a person is kicking his opponents

Is Krav Maga Effective? Is it useful for fighting or even in real combat?

Due to the nature of most self-defense techniques as being “predictable” and relies much on pre-established movements on how to attack an opponent or defend against an attack, people are now questioning their effectiveness in actual combat.

Take a look at this YouTube video! It shows Wing Chun expert, Master Wong and his guest, who is an athlete and also a master in FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) test how a real and unplanned attack works and how difficult it is to block, dodge or counter.

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In reality it is actually very hard to predict where your opponent will attack first during the initial engagement. Unlike your training in the dojo or the martial arts gym nearly every offensive and defensive moves are planned, in real fights these planned moves actually creates the difficulty once you transition from a training session into a street fight.

Why a Real Attacker Would be Hard to Defend Against

You need to know that an attacker or assailant is a person like you and they have emotions and motivations. These are the key factors that pushes them to do what they want to do with you, so understanding these things will help save your life.

So the first thing you’ll need to do (if time allows it) is to observe and study a potential attacker. Check if he is emotionally agitated. Is he disappointed over something? Has a lost some money in gambling? Is he drinking at the bar to let all those pent up emotion out?

Next is his motivation, is he out for blood? Is he carrying any weapons? Has he made anyone or you his target? Does he simply want to rob you or someone else?

An emotionally unstable person will most likely attack you out of the blue and his movements will be completely erratic.

Now it’s already difficult to fend off an attacker pouring his heart and soul to his punches, elbows and kicks onto you much worse if he had a weapon, like a knife.

Studying the Human Anatomy and Range of Motion of the Limbs

Many great martial artists would observe and anticipate their opponent’s movements based on how they move their limbs about. Bruce Lee once noted that he can tell when and exactly where his opponents would strike by just looking at the movements of their shoulders.

This may seem odd at first, but it is only natural that when you extend your arms to throw a punch it is your shoulder that makes the first jerking move before any other part of your body. If you train your eyes to see and react almost instantly to your opponent’s movements, then it is very possible to block, dodge and counter most, if not all, of his attacks.

How Krav Maga is Different from Other Martial Arts and Why You’ll Survive Any Confrontation if You’ll Use This Self-Defense Technique

Krav Maga integrates instinct based self-defense tactics, with a strong curriculum that trains aggressiveness, fighting spirit, situational awareness, and verbal de-escalation of conflict.

Krav Maga has 3 main parts and those are;

Self-Defense – the foundation of Krav Maga
The self-defense part of Krav Maga encompasses all the techniques necessary for the practitioner to learn, so he could defend against armed and unarmed assailants effectively.

Krav Maga instructors deliberately train their students to practice the techniques in non-favorable situations in order to harness their ability to adapt to any situation. This increases their chances of survival against great odds.

Hand to Hand Combat
In this advance level of Krav Maga the students are taught how to defeat an opponent in the quickest and most efficient way possible. The KM instructors also encourage the students to improvise on their own and do better than what they’re being taught.

Students learn the different elements of a fight once they’ve reached this level and that includes combat tactics, fighting techniques, combination of both, psychology and 100% being mentally aware of their surroundings at all times.

The use of common weapons such as knives, swords and guns are also taught here as well as turning everyday objects into weapons for self-defense. Using their surroundings as a means of self-defense is also part of the learning curve.

Protecting a Third Party Individual/ VIP Protection.
Once you’ve become a Krav Maga expert or have experience in opening your own KM school, then you can bet that your name will be circulated around VIP circles as they’ll eventually want someone as skilled as you are to serve as one of their security personnel.

You will be tasked to protect the VIP from all kinds of attacks and your chief security, who is most likely have had actual combat experience in wars and is probably a retired military man of any given country, will have multiple plans in place to evacuate the VIP from the hot zone in case any trouble comes up.

Your wit and will, will be severely tested as you will be exposed to situations ranging from the mundane to the most extreme and you must rely on your training if you want to stay alive and keep your VIP alive in the process also.

Of course, you will get a fat pay check for it all year round for as long as you remain in the services of your VIP.

