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Saturday, June 07, 2014

The myth of Krav Maga

I would not be at all surprised if these Krav Maga snake oil salesmen ended up getting a woman killed one day:
 “Jab your fingers into his eyes.” That’s step one if you’re confronted by an attacker, at least according to Darren Selley, 35, my self-defence Krav Maga instructor. First go for the eyes, then put a knee between their legs (assuming it's a bloke), using their strength against them. Once they fall to the floor, kick them in the groin. Threat: neutralised.

Darren and his fellow instructor Ricky are here to lead a special seminar on self-defence for women, organised by property maintenance company aspect.co.uk. We’re learning Urban Krav Maga, a blend of nine martial arts specifically intended for use on the streets.

It’s all about quick movements designed to cause maximum impact; breaking an arm, perforating an eardrum, knocking someone out. It’s perfect for most women because it doesn’t rely on brute strength and, as I discover, it’s incredibly easy to learn.
I have no doubt that it is incredibly easy to learn. Which only confirms my impression that it is actually worse than useless, because it teaches women to expect to incapacitate an attacker.

There is a very big difference between training and the real thing. There is nearly as big a difference between drill and full-contact sparring. I've fought more than a few karate students, up to and including black belts, who had never engaged in any serious sparring. With NO EXCEPTIONS, they weren't much better than a complete neophyte.

Drill-based theory is based on the concept of control, and how if you are capable of delivering a strike that stops just short of someone's face, you could just as easily deliver one that actually hits them. This is true. However, people "fight" very differently when they are essentially shadowboxing and they know their opponent is not actually going to hit them. Furthermore, it deprives the shadowboxer of learning how to take a shot, how to exploit and follow-up openings created, and how to use combinations. Fighting isn't just about what you can do to the other party, it's also about what the other party can do to you.

It is very, very difficult to make a precision strike at someone's eyes. It is even more difficult to successfully knee a man in the groin when he is in a conflict situation. And even if one makes contact, it is likely that it won't slow him down much, as adrenaline significantly reduces the amount of pain one feels in the moment.

It's fine to teach women how to defend themselves. But firearms, and where they are not legal, knives, should always be a part of the self-defense strategy, and women need to understand that the odds are severely against them in a physical struggle. Learning technique is fine, but doing fake routines on unresisting opponents is worse than pointless. It takes years to become an effective fighter, so it is risible to suggest that a class or two is going to accomplish anything but instill a false sense of self-confidence in a woman.

I'm also very curious to know how one puts one knee between someone else's leg using their strength against them. A knee strike is a hard technique, not a soft one. This sounds like pure marketing babble to me.

Labels:

150 Comments:

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 11:38 AM  

Vox, I've heard fellow Israelis explain it to me like this: Krav Maga is essentially a bunch of tricks designed to take an opponent down as quickly as possible in the battlefield -- hence, it's a bunch of stuff that I guess would get called "cheating" or "cheap" in street fighting.

In addition to the eyes and groin, I think I've heard other areas mentioned that may be easier to target: the bridge of the nose and the kneecaps. I think the wrist is supposedly very easy to break too. Perhaps hitting the Adam's apple of the throat?

Again, I have no idea what I'm taking about. I'm no expert, and I've never trained in martial arts or been in a fight. Just passing along what I've heard.

Anonymous Microphone Jones June 07, 2014 11:39 AM  

Like any other fighting style, REAL krav maga, when taught by a real krav maga instructor, and actually practiced, is legitimate. I've taken real krav maga from legit krav maga instructors and "Urban" krav maga looks like BS. It's like saying "Urban" boxing or "Urban jiu jitsu.

Anonymous AmyJ June 07, 2014 11:40 AM  

My husband and I did Krav Maga for a while (he did the self defense classes and I did the fitness class - a precursor to CrossFit). I avoided the free rape prevention seminars they always held, mostly because, while I enjoyed hitting, elbowing, and front kicking punching bags, unless the rapist was standing completely still for me to attack him, I knew I didn't stand a chance.

It is dangerous, though, because as a woman, putting on the gloves and hitting things did feel empowering, like maybe I could take on a guy. That is, until I was paired up with dudes and had to hold pads for them to punch or kick. Even when they held back (which most didn't), I got bruises from simply holding the pad!

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 11:50 AM  

For those who might be interested:

Video of IDF training video with female instructor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVJ8WjCi8Lg

Video of IDF Special Forces krav maga training with men (supposedly -- I can't vouch for this one): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBOEKP8nIAA

Anonymous TLM June 07, 2014 11:51 AM  

KM is excellent when taught by professionals. Just like martial arts, they also market it to chicks to make the green. Only a woman would believe after some KM/hopkido class etc, could she really fend off some 6ft Ex con that spent half his life in prison.

Anonymous hygate June 07, 2014 11:55 AM  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWn2uMphYN4

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRFuMDUfjek

Anonymous Michael Maier June 07, 2014 12:09 PM  

Almost all women out there are utterly clueless. To the point of lunacy.

One ex-GF didn't understand why I said I'd never want to fight this one guy in my office. Who has almost a full head of height on me and at least 100 lbs. She couldn't comprehend when I said I wasn't afriad of him, I just would always know better than to engage the dude in a fair fight.

Another girl I know has a beef with another at work. She seems to think "the size of the fight in the dog" makes a difference. I'm sure if the other female was a total wuss and was too shocked to fight she might get a submission. But if someone half-again your size decides to hurt you, you might have a problem.

Another midget woman at work threatened me and seemed to seriously think she could do something besides bleed. It should totally be legal to beat such idiots down to a point, just for their own good.

"Bitch just needed a lesson, hoss!" should be a get-out-of-jail-free card.


If I ever spawn, I hope I have boys first. Then any girls I have will be fully aware of how helpless they are because of deliberate teaching moments.

My brother has already indicated he wants his kids in karate, how could I advise him to avoid a Tag Class? How young SHOULD kids be learning how to take a punch from their peers?

Blogger Sentient Spud June 07, 2014 12:09 PM  

For 9 out of 10 women, this sounds to me like very poor advice. If you're close enough to get a knee in or reach for an attackers eyes, unless he is both smaller and weaker (unlikely), you've eradicated any chance of victory by making brute strength and speed the primary tools of combat*.

Vox has the right idea on this one. The best bet is to make getting any closer a lose-lose proposition for the attacker. Bullets and blades, when properly handled, pack much more of a wallop than any knee to the groin.

*The one exception to this principle is in the unlikely event a particularly dim assailant attempts to assault Shamu. In such a scenario, conveniently tripping and falling upon the attacker is the best tactic. When the cops start asking questions about how you knew the guy who was crushed to death in the alley, simply chalk it up to self-defense and a tragically untied shoelace.

Anonymous Daniel June 07, 2014 12:11 PM  

That crap is abusive. I was in drill martial arts for a year, and within the first few weeks they had me sparring with women and children because I wasn't getting the control thing right. After I merely flattened two kids because - well, I was having control problems (and no it wasn't attitude, it was a brain/learning thing and the sensei recognized it or I would have been dismissed.) - and then made the brown-belt girl cut things short because I hit her too hard in the stomach, they thought I'd figure it out by sparring with the really big and tall black belt. The control teachings had really done him no favors, because he could never unleash with abandon on me, and that might have been the only thing that would have taught me anything. His "full" was never dirty or incapacitating...or even painful. The worst I ever suffered from him were bruises. He was a really nice and patient guy, and that alone might have prevented him from simply beating the crap out of stupid awkward me. Nine minutes of brutality or a ten-second knockout would have done me a world of good in that class.

Such a brief lesson would be really good for women who -- like me back then -- were taught to believe that taking a dance class with a dramatic back-story will give you the self-esteem to slay with your strongly held opinions a charging rhinoceros. I went and learned the truth elsewhere. This stuff is going to get them really hurt if they actually are dumb enough to try it.

Gun up if you worried for your safety. You will have more effective defenses after your first shooting self-defense class than you will after several years of rehearsed kata. This is not a critique of martial arts as movement exercise. It is really great for that and for other realms of self-improvement, and it is not useless in a run-of-the-mill schoolyard fight where the stakes are youth-sized.

But sheesh. If your krav maga instructor's first words are not "make sure you get a gun and learn how to use it" do not trust their lessons to save your life. If you have to be close enough to embrace your attacker in order to defend yourself...you are likely just helping him to fulfill his mission.

Anonymous Hoots June 07, 2014 12:13 PM  

I tried some KM briefly, and had mixed feelings.

The good: everything was done with one or more partners. We were encouraged to work with classmates of all sizes during drills. No punching bags or dummies. Even though nothing was full intensity, it would be impossible for an average woman to hang on to the delusion that she would be able to take down an average man with an eye poke or a knee.

The bad: There was relatively little instruction, and I often felt I was just making things up as I went along. Maybe that would have changed if I had stuck with it.

