“Our handgun defense is better than yours!” I just roll my eyes when I hear this. There are some mighty good-looking handgun defenses out there in other systems…when it’s a friend in a gym holding a rubber gun with their arm locked and not moving it. Add the stress of “I’m about to die,” the adrenalin dump along with the gunman hitting you, pushing you, striking you with the weapon that never seems to be still with those defenses, and seeing how well they work. Krav Maga’s defenses have been developed by the entire Israeli military over the past 50 years and have been used in real life to save hundreds, if not thousands of lives. Krav Maga doesn’t have a tradition or egos to take care of, techniques are easy to learn, easy to remember, and extremely effective or they aren’t in the system. We have a friend we train with who is a great guy but likes to put down Krav Maga’s techniques. He studies a system developed by one guy and just doesn’t like our handgun defenses. I always feel like yelling “I’m sure your founder is friggin awesome and the best thing since sliced bread but one guy can’t be as smart as an entire military that has really used this stuff in battle. If you had a better handgun defense that was effective and easy to learn it would be Krav Maga because we would have stolen it from you!”
His handgun defenses have joint locks and pressure points and a lot of movement. These things may work if you’ve put a heck of a lot of hours into practicing them but the point of Krav Maga is it’s easy to learn and remember and doesn’t take a lot of practice. If a handgun is pointed at us we grab it, get it offline, and beat the heck out of whoever was pointing it. Under the stress and adrenalin dump, this is about all I’m going to remember!
He likes to try to mess with our defenses to make them fail. The second we start the defense (or even before) he’ll drop his weight or something a very well-trained soldier may do. My words to him are 1) let’s do it with me actually hitting you with my best punch in the face instead of me pulling my punches and 2) why would anyone get close enough to me with a handgun who is expecting me to do a defense….a trained soldier surely wouldn’t.
The stuff isn’t magic. It’s desperation time. It’s getting the thing offline and beating the bad guy to a pulp. Could grabbing the weapon cut my hand or give me burns…yep. If my choice is that or a bullet in the head I’m taking the cuts and burns every time. Could I still end up shot?…of course. Again, these aren’t magic…they are the best of the crappy answers that I have. Trying the best crappy answer (because I am in a very crappy situation) is my best chance of surviving. What else am I going to do, Jedi mind tricks? I remember one of my Israeli instructors being asked “what defense would you use if I were ten feet away” and he bluntly said “I’m not f’ing God…I need to be able to reach the gun, Dumb A@#!”
So much crap out there, so many egos. If you can touch the barrel you can get it offline and then go off with all the rage and power you can muster. BE SAFE!

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