WHAT IS SELF-DEFENSE?

“Self-defense is recovery from stupidity or bad luck.”
“Self-defense is a shortlist of techniques and tactics that may get you out alive when you are already screwed.”

“When self-defense becomes complicated, it is no longer self-defense.”

There are a lot of systems out there that claim to be the “ultimate” in self-defense. I don’t think anything is the “ultimate”…no matter how good you are you can still get hurt, can still be surprised, can still be outnumbered. Self-defense means that you weren’t paying attention, were not aware of your surroundings…someone started the fight because of your lack of attention and now you are forced to react. It would be much better to be the ultimate in self-protection! That would mean that you are aware of your surroundings. If someone looked like a threat you have either left the area or smacked them first! Self-protection is way better than self-defense!! “Krav Maga (self-defense) is our support system for when our sucker punch doesn’t work!”

When it comes to self-defense and self-protection Krav Maga has some good thoughts;
-There is only one rule and that is STAY SAFE! We stay safe by cheating, being ruthless, and refusing to lose. We stay safe by 1) not being there. Don’t go to stupid places with stupid people to do stupid things! 2) Run! The only knife defense that I know to be 100% effective is to run when you see someone with a knife! 3) Find something to pick up and beat the attacker. My second choice for a knife attack if running isn’t possible is to find a ball bat, pipe, chair, etc. Reach and impact go a long way in keeping you safe. 4) DESTROY the attacker. We aren’t safe if we fend off the attacker but then must go to the ER. We are safe if we are unscathed. We are unscathed when the fight is one-sided and we go off like a bomb and end the fight without the attacker ever getting in a punch or kick. “If you are in a fair fight, your tactics suck!”

For self-defense, we believe that a system must be philosophy-based, not technique-based. Our philosophy in Krav Maga is to go off like a bomb, get rid of the danger & beat on the attacker until we are safe. This carries through the whole system. Handgun? Get it offline and beat the attacker. Knife? Block it and beat the attacker. Choke? Get hands off our throat and beat the attacker. Self-defense must be that simple! If we are technique based we have too much to think about…what technique best suits this attack, which option for this particular attack should I use, did I practice it enough…with the attacker actually attacking hard, what happens if I leave a step out, etc., etc. If we learn 1000 techniques for 1000 attacks with the way the world is we’ll go out and be attacked by number 1001. We also believe that anything we do should be instinctual. This is why we “pluck” in our choke defense. The hands are doing this automatically when we feel pain on the throat. A learned motion is always slower than an instinctual one.

For self-defense, you have to train like you’re going to fight. I read in a few places that 80-90% of black belts in martial arts who are attacked on the street end up the loser. I was offended when I read this because I was a 4th-degree black belt in a traditional system at the time. Looking back, this makes sense. In my traditional training, we practiced a technique and then moved on to the next. One technique at a time instead of the philosophy of always go off and do many, many combatives at a time…kicks into punches into elbows into grasp and knee EVERY time we train. In my traditional training, we never practiced against someone who was really trying to hit us, trying to not be hit, trying to overpower us. Worst of all, we rarely broke a sweat. We have seen this in our gym time after time. A black belt in another art will tell whoever answers the phone how long they’ve trained, who with, how good they are, their rank, etc, etc. only to come into our basic level 1 class and not be able to get all the way through a class. In Krav Maga, we train hard, run “hell drills” and test like maniacs for a reason. If our students are ever attacked they will have the cardio to outlast the attacker and, most importantly, they will have the “been there, done that” feeling. Fighting off the attack may very well be easier than the test they just took & their brain won’t freeze up on them!! BE SAFE!

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