Maga Multiple attackers

In the world of the movies, it seems easy for a reasonably skilled individual to deal with multiple attackers or opponents at the same time. This assumes that every one of the would-be foes patiently takes their turn to fight you. This also assumes you are in peak physical condition with unlimited stamina. Both of these things most of the time are simply not true. You might find your self surrounded and drunk because you made the wrong comment in a bar. In such a case your balance, depth perception, and timing will most likely be compromised. Additionally, they may try to grab and hold you while one of them or many of them take turns beating you into an inch of your life.

The reality of situations where there are multiple attackers is that you cannot fight forever, they will not fight fair and there may even have weapons.

The other scenario is you just happened to find yourself in a situation where one person hit someone and due to the confined nature of the space and the overcrowding a brawl breaks out. In these wild scenarios, you were not specifically the target but may none the less find your self fighting or defending against multiple attackers.

No matter the situation your best practice is to avoid such situations.

These strategies also are not covering ground fighting or weapons. As in order to add these into this strategy, you must first understand these topics in depth. If these scenarios are added in just know, Fight hard, Fight Fast and do not stop!

Preventative measures

First off, as mentioned avoidance is key. If you do not find your self in such situations you have done well. Or rather you have done what most people do and do not find themselves in such situations.  While there are many factors to consider that lead to these dangerous situations here are a few thoughts on how to avoid them:

  • Make good life choices
  • Practice good awareness
  • Do not piss people off in crowded scenarios
  • Don’t go to places you feel unsafe (Bars or nightclubs you know to be dangerous)
  • Don’t be part of gangs
  • Learn good diffusion skills
  • Recognize when things are going sideways and leave early

 

The Basic Multiple Attacker Strategy for Krav Maga:

Your goal in multiple attacker situations should always be to create space, find your opening and run. In a basic scenario, your would-be attackers are less aggressive perhaps not that aggressive or simply do not know what they are doing. While these situations are not great they are easier to deal with than a full-on swarm. If in doubt follow these principles

Basic multiple attacker strategies

  1. Avoid it all together– First and foremost do everything you can to avoid these scenarios. This includes practicing proper avoidance and generally acting in a manner that does not create violent enemies or put you in places where such situations are likely. Additionally, do your best to diffuse the situation verbally. You might be surprised how often this might work.
  2. Run – Just Run! really it’s just that easy. Of course, if you do not have decent cardio you may have a problem. Truly though running and getting to safety is your best bet.
  3. Do not get cornered – If you are delayed in running or your did not realize what was going on until there are multiple aggressive opponents do not allow your self to be pushed into a corner or a wall or any other place where your back is against something. Try to keep your self moving so you can always turn and run.
  4. Identify your exits – If you were cornered or you are not moving yet make sure you identify the easiest places to run to or which of the attackers will be the easiest to deal with. Keep these options available so that when you do have to fight you can do it with a plan.
  5. Keep your attackers aligned – If you are able to by your own movement or theirs keep your opponents as close to a single file line as you can. If they have to fight over each other it will make it harder for them to get at you in a meaningful way.
  6. Strike first, Cover and Move Fast– When all else has failed, strike first! Strike with whatever means you deem appropriate and go for the closest target available. Cover and strike as you need to find your exit.
  7. Run – If you did not run before, now should be the time to run again. You created your exit while disrupting your opponents so now is the time to move and move fast.

Understand that these basic multiple attacker situations can at any point get bad fast in which case jump to the advance strategy below.

The Advance Multiple Attacker Strategy for Krav Maga:

In this scenario, the attackers are aggressive, malicious and are definitely not taking turns. When these happen it will seem like a flurry of punches, kicks or who knows what that thing was. These situations its a mix of fighting and running while being as effective as possible. The goal of such situations is to eliminate as many of the threats as possible so that they cannot or do not want to continue attacking. So how do you deal with this scenario? here’s a strategy.

  1. Avoid it all together– This has not changed. Except if you are in this situation you probably screwed up.
  2. Run – The moment you can. RUN. Do whatever it takes to get to this point.
  3. Identify your exits – If you did not already or at any point are able to find your exits. These are what you should be working towards the entire exhausting time you are fighting.
  4. Get Control of one person and do damage – Try to get a hold of a person in a meaningful way, while doing damage that will stop them from fighting like knees to the groin or head, eye gouges head buts all while you keep moving.
  5. Switch Opponents –The moment another attacker gets close switch to them (We use the “monkey bar” method) and start applying your damage as per the above point.
  6. Run and Assess – The moment you can, create space and run. You must assess as they may still be coming but at least you have space now.
  7. Continue to fight if needed– If they are still coming then apply 4 and 5 repetitively until they are not a threat or you have found your safe exit.
  8. Use weapons of opportunity – If at any point you are able to use weapons of opportunity. Whatever you can use, use. These scenarios are not time to be thinking about the laws, it is simply a matter of survival.