That was my experience, for what it's worth.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 12:13 PM  

when it comes to teaching women self defense... the snake oil salesmen are very easy to spot. If they teach to go for the nuts... they are snakeoil salesmen. Period.

also... I would amend Vox's advice. Womens self-defense should always involve a firearm... and it should always involve a knife.

She should have both and she should be able to use both.

A good knife, a good can of defensive pepper spray, and a good firearm.

She should have all three. Maybe she gets jumped and can't get to her gun... but she can reach up and jerk that punch dagger out of its necklace sheath and do some real damage real quick. maybe she needs to create time and space to draw her firearm... that pepper spray on her key chain will buy her those precious seconds.

Blogger Will Brown June 07, 2014 12:17 PM  

AmyJ's point is extremely valid, I have never trained with a woman (even large, fit ones) who could cause me serious injury in a drill when she was unarmed. Which ignores one of the basic precepts of KM; avoid combat if at all possible and use anything available to kill (or at least maim) your attacker if you can't so as to create sufficient distance to escape. I'm confident AmyJ could do all of that to me in an actual fight where she was willing to actually use the combat techniques KM teaches to the fullest extent of her physical abilities.

That said, "Urban Krav Maga" is not Krav Maga. Notice who is sponsoring this event, and where. Good call on the marketing ploy.

Also, Krav Maga is taught to every Israeli Army recruit. I'm unaware of any complaints regarding females having no success in using the training. The training is conducted in two-hour sessions spread over six days of basic training with additional blocks of instruction during the soldiers enlistment.

What KM teaches is a mind-set along with a few simple techniques, the student builds from there as s/he desires. Here in the US that is mostly Krav Maga Worldwide and Krav Maga Alliance affiliated schools in the western and central states with the east coast being dominated by schools more closely structured on the Israeli Krav Maga Association or Krav Maga Federation model. The basic techniques and instruction ranking system are effectively the same, but individual instructors inevitably bring there own experience with other fighting styles into their teaching process.

I'm guessing reporter Dina Rickman has zero experience of KM and wasn't taking very good notes of the training seminar she reports on.

I train here

Anonymous Stilicho June 07, 2014 12:19 PM  

Perhaps hitting the Adam's apple of the throat?

Sure, but first you have to actually connect with the targeted area.

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 12:19 PM  

it's a bunch of stuff that I guess would get called "cheating" or "cheap" in street fighting.

(laughs) There are no rules in street fighting. The street fight that caused me to start learning martial arts involved a guy in a headlock sticking a knife into the other guy's throat.

It is dangerous, though, because as a woman, putting on the gloves and hitting things did feel empowering, like maybe I could take on a guy.

That is precisely the problem. The first time a guy punches you in the face, you'll realize it is not true.

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 12:25 PM  

Like any other fighting style, REAL krav maga, when taught by a real krav maga instructor, and actually practiced, is legitimate.

I'm sure it is. So is Judo and Jujitsu. And yet, they're not even close to the effectiveness of Muy Thai when it comes to full-speed, full-contact sparring. I can't say anything about Krav Maga, because it became popular after I stopped training, but I've fought practitioners of nearly every style. The toughest:

1. Muy Thai (the real thing, not American kickboxing).
2. Wrestling
3. Jujitsu

The least effective: Tae Kwon Do. They have no idea what to do if you don't stand there waiting patiently to be kicked in the head with a leaping, spinning roundhouse.

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 12:27 PM  

My brother has already indicated he wants his kids in karate, how could I advise him to avoid a Tag Class? How young SHOULD kids be learning how to take a punch from their peers?

Easy. Ask what night is Sparring Night. A real fighting school has one that you can go and watch. A Tag school will look at you like you're crazy. I would say 15 is the youngest I would recommend.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 12:27 PM  

"There are no rules in street fighting. "

True. But there are many men that fight like there are. I find this especially true with big guys. They fight a lot... and there is a routine to it. There is a predictable build up to the fight. Once the fight starts... there are levels of aggression that are expected and they don't expect things to go beyond that. They don't expect you to pull a knife. And if you do they expect you to make a big show of it.

Now one should never count on any of this. But being far more ruthless than your opponent expects you to be is a valid tactic... and one I adopted very very young. For example I find its very difficult to hit someone in the throat when they know they are in a fight. When they don't know they are in a fight... its much simpler thing. And if you miss you've still blasted their jaw, and a follow up is already on the way.

The object is to end the fight before the fight ever starts. You anticipate it, and change it from a fight to a brutal assault.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 12:30 PM  

"The least effective: Tae Kwon Do. They have no idea what to do if you don't stand there waiting patiently to be kicked in the head with a leaping, spinning roundhouse."

except for that stupid whip kick where they throw one of those gorgeous headkicks... miss on purpose, and bring their heel back and smack you into the squishy bit at the base of the skull.

God that sucks.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 12:35 PM  

'Easy. Ask what night is Sparring Night. A real fighting school has one that you can go and watch. A Tag school will look at you like you're crazy. I would say 15 is the youngest I would recommend."

Ya know its funny.. i've been really lucky.. my son's TKD place spars every single time they get together... and they spar fullspeed. I've seen kids run over to their parents crying because they got kicked in the face... only to have their mom say, "Hey... its his job to kick you in the face. its your job to stop him. suck it up and go kick his butt."

Over the few years I've been around the place I've seen this have wildly different effects on kids. Some kids blossom.. and some kids shrink into a shell and become human punching bags. Even when they pair up the human punching bags... they can hardly bring themselves to strike much because they've become so tentative.

I don't know what the answer is for those kids. Maybe they were just not ready yet. I do worry that the classes did more harm than good for them.

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 12:38 PM  

my son's TKD place spars every single time they get together... and they spar fullspeed.

For adults, sparring more than once a week isn't viable. You need the time to heal and recuperate... even when you're in your early twenties. Where I worked, people got used to the three of us who were Dragons coming in on Wednesdays limping and bruised.

Anonymous carnaby June 07, 2014 12:42 PM  

Firearms are definitely the best defense for women, besides just being smart and avoiding obviously bad places and situations.

Anonymous Anonymous June 07, 2014 12:42 PM  

I had the same thought: how does putting your knee between my legs use my strength against me? Seems to me it's a good way to get yourself off-balance, so I can knock you over more easily. So yeah, "use his strength against him" is pure marketing patter. They might as well say they'll throw in the roundhouse kicks for free.

Blogger IM2L844 June 07, 2014 12:45 PM  

I knew I didn't stand a chance

This realization puts you ahead of the game. Simply responding with an explosive and instinctual murderous reckless abandon then running away as fast as possible would probably be a better strategy for the superficially experienced than relying on some false sense that you might be able to gloat later after a pre-planned poking of some guy in the eye and kneeing him in the nuts.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 12:46 PM  

"For adults, sparring more than once a week isn't viable. You need the time to heal and recuperate... even when you're in your early twenties."

That's the trouble with being in your forties Vox... you can kick that college kids ass completely and you still may spend more time recovering from it than he will.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 12:47 PM  

"So yeah, "use his strength against him" is pure marketing patter. "

but Steven Segal!!!

Anonymous Anonymous June 07, 2014 12:48 PM  

At what point should one switch from instruction to instruction plus sparring. I just started taking some classes at the MMA place by me (first couple weeks) and would like to know what sort of progression schedule I should be looking for? The exercise itself is nice but it's somewhat pointless if I don't learn how to take a punch.

Blogger JACIII June 07, 2014 12:56 PM  

Old man hands can't take a beating, either, especially if their skill contributes to one's livelihood.

Not actually fighting, but useful with young guys you must lead. They always begin to horseplay to test the old guy. Ignore it until one approaches from side or back. Elbow to sternum. Tears. Sorry man, Reflex!

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 12:58 PM  

That's the trouble with being in your forties Vox... you can kick that college kids ass completely and you still may spend more time recovering from it than he will.

Yikes, tell me about it. I recall DISTINCTLY when age first hit. I was 30, played basketball one evening with my 21-year old brother and his friends. I played well, scored the second-most points, and then woke up the next day feeling like a truck hit me. As I staggered out to breakfast, walking like a man of 80, they were already finishing and heading out for the beach.

I did not accompany them. Spacebunny was much amused.

At 30, you need one day to recover from heavy exertion. At 40, you need two.

Anonymous Daniel June 07, 2014 12:59 PM  

I was just going to say that high school wrestling taught me infinitely more about unweaponed self-defense than karate ever did. That one's got far more effective and faster fight-enders, and it is no problem to do the most effective (i.e. illegal in competition) moves, as they are simply variants of the trained legal ones. Ironically, it is also the style that seems to have one of the best "de-escalating" effects in one-on-one stuff.

