Posts Tagged ‘violence’

Canadian Guns.jpgIt no secret that I am pro firearm ownership. I am also pro-science. No I am not some crazy gun-toting lunatic or even someone who hits the range every weekend to enjoy legal shooting practices. I support gun rights as to me they are the great equalizer. Also as there are now in the world so many guns, as well as the technology to have guns I believe that any law-abiding citizen should be able to access them so long as they are reasonably trained in their safe use and are not mentally unstable.

As a self-defense instructor, I understand that there are many situations where those who use guns in an illegal or violent manner care little for those who do the opposite. Thus I believe it’s fair that law-abiding citizens be able to use and understand them especially in they even they are required for self-defense.

In Canada, while there are some very specific cases where a gun can legally be used in self-defense I generally tell people they are not allowed to be used in self-defense as the answer as to when they can is very complicated, very legal and very subjective. That does not mean, however, someone cannot try to use one against you in which case if you get a hold of it you better know how to safely use it lest you end up injuring your self. Therefore, in order to prepare for those who would ignore the law, I think it is very reasonable for those who respect the law to have the opportunity to use and train with firearms for the purpose of at least knowledge. I also hunt so there is also that.

Yet there are many out there, who believe that no one should have guns and that the exclusive right to such tools and the right to use of force should only be those in the government. This, by the way, sounds very close to behaviors one might see in a country with a dictator. There is a reason that in America, for example, they have the right, to have guns. It was understood that governments or at that time kings, often overreach their power and do things because of the “because I said so” rule.

People often seem to think this isn’t the case anymore yet individual rights and freedoms have slowly been eroding in western countries in the last 30 years and not enough people seem to care.

In Canada, we once again have a government hell-bent on restricting and limiting gun access and use. This despite having fairly strict and controlling rules in place already. Recently the current Minister of public safety Bill Blair, said that they may be using an OIC do change the gun laws. This if you do not know what it is, means they basically are pulling the “because we say so” rule, which is usually reserved for very specific matters like serious public unrest for example. This allows them to bypass any democratic processes that would normally be required to make such changes.

To me, this very much seems like the actions of a government that doesn’t care what most of the people or experts want. This is very political as it is a response to the unchecked gang violence in Canadas largest cities Toronto, and Montreal. Which also happens to be strategic voting blocks for federal elections. This seems to be the policy come hell or high water that the current government, as well as past governments under the Liberal brand, seem to want to push. This despite the fact that RCMP and other police chiefs, including Toronto, as well as the police unions have said that banning guns or restricting things further will not hamper an increase in gun violence, usually related to gangs.

So why, despite what the experts say, and despite what the data says do people in such a position of power insist on making such changes? Probably because the cause of the problem is complicated and hard to deal with. But changing the laws at the stroke of a pen is easy and buys votes in areas who might be wavering in strategic areas.

So what is the problem? It’s not guns its self but rather those who would use them illegally. Here is a short documentary from the CBC, highlighting gang violence and guns.

(For those of you reading outside of Canada, it should be noted that the CBC is the government-funded broadcaster. The current government recently re enstated them a large budget that was cut by the previous government. They are generally considered biased leaning in support of the Canadain Liberal party and are generally disliked by those who support full gun rights in Canada. However, they still are more objective in their news that most American news outlets. They have most of the sources I have posted regarding the general lack of support for a gun ban. This suggests that if even they present the case a gun ban is not really the solution then perhaps it might be true.)

Why people choose to join gangs is a complicated one, just like the factors determining homicide rates as loosely discussed in my last blog post. It is no one answer fixes all but usually a combination. Regardless, such people, often obtain guns illegally as in Canada at least if they are violent criminals or have a history of violence it is not likely they will be able to obtain a Canadian Firearms License or (PAL). So how do they get them? It’s easy, they are smuggled in from elsewhere, usually across the border. But don’t take my word for it, again here is a short video from the CBC discussing this problem.

Essentially, it is black market illegal guns responsible for the majority of homicides related to gang violence. As a certified PAL instructor I also know, that of deaths related to guns in Canada at least at any given point 70-80% of gun-related deaths are unfortunately actually suicide. 15-20% are classified as a ‘Misuse of a firearm’, which includes homicide, and the rest are usually accidents. Of these, most of the ones that are what we we consider violent homicides are again with illegally obtained firearms.

