During our Krav Maga classes, we spend a lot of attention to detail. These details involve the body mechanics of striking, deflecting, blocking, releasing holds and much more. All of this, however, is in the context of some of the guiding Krav Maga principles for protecting yourself.
Here are 4 of them:
- Prevention: Avoidance is the best self-defence. If you sense danger and can avoid engaging an assailant this is your safest option. Prevention also means not allowing an assailant to progress beyond a certain point. Examples include preventing grabs (e.g. with deflections and blocks), or striking someone before they close distance or continue their attack.
- Situational Awareness: This is, of course, linked to prevention. Awareness includes the actions of other people, the physical environment (escape routes, common objects you can use to protect yourself), people you might need to protect, etc….
- Use Simple and Direct Actions: Keep it simple. You need to act in the most efficient way possible to prevent or stop an assault. Why use a flying elbow, for instance, when you can simply punch? After all, we can move our hands much faster than we can lunge. Also, stress hinders our motor skills making complex movements difficult. Simple and direct!
- Appropriate force. This goes both ways – too much force and too little. Using excessive force means endangering yourself by continuing to engage an attacker (e.g. trying to disarm a knife attacker instead of escaping when possible). It can also mean using more force than you need to protect yourself (e.g. kicking someone on the ground when you can run away). On the other hand, if someone is choking you on the ground there is no nice way to survive this. Punches, pinching, biting, eye gouges – whatever it takes to save your life!
These principles can be applied to virtually every self-defence situation. Keep them in mind as guides to your training.