Once a guy is chest pinned with both shoulders grinding to the floor, he tends to get as gentle as a heifer in a squeezed chute. If he doesn't, you've got a free hand to spring his face like a door knocker into the floor. I've done the pinning thing myself but never had to smash the face. Always kind of wanted to, but hopefully those days are long gone. I'd probably have an arthritis flare-up mid takedown.

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 1:00 PM  

At what point should one switch from instruction to instruction plus sparring.

After three months. You should have enough basics to get started.

Blogger Rantor June 07, 2014 1:04 PM  

@everybodyhatesscott, when I took Kenpo in hIgh school, they had a four or six week beginners course after which we joined the normal three times a week classes, I think they conducted full contact once a week, the instructors basically told you when they thought you were ready for full contact.

Anonymous 43 year old June 07, 2014 1:05 PM  

At 30, you need one day to recover from heavy exertion. At 40, you need two.

You just have to stay active, if you work out 6 days a week, then you really don't really need any more recovery time than when you were younger. At least I find.

Blogger JACIII June 07, 2014 1:08 PM  

high school wrestling taught me infinitely more about unweaponed self-defense than karate ever did. That one's got far more effective and faster fight-enders, and it is no problem to do the most effective (i.e. illegal in competition) moves, as they are simply variants of the trained legal ones. Ironically, it is also the style that seems to have one of the best "de-escalating" effects in one-on-one stuff.

This. A thousand times this. Our father taught us wrestling. It's a cultural thing and passed down with the avgolemono and we thought at the time we were being neglected in the area of father to son conflict resolution. It turns out that meeting the ground has a calming effect on most folk, especially when whether they get back up again is not a decision they get to take.

Anonymous Mike M. June 07, 2014 1:08 PM  

Krav Maga seems to be the fly-by-night BS-Fu flavor of the year. Any resemblance to serious unarmed combat is purely incidental.

Also remember that there are training methods between free sparring and katas...one and two-step drills. Defend and counterattack. Repeat.

Having said that, unarmed fighting should be only the innermost layer of your defenses. Avoidance comes first. Firearms come second. Edged and impact weapons come third. Unarmed comes last. The only times you would lead with unarmed techniques are when you don't have a weapon handy, or when extreme speed on the draw is required.

Anonymous Ain June 07, 2014 1:09 PM  

"I'm also very curious to know how one puts one knee between someone else's leg using their strength against them."


Using "their own strength against them" frequently means trying to use their own momentum against them. In this context, it almost sounds like they expect them to ram their own crotch into somebody's knee.

Blogger Will Brown June 07, 2014 1:11 PM  

... when it comes to full-speed, full-contact sparring.

Here's the thing with all that; you can't practice full-speed, full-power full-contact techniques like a punch-kick to the floating ribs (or just the sternum more generally). Well, you can, but only once per sparring partner; assuming he lives, he will shoot you later. :)

As part of the upper level training, students (and instructors) wear full body armor and do spar full speed. Thats a bit of an expense for a early stages student to have to absorb and the instruction at those levels isn't intended to stretch the student skills to that degree anyway.

Which points up one of the fundamental misunderstandings regarding Krav Maga. KM is not a sport; properly speaking it isn't even a "martial art". Krav Maga is a systematic instruction in the application of martial techniques, with the object being to kill or severely incapacitate one's attacker as quickly as possible so as to carry on the military mission or effect an escape from civilian attack.

Here's a video of Krav Maga sparring as a sample. It does happen, but not as other sport martial arts do it. And, yes, I've seen proper Muay Thai; I quite agree it is extremely violent, but no one is teaching your opponent to try and twist your genitalia off either (KM students all wear cups and simulate the grab-and-twist on the protective device, not the actual sparring partner) (it still hurts, ask me how I know :)).

Anonymous Sensei June 07, 2014 1:14 PM  

except for that stupid whip kick where they throw one of those gorgeous headkicks... miss on purpose, and bring their heel back and smack you into the squishy bit at the base of the skull.

Heheh, a big kickboxer who would come and spar with black belts at our TKD school for a while fell prey to that one from our instructor, who was particularly good at it. (and being short, didn't look like he could pull it off with a tall opponent.)

I probably learned as much from sparring that kickboxer a few times as I learned from one hundred light-contact rounds. ("huh, got to stick those torso kicks or he ignores them")

Things did get more fun with the higher blackbelt ranks, though. I -enjoyed- full contact when they'd let us do it, but it was a family-focused place.. opportunities for us to really hit each other were infrequent.

Blogger crazyivan498 June 07, 2014 1:18 PM  

I took a few karv maga classes and didn't like it. I agree that its a big show in that the teacher was more focused on showing everyone what a bad ass he was. That "show" is the sell for the class.

Anonymous jk June 07, 2014 1:19 PM  

High school wrestling is free defense training... something to remember if you have kids.

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 1:21 PM  

Here's the thing with all that; you can't practice full-speed, full-power full-contact techniques like a punch-kick to the floating ribs (or just the sternum more generally). Well, you can, but only once per sparring partner; assuming he lives, he will shoot you later.

Don't be ridiculous. Of course you can. The thing is, when you've got two experienced fighters sparring, you will NEVER get in a shot like that. Those are only dangerous when you've got a) one fighter coming in full-speed, and b) he's open enough to permit a rear-hand punch.

In six years, I left myself that open once. I lost my patience after narrowly missing on a sidekick and got hit so hard in the stomach that it lifted me up off the ground AND knocked the wind out of me. We had several guys get their ribs broken, usually when they got caught coming in by a sidekick. Hell, my first day visiting, a black belt got his ankle broken.

And no one wore any body armor either.

I quite agree it is extremely violent, but no one is teaching your opponent to try and twist your genitalia off either

Whoop-de-damn-do. While you're doing that and leaving yourself completely open, the Muy Thai fighter is cracking your skull with his elbow. Krav Maga is no more dangerous than any other martial art and based on what I've seen of it, it's less effective than some. I suggest you actually spar a few people from other disciplines before talking your style book. I've heard similar stories from people of nearly every discipline, and the one thing they all have in common is that they have zero experience actually fighting anyone who has trained in another style.

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 1:27 PM  

You just have to stay active, if you work out 6 days a week, then you really don't really need any more recovery time than when you were younger. At least I find.

Total bullshit. If you're even able to work out that often, then you're not working out that hard. I play high-level soccer with two former internationals and another three former pros. One ex-Liverpool. When I was in my early 20s, I could play an entire 90-minute game against American college competition, then go and lift weights after the game. In my mid-40s, if I play more than 40-minutes, I can't possibly lift weights the next day. A light jog is about the most I can manage.

I'm lifting 3x per week as well as being the second-oldest guy on the team and one of the oldest in the league. So, I'm plenty active.

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 1:27 PM  

Open question for the experts here: What martial art would you suggest for a short, skinny guy who can never put on weight or build muscle mass no matter what he does? (I guess I have a very fast metabolism.) I've always wanted to learn something...

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 1:29 PM  

^ in my early thirties and working on quitting smoking too, if it matters.

Anonymous Mike M. June 07, 2014 1:30 PM  

All this being said, I strongly encourage women to study unarmed fighting (as well as armed methods). If nothing else, it's a good way to meet men.

And fun for the instructors, too.

Anonymous Mike M. June 07, 2014 1:35 PM  

Samuel Scott, the key is to figure out what's available. Quality of instruction far outweighs the relative merits of one style or another. Many of the really god schools are small clubs, not big commercial dojos. If someone wants you to sign a long-term contract, or promises a certain rank in a fixed period, look elsewhere.

Anonymous 43 year old June 07, 2014 1:37 PM  

. In my mid-40s, if I play more than 40-minutes, I can't possibly lift weights the next day.

That's pretty bad.

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 1:38 PM  

I'm in Tel Aviv, so I've got no idea off the top of my head. Sure, there's krav maga (probably good and bad), but perhaps something else would be better. Basically looking to be able to hold my own in a fight if ever need be (especially when most Israelis do military service after high school but I did not because I moved here later) -- but also want to improve my health, get active, and perhaps grow my size, if possible.

Blogger Ron June 07, 2014 1:44 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 1:54 PM  

Thanks! You have a website or something for them?

יש אתר או משהו בשבילהם?

Blogger Markku June 07, 2014 2:06 PM  

I suspect the original post's words don't actually mean an attacker, but a man standing in front of you, looking kinda rapey, but who hasn't yet committed to an actual fight.

Blogger Glen Filthie June 07, 2014 2:08 PM  

I don't like the idea of 'neutralized' rapists. Hell, in Britain they sue the women they attack and win. I would rather see them properly shot. Twice in the chest, one in the pan. Or the balls. Justice is best served right at the crime scene.

Anonymous Daniel June 07, 2014 2:13 PM  

I suspect the original post's words don't actually mean an attacker, but a man standing in front of you, looking kinda rapey, but who hasn't yet committed to an actual fight.

So...krav maga works on Scalzi. Big deal. So does twitter.

