“Self-defense is recovery from stupidity or bad luck.”
“Self defense is a shortlist of techniques that may get you out alive when you’re already screwed”
“If it’s complicated it’s not self-defense”
Krav Maga is simple. Simple to learn, simple to remember, simple techniques….so the philosophy is pretty simple to grasp! When it comes to self-defense there are just a few things to keep in mind. 1) If somebody needs hit they need hit as hard as you possibly can! Teddy Roosevelt said something to the effect that “it is a sin to hit softly. Don’t hit at all if possible but if you must hit, hit with all your might”. We agree. We spend a lot of time in class working on striking. We want everyone, no matter their size, to have knockout power. We train for knockout power but we don’t take it for granted so….2) if someone needs hit once, they need hit many, many times. The thought here is that if someone needed hit they were a threat to us. One strike may not have neutralized the threat. The threat needs to be pounded until it is no longer a threat. 3) Don’t stop hitting until you are safe. We are safe when they are unconscious. We can never pause to see if we’re being effective. Pausing is a break and recovery time for the bad guy.
The philosophy of our Krav Maga techniques (choke defenses, headlock defense, etc) is pretty simple as well. 1) Get rid of the danger. If a choke is on we have very little time before it will damage our trachea. A learned motion is always slower than a natural motion, this is why Krav Maga uses natural body motions. In the case of a choke, there is a pain in our throat so our hands are moving to the pain automatically. This is why we use the “pluck” technique. Our hands are doing the defense before we even know someone is there. 2) Always use a simultaneous counterattack. In that choke defense scenario we may pluck the attacker’s hands off but then what? He puts them back on us, hits us, or draws a knife. This is why as we are plucking the choke we are sending a front kick at the same time. An attacker doesn’t choke with his legs crossed, he is asking for this groin kick! 3) Go off like a bomb! Maybe the groin kick devastated the attacker, maybe not. We aren’t going to wait to see. After the groin kick, we send an elbow as we land forward then we grab hold and knee and front kick the bad guy into oblivion.
Really the philosophy of Krav Maga can be summed up in two words. BE SAFE. When people hear that I teach Krav Maga they say “oh, that brutal stuff”. I always say “not brutal, effective”. I don’t see it as brutal. I didn’t start the attack. When someone wants to hurt you or your family what is “brutal”? Everything goes and anything less won’t keep you safe. So….BE SAFE!