This means, that once again be careful of the stats. If stats are presented to you saying 15-20% of gun deaths are with guns, its a lot scarier than saying, yes but most of them that were violent used illegal guns…

This means that definitely in Canada, and I would make the argument also for the US, that guns themselves are not inherently the problem. But rather a failure to manage our societies to control gang violence, failure of governments and their respective agencies from curbing the illegal stream of illegal guns, or other illegal goods across the borders.

But what government in their right might would ever take responsibility for the issues? Likely not as then they would be hard press for re-election.

The Data and the experts who are objective all know guns are not the real problem. Using fear-mongering and misinformation to ban guns just to make it look like you did something is just wrong no matter which side of the political aisle you are on.

(I would like to point out that anti-gun politics sounds very similar to anti-climate change deniers, both groups ignore the data and the collective expertise on the subject matter. This is also another complicated topic which I could write about but I feel is maybe not the best topic for this blog.)

So once again, I say be objective, be honest, and leave the guns alone. At the very least learn your current gun laws (Ask an expert, like me) before you spout your opinion. And if you are in government and you dont know your own un laws before your make all sorts of falls claims like our current Prime Minister has done multiple times I say shame on you.

So please, be objective, stop trying to ban guns just because you do not understand them, or the actual issues that cause the violence in the first place.

As most of you should know by know I have a podcast. I originally got into podcasting when I had a broken foot and had nothing to do and I discovered the world of podcasting. What I find great about podcasting is it gives you the opportunity to be exposed to people or ideas you might not be able to be exposed to under normal circumstances.

I always recommend my students to listen to various podcasts to expand their knowledge base. One of my favourite ones is Sam Harris’s podcast. The latest one is very relevant to the topic of Krav Maga as the discussion is largely around violence and the reality of it.

Sam Harris Waking up podcast

A little about same harris:

Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of FaithLetter to a Christian NationThe Moral LandscapeFree WillLyingWaking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.


More about the guest:

“Gavin de Becker is a three-time presidential appointee whose pioneering work has changed the way the U.S. government evaluates threats to its highest officials. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on the prediction and management of violence. His firm, Gavin de Becker and Associates, advises many of the world’s most prominent media figures, corporations, and law enforcement agencies on predicting violence, and it also serves regular citizens who are victims of domestic abuse and stalking. Gavin is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller The Gift of Fear.”


Click on the Link Below to listen to the podcast.

Source: Living With Violence

Enjoy the listen.

On January 29th, 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette implemented a Lone Wolf attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. Regardless of your opinion of Islam, in a country like Canada, this kind of thing should not happen yet it does.

I look at these kinds of events, as horrific as they are, and I am reminded why I teach Krav Maga for a living. The reality is that no matter how safe you think you are, it only takes one person to rock the boat and remind you that humans can be violent regardless of societal norms or laws.

So one may walk in peace.

The other thing I am reminded of is how little the general public seem to know about, well, a lot of things. I also knew that Canada’s media would immediately, or soon after the attack, take a strike at the already strict gun laws in Canada. In this particular event, the amount of BS I have seen on the internet within hours of the attack were quite shocking. Generally, I give the Canadian media some more points than the American media, for the Canadians tend to wait a little longer for facts to come in the midst of such chaos before spewing out nonsense. However, in this case, they also get the initial details wrong.

Not all terrorist attacks with a single attacker are Lone Wolf attacks, but all Lone Wolf attacks are considered terrorist attacks (most of the time)

Right away, I started seeing politics thrown around and read several articles about the topic of Lone Wolf vs terrorist attacks, with many claiming this attack to be purely terrorist and not Lone Wolf. This tells me that writers of such articles know little about conflict, violence, and terrorism. Aside from the fact that the perpetrator will most likely be charged with terrorism, his attack was most definitely a Lone Wolf attack. The distinction is very important.

As stated, a lone attacker does not signify a Lone Wolf attack, but a Lone Wolf attack is usually terrorism in nature (but not always). To me, a clear distinction is whether or not they had help. If they had help, it is most likely part of a larger terror network, such as Al-Qaeda or some nefariously well-hidden Muslim brotherhood affiliate. Or, to be fair, could also be  is part of some right-wing Neo-Nazi group planning their “big return.” If they did not have help, it is most likely a random guy who woke up one morning and decided to go on a rampage (of course, this is an understatement).