Anonymous Giraffe June 07, 2014 2:14 PM  

I suspect the original post's words don't actually mean an attacker, but a man standing in front of you, looking kinda rapey, but who hasn't yet committed to an actual fight.

I think you're on to something. This method of fighting is singularly suited to fighting John Scalzi! Imagine a woman is at a convention and he's there smiling at her. Couple shots to the jewels, one in the gut, and he'll leave her alone and get back to bragging about blog traffic, his cats, or his lawn. I'm picturing my small wife kicking the shit out of Will Wheaton.

This was never intended to be used against men.

Anonymous Daniel June 07, 2014 2:20 PM  

Maybe they should call it Krav Gamma.

I've never been crazy enough to come close to fighting anyone I didn't know, but I am acquainted with a guy who thought he had the skills to mouth off with a local mma guy. One punch, one curb and the dummy nearly died. Suffered traumatic brain damage but that's kind of like complaining when your junker gets another door ding.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother June 07, 2014 2:23 PM  

Wing Chun. Make sure you find a school that does contact, not studies it as an esoteric philosophical exercise.

I know a great school in Houston. Backyard Wing Chun.

Blogger Markku June 07, 2014 2:26 PM  

Also, I'm under the impression that proper Krav Maga (as originally envisioned) is not a full martial art, but a set of answers to the question "ok, I have the opening, what should I do now to end the fight as quickly and surely as possible?"

You still have to learn to fight to GET that opening. But when you do, Krav Maga is your bag of dirty tricks.

Anonymous Atombum June 07, 2014 2:26 PM  

My military instructors taught us that hand to hand was dangerous. "Just stand back," they said," and shoot the bastards!" It's like the bumpersticker says, 'God made men---Samuel Colt made men equal'.

Anonymous Rick Johnsmeyer June 07, 2014 2:26 PM  

Firearms can be useful with training, but many of the women who carry guns are doing so uselessly in the case of an actual assault because of basic errors.

For one - carrying in a purse. This idiocy even applies to off-duty female cops (there was a case in Detroit not long ago where an off-duty female officer had her handbag - and therefore her pistol - stolen at an ATM).

Second - hesitation and slowness in drawing. A strong and determined opponent will simply immobilize her, and the fight is over.

Of course, many assailants are mentally-ill, drugged-out, or otherwise operating at 15-20% of coordination and capacity, which is helpful.

But we have to be honest with women and admit that even if she is carrying a firearm, a knife, pepper spray, AND has a knowledge of martial arts, none of it will help if a much stronger man simply ambushes her tackle-style, hard to the pavement. The fight ends before it begins.

Anonymous GG June 07, 2014 2:29 PM  

"Which only confirms my impression that it is actually worse than useless, because it teaches women to expect to incapacitate an attacker."

What concerns me more is that bad guys will start expecting women to be able to incapacitate them. At the moment women have the element of surprise on their side. Bad guys target those they perceive as vulnerable and if they make a mistake, they're quite surprised. As our culture moves more towards a Hunger Games mentality, the expectation that women can and will fight back becomes higher and women lose the one advantage we have.

What I wish we'd teach women is to go all in or all out. Either fight with everything you've got or temporarily surrender. Women have a tendency to fight half heartedly, using as little force as possible, as if it's going to be over quickly. Like it or not, if you're smaller, you're in for a marathon or what will seem like one anyway.

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 2:29 PM  

Daniel,

Maybe they should call it Krav Gamma.

I hate to draw associations between one topic and another unrelated one. But I just had to laugh at this.

If you transliterate/translate "Gamma" in a certain way in Hebrew (גמע), you get:

Krav [downed]

Blogger rycamor June 07, 2014 2:32 PM  

43 year old June 07, 2014 1:37 PM
. In my mid-40s, if I play more than 40-minutes, I can't possibly lift weights the next day.

That's pretty bad.


Really? 40 minutes of soccer is essentially 40 minutes of wind-sprints mixed with high-intensity calisthenics.

All the serious workout advice I read--even for young men, says that 48 hours is the true healing time for the high-intensity stuff. In other words, the most intense workouts should be every other day.

How about you describe for us one of your typical workouts, including actual numbers (weights, etc...)?

Blogger pdwalker June 07, 2014 2:34 PM  

I'm also very curious to know how one puts one knee between someone else's leg using their strength against them.

Years ago, I got into a scrap with a fella a fair bit larger than I was. He couldn't catch me as I could move away before he could do anything. Two of his goons caught me when I was looking in another direction and held my arms while they called the large fella over. As soon as he saw me held, he came running at full speed across the parking lot.

As he got closer, I lifted my leg and his crotch ran straight into my foot. The connection was perfect and he dropped like a rock. He was in too much pain to even cup his balls.

It wasn't a knee shot, but I definitely used his momentum against himself.

In summary, in certain rare circumstances, it might be possible. But don't bet on it.

Blogger pdwalker June 07, 2014 2:37 PM  

So...krav maga works on Scalzi. Big deal. So does twitter.

*laugh* You guys are a hard crowd.

Blogger rycamor June 07, 2014 2:38 PM  

Here's a video of Krav Maga sparring as a sample.

I'm sorry, but what did I just witness? Looks about like a drunken brawl to me. Sure-footed, they ain't.

Anonymous Scintan June 07, 2014 2:39 PM  

What I wish we'd teach women is to go all in or all out. Either fight with everything you've got or temporarily surrender. Women have a tendency to fight half heartedly, using as little force as possible, as if it's going to be over quickly. Like it or not, if you're smaller, you're in for a marathon or what will seem like one anyway.

120 lb woman going all out against a 180 lb man = Woman getting beat to hell.

Anonymous peppermint June 07, 2014 2:46 PM  

don't forget, telling women to try to poke someone in the eye = telling women to make their attacker angry enough to kill them instead of just rape them.

Blogger Outlaw X June 07, 2014 2:49 PM  

I recommend Krav Maga. The intention of it is purely defensive. It was developed in Israel for the elderly and weak. It teaches you how to turn everyday things around you into weapons and how to use your body against attack purely for escape. It's not training for someone who want's to go into the martial arts field but instead was developed explicitly for those who are not as strong or fast as the attacker. It is good for what it is. It doesn't make you invincible it make you alert and give you courses of action to get out of a bad situation.

Blogger Res Ipsa June 07, 2014 2:56 PM  

I started back to the gym this year. I'm doing a 6 day lifting routine. Vox is right. I can't do what I did 20 or more years ago. When I try to push it that hard I end up extra sore and out of the game.

One night I was talking to a very strong and very fit man who is in his 60's. He let me in on some of his "secrets" to lifting as a old guy. Mostly it amounted to don't do as much and take more time off for recovery. I hate to admit it but he was right. I backed off the intensity and I've been having better results. I also do better when I do some cardio in the am and save the weights for the pm. If I do a full cardio and then lift my performance sucks.

Life after 40 is still life, just not as fast.

Anonymous Some Guy June 07, 2014 2:59 PM  

Well, I have to step up here and defend my martial art of choice. I've been studying Krav Maga for ~2 years now, almost ready to move on from the "beginner" level. My school is associated with Krav Maga Worldwide and is held to strict standards to maintain their standing with that organization. Our instructors come from a wide variety of martial arts backgrounds, we've got Muay Thai, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, and yes, Tae Kwan Do, among others. The holy war over which of these styles is "best" is never ending. Most of them are willing to commit to BJJ or KM being the most useful in an MMA context, but as far as street fighting goes there's no consensus. We do spar at my school (not at my level,) and the guy who usually does the best among the instructors is actually the classically-trained boxer. He has the fastest hands I've ever seen in person, and is good enough at avoiding takedowns that he usually just wears his opponents down until they start leaving too many openings for him to start landing combinations.
That being said, full contact sparring in Krav Maga is a dangerous game; with the emphasis on groin shots and other soft areas the potential for serious injury is too high to let the newbies participate. We do, however, go full power with pads and other protective gear, with specific emphasis on NEVER pulling punches. "What you do in here is what you will do on the street!" is a popular refrain. There are women in our school, but they try to encourage that you choose a partner close to your own size for drills; except when doing choke escapes and such, where they want the women being attacked by the larger guys in the class.
This is all relatively new to me, so I'm not really in a position to comment intelligently on Krav's efficacy compared to other styles, but the guys who train me and who are in that position are certainly not dismissing it out of hand.

Anonymous VD June 07, 2014 3:14 PM  

the guy who usually does the best among the instructors is actually the classically-trained boxer. He has the fastest hands I've ever seen in person, and is good enough at avoiding takedowns that he usually just wears his opponents down until they start leaving too many openings for him to start landing combinations.

Sounds very much like the way we dealt with wrestlers and judoka.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 3:16 PM  

"Open question for the experts here: What martial art would you suggest for a short, skinny guy who can never put on weight or build muscle mass no matter what he does? (I guess I have a very fast metabolism.) I've always wanted to learn something..."