UTKM Krav Maga Stick FightingSticks or Stick like weapons have been around probably longer than anything else. Where once it was simply a matter of grabbing a branch or twig to keep an attacking animal at distance humans have now developed entire systems dedicated to stick fighting. The thing is, in most cases of self-defense it is unlikely you will actually be in a stick fight rather you will be unarmed and you are faced with an attack with a stick, cane, umbrella, baseball bat or another item that can be wielded like a stick and be considered a blunt force trauma weapon.

The main concern with a stick like a weapon is the impact area. If you get it in the abdomen it will certainly hurt and may do internal damage but will not necessarily stop you from defending your self. If you get hit in the head and if the stick has enough mass it can mean lights out for you. Block a stick with your forearm and you may find your self with a broken Ulna.

On the other hand, if you can get a hold of a stick, or stick-like weapon you may find your self with a great generally non-lethal option to defend your self. How lethal a stick weapon is will depend largely on its mass and what it is made of. Hit someone in the head with a rattan eskrima stick in the head and you will probably daze them. But take a metal crowbar with a hook on it and you could kill them. There is also a very big difference between dense and less dense materials. A truncheon made of ebony, for example, is going to hurt and do much more damage than one made of bamboo, though they would both be terrible to be hit with. The lethality of it would also depend on the intent of who is wielding it and how they wield it.

Either way for self-defense in most cases stick or stick-like objects are a far better choice in the 21st, mostly for legal reasons than a knife or a gun. Of course, if Knives or guns are legal where you live for self-defense then you better be ready to kill with them or else why even bother.

To Deal with Sticks you must understand a few things.

Committed vs Non-Committed as well as blender mode.

Although less important for sticks understanding Attack Types. can be very important is it may tell you how competent the attacker is with the stick.

Difficulty Levels of the Attack Pattern:

  • Committed is the easiest to deal with – Basic Techniques will work well, Running is the best option.
  • Non-Committed is more difficult – Basic techniques, combined with faster reaction time and good footwork will be needed. Running is the best option.
  • Blender Moder – Though far less problematic than a knife, blender mode with a stick usually means the individual is fairly proficient with it and will be harder to deal with. Remember, protect your head above all else.

Stick Like Weapons:

This is mentioned many times so what does it mean. It means anything that can be wielded like a Stick with one or two hands that does not have a blade on it. Items include but are not limited too:

  • Rattan Sticks
  • Short light tree branches
  • Bats
  • Buttons
  • Rolled up News Paper or Magazine
  • Umbrellas
  • Clubs

How each of these can be swung or handled will depend on its mass, Shape, and Size with some being easier to wield than others.

Disarming Sticks:

Unlike Guns or Knives, if you take away the advantage of a stick being medium to long-range and get in close how you choose to disarm it is a little more circumstantial. You can disarm it while the opponent is still standing or you can take them down in a controlled fashion and then take the stick. Really it’s up to your discretion, skill, and the situation.

How to deal with Stick Attacks:

Even though a stick is not as lethal as a gun or knife, it still can be. No matter what happens protect your head and other major hard parts of your body. Remember, soft on hard on soft. If you are going to take an impact or hit it is better on a softer part of your body, but remember, no one said it wouldn’t hurt. This is because if the stick is hard enough and hits with enough force on a hard part of your body it can easily break the bones in that area. If you get hit in the head, however, it can immediately incapacitate you rendering you unable to defend your self. Remember, when dealing with sticks considers the following.

  1. Run – This is always the best option if you are able to. You may not be able to though or you may need to protect others
  2. Use a Stick – If you are able to use a stick or stick-like weapon to counter. Though they may not always be available
  3. Use Weapons of opportunity – Use whatever you can around you to give you an advantage. Use sticks, bags, bricks, jackets, obstacles, and anything you can think of to increase your chances to survive.
  4. Use a Gun – We do not recommend this unless it is life and death. The reason in many places where it is legal to carry a firearm for self-defense this may be considered excessive force and may still mean jail time yourself so be careful and consider the following:
    1. Is it legal where you are to have a gun on you for Self Defense
    2. Do you have a Legal gun on you?
    3. Do you have the required skills to operate the gun under duress
  5. Use hand to hand Combatives – When all else fails, use your body as a weapon. This should always be the last resort when dealing with armed opponents.

