Posted by on November 2, 2018

When people describe Krav Maga they often emphasize the physical aspect of training: striking, defending, escaping grabs etc… Often overlooked is the mental aspect of Krav Maga training, particularly decision-making. This is a vast topic so this article will focus on some of the general goals of mental training in Krav Maga.

Here are three:

Developing the ability to identify dangers. What is the problem? This involves developing the ability to identify dangers – potential and imminent. Here, the senses come into play. Seeing a threatening gesture, someone concealing something in their hand, a weapon, aggressive body language… Hearing a sudden movement behind you, or someone yelling to “watch out.” Feeling a grab, hold, or grope. There are innumerable examples! Through training, you learn to identify and prioritize the problems. For example, someone grabs your shirt and punches. The grab is a problem but the punch is the priority.

Improving Decision-making (speed and quality). What do I do? Here, we are looking at what to do (action) when you perceive danger. Do you run, kick,deflect, block, pluck, knee, elbow…? There are many choices andimproving your decision-making will lead to more effective actions.

Performing Under Stress. How do I Act Effectively? Once your decision is made you have to perform – strike, block, deflect etc… – in an effective and decisive way. Under stress it is important to punch with impact, speed, and precision, or to pluck to release a choke with precise technique.

Self-defense is about developing and refining our mental as well as physical abilities. In future blogs we will address aspects of mental training in more detail.

As always, if you have any suggestions or want us to write about a particular topic please feel free to contact us at


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