If your general definition of terrorism is simply “to cause terror,” then any violent attack such as a simple murder in a home could be called a terrorist attack since it definitely causes terror in a community. But does this now make such situations terrorism? I am not a big fan of word policing, but sometimes definitions matter, especially when there is so much confusion about specific things.

When a Lone Wolf attack becomes terrorism

Attacks targeting these groups can be considered terrorism:

  • Cultural
  • Ethic
  • Political
  • Religious

Also, if the attack was premeditated in any way, it can also be considered terrorism.

Definitions are important because the right or wrong word can be the difference between accurate or misleading information. Attacks that come from a single person who just snapped one day would be more appropriately termed “mass murder” which is an attack resulting in 5+ deaths depending on the regional definitions. If the media calls a mass murder situation a “terrorist attack,” it would most likely cause public terror since there could be the potential for another attack. However, in the case of the attack in Quebec, while the attacker turned himself in later, it is fairly safe to say it was a terror attack.

Another important reason for distinguishing the concept of a Lone Wolf attack is that it tells you whether or not law enforcement could have done more to stop it. Whenever a terrorist attack is not Lone Wolf and there are links to larger networks, it shows a failure in law enforcement agencies to do their jobs effectively in that particular case. However, in the case of a Lone Wolf attack, it is often unreasonable to blame law enforcement for lacking effort in prevention regardless of whether it is deemed terrorism or mass murder. The fact is Lone Wolf attacks are not on the LE radar and incredibly difficult to predict, especially when it’s by an individual with no criminal records like the Quebec case. Of course, the community could take responsibility to notice the behaviour of those close to them and recognise erratic behaviour in days leading up to an event. For example, family members should pay attention to each other and teachers should pay attention to their students, react appropriately, and possibly report to LE. However, sometimes Lone Wolf attacks can happen without warning.



Alexandre Bissonnette


The only thing people can do to prepare for the unexpected situations like a Lone Wolf attack is to acquire the skills to protect themselves. The goal of getting people home safely every day is why I’ve dedicated my life to Krav Maga and training people how to avoid fights and how to end conflicts. In the moment of an attack, the people who can really do something to stop the violence are the people hiding in the building. The unfortunate truth is that waiting for LE to show up can be too late.

The political nature of attacks and terrorism

The word “terrorism” in modern times usually refers to Islamic terror, but it isn’t always the case. It is undeniable that Islamic terror is one of the biggest problems in the world, and people who refuse to believe it are incredibly naive, but it is also wrong to think that Caucasian people and Christians don’t participate in terrorist activities. However, there is a difference between the two. By and large, terrorism from Caucasians and Christians nowadays are Lone Wolf attacks by disgruntled and, sometimes, racist people. On the other hand, Islamic terrorism is usually more systematic and linked to large terrorist groups capable of repeat or other attacks.

Again, if you are going to pick a side, then you must understand the distinct and general difference. If you want to get into history, there was a time in which Caucasians had large organized terrorist groups, such as the IRA in England or the Basque in Spain. However, to be realistic, these groups are not a problem at the moment and the immediate threat is Islamic terrorism.

To the left-wing people in Western North America, please stop pretending that Islamic terror is not a problem.

To the right-wing people in Western North America, please stop pretending that Caucasians do not sometimes create plans to cause terror.



Oklahoma Bombing


A perfect example of the latter is the Oklahoma City Bombing, one of the largest domestic terrorist attacks in American history. One April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols blew up a Federal building, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more (which combined with the 9/11 are the largest terrorist attacks on American soil in modern times). This shows how Caucasians can be as dangerous as Islamic terrorists. Over the last several years, there have been numerous attacks in America, such as the Sandy Hook shooting, San Bernardino shooting, and the Charleston S.C. shooting. Notice the trend?

Terror attacks, mass murder, and guns

The anti-gun bandwagon becomes more popular after such attacks, especially when the people with a political motive and the media, for numerous reasons, often jump on the opportunity to blame these attacks on guns. However, the important point to remember is that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The weapon is nothing without a wielder. If you think about the two largest terror attacks that were just mentioned, they were not perpetrated using guns but with explosives: a massive fertilizer bomb and giant planes.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

While the option of using planes as weapons has now become considerably harder with increasingly strict post-9/11 security measures, it is certainly still possible. The option of using IEDs is even easier and more effective for doing greater damage in a shorter amount of time because anyone with a little bit of chemistry knowledge can create an explosive. As such, firearms as a weapon of terrorism should be the least of people’s concerns. Immediately jumping to the anti-gun rhetoric post-terror events simply shows how little people truly know about violence, conflict, and firearms use.

