Criterion. A principle or standard that a thing is judged by. (criteria is the plural form).
Many techniques are explored when a Krav Maga organization like Kravolution looks for solutions to various assaults. Some are dismissed. Some are modified. Some are accepted as effective.
The natural question is “How do you determine which techniques are effective? Saying something is “effective” or “would work” is not enough. You need criteria.
We follow this five-step criterion. A technique must:
- Prevent an attack.
- Prevent the assailant from repeating the same attack.
- Prevent/stop the attacker from adapting (when his first attack doesn’t work).
- Ensure there is no further risk from the same attacker. You have left or neutralized him.
- Scan for secondary threats. (e.g. other attackers).
To better understand these criteria let’s take a particular technique and run it thought the 5 steps. The 360 defense against an overhead knife attack.
- Prevent an attack. Block the attacker’s arm, lean forward (body defense), striking at the same time.
- Preventing the same attack. An attacker might continue to stab. The blocking arm stays to prevent attacker’s repeated stabs while we strike.
- Prevent/stop the attacker from adapting. Striking to disorient or disable, moving off the line of attack (side or backward), or controlling attacker’s wrist and neck (arms extended to keep the knife away and for better leverage, and twist head away to make more difficult for him to see, grab, takedown). Continued strikes.
- Ensure there is no further risk from the same attacker. Escaping, striking until the attacker drops the weapon then leaving, or disarming. For civilians, in particular, we prefer to escape. Law enforcement, for example, might disarm, control, handcuff…
- Scan for secondary threats. There might be other attackers. Also, you might be near a busy road. Assess your environment!
You can apply these five criteria to all techniques. Krav Maga students, when you are in doubt about a technique run through these five steps. Remember, don’t try to memorize!