Read more: the best shoes for Krav Maga sparring

Building A Warrior

A man is practicing with boxing sandbag

Krav Maga will build you up to become a warrior and as such will have a warrior spirit, so as you’ll progress through the training, you’ll notice that the training is two-fold.

The first part of the training involves physical fitness and you will train to get stronger, tougher and faster. Your body will literally become a weapon!
Your Krav Maga instructor will teach the basics as well as advanced KM moves (i.e. strikes, holds, throws and takedowns as well as critical strikes to sensitive areas of your opponent’s body).

The second part of your training, which is equally important as the first, is cultivating your warrior spirit.

The modern warrior spirit definition is an absolute calm mental state which is achieved by rigorous mental training to be both physically and mentally prepared for threatening situations and employ tactics on how to survive them.

The ancient warrior spirit is more rooted in spirituality, although the mental readiness is a huge part of it, but ancient warriors are so different from modern warriors as they are able to engage hundreds of enemies in the battlefield that their minds transcend the fear of death.

It’s vital to have a clear and calm state of mind in extreme situations, because even if your body has been trained to take hits and endure pain, but if your mind is weak, then you will not survive the shock of being in a fight.

Having the ability to assess threats correctly and address them appropriately is crucial in winning a battle just as it is important in having the power and endurance to handle any opponent in any environment and under any circumstances. In Krav Maga, we train you to have confidence in your abilities by making you mentally powerful and physically unstoppable!

Let’s Get Physical

Brutally Efficient Techniques

The main goal of Krav Maga strikes, holds and throws is to apply the maximum amount of damage possible. We don’t train you to become a world champion in a controlled environment of sports martial arts; we train you to be the meanest and toughest dog in the street.

In contrast with other self-defense techniques, you are allowed and encourage to strike vital parts of the human body (again the goal is to incapacitate or kill your opponent; we are not shy to discuss this in public as this is the fundamental principle of Krav Maga). It wouldn’t be to your benefit if you’ve already hit your attacker several times and he’s still going to get back up and be a threat to you, now wouldn’t it?

Hitting your opponent in the face will give him more than 70% chance to recover, but a strike to the eye or the neck will lower that chance to about 20%. A strike to the groin or dislocating a joint or breaking a bone will give him 0% chance to recover and thus you’ll end the fight faster and exert less effort in doing so.

Defending As You Attack

When you train in Krav Maga you train to prepare for combat, be able to strike with precision and sufficient force as well as be able to take hits and shake it off to get back into the fight within seconds. Besides training you to become physically strong and tough, we also train you to block, redirect and counter your opponent’s attacks with blitzing speed and striking intensity.

Following Krav Maga’s basic principles your mandate, therefore, is to prevent your attacker from delivering damaging attacks.

Tempering The Steel

In Krav Maga you spar not only with your classmates, but with your instructors as well. The idea behind it is to show you what’s it like to fight a living breathing opponent as oppose to just doing practice fighting with imaginary foes like the kata.

All of your muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and bones will become stronger, tougher and your entire body will develop greater endurance each time you spar and trade blows. Through repetition your body, especially your muscle memory, will adapt to realistic fight situations.

Optimizing The Machine

Sometimes you can’t win a fight through brute force or debilitating technique alone, but through shear willpower and resilience. As I’ve stated earlier in Krav Maga we’ll train you to be strong, tough and have the stamina to last through any fight.

Stretching your muscles daily helps to make it more elastic and pliable and prevents unnecesary injuries in the gym. Every time you train your heart is set in tune with your breathing to develop your stamina, because your cardiovascular capacity also increases with your routine. The more you train the more resilient you become and the longer you’ll be able to stay in the fight.

Winning The Mental Game

Situational Awareness – They say that the best way to survive an attack is to prevent it before it happens. If you train in Krav Maga, then you will have situational awareness at all times and be able to recognize rising tension patterns and potential threats before they can cause any real harm.

Once you understand the tactical layout of your surroundings you can then choose to either engage the threat or avoid it. If no one is able to stop the threat and the police is too far away to respond, however, then you already know the tactics to quickly put down the threat and spare everyone of the trouble of having to deal with him.