In addition, Canadians and Americans forget how lucky they are to live in such relatively peaceful countries. In other parts of the world where the violence rate is high, the average person uses guns to defend themselves and the gun culture is very different. People living in North America easily become complacent about safety and security.

Gun laws in Canada

It drives me nuts when Canadians talk about gun laws as if they are living in America, which they are not. In Canada, if you would like to own a gun, you must pass a firearms safety course for non-restricted (rifles) and/or restricted (pistols) firearms, submit your test results to the RCMP, and wait for them to complete a criminal record check on you. If you have no criminal record and have never been committed for a mental illness, then you should receive your license soon after.

In addition, restricted firearms such as pistols are governed by mandatory safe storage laws, which usually require a trigger lock and a locked storage container. While bureaucratic in nature, these gun laws have drastically reduced accidental firearms-related deaths in Canada. (Notice I said “accidental” deaths. Due to these laws, suicide using firearms and death involving children gaining access to firearms have dropped.) Specifically, according to all the data I have seen, the two parts of the laws that have helped reduce firearms-related death are the background checks, including the mental health aspect, and the safe storage regulations. In the case of the Quebec shooting, Bissonnette had no criminal record and had not been committed for mental health issues and have not been reported for unusual behaviour.

With that being said, it is clear that the Brass at the RCMP and many politicians have an anti-gun agenda. They also regularly target the law abiding citizens who own guns (ie. Alberta’s High River Gun Grab in June 2013), so please do not say that gun owners are paranoid about getting their guns stolen and taken away because they are not.

Getting rid of guns would have stopped the Quebec attack, right?



Lorry used in the Nice attack

If someone is truly committed to performing an attack, they would find a method. Remember the Nice, France attack on July 14, 2016?  Firearms were not the primary method for death, instead, a truck was used. Bissonnette could have just as easily taken a vehicle and driven into the mosque potentially killing and injuring even more people. Guns are not the problem.


People think that firearms are the most dangerous way bad people use to take out large groups. This is a myth that people believe because they do not get enough knowledge about violence and conflict. Shooting people in large groups is not the most effective way for mass murder. People have this idea simply because they are fed so much anti-gun propaganda that they believe it. If guns inherently make people wake up and decide they need to cause terror, then death rates would skyrocket in most Western countries because, well, there are a lot of guns there. The average person doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to commit murder.

People are fed so much anti-gun propaganda that they believe it.

Another issue that is more problematic than guns is mental health. It’s hard to deny that majority of the individuals who have committed mass murder in America since 9/11 had some kind of serious mental health issue. Either that or they were part of some gang violence, criminals shooting at other criminals, and thus the media never picked it up.

Finally, one more point about weapons is that people underestimate knives as a danger. I, on the other hand, am more wary of knives than firearms. Any idiot can pick up knives and use them as weapons. Only people with some kind of training can operate firearms to do significant damage. Bissonnette could easily have entered the mosque with a knife, locked the doors, trapped people inside, and started stabbing away. Firearms run out of ammo fast. Knives do not need ammo. He would have had an unlimited method of killing with a knife. For example, the Kunming knife attack in 2014 is a reminder of how quick and easy it is for a knife to yield significant damage. I emphasize this every time I teach knife-related self-defense.

The only one who can protect you is you

I wish that one day, humans would all decide they don’t want to hurt each other and then live in peace. Unfortunately, we are far from that as a species, and people attack each other all the time. What I hope for more is that, more importantly, people would wake up and recognize that humans are humans. You cannot use laws to regulate human nature and fix people’s desire to hurt others. Thus, the thing that people don’t seem to be able to grasp but need to understand is that the real weapon is the human being. The person committing the attack is the real threat and real danger, not the weapon they use. It doesn’t matter if they hold a knife, a gun, a bomb, or drive a vehicle. If a person wants to do something big and bad, they will find a way.

walkinpeaceThe best thing people can do to take real action against this issue is to acquire the skills needed to protect themselves. Whether it’s a mugging, a terrorist or Lone Wolf attack, or a school shooting, only you can protect yourself. To start, practice being alert, vigilant, and aware of your surroundings and situation (aka situational awareness), learn to identify threats immediately and get away (aka avoidance). Otherwise, you would always find yourself as a victim. Situational awareness and avoidance are tactics that people in fairly peaceful places like North America tend to forget. Just because we don’t have drug wars or tribal warfare or civil war doesn’t mean it is safe and that we shouldn’t be wary of danger.