Hand to Hand Combative Strategies

  1. Distance & Timing– Maintaining your Distance is key as the opponent with a stick can get you at a greater range, with greater impact than you can. You may have to jump back, sideways rapidly or bob and weave at speeds you didn’t think you were capable of. Thats why its better to just stay out of range until you are ready to strike. The timing is equally important especially if the opponent is hyper-aggressive and quick in nature. Mess this up and you are going to get hit. If you do though, close the distance rapidly without hesitation.
  2. Explode In – when you are ready to move you need to move fast, you need to move explosively and you need to move without hesitation all while protecting your head and face. A common method is the Universal shield. At UTKM we only advise this move when you are close and that is chambering the attack or if you are not sure what the weapon is exactly but it must be close or medium range only. Any other time or as we recommend in general the standard Krav Maga Dive defense. It keeps you aligned while allowing you the optimal position to explode forward all while protecting your head and neck.
  3. Control the weapon arm – once you are in, control one or both of the weapon arms. Now that you have taken away the advantage of the Stick Weapon, assert your dominance with Retzef while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting them.
  4. Standing Disarm – Either rapidly or after they are mildly subdued but still standing you may disarm the weapon using any reasonable method you know. If this fails you will need to apply more compliance techniques and move on. If you were able to take the stick you can now use it to defend your self.
  5. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  6. Controlled Disarm – Now they may be disarmed. Unlike a Knife you can focus more on controlling the assailant though controlling the weapon are will still be important. This is because it will be harder for them to do significant damage if they are not in a dominant position but do not forget they still have a weapon. The faster you can get it out of their hands the better. Do not forget you must still be aware of possible additional attackers and may need to rapidly disengage which is another reason to get the weapon. Once you disarm it, put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up.

How to Use a Stick Offensively

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on how to use a stick then this is not it. The UTKM Krav Maga approach is simple. For more in-depth stick fighting practice one of the many variations of the Philipino martial arts like Kali, Eskrima, Arnis.

For us it is simple. Target the head or hard surfaces like the clavicle, elbows and arms, ribs, or Knees. AstrixOur attack Pattens are simple, think an Astrix with six striking angles both forehand and back with a Jab or thrust. Just like any other style a flick of the wrist mixed with good footwork turns this into a formidable weapon indeed. It should be reminded once again though that while a stick-like weapon is preferred for general self-defense especially in the west due to their less-lethal nature they can of course still be lethal if you know how to use them and have the will to make them so. 

 

A few weeks ago, I was teaching a Krav Maga class for some of my more advanced students. I was getting them to practice engaging with a target who is resisting enough to be difficult. To make it harder, I told them to start with their eyes closed. The goal was to react to the attack, engage, control, take down the attacker, and then maintain control while the attacker is on the ground either through control positioning or pain compliance.

One of my students said to me after seeing this video:

“I don’t look good.”

To which I responded:

“Nonsense.”

I was extremely happy with the kind of progression I was seeing.

Because the point is not to look good

The point is to react well. From the beginning, the students had their eyes closed so they couldn’t anticipate the attack. The attacker would say “OPEN!” and immediately start their attack. This helps to simulate the kind of startled reaction people would have in a real situation which they failed to be aware and anticipate an attack. Though, I asked my students to keep their hands up since it would be unrealistic to expect them to react quickly enough with their hands down.

What this example shows is that under stress and pressure, defending against even a mildly non-compliant attacker, your movements will never look perfect.

It’s not about how good you look doing Krav Maga, it’s about how well you apply the strategy.

Real life is unpredictable.

So many factors come into play in a real conflict that people cannot be expected to move perfectly under pressure. Perfect reactions are not real. That’s choreography.

As a Krav Maga instructor, I don’t expect students to be perfect under pressure. I expect them to be aggressive and react with retzev (continuous movement) and keep moving forward no matter the threat. Hesitation results in injury or death. Therefore, even if your move wasn’t executed to textbook accuracy, that’s not important if you reacted properly, survived, and walked away.