Wrestling. Learn to wrestle. virtually all fights go to ground... and like everything else... wrestling is a skill. If you are comfortable on the ground your opponent is just going on instinct, even with a strength advantage you are going to be able to control him through leverage.

I remember as a kid being able to hold down kids that were much bigger than e simply because they had no idea what to do on the ground.

Anonymous GG June 07, 2014 3:25 PM  

"120 lb woman going all out against a 180 lb man = Woman getting beat to hell."

Most likely, Scintan. But when the other choice is getting beat to hell and possibly death, you don't have much to lose and everything to gain.

Blogger Unknown June 07, 2014 3:26 PM  

"I've never been crazy enough to come close to fighting anyone I didn't know, but I am acquainted with a guy who thought he had the skills to mouth off with a local mma guy. One punch, one curb and the dummy nearly died."

These are often the same guys who believe it is wrong to hit women, no matter what.

I hope the dummy pressed charges/sued him.

Blogger Unknown June 07, 2014 3:45 PM  

"I'm sure it is. So is Judo and Jujitsu. And yet, they're not even close to the effectiveness of Muy Thai when it comes to full-speed, full-contact sparring."

I'm fairly certain that the average Judoka could beat the average pure stand up fighter pretty consistently. What value do your standup skills have if you cannot prevent the other guy from tossing you on your head?

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother June 07, 2014 3:46 PM  

Nate speaks truth. If you must stay on your feet, boxing or Wing Chun is a deadly combination.

Blogger Res Ipsa June 07, 2014 3:48 PM  

RE: THE MAGIC GROIN KICK

We have two heavy bags at our gym. One is a "medium" heavy and the other is a true heavy. The bags are hung so that the bottom of the bag is pretty close to groin height..

For a demonstration have the female student kick the bottom of the bag as hard as she can with the top of her foot the same way she would if kicking a guy in the balls. The goal is to have her kick the medium bag hard enough to move it 10 or more inches upwards. The goal on the heavy bag is to move it 6 or more inches.

If she can move it the distance have her repeat the exercise as many times as she can before her strength give out and she can no longer move the bag the full distance.

If she is ever going to be able to reliably incapacitate a man with a shot to the boys, she is going to have to be able to kick hard enough to move that heavy bag, every time.

The same exercise works with knee shots.

BTW it doesn't matter if the person is male or female, if they can't hit the heavy bag hard enough to move it a discernible distance, they can't hit a person hard enough to matter much. The so called lucky shot, is just that. Skill, technique, style etc is all great but at some point you have to hit the guy hard enough to do damage. Telling women or beginning students otherwise is a crock.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 4:26 PM  

"I'm fairly certain that the average Judoka could beat the average pure stand up fighter pretty consistently. What value do your standup skills have if you cannot prevent the other guy from tossing you on your head?"

Just as we've learned the average judoka gets his head pounded in by the average wrestler... and the elite judoka... also gets smashed by the elite wrestler.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 07, 2014 4:27 PM  

Instructor certification is the big issue.

Because there is no instructor certification.

During the late 1970s and well into the 80s it was the golden age of the McDojo. When any asshat could buy a gi and a blackbelt, then set up shop. The promotion system of colored belts was pretty much whatever crossed the sensei's mind. Google hasn't solved this but it is a help.

A bigger problem is training intensity. If you can go all the way up the ranks without ever getting hurt, you are in a weak program. A particularly sad example is Grand Master Ryukerin, a man who honestly believed he had super powers .

I agree with Vox, TKD is only useful if you are fighting in a ballroom and your opponent has lost the power of mobility.

My favorite system was MCMAP.

The least useful and my God this is embarrassing to admit, Ninjutsu. Look I was sixteen. It was the 1980s. Shutup.

Anonymous roger u June 07, 2014 4:30 PM  

"Have you ever noticed that the people who fight the most don't think about it that much? They're kind of too busy doing it. What I'm saying that to these people fighting is kind of a by-product of the lifestyles they lead. More over they don't spend too much time fretting over the nuts-and-bolts issues of how to fight. They tend to rely on speed, surprise, ferocity and a clearly defined goal (to fuck their opponent up) more than technical details.

Contrast this with the fact that most of the people who are involved in these martial arts/reality based self-defense cults don't even fight."

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/uberwarriors.htm

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 4:42 PM  

"I agree with Vox, TKD is only useful if you are fighting in a ballroom and your opponent has lost the power of mobility. "

That's a bit to harsh. There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning to throw those kicks. No... TKD shouldn't be your only training... but learning the striking from TKD damned sure doesn't hurt.

Anonymous VD's trainer June 07, 2014 4:42 PM  

My god this blogger is an idiot woman hater. Suggesting a woman not try to train to be able to make some defensive effort when attacked, lest she get killed?

Holy fuck, you doorknob! What's your advice? Take the tape and then get back to work?

How have you not yet injured yourself when walking and talking? Is this really what passes for advice int the Nutjob Conservative community ? What next? Don't vaccinate your children? Pray instead of seek a doctor?

Anonymous Stryker June 07, 2014 4:44 PM  

The only useful training is the kind that lets you go all out with people bigger and/or tougher than you are. The list is relatively short. Western Boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu. Nothing toughens you up like getting hit in the face repeatedly, and you never really know how you will react unless you are really hit. All the rest is play acting.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 4:45 PM  

"But we have to be honest with women and admit that even if she is carrying a firearm, a knife, pepper spray, AND has a knowledge of martial arts, none of it will help if a much stronger man simply ambushes her tackle-style, hard to the pavement. "

This is where you are very wrong. Adrenaline is an amazing thing and chicks get it too. Again... you smash her... she hits the ground and you're on top scrambling. She jerks the punch dagger out of no where that you never dreamed she had and before you even know what is happening your guts are spilling out all over the floor.

Good plan. Try again.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 4:47 PM  

"Suggesting a woman not try to train to be able to make some defensive effort when attacked, lest she get killed?"

He didn't say not to train you blithering idiot. He said to train with a gun and a knife.

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 4:56 PM  

He didn't say not to train you blithering idiot. He said to train with a gun and a knife.

I concur. The best defense -- for a man OR a woman -- is to run away, then have a gun or knife or pepper spray or something else -- and then do hand-to-hand combat as a last resort. It's pretty much common sense.

Anonymous The CronoLink June 07, 2014 4:59 PM  

Awwww, I actually wanted to train in krav maga; it seemed like a good way of learning self-defense.

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 07, 2014 5:01 PM  

And yes, hand-to-hand training can be useful for a man or a woman. But it needs to be done in a rational context and often as a last resort. I weigh 130 lbs or so. That means that there are certain things that I, as a man, could do that will not be effective against a larger man.

I'm all for women learning self-defense. But they or I should not learn those techniques with blinders on.

Blogger sconzey June 07, 2014 5:20 PM  

@Samuel Scott: A little late to the party. I expect that the difference between those two clips is that the first is a propaganda video by the IDF. I gather the IDF use female soldiers in pretty much the same way that Tom Kratman's Legio del Cid uses them: not to sell Krav Maga to women, but to sell national service to men.

Anonymous Anonymous June 07, 2014 5:23 PM  

He didn't say not to train you blithering idiot. He said to train with a gun and a knife.

Right. The dangerous thing is that a girl will say, "Ew, guns are icky. I'll just learn to fight like Buffy, and then I'll be able to beat a rapist up just as much as I like, and I can use the exercise and the excuse to buy some new workout outfits anyway."

Blogger Hermit June 07, 2014 6:15 PM  

Krav Maga: guaranteed Mc Dojo

Anonymous Rick Johnsmeyer June 07, 2014 7:12 PM  

"Again... you smash her... she hits the ground and you're on top scrambling. "

Well, no. Her HEAD hits the ground, and there is simply no fight to be had. Women can take some measures against stronger assailants, but we have to be honest in admitting that there are limits. The numerous tales of female police officers/prison guards being disarmed and killed is a unfortunate reminder of that reality.

Blogger dc.sunsets June 07, 2014 8:08 PM  

How many of the folks casting advice here ave actually been in a life/death h2h battle where the other guy was stomped/maimed/killed?

I thought so.

What is largely being discussed is what Rory Miller calls the Monkey Dance. Allow me to laugh.

1. Strikes to the groin on a guy hopped up on adrenaline don't work. Been there, done that, probably about ruptured his testicle, it had zero effect.
2. You train full contact for a life and death fight and someone or both will be injured sooner or later. That's like saying you could train for a gunfight "full contact." The goal is inflicting damage so severe as to preclude continued function. This means breaking main bones, tearing tendons, blinding, or disrupting the nervous system via concussion or some such.

H2H is for those who simply have zero access to weapons like guns, knives, chairs, mops, toaster ovens, rocks, etc.