You truly only have yourself.

It doesn’t matter what the media tells you, what you hear, and what you read about terrorism and mass murder. The most important thing you need to know is that in the moment of an attack, you truly only have yourself. Denying yourself the skills to survive is a risk. Are you willing to take that risk?


If I were to tell you that I am a master of manipulation and deceiving you might laugh, but it is true. In my civilian life I have worked as a salesman for numerous companies ranging from a gym to the defense industry. During my service for my country I was trained to screw with the enemies’ minds and win over support of the indigenous population efficiently and effortlessly. I know the art of persuasion, charm and false promises and I can show the truth to people though only ” the point of view ” I want them to see.

Day to day our life is full of lies, marketing schemes, small talk and other bulls**t that makes our society civilized and polite on the surface. We constantly judge each other and are being judged at the workplace, school, Facebook, etc. We have to put on a “Game Face “ and be professional at the work place and in most aspects of our life.

However, there is one moment in which you cannot lie and your true essence and soul will be revealed no matter how hard you try to hide it, that is, when someone’s fist lands on your face.


Someone once said that in the moment of death you can see the true essence of a person’s soul and combat is the easiest route to death. I believe there is some truth to it. While I was living in Israel and Serbia, both countries have had their share of war and deaths in recent years. I find Israelis and Serbians are a lot more honest towards each other compared to other people. Some would even say they are honest to the point of rudeness. Perhaps this is because when one is so close to death, one does not have the mood or time to hide one’s true emotions, feelings and opinions about others.


Of course, a Krav Maga gym is not a war zone and it is not my job to try to kill my students, but it is my mission to bring them to their limit of exhaustion, fear and total chaos in the most realistic and safest manner I can. Why? Because that’s the state you will be in if someone puts a knife on your throat or rides on top of you and beats you mercilessly. Of course the feeling sucks but this is what a Krav Maga gym should be doing. You are not supposed to feel “good “ about yourself walking out of the gym for the first 3 months. You are supposed to walk out and feel horrible, weak and vulnerable. We, as instructors, just reveal what this world can be sometimes: mean, cruel and harsh, and you are not prepared for the dark part of the world………yet. However, perhaps 6 months or 12 months later, if you stay and work hard, you will find yourself changed. You will move more efficiently, scan more and you are ready and alert when your gut feeling tells you that something is wrong. You are no longer a sheep but a truly independent person who takes one’s own security seriously and responsibly. You do not pass your responsibility of guarding your own life to others. You are a Kravi (fighter) just like your ancestors.

As Krav Maga has become more popular, I have seen many Cardio Kickboxing & Crossfit Krav Maga Gyms show up in recent years. I believe in a good conditioning class as I used to do it religiously as a fighter, but mixing two different purposes together in order to gain customers is WRONG. If you are a Krav Maga instructor you should ask yourself what is your main goal of teaching Krav Maga? And how can I achieve my goal for these students? If it is to make money then go ahead, this is a free country, but if your goal is to help others so they can walk in peace then you should change your methods.

Students, remember this – true confidence are built upon numerous self-doubts, surprises, enlightenment, failures, bruises and maybe some medical bills. True confidence of a Kravi is not a cocky attitude but appreciation and acknowledgement of one’s own limitation and weakness; at the same time accept your own deadliness if the switch needs to be turn on.

The highest praise I ever received as a soldier was “I will go to battle with you any day.“ This is the same praise I will say to my senior students. Every time I train a new student I often ask myself “If we are going to fight against a Nazi mob like Imi did will I take this person with me? “ After all, after seeing what’s going on around the world it is a good question to ask. Canada will not always be safe. If history ever teaches us anything it is that violence will always come to those who are least prepared and no one is safe. Now students, please ask your instructors “Will you take me?“

Instructors, ask yourself “Will you?“

Written by: Borki Yony

Edited by : Warren C


Though many of you may not know it, I have given a presentation on stress management. Why? Well what is more stressful than being in the Israel Defense Forces as an infantryman and sniper? Especially when I’ve been told that my platoon during that time was one of the most active in the entire army. On top of that my squad was the busiest in the entire platoon. So I think I learned a little about stress. But this is not the only reason I give talks about stress management. Many of you may not know this but I have battled depression for most of my life. One Manic depressive episode later I learned that stress management comes from within.