Some people watch cat videos, some people watch squirrel videos, I watch martial arts videos

People are often blown away by amazing practitioners showing off their styles on the internet. Without realizing it, what they are seeing may be as realistic as watching John Wick (2014). A lot of the time, demonstration videos are choreographed by the instructor (the person leading and explaining the demo) with the other people in the video playing specific roles. They probably practiced behind the scenes with someone attacking a specific way and the instructor doing the defense or counter move a specific way. For teaching purposes, this is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately for realism purposes, this can create unrealistic expectations for the average person about how to do the defense or counter move effectively while under pressure in a real, stressful, and chaotic situation.

In addition, the real situation has so many variables. For example, imagine that you have learned a combo from the internet and the situation from the video happens to you in real life. You use the combo you learned. As you’re doing it, the attacker pulls out a knife from their pocket. How does this now change the situation? On top of that, suddenly another person comes running out from the side and helps the attacker. How would the same combo which was perfectly demonstrated in the video work?

The unlimited amount of variables of a real situation is something that Krav Maga or any other self-defense system should take into account. Moves or sequences should be universal. At UTKM, we always tell our students to assume there is are weapons and/or friends. Weapons and friends change the situation drastically and make the average style, sequence, move or strategy fall apart because they don’t work anymore.

To this effect, some of our students have suggested that we provide more curriculum videos and show demonstrations of techniques on non-compliant attackers in more realistic scenarios.

So far, online video learning for our entire white belt curriculum is available for FREE here. Hopefully, by late-2017 we will be able to produce videos for our yellow and orange belt curriculums and include the reality-based demonstrations. This way, you can learn both the textbook version of the move as well as the real version of the move performed under pressure.

This is something Kravists need to understand. It’s not about how good you look doing Krav Maga, it’s about how well you apply the strategy. When training, the bottom line is would you survive the scenario if it is real? If you survive, you’re good.

Action Movie Review Guide

Posted: January 10, 2017 by urbantacticskravmaga in Action Movie Review
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New year, new blog category!

Who doesn’t like movies? We certainly do! Quite often, we are asked about our opinion on a certain action movie or the choreography of a certain fighting or shooting scene. We decided to start a new blog section. Behold…

ACTION MOVIE REVIEWS!! (Imagine that said in a loud booming echoing voice…)

#UTKMmovies

Under this blog category, we will review movies that portray real life hand-to-hand combat and tactical action from the perspective of our experts. If you’d like to request a movie, let us know in the comments below, email us, or post on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #UTKMmovies.

First, let’s define our ranking scales!

The Categories:

  • Realism (of hand-to-hand combat)
  • Strategy (of the characters)
  • Firearms and Weapons (use and portrayal)
  • Enjoyment (did we like the film)
  • Final rating (an average total)

Each category is scored out of 5 stars, and the average total will be given for the final rating.

Realism

Obviously, a movie can have a variety of hand-to-hand combat styles. Some directors go for a more flashy, unrealistic style of fighting, while some go for more practical and realistic styles. While great, epic action scenes like that in Kill Bill (2003, 2004) are fun to watch, they aren’t exactly the most realistic at times. Not to pick on the Kill Bill series, we love that movie, but movies with scenes we find more realistic will score higher on the star scale and B Movies with “hacky” and unrealistic fight scenes will score low on the point scale.

Strategy

Both the main goodies and baddies have to have some strategy in their action, and obviously we must assess whether they were good whether or not it’s realistic. Running around shooting everything and blowing everything up may look cool, but is it a good strategy? A movie that is just filled with explosions and non-stop action will score low on the star scale. However, if there is an attempt to show a realistic and feasible strategy that is believable, it will score high.

Firearms and Weapons

What would an action movie be with out a little bit of firearms and/or weapons use? Thus, of course in modern action movies, we will also be looking at whether the firearms handling meets our approval or if it’s clearly actor/director improvisation that looks good but is actually total garbage. If other weapons are involved, we will also make a judgement call on whether it is more realistic or simply flashy.

Enjoyment

This is where we rate the movie on all the other factors, including script, character development, and whether we, well… enjoyed it or not. This is a bit more subjective and totally up to the individual blog authors’ likes and tastes. Even if a move is terrible on all other aspects, it may still have some hope.

Final Score

This is the average of all the previous categories, and thus its final score.

Would you like us to review a specific action movie? You can always request via email, or post on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #UTKMmovies.