Posted by on May 8, 2019

Scan: to look at intently or quickly

Rarely, perhaps never, does a class go by when an instructor doesn’t remind a student to scan.  We sometimes sound like those pull-a-string dolls that repeat phrases over and over again.  Yes, it can be irritating!  Scanning, however, is a vital part of Krav Maga training and is one of the more difficult habits to learn.

What is scanning and why is it important?

Scanning involves dealing with the immediate problem (e.g. avoiding a dangerous situation, defending a strike, escaping a grab or hold) then surveying the area for:

  • Escape routes
  • Other threats (e.g. people)
  • Dangers (e.g. a busy road, stairs..)
  • People you are with (e.g. family, friends…)
  • Weapons of opportunity. (Objects you can use to protect yourself.)

In real self defence situations you are not in a controlled environment. The attacker can recovery and resume his assault, perhaps with renewed vigour.  You need to get away from him!   Moreover, the environment can offer both dangers and opportunities for escape and defence.  There might be more than one assailant.  There might be multiple exits.  Which exit is most accessible? 

We teach that when you perform a technique (e.g. escaping a choke) you are not finished.  You are not finished until you have scanned and assessed your surroundings and ensured there are no more threats or you have escaped to a safer place.    

Scan. Scan. Scan.

Image by Daniel Nebreda from Pixabay


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