In my quest to improve myself I have learned many things about how to manage stress.

Here I want to talk about a few, two in particular. One is managing realistic expectations of your self and others, and two is managing priorities correctly.
I always run into the same problems when I am teaching students. They are usually along the lines of “I cannot come to class because I have to study for my school, my education is more important.”

Don’t get my wrong, education is extremely important. I am after all going to university for the second time. However, too often people mix up education and traditional academia.
Really, education comes from every where and every one at any time, you just have to pay attention and learn. Academia is extremely structured and rigid and tells you what it thinks you need to know to succeed.

Unfortunately, times are changing. I cannot tell you how many people I know who went to school out of high school, got their BA, and now do not work in their field, but instead have a menial, low paying job or are still in school.

I am not sure about your definition of success, but I am not so sure that’s it.

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Krav Maga?

I say everything. Perhaps it’s my own fault for having unrealistic expectations of students but the reality is that Krav Maga, or rather learning your own personal safety strategies, is probably one of the most important bits of education you will ever get.

I hope you are never placed in a situation where you will have to use it, but it is a skill set that can, and will, benefit you far greater than any degree. Yet, when it comes to students I always hear the same excuses. They all want to come to the class but they are too busy with studying, their life is too stressful, or they don’t have time. To that I say, Bullshit.
Most students I have taught, do not have a clue what stress is, don’t know how to manage their time properly, and cannot fathom what real priorities even look like.
I am not saying your traditional education is not a priority, but your own personal safety should NEVER take a back seat to a midterm, final or paper.

Let’s say you decide not to come to Krav Maga because of one of these reasons. You need a break and you decide to go to the bar with your friends. On the way you are attacked. Guess, what? The class in Krav Maga that you missed was exactly what you needed to know to survive. But you chose different priorities, you did not learn it and now well.. I dare not to think.

Yes I am being a bit melodramatic, and yes, I understand I am very passionate about what I do and the safety of others. But I still find it frustrating when people choose other priorities rather than come to class.

I know life happens, and this is totally ok. But frankly, giving at least an hour of your time once a week is not that difficult to achieve.

I hope my words have inspired you and if not then, oh well. But remember, your personal safety is in your own hands. Other people will not always be there to protect you.

So I ask you. What are your priorities?

Written By: Jonathan F

In the past week I got into 2 conversations about more or less the same thing. I’ll admit one may have been more of a heated argument than a conversation, but it did manage to cement my views further on the matter.

The topic that seems to be confusing for some people is, what is self defense?

Doing a quick Google search on the definition, I got this.


  1. the defense of one’s person or interests, esp. through the use of physical force, which is permitted in certain cases as an answer to a charge of violent crime.

  2. “he claimed self-defense in the attempted murder charge”

What people, at least it seems in Vancouver, seem to be getting it confused with is the definition for conflict resolution which in a similar search results in this definition.

“Conflict resolution, otherwise known as Reconciliation, is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution

The clear difference is one is expecting physical contact resulting in possible physical harm and the other is attempting to resolve possible violence using words.

To me at least, the difference is quite clear cut, and as I teach, conflict resolution is absolutely the first step to any self defense strategy. A lot of the time situations can easily be avoided by either:

         A. Walking away

         B. De-escalating the situation using verbal conflict resolution

This is why in Krav Maga, we have the semi passive stance. This is a stance that a person takes that is not threatening yet allows the individual to protect themselves should the other person choose to instigate physical violence. In the law enforcement community this might be referred to as an interview stance.

Here are some images to show what that might look like :

The individual wants to resolve the situation with conflict resolution but at the same time is prepared to defend themselves physically without appearing overly threatening.

Again, up until this point it seems fairly straightforward what the difference between self defence and conflict resolution. But apparently it isn’t clear otherwise those two conversations I had may not have happened.

