"Krav Maga heightens perception and transforms fear into something more productive."
Imi Lichtenfeld, founder of Krav Maga
Krav Maga is not a “martial art” as you might imagine it. It is a purpose designed, self defence system, designed for average men and women to use to protect themselves and those close to them. For you, that may mean protecting your children, partner, parents, grandparent or your friends on a night out.
Krav Maga was developed to provide rapid but effective training to both male and female conscripts into the newly formed Israeli armed forces, now known as the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). The system is still used by the IDF, and has proved so effective that it is now used by over 500 military and law enforcement agencies across the world and has been adopted for civilian use.
Martial Arts are very good at what they do, and can be very effective – but they are based on rules and competitions and take years to master. In a self defence situation, your attacker – or attackers – will not be wearing white suits or bowing respectfully. They will not be following any rules, and may well be high on drugs or alcohol.
Krav Maga is based on simple, direct and effective techniques with one goal: surviving and escaping. The emphasis is on fast, natural movements, as these are are easier to learn and much less likely to be forgotten under pressure. When compared to Martial Arts , with Krav Maga and self defence, there are no points to score when you are fighting for your life, only survival.
Firstly, Krav Maga encourages avoiding confrontation in the first place. If you can run away from a threat, then do so!
If this is impossible or unsafe, then Krav Maga promotes finishing a fight as quickly and efficiently as possible. Counter attacks are aimed at the most vulnerable parts of the body, which enables the physically smaller or weaker defender to beat off a much stronger attacker.
Competition rules for martial arts naturally prohibits attacking the vulnerable areas like the groin, eyes and throat. Krav Maga, however, is about self defence, survival and escape, so within the bounds of UK self defence law (“necessary and proportionate”), counter attack techniques may even permanently injure or cause death to the attacker.
Avoid the threat altogether
Escape from the threat (run!)
Deescalate! Verbally try and mitigate the situation if possible.
If you have to defend yourself:
Counter as soon as possible – that may include a pre-emptive strike
Target the body’s most vulnerable points, such as: the eyes, neck or throat, face, groin, ribs, knee, foot, fingers, etc.
Maintain awareness of surroundings while dealing with the threat, looking for escape routes, further attackers, objects that could be used to defend.