Real-World Tactical Training

a man is kicking his opponent

By instinct you will shield your head and face with both your arms when someone hits you and your eyelids will shut close to protect your eyes. Learning martial arts will train you to use your arms to block and counter your opponent’s attacks, but your self-defense will mostly depend on your training and you can’t depend on katas to help you survive, but you can certainly rely on your Krav Maga training to get you out of sticky situations.

Krav Maga prepares you for a real fight by training you to follow the street rules of every fight – which is there are no rules in a street fight When you fight in the streets you’re fighting for your life and when you do that, then you go for the most vulnerable parts of your opponent with one goal in mind – to win and walk away from the fight alive.

Adaptability

Krav Maga was created by borrowing from proven effective fighting styles all over the world. In a way, when you train in Krav Maga you might as well have fought people from different martial arts disciplines, except the encounters are grounded and more realistic and not routine or kata movements.

This will prepare you for engaging in real street fights and be confident in your skills to hold your own even if your opponent is proficient in other fighting styles. Your ability to adapt to any fighting styles your opponents may bring to the table will prove invaluable and detrimental to your survival.

The Will To Keep Going

As a human being you know what your limits are, but Krav Maga trains you to exceed those limits and keep pushing your limits until you yourself will be surprised at how far you’ve gotten as a martial artist. You will understand how your body works, how you can capitalize on your potentials, and how to jump the fence of your limitations (momentarily) to get that extra boost you’ll need when the ocassion calls for it.

Having a clear understanding of your body’s point of exhaustion when you feel your muscles are tired and sored ensures that you will survive the battle and not the other guy. This mental toughness will help you keep going when every fiber of your body is crying for you to stop and take a breather.

Train Like Your Life Depends On It

I remember a movie scene from Doctor Strange (2016) when Baron Mordo was teaching Doctor Strange how to fight and use magic and he told him, “Now fight! Fight like your life depended on it! Because one day…it may.” Those words reverberated in me as if my old master/instructor himself said it to me, but of course, he had something different in his mind, yet it was still wisdom by all measure that I treasured to this day.

The sub heading of this paragraph is exactly what we do in Krav Maga. We teach people to learn self-defense and survival skills, because we want them to be self- sufficient when they go out into the world where many hostiles are lurking in the corners and may attack at any time. We make sure that they understand that one day their lives will depend on their fighting abilities and that they must not fail when it comes to the point where they will have to defend themselves from an aggressor.

Why You Should Be Training in Krav Maga

a woman is throwing a punch to her trainer

Krav Maga is a practical self-defense technique and a vital survival skills more than just a simple martial arts discipline. It does away with the spiritual and ethical aspects that is associated in other martial arts, which only leaves the lethality of this fighting style.

While it is a far cry when compared to the legendary Kung Fu martial arts, it is by no means a very effective self-defense skill that can save lives amid threatening situations.

Aside from these reasons, you should train in Krav Maga, because…

It’s a Great Exercise – In Krav Maga the term “weapon” is not limited to physical and inanimate objects, because even your body is considered as a weapon.

The training sessions in a KM gym starts with a set of warm ups, power drills and strength-cardio combo workouts. These training sessions are designed to help you master the techniques and become a competent martial artist.

But there is an additional benefit that few ever get to appreciate and that is Krav Maga helps you to lose weight and get into shape too!

It Boosts Confidence – With enough time spent training you start to not only memorize basic self-defense moves, but also improvise on your own. This means that you are able to see your enemies moves and be able to predict them even before they’ll make it. This gives you the unparalleled confidence in your abilities and in yourself as a person that you can handle anyone, any situation and any challenges that comes your way.

It Increases Awareness – Having great situational awareness can make a big difference between life and death. It helps you to remain in control amidst dangerous situations and act rationally to, for instance, take down an attacker with your self-defense skills, or look for a way out when disaster strikes.

Situational awareness is inherent to Krav Maga practitioners, because that’s what they’ve trained for from the start and they’ll only get better at it as time goes by.

Check out this guide on the essential equipment to get you started in training