The first Conversation

I was at a local leadership conference as both a participant and presenter and in the main atrium of the building they had various tables set up to show the merits of volunteering in the community. One of the tables set up was the local volunteer community policing program. The particular city in question for those of you wondering is the Vancouver suburb of Surrey. Many of you reading this may not know, but Surrey is actually larger in size and population than Vancouver and as such ,is having problems associated with rapid growth. A current concern is violence in the community and an outcry was sparked after this event:

Naturally, I asked the volunteers at the booth did they have any self defense training. Her answer was:

“We used to have a “verbal Judo” course, but they stopped it from some reason. Really they encourage us not to get involved in anything and stay away”

In my head I wanted to explode, but I politely handed her my card and said if she could pass it on to her superiors if they were ever interested in starting a proper program.

My first question is, what is “verbal judo” and second, how can that possibly be considered self defense?

Here are individuals who want to make a difference in the community and are quite visible by the bright neon yellow high visibility vests they wear.

“Verbal Judo” sounds like a good start, but really it sounds like conflict resolution to me. The fact is that even if they took a quick verbal Judo course, does this make these volunteers experts at dealing with aggressive, disturbed or otherwise threatening people? I think not. What happens if someone decided to violently and maliciously attack these good samaritans, what then?

Too often people take a reactive stance to situations rather than a proactive one. Proactive self defense would recognize that this potentially puts them at risk for physical violence and would teach them both verbal and physical skills in order to deal with the possibilities.

On that note, I often hear ” just call the police” or wait until the police officer who is 100 meters away to come and help. The fact is an individual within 10-20 meters who has an intent to cause physical harm will achieve their objective far faster than that police officer can react.

The second conversation

While this one started off harmlessly, as can quite often happen, it escalated into something more heated that may have required ironically, conflict resolution. The end result was me being called an A-hole by the individual and their friend. Also ironic because of the nature of the conversation.

This one took place at a private residence where everyone knew I taught self defense, in fact several individuals had recently asked me to start up a program in their community. This means that everyone knew I was a professional and I take self defense very seriously.

The individual in question told me that they taught self defense to teens as part of a program they were involved in. Naturally, this peaked my interest and I began to inquire as to the nature of their program.

Though, I am paraphrasing the conversation, it went something like this.

       Q: What does your program teach?

       A: We teach them self defense.

       Q: But what do you actually teach them?

       A: We teach them the vulnerable points on the body.

       Q. That’s good, but do you practice any of the techniques?

      A. No, we teach non physical self defense.

My answer to this of course was, I am sorry but you are not teaching self defense. From here the conversation spiraled into an argument which ended in the result as mentioned above.

This being the second time this kind of conversation came up in a week really made me mad. Not because I got called an A-hole, as I have been called that many times in my life, and it really doesn’t matter to me. It was because people in general, do not know what self defense is. Here I was, what I would consider a professional on the subject and I ended up the bad guy, go figure.


Conflict resolution is NOT self defense. It is a precursor in an attempt to avoid a self defense situation. This is of course if there was even any time to have a conversation and no surprise attacks were involved which would require self defense.

In my opinion, it is extremely naive of people to think that one does not need to learn physical methods for defending themselves if someone has intent on causing bodily harm. Not only is it naive but potentially dangerous. Giving a person a false sense of security to their personal defense can only get them injured or killed.

People who know me may have also heard me say this is why I am not a fan of one time “self defense” seminars. Learning a move once, does not mean you know how to defend yourself or use that move effectively.

The only way to defend yourself against physical violence is with physical violence. If you are the type to take a peaceful perspective and prefer to take a trip to the hospital because you didn’t think it necessary to know self defense then by all means, that is your choice.

However, I plan on doing everything I can to teach people what I know so that they can all go home safely no matter what the circumstances.

I want to be perfectly clear, though I am a proponent for Krav Maga and it is what I believe in, your chosen self defense system can be whatever you like. However if it is not physical and you do not practice it regularly, I am sorry but you are NOT learning self defense and you most likely will not be safe. At the end of the day people need to face reality, Conflict Resolution is NOT self defense.

Written By: Jonathan F





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Photo By: Leon Underwood

Model: Camile Reynords

How do Krav Maga punches differ from other martial arts? The answer is simple; they are designed to balance both power and speed while protecting the fist from potential breaks. You only need read articles about professional fighters and you will quickly realize how many fighters end up with a broken fist during the fight. The fact is boxers are breaking their fists even with protective gloves on. While they can afford to have a broken fist for several months while they heal and live off their prize money, the average person cannot afford to take this risk in either training or real-life dangerous situations. The Krav Maga punch was developed with this in mind.

