Tactical World - - Contents - By Jar­ret Wald­man

Bol­ster your "arsenal" with streetwise and bat­tle-tested Krav Maga.

The prin­ci­pals of Krav Maga are sim­ple. They are as fol­lows: al­ways be aware of your sur­round­ings, any­thing can be used as a weapon, de­fend and at­tack si­mul­ta­ne­ously when­ever pos­si­ble and when you at­tack al­ways do so with over­whelm­ing vi­o­lence of ac­tion.

Things hap­pen. Maybe you’re taken by sur­prise or dis­tracted. If you can’t ac­cess your gun, you bet­ter have a Plan B. This street-wise and bat­tle-tested art can play a role in your safety. Here’s how.

1 Sit­u­a­tional Aware­ness

Sit­u­a­tional aware­ness will al­ways be your first line of de­fense. Too many peo­ple, es­pe­cially in these mod­ern days of portable elec­tronic de­vices, al­low them­selves to be dis­tracted and ul­ti­mately be­come tar­gets. Sit­u­a­tional aware­ness re­quires your us­ing all your senses.

Be­ing aware of who is phys­i­cally around you and within your eye­sight is the first step. As you walk through a pop­u­lated area, keep your head up and con­stantly scan forward as well as from side to side. This not only al­lows you to know what is around you, but it also sends a sig­nal to those watch­ing you that you are alert, aware and aren’t go­ing to be taken by sur­prise.

Try to keep a large gap be­tween you and any­one walk­ing be­hind you. Use your pe­riph­eral vi­sion to con­stantly scan over your shoul­der, and never al­low any­one to quickly close that dis­tance that you have cre­ated. Take into con­sid­er­a­tion your friends, fam­ily and part­ners when you are with them. The prin­ci­ples are the same.

Mov­ing through close-quar­ters en­vi­ron­ments, such as stair­ways or nar­row hall­ways, re­quires an ad­di­tional level of aware­ness. Not only do you need to look up or down stairs for any signs of oth­ers, but it is also im­por­tant to lis­ten for footsteps or voices that can alert you of their pres­ence. Sounds can travel eas­ily in an en­closed area. Use this to your ad­van­tage.

When walk­ing down a hall­way, al­ways be sure to stay as far away from blind spots as pos­si­ble. Blind spots can cre­ate a per­fect am­bush for an at­tacker. Don’t let your­self be­come trapped in a hall­way with no clear exit. Al­ways give your­self a way out so that you in­crease your chance of sur­viv­ing an at­tack.

In ad­di­tion, use your senses and en­vi­ron­ment to be aware of your sur­round­ings. Any­thing that can cre­ate a reflection can be used to your ad­van­tage. Good ex­am­ples of this are car and store­front win­dows.

2 Com­mon Ob­jects

In Krav Maga, we teach our stu­dents to use any­thing that they have in their en­vi­ron­ment to fight off an at­tacker. Women’s purses and men’s brief­cases are not only good for de­fend­ing against an edged weapon or club, but can be used to de­liver in­ca­pac­i­tat­ing blows to your at­tacker. Chairs, ta­bles and trash­cans can be used to cre­ate dis­tance be­tween you and your at­tacker. If you’re able to lift the ob­ject, then you should use it to strike with.

Any­thing can be used to your ad­van­tage. You are lim­ited only by your imag­i­na­tion. For most peo­ple, this does not come nat­u­rally so it is im­por­tant to im­ple­ment these items in your self-de­fense train­ing. At our train­ing cen­ters we not only work on strik­ing with all parts of our body, but we in­cor­po­rate


Krav Maga teaches how to con­trol and then elim­i­nate the threat, de­bil­i­tat­ing him us­ing your body’s hard points ( knees and el­bows).

No fancy danc­ing here! Im­me­di­ately re­di­rect your threat’s weapon away from you and re­spond quickly and vi­o­lently.

as many com­mon ob­jects as pos­si­ble into our drills. The more com­fort­able our stu­dents are with this con­cept the more likely they will use it in a real-life sit­u­a­tion.

One drill we use at Krav Maga Unyted com­bines strik­ing a punch or kick shield non-stop while a roam­ing at­tacker stalks you with a knife. The room is filled with po­ten­tial com­mon ob­jects that can be used to neu­tral­ize the threat. Once the at­tacker closes the dis­tance with the knife, the stu­dent’s job is to de­fend an at­tack and cre­ate enough space to uti­lize the near­est com­mon ob­ject to help fin­ish the job.

Af­ter the stu­dent has de­fended against the roam­ing at­tacker, he re-en­gages the shield and con­tin­ues to over­whelm it with his or her strikes. The drill en­com­passes so many as­pects of a street fight, and it’s how we train on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

3 Over­whelm­ing Vi­o­lence of Ac­tion

Part of our train­ing is work­ing slowly in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment. It is very im­por­tant for all stu­dents to have the op­por­tu­nity to prac­tice their tech­niques at their own pace un­til they be­come fa­mil­iar with their body’s nat­u­ral move­ments. How­ever, once they have had enough time to ab­sorb the con­cepts, we ramp up the in­ten­sity quickly.

Teach­ing the stu­dents to go from a pas­sive to ag­gres­sive state in the blink of an eye is an im­por­tant as­pect of sur­viv­ing a vi­o­lent en­counter. Over­whelm­ing vi­o­lence of ac­tion is what is used in the Is­raeli De­fense Forces to go in and take care of the bad guys. It is ex­tremely hard for some­one to at­tack when they are back on their heels. The idea is that you ap­ply an in­tense amount of force and don’t let up un­til the en­emy is down.

4 For Those Who Carry

Spend the same amount of time prac­tic­ing your self-de­fense and fight­ing skills as you do with your


firearm. If you are un­able to ac­cess your weapon or it goes down in a fight, all you are left with is your fight­ing skills.

Many times on the street a threat can close the dis­tance be­fore you can draw your weapon. In­stead of try­ing to draw quickly and bring your weapon to bear, use a kick or punch to stun and cre­ate dis­tance from your at­tacker. Con­tinue to at­tack and move off­line un­til you have given your­self the time and space to draw your pis­tol and come up on tar­get.

I also rec­om­mend that you train with your weapon as a strik­ing im­ple­ment. For safety in train­ing, I rec­om­mend us­ing a blue gun to prac­tice strik­ing tar­gets from dif­fer­ent an­gles while grip­ping your pis­tol in a mod­i­fied fir­ing po­si­tion. To take it to the next level, in­cor­po­rate straight kicks to the mid-sec­tion to cre­ate space and cause more dam­age. While you are ag­gres­sively at­tack­ing, don’t for­get to keep your head on a swivel and look for other po­ten­tial threats. TW

Even with­out a weapon, you can use Krav Maga to turn a threat’s weapon against him.

Keep in mind when your threat’s hands are oc­cu­pied with a weapon, vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas are left un­pro­tected. Krav teaches you to step into your threat, si­mul­ta­ne­ously redi­rect­ing his vi­o­lence while re­spond­ing with your own.

Krav Maga is an ex­tremely ef­fec­tive skill set. A gen­uine Krav in­struc­tor will not only give you the skills to elim­i­nate a threat but the con­fi­dence to do it as well.

Krav Maga lit­er­ally means “con­tact com­bat.” Krav is an es­sen­tial skill when the sit­u­a­tion pre­vents ac­cess to your firearm.

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