As for women, they simply have no idea how massive is the power differential between them and men. Otherwise, no woman would, while getting a divorce, use the courts to torment her Ex. She'd rightly be terrified that his self restraint, that tissue-thin veneer encasing his murderous adult male killer ape, might fail.

Want to read something useful? "Facing Violence" by Rory Miller.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 8:13 PM  

"'How many of the folks casting advice here ave actually been in a life/death h2h battle where the other guy was stomped/maimed/killed?"

I've been in a few of those.

Vox certainly has.

JAC has as well.

I can't speak for any of the others.

Blogger Markku June 07, 2014 8:15 PM  

How many of the folks casting advice here ave actually been in a life/death h2h battle where the other guy was stomped/maimed/killed?

Well, dh has killed at least two people that I know of. (It was the Yugoslavian conflict, hence no legal repercussions)

Blogger dc.sunsets June 07, 2014 8:16 PM  

" I weigh 130 lbs or so. That means that there are certain things that I, as a man, could do that will not be effective against a larger man."

I weigh 210, stand 6'3" and can likely still bench my weight in free weights. My odds of winning a criminal confrontation? Low.

A man who confronts you already mentally prepared to maim or kill you has an almost insurmountable advantage. Unless you are armed and see the attack forming, and have the space-time to bring your gun to bear, it doesn't matter how big you are, in my opinion and experience.

Others may disagree, but if you don't see it coming, you're going to be hard pressed to bring training to bear in full reactive mode.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother June 07, 2014 8:18 PM  

I avoided a one sided knife fight in Camp Lejeune from two Mexican dudes in 1999. That's the closest I have come to H2H. It would not have ended well for me.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 8:19 PM  

"Well, no. Her HEAD hits the ground, and there is simply no fight to be had."

except the exact same thing can happen if you screw up and YOUR head hits the ground. And again... situational awareness is the most important thing here. If some dumbass is charging you like a linebacker.. you should hear it and have a chance to react.

Watch the videos of the 25 foot rule being disproven by Instructor Zero.

Expert with a knife charges him from behind. he waits until he hears the steps and recognizes the potential threat... turns.. and moves laterally. All the attacker's momenting is heading straight ahead. he has to stop to turn. It gives all the time in the world to draw and fire.

Option two: spin to face the attacker and simple drop to your back. The attacker has to alter his angle... which is nearly impossible to do at full speed. Again... giving her time to draw and fire.

The notion that a woman can't defend herself in that situation is not only stupid... its laughable. We train women and men to deal with this exact situation. Try that shit against one of them and they will recognize it and kill you.

Blogger dc.sunsets June 07, 2014 8:21 PM  

So, of those who have been in combat, how many times were you surprised by the attack? We're you otherwise unarmed? Would you likely have been killed had you not prevailed?

That's the kind of fighting I perceive this thread is discussing. Women are extremely unlikely to succeed in such confrontations, I agree, but I think a lot of men, too, think they're more likely to prevail, unharmed, than in reality.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 8:23 PM  

"A man who confronts you already mentally prepared to maim or kill you has an almost insurmountable advantage. Unless you are armed and see the attack forming, and have the space-time to bring your gun to bear, it doesn't matter how big you are, in my opinion and experience."

You have no idea what you're talking about. First of all 90 times out 100 that man in that condition is operating on about 15 to 25% of his actual ability because of drugs or booze. Second... that man is almost always loud and obvious.

Sure... the sneaky stone cold killer can wait in ambush of anyone.

He can also just shoot you with a sniper rifle from 700 yards away.

But those aren't realistic threats for the vast majority of the population.

Blogger Markku June 07, 2014 8:24 PM  

As for me, I haven't been threatened with a knife since high school.

Blogger dc.sunsets June 07, 2014 8:25 PM  

Even someone highly trained with a gun must attempt to avoid conflicts. Self defense can still land one in jail or otherwise bring chaos to your life (Zimmerman.)

That's all I'm trying to note.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 8:25 PM  

"So, of those who have been in combat, how many times were you surprised by the attack? We're you otherwise unarmed? Would you likely have been killed had you not prevailed?"

I've been in this situation several times. I was never surprised. Every single time I saw it happening before it happened. The closest thing to a surprise were some guys that followed us out of a bar and came running up behind us yelling. Even then we had plenty of time to turn and face them. That one got real ugly.

Anonymous takin' a look. June 07, 2014 8:25 PM  

cailcorishev June 07, 2014 5:23 PM

He didn't say not to train you blithering idiot. He said to train with a gun and a knife.

Right. The dangerous thing is that a girl will say, "Ew, guns are icky. I'll just learn to fight like Buffy, and then I'll be able to beat a rapist up just as much as I like, and I can use the exercise and the excuse to buy some new workout outfits anyway."

Thread winner, (btw, you owe me a new keyboard)

Anonymous Godfrey June 07, 2014 8:27 PM  

Women, along with the elderly, should be the biggest advocates of conceal carry. It doesn't matter how big and bad you are, when someone pumps lead directly into your chest, you're done.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 8:29 PM  

"Even someone highly trained with a gun must attempt to avoid conflicts."

everyone here is in favor of avoiding conflict. This is about what happens when you can't avoid conflict.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 8:30 PM  

"It doesn't matter how big and bad you are, when someone pumps lead directly into your chest, you're done."

I wish that were true. Unfortunately it isn't. Rule Number 1: use enough gun. I have ER buddies that have seen guys come in with 25 acp rounds stuck into the hides... no big deal.

Anonymous Anonymous June 07, 2014 8:34 PM  

1. Strikes to the groin on a guy hopped up on adrenaline don't work. Been there, done that, probably about ruptured his testicle, it had zero effect.

True, that effect is overrated. I've never taken a shot to the groin in a fight, but I've caught a soccer ball there at point-blank range on a full-strength kick. Yes, the pain was incredible and I went to my knees. I may even have puked. But I had the luxury of doing all that, since I was playing a game, not under attack. Had a 120-pound woman been trying to follow up on that lucky shot without a weapon, I would have had no trouble grabbing her and pinning her to the ground until the pain receded enough to proceed.

It sucks, but it's not that incapacitating -- and that assumes she connects solidly and strongly, which is unlikely. That area, like the eyes, is pretty well protected by position and instinct.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus June 07, 2014 8:43 PM  

"I weigh 210, stand 6'3" and can likely still bench my weight in free weights. My odds of winning a criminal confrontation? Low."

well, yeah...you're only benching your body weight...that's ok, but nothing to write home about. More importantly, how are your skills? My fighting skills are fair-to-middling, I know what its like to be worked over when rolling by a guy I am literally twice as strong as. Strength is something, but not everything.

"if you don't see it coming, you're going to be hard pressed to bring training to bear in full reactive mode."

When your training has burned the movements into your spinal-muscle memory, reactive mode can be very fast indeed.

Anonymous The master June 07, 2014 8:47 PM  

"A man who confronts you already mentally prepared to maim or kill you has an almost insurmountable advantage."

It can be an advantage if you capitalize on it, catching your opponent off guard. These techniques would require a killer instinct and no hesitation.

Anonymous JACIII June 07, 2014 8:47 PM  

Carry the gun. Be conscious of it at all times but do not call attention to it. Be casually observant.
Predators can usually intuit the difference between a guy scared of them and a guy scared he will get their blood on his shoes.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 8:52 PM  

"Carry the gun. Be conscious of it at all times but do not call attention to it. Be casually observant."

Amen.

Blogger Tom Kratman June 07, 2014 9:44 PM  

Couple of observations about Krav Maga, based on it being the morning PT as a course I took at Bragg about 11 years ago.

1. It favors, but does not give, _innate_ viciousness. My partner was a West Point kid, not quite two thirds my age, stronger, faster, and more fit, in general, and I consistently beat him like I owned him. And I had a bad heart and swivel chair spread from having been a lawyer for quite a while. I think It did possibly permanent damage to the kid's ego.

2. It seemed to me to rely altogether too much on enemy cooperation.

Blogger Nate June 07, 2014 10:47 PM  

"2. It seemed to me to rely altogether too much on enemy cooperation."

Well... lots of martial arts are guilty of that.

Anonymous ENthePeasant June 07, 2014 11:02 PM  

One thing I've noticed is that KM in the IDF is pretty brutal compared to here and it's not really a woman's activity. They spar a lot and work with two and three on one all the time. Lots of blood involved. Recently had a chance to watch middle aged adults in Stockton (mostly men) going through the drills and it was pretty tame.

I also doubt that there's such a thing as a "good" Marshall art for 99.9 percent of all women. They would all do much better with a gun as even a knife would be too close. But it doesn't matter. It's more about making women feel less helpless and more likely to challenge Betas at work. I myself am no longer capable of doing enough damage against a strong attacker to even bother with H2H. But I do shoot several kinds of drills each month. Everything I do is dedicated to getting to my weapon.