The Boxing Punch:

The boxing punch is designed for both maximum reach and power. A study conducted on the show Fight Science demonstrated that the right cross was by far the strongest punch. The impact is spread horizontally across all knuckles, however, it was designed to be used wearing heavy gloves.


The Wing Chung Kung Fu Punch:

The Wing Chung Kung Fu punch is designed mainly for speed and rapid repeat attacks. A study conducted on the show Fight Science demonstrated that these were by far the fastest punches among all martial arts. The impact area is focused almost exclusively on the two larger knuckles. Although it is practical for self defense purposes, the angle of the fist makes other attacks such as throwing an elbow challenging to employ, plus the range is limited.


The Krav Maga Punch:

The Krav Maga punch is a balance between the speed of the Wing Chun Kung Fu punch and the power of the boxing punch. It is also thrown at a 45 degree angle which is a compromise between the other two punches discussed. This allows for maximum surface impact while protecting the two smaller knuckles from damage. In addition, when punches are thrown in Krav Maga the arms are slightly bent to prevent hyper extension and to allow for faster retraction. Does this mean that a Krav Maga punch is superior to others? No, it just has a different purpose and application compared to other disciplines. It is a balance between what we can live with and to be able to create desired maximum effect in the street.


Boxing Punch Wing Chun Kung Fu Punch Krav Maga Punch
Angle: 180 /Horizontal 90/vertical 45/angled
Advantage: Reach and Power. Most widely used and understood. Easiest to achieve one hit knock out. Speed and Precision. Protects smaller knuckles. Balanced. Protects Smaller Knuckles while maintaining impact area. Resting position always hands protecting.
Disadvantage: Leaves body open and the smaller knuckles vulnerable to breaking should impact not be perfect.  Can leave head open depending on style of boxer. Sacrifices Power for speed. Smallest impact area of the three. Less versatile attack area. Leaves head vulnerable to attacks depending on style. Sacrifices a little power, speed and reach for its balance.

Written By: Johnathan Fader

Edited By: Warren C


After three years of hard training and 10 national and international tournaments, Borhan finally receive his blue belt at Clinch MMA Gym under coach Sal Snickerz of Daniel Valverde BJJ:. BJJ is one of the most competitive and intense martial arts out there but it is also extremely safe to compete in.  Ground work is a must know for people who are serious about martial art training and self defense. Krav Maga has different theory when comes to ground work but nevertheless BJJ provides great training when comes to movements, escape and tactics on ground work.



By: Urban Tactics HQ

130103-29I first became interested in the martial arts when I was a young boy and I saw Bruce Lee fight in the movie “The Chinese Connection”. I had never seen anything like that before so I was totally blown away, and ever since then I had an interest in different fighting styles. My father had enrolled my older brothers and me in judo and although I took it for several years, I never felt confident that if I were ever in a real-life street fight situation, I would be able to take care of myself. As an adult I decided to learn a fighting technique that was much more street effective so I took a combatives course for 7 years. The style was useful but I felt something was still missing because it was more defensive in nature and used many control techniques. When circumstances forced me to look for another fighting style I sought out Krav Maga. Although I had heard about it several years before, either the location or the class times were not convenient for my schedule, so I was grateful when I found Urban Tactics Krav Maga and I was ready to try it out. I have to say that Krav Maga is exactly what I am looking for because it is a proven fighting style that is practical, effective, and keeps you in top physical condition. If one is looking for the “real thing” then Krav Maga will deliver it, and more. What I appreciate about the style is that it teaches the student to be very situationally aware and the techniques that you learn will help you in street fighting situations that you may find yourself facing. I have two young children and my worst nightmare is to be in a situation where I would be unable to protect them, but after taking Krav Maga for only a short period of time I feel confident that if I were ever in a confrontational situation, I would have a fighting chance. Each class “ups the ante” from the previous lesson and although the classes can be intense, they are very safe and all the students support each other to improve their techniques and fighting style. Additionally, what is unique about the Urban Tactics instructors is that they learned Krav Maga in Israel so the student is confident that the knowledge they are passing down is solid and unequalled. They are not armchair instructors who are teaching the latest trend, they are martial arts purists who feel responsible in ensuring that their students will be able to defend themselves on the street. Krav Maga is great for anyone looking to learn a highly practical fighting technique without having to invest years of training to be effective, and I look forward to continuing to have it be a part of my life.

By: Warren C