Krav Maga has a unique set of principles and approach to training. These principles of Krav Maga evolved from decades of front line exposure to high intensity violence and aggression. Broadly speaking, the principles of Krav Maga are divided into 2 categories. Training principles, and combat principles. The object of this article is to outline these principles in simple terms.
1. Stop the immediate threat
The first and most immediate concern is to stop an immediate attack and prevent/reduce injury. This may mean prioritising between 2 simultaneous threats such as being held by the throat and punched in the face.This is the most important principle of all.
2. Immediate, aggressive counterattacks
The Kravist should use fast, aggressive strikes to vulnerable areas as soon as possible. There should be the smallest amount of time between defending and attack possible. Countering quickly prevents further attacks and may stop the attacker immediately.
3. Disengage as quickly as possible
The ultimate objective of Krav Maga is survival – not defeat of an attacker. The Kravist will disengage from the assailant as quickly as possible. The majority of assaults have 2 or more attackers so it is vital the Kravist disengage quickly and escape the situation. Exceptions to this principle could be the need to protect a third party, to make an arrest, or to remove a weapon – for example a firearm.
4. Scan for the next threat
After disengaging, the Kravist must scan for further threats and dangers. An emphasis is placed on physically scanning around, as the movement of scanning helps overcome the effects of stress induced tunnel vision. Moving the head also helps the eyes identify movement in the peripheral vision.
Techniques should be as simple as possible. Simple techniques are faster to learn. Easier to master and better retained over time. Simple techniques are more reliable in high stress situations. Complexity should be saved for sport, dance and martial arts – not survival.
2. Use Natural Responses and Reactions
Where possible, Krav Maga uses natural reactions and reflexes. Krav Maga stresses an intuitive approach to combat. This is characterised by the use of gross motor movements where possible.
The same defence should be used for as many attacks as possible, If each attack requires a separate defence, the Kravist would be required to learn an unending number of techniques. Instead, Krav Maga teaches a small number of techniques that are highly adaptable and easily mastered.
4. There are no rules in survival
The Kravist will use any means available to protect themselves or a loved one. Improvised weapons, striking to the groin, gouging or biting are all acceptable. Criminals recognise no code of conduct – neither should the Kravist. The prime objective is survival.
“Starting Krav Maga (7+ months ago) was the most positive decision I’ve made for myself in years. I had always wanted to do something like Muay Thai or BJJ, but kept procrastinating and making excuses year after year. After the free trial lesson with Jim I was hooked on Krav Maga. Most of my adult life up until now (I’m 30) had been consumed with a rather unhealthy lifestyle, of smoking drinking and partying a lot (raves/festivals etc) and a lot of junkfood. Krav Maga was the catalyst for me to address all these issues and sort my life out hugely, as it feels kind of pointless training hard then putting rubbish into your body. I have quit smoking, started eating better and generally feel awesome. Everyone is the class is great and really supportive regardless of fitness level or ability, everyone is there for the same reason and not to judge anyone or point fingers. This atmosphere combined with excellent instruction from Jim has me in the best shape of my life and feeling great. You also learn to defend yourself and kick some ass, which is also good! It feels a lot more practical and relevant for self defence and street situations than just learning a specific martial art like Ju Jitsu or others. It’s hard, sometimes hurts, but you come out with a massive smile and love every minute! Everyone should give it a try, and see what it all about.” Ben Robertson – age 30 – training 7 months+