Blogger jon spencer June 07, 2014 11:12 PM  

Most real fights (not assaults) between two people end up with both rolling around on the ground trying to hurt the other and succeeding. And usually the bigger one damages the smaller more than the smaller damages the larger. Real fights are painful.

Blogger Tom Kratman June 07, 2014 11:42 PM  

Nate: there's a difference, though, between one that is oriented on seizing the initiative and then exploiting that, and one that just assumes the initiative is held. KM seemed to me to be in the latter category.

Anonymous facepalm June 08, 2014 1:03 AM  

Nate talking out his ass again. I weigh 190 and one tine a 17 year old ran up and punched me in the head. I was busy trying to calm someone else. Didnt hear it and turned my head in time to take it to the face. I hit the ground with a busted nose and onlybouncing exaperience allowed me to react frominstinct and avoid head stomping. A woman would have beem fucked. Any man not used to being hitwpuld have been fucked.

Anonymous Bullet Bob June 08, 2014 1:56 AM  

I found KM to suffer from the same thing that Tom Kratman noticed as well: It has a lot of "he does this and then you do this and then he does this and then you win". Not a whole lot of answers for "but what if he does this instead", just a blind assumption that they will always do it this way.

I think KM was designed around the idea that 90 of the people out there are untrained h2h fighters, and so are typically going to respond in certain ways (haymakers that start from behind the shoulder, grabbing onto the opponent with the non dominant hand and striking with the dominant hand, etc). I imagine that if a KM user (say a fit IDF reservist) can apply their athleticism in a fight against an untrained opponent (underfed West Bank grandma), then things will go how they want to.

However against any trained opponent who uses a no bullshit fighting style, I think the KM user will go into mental lock when his eye gouge bounces off the top of the boxer's head or skids up his forearms (chin down into chest, hands protecting face) or simply isn't there in the case of the wrestler (who's going for a two leg takedown).

Flexibility is the key to any serious h2h, and I think Krav lacks that while assuming every fighter is going to be untrained and that the series of moves they teach you will be all you need.

Blogger J Van Stry June 08, 2014 2:27 AM  

I have taught kenpo, and I have engaged in sparring matches where you HIT each other (we wore gear) to teach you to not only hit your opponents, but to get used to being hit.

When teaching self defense to a woman who only wants to take a brief course, the most important thing I would tell them is to GET A WEAPON. Really, use your belt, break an antenna off a car (of course these days that probably isn't possible), but you are best served by hitting a man with something OTHER than your hands or feet (unless you've trained a lot).

The point of this being is that most assailants are looking for easy prey, not someone who will resist. And you goal is to resist and to deter them into thinking that maybe they should go after someone else, and that you should RUN AWAY the first chance you get!

I know a lot of women think they can take a man on in hand to hand combat, but the truth is otherwise. Very few women are going to beat the kind of man who preys on others in a physical confrontation. The philosophy of the school I went to was to due as much damage as quickly as possible and then to use that 'diversion' to RUN AWAY. Staying and fighting could get you injured, or worse yet, cost you your life.

Blogger Tom Kratman June 08, 2014 2:35 AM  

Personal opinion, Tae Kwan 1911 is the best martial art, though there is also something to be said for its close cousins, Ju Sig O, Glockdo, and Colt Fu.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper June 08, 2014 2:59 AM  

Krav Maga and other forms of unarmed martial arts are for when more effective armed forms such a as Ruger Waza or the other TK mentioned means are not legally permissible or possible, Heck even hand weapons are more useful most times than many martial arts.

My take with my limited experience is that still most simple stuff works well enough if you have the right mindset and are fit . Simpler is generally better though with adrenaline dump related stupidity that overcomes most fighters

Also this is my opinion and I claim no special expertise here but extensive unarmed and hand weapons training is mostly good for sport and fitness.The odds of being in a situation where that extra training in martial arts will come in handy are slight. Almost no one gets into knife duels and for most people save maybe bouncers fist fights are pretty rare. Now if the training is fun and has some practical value, go for it but odds are you'll be no better than a street fighter or some guys with actual combatives.

IME wariness is the single most useful art out there, learning to pay attention, trust your gut and avoid bad people and places is worth more than any black belt. Example, finding out as bar is a violent place, the solution is simple.Don't go there. If drinking gets you into fights, stop doing it. heck running training is probably more useful as is being able to move silently and present yourself as a hard target all of which I used to avoid troubles

Of course the others have a place, basic armed and more unarmed training and of course the gun are for the very rare occasions when that fails.

Anonymous VD June 08, 2014 4:25 AM  

How many of the folks casting advice here ave actually been in a life/death h2h battle where the other guy was stomped/maimed/killed?

I wouldn't call it life/death, but the other guy did end up with a broken nose and I was wearing his blood like a pair of women's evening gloves. That doesn't count the two episodes where I put the other guy down by bouncing his face off a wall.

Strangely, despite all my strike training, it appears that my go-to instinct is to use the nearest wall as a weapon. When someone is coming at you, it's quite effective to oblique, pivot, and then add to their momentum by grabbing a shoulder in one hand and the back of the head in the other. After that, I didn't even have the chance to throw any strikes. It wasn't a technique we'd learned, it was just an automatic response.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 08, 2014 7:20 AM  

I went to the tree line more than once but that wasn't life or death so much as order and discipline.

My life or death fights, I obviously won and that was by use M-16A2 fu. Not really one on one...except that it was.

Genuinely useful advice for a woman can be found in Gavin de Becker' The Gift of Fear.

Something men need to remember and Red Pill Men in particular. A man rarely feels in danger of his life because we aren't. For us that happens once every few weeks.

Woman are afraid for their lives...and this is the truth of it...on a daily basis.

If you have a daughter, have her read this book.

Anonymous Convicted Felon June 08, 2014 7:33 AM  

@ Nate: You'd be surprised how easy it is to catch upto someone while walking down the street at night and have them jump with fright when they realize a large man has appeared out of nowhere...most people are oblivious to their surroundings and women doubly so. You don't need to tackle her, you just need to get close enough to grab her and slam her head into the nearest wall or else on the path.
I have wrestled with women cops, fighters and soldiers. All of them suck. Haven't met a woman I could not beat senseless in under a minute. Knife, gun and mace are only good when attacker isn't expecting it.
I also hate to burst all your bubbles but knifing people doesn't make them drop dead instantly. My friend was knifed in a fight and fucked the guy up pretty good before he realized he was even bleeding. Said it felt like being punched and he reacted by beating his attacker unconscious. Had that been a woman he would have killed her. I've also seen guys handle pepper spray (cops shit themselves and the door man had to choke him out so they could cuff him).
For all you martial artists there is no perfect one because real fighting is nasty and shit happens. I've seen experienced mma fighters slip over, champion boxers miss a punch, guys who have wrists so flexible some holds don't work on them, lucky shots fell better fighters, people lose fights because they dislocate their shoulder, slip a disc etc. Best bet is not to be there, second best is to be the biggest, strongest, meanest motherfucker around.

Anonymous Laz June 08, 2014 7:54 AM  

While being choked out with a 6-cell MagLite by a guy that outweighed me by 50lbs I tried to push my thumbs through his eyes. He instantly retreated and screamed like a girl.

If you can get to the eyes it's a VERY effective move.

Blogger Tom Kratman June 08, 2014 8:30 AM  

"... battle where the other guy was stomped/maimed/killed." Used to be pretty routine for riot control training in Panama, actually. Well, not the killed part but the stomped, maimed, bayonetted, gassed to the point people stopped breathing part...yeah, pretty common.

However, lemme tell ya a story, true story as it happens, though I shall name no names.

Once upon a time in Boston, on the day of a parade - Dorchester Day, as a matter of fact, 1980 - someone's young wife (hereinafter W) came home bleeding. She wouldn't tell he ever so curious husband (hereinafter H) what had happened but he browbeat it out of her friend, whom we shall call M. It seems W had been riding her bike with M when a stranger, S, came out of the crowd assembling for the parade and grabbed her (very shapely, actually) butt. W slapped S, who struck her. So she slapped him again, so he struck her. So she slapped him again so S knocked her off her bike to the street where she skinned her knees. Hence the bleeding.

H, apprised of this, sent M downstairs to fetch her little brother, J. "J," asked H, as he loaded the integral magazine for one of his rifles, which we shall call, "Model 1917 Enfield," "would you recognize S" "Yes." "Oh, good, come with me please." They then proceeded - click - to the third floor - click - porch where - click - he said - click, as the bolt closed, "please point him out to me."

Blogger Tom Kratman June 08, 2014 8:30 AM  


Sadly or happily, depending on one's POV, S never showed his face. So H, who had but three days prior qualified for a black belt in an obscure Korean form of sword, put up Model 1917 and took his very stout practice stick out onto the street, accompanied by J, to find S and beat him to death. He did stop on the way to ask S's whereabouts of someone J identified as S's cousin. "What's the stick for?" "I'm going to kill him." This may have been both unwise and untactful but at 23, H had rarely been wise and was always deficient in tact.

