Posted by on May 9, 2018

“Hands Up” 80s music duo Ottawan

Possibly the most frequently used phrase in Krav Maga classes is “hands up”.  Sometimes, I am sure, it sounds like nagging. (It can sound a lot like “elbows off the table!”) There are several reasons, however, why keeping your hands up is an essential part of your self-defence training.

Here are 3 main reasons:

  1. Body language. Placing your hands in front of you, open with palms facing an aggressor, conveys “leave me alone”, “go away”. This message can also be witnessed by others who might intervene.  Imagine looking across the street and seeing a woman holding her hands up to a man who is approaching her, or yelling at her. What would you think?
  2. Easier to defend. A strike, grab, or stab can happen fast! Blocking or deflecting such attacks is much easier if your hands are up.
  3. More efficient striking. Keeping your hands up allows you to strike more quickly, giving you a better chance of protecting yourself.

So yes, if incessantly reminding you to keep your hands up is nagging then we are nagging. I prefer to call it “supportive criticism.” Either way, learning to keep your hands up is essential to your training and can better your chances of staying safe.


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