At about this time, S did show. Sadly for him, he had apparently seen one too many Bruce Lee films, because he ran over the top of a car and tried a flying drop kick. H parried that with his arm, stepping out of the way (amazing, really, how well sword footwork worked), S landed on his spine on the concrete, hurting himself badly enough that he ended up in the hospital for that and other reasons. S was also rather badly stunned that his devastatingly Bruce Leeesque ploy had failed. Tsk.

At this point S's cousin (note here, S was large, much larger than H, say 6'2" to 5'10, but his cousin was a freaking monster, probably 6'8" and just friggin huge in general; much was fat but more was muscle) came onto the street and grabbed the stick. H didn't really care. He jumped on S and began beating the boy's head against the concrete, in a gallant effort at feeding the ants. Cousin, huge, pulled H off of S one handed, and punched H badly enough for a deviated septum, anyway. H fought him off - not as big, not as strong, H was better trained and unsually quick - then returned to the ant feeding program. Slam-slam-slam-slam. Seeing that a) the head wasn't busting open as intended and b) the blood which did flow wasn't quite as gratifying as he'd expected, H pulled S up, dragged him to a chain link fence, and - holding S by the hair - attempted to saw through his neck with the top of the chain link. left-right-left-right; saw, saw, saw, saw. H is jsut beginning to make real progress at getting through the skin and muscle when.cousin comes back, pulls him off, and throws another punch which I don't think connected. S slid to the conrecte, not in good shape at all. H fought off cousin some more, occassionally sparing a good kick in the gut or head or balls or kidneys to S, whenever there was a brief respite in the festivities. That may have done more damage than either the chain link or the flying drop kick or the ant feeding program, because H had immensely strong legs.

Then were the police sirens heard. Close. Hmmm, not good; H had to leave for Infantrry Officer's Basic Course at Ft Benning in the morning, and jail might interfere with that. Cousin dragged off S. H, bleeding profusely and laughing maniacally, walked home, which was close.

Jesus, was that fun.

Blogger Nate June 08, 2014 9:04 AM  

"For all you martial artists there is no perfect one because real fighting is nasty and shit happens. I've seen experienced mma fighters slip over, champion boxers miss a punch, guys who have wrists so flexible some holds don't work on them, lucky shots fell better fighters, people lose fights because they dislocate their shoulder, slip a disc etc. Best bet is not to be there, second best is to be the biggest, strongest, meanest motherfucker around."

No one has argued that shit doesn't happen. no one is arguing that anything makes anyone invinsible. Stop making binary assumptions. The world isn't binary.

Look at the assertions we were shooting down.

I never said these things make a chick invinsible. I said they are worthwhile. It is possible that a 300 pound man could manhandle her in spite of all of this? Sure is. Like I said... I know for a fact guys have been put into intensive care by the big dude they just shot six times.

it makes sense that if shooting someone 6 times doesn't always stop them then stabbing them won't always stop them either.

But you're ignoring the fact that 8 times out of 10 it WILL stop them. The vast majority of attacks and crime are low level attacks where someone is looking to grab a purse. The last thing a would be rapist wants is to have to visit a hospital because he's been stabbed or shot.

You people have a massively inflated idea of the ability of the average aggressive criminal.

Blogger Nate June 08, 2014 9:05 AM  

"Nate talking out his ass again."

So... I'm talking out my ass because you weren't paying attention and got sucker punched?

Hey dumbass... next time pay attention.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 08, 2014 9:26 AM  

@Tom Kratman

And Bateman was convinced you were a brahmin.

Blogger Dos Voltz June 08, 2014 10:30 AM  

"Learning technique is fine, but doing fake routines on unresisting opponents is worse than pointless. It takes years to become an effective fighter, so it is risible to suggest that a class or two is going to accomplish anything but instill a false sense of self-confidence in a woman."

This is very well said. The simple truth is that men are made for fighting (to repel attacks on the tribe, especially females and children) while women are built for having babies. Simple truth from the olde days.

That these two fundamental purposes of the sexes do not obtain constantly, and at all times, does not mean we should abandon the understanding.

A knowledge of simple physics (f=ma) and biology (women's bone density< men's bone density, men's muscles are bigger and muscle is more dense than fat, men are typically much faster at striking out, etc) means that a punch received from a man can be 10X-50X more forceful than a woman's.

So much of this women's self defense crap just lulls them into a sense of martial equality, which will never happen. Yes, it is good to teach females to not crumble and panic, maybe to do something like lash out with keys and fingernails, but NEVER think you will be able to overpower a man who is determined to do you harm. This is lethal folly.

A gun is a girl's best friend.

Blogger Tom Kratman June 08, 2014 10:42 AM  

Well...I had the accent, CS; Boston Latin, doncha know.

Anonymous Bullet Bob June 08, 2014 1:32 PM  

No one on here is discounting the effectiveness of a good eye gouge, but the idea that you're going to simply land one every time is fantasy at best and dangerous in the worst case. Same thing with the vaunted testicle strike - part of the male fight response is for the balls to withdraw up into the body so you're pounding the pelvic column while he's trying to crush your skull.

If anyone claimed that winning a gun fight was the matter of simply getting a head shot every time and it wasn't that hard, they'd be laughed out of any serious discussion. But for some reason the landing the touch of death and winning the fight isn't treated with the same derision.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben June 08, 2014 1:50 PM  

What would you recommend for someone to learn for basic self-defense?

Blogger Markku June 08, 2014 2:08 PM  

My first reaction to Tom's strory is, why didn't he blind both his eyes first, if the intent was to kill? I mean, should the killing eventually fail like it did, a pretty dramatic and permanent effect would still be guaranteed. Popping the eyes seems like 80% of the job done, with minimal effort. THEN you can try and see if you manage to go all the way.

Anonymous Anonymous June 08, 2014 7:00 PM  

As a serious question, has any Krav Maga "black belt" or "instructor" ever won in MMA?

I judge fighting styles basically based on how prevalent they are in victories in MMA. When MMA started, I noticed how quickly styles like karate, Savat, boxing, and sumo (yes, sumo!) fell apart and didn't advance while brazilian jiu-jitsu and wrestling were cleaning house. It seemed obvious to me then, and now, after about 20+ years of MMA, that the serious grappling training works better than striking training. The implementation of the short round structure and the frequent referee standups (largely absent in the beginning) seem designed solely to get some more strikers more wins and to liven up the sport for TV.

Of course, that doesn't make karate, boxing, et al. "bad" for self-defense. Those striking ones are merely based on rules---some honor based, some sport based, some just practical-based (i.e. given the armor people wore)---that aren't in force in MMA fights. And a great boxer still is gonna kick your ass if he catches you with a punch or two.

Krava Maga relies on "cheap shots" not allowed in MMA fights so its non-appearance in MMA may be explained by that. Still, I'm curious if it does "work" when employed full throttle, or whether it's just stunt work.

Anonymous duh June 08, 2014 7:46 PM  

Mma has rules. 99% of krav would be illegal uncer those rules

Blogger Tom Kratman June 08, 2014 7:51 PM  

It's not that easy to do, Markku. Really not.

Anonymous FrankNorman June 09, 2014 5:57 AM  

VD June 08, 2014 4:25 AM
Strangely, despite all my strike training, it appears that my go-to instinct is to use the nearest wall as a weapon. When someone is coming at you, it's quite effective to oblique, pivot, and then add to their momentum by grabbing a shoulder in one hand and the back of the head in the other. After that, I didn't even have the chance to throw any strikes. It wasn't a technique we'd learned, it was just an automatic response.


I think that shows in your debating tactics as well.

Anonymous FrankNorman June 09, 2014 6:04 AM  

VD June 08, 2014 4:25 AM
Strangely, despite all my strike training, it appears that my go-to instinct is to use the nearest wall as a weapon. When someone is coming at you, it's quite effective to oblique, pivot, and then add to their momentum by grabbing a shoulder in one hand and the back of the head in the other. After that, I didn't even have the chance to throw any strikes. It wasn't a technique we'd learned, it was just an automatic response.


I think this instinct also shows in your debating tactics.

Anonymous FrankNorman June 09, 2014 6:05 AM  

Ooops... ye olde double-post. Bad javascript! Bad!

Anonymous Stg58 Animal Mother June 09, 2014 9:15 AM  

FUBAR Nation Ben,

Boxing, wrestling or Wing Chun.

Anonymous rho June 10, 2014 2:30 AM  

Krav Maga, Taekwondo, BJJ, there is no one true way to being an unstoppable badass. To pick on one martial art, BJJ is great when you're wrestling with one guy--so what do you do when your opponent's friends whack you from behind with a wine bottle?

Martial arts, if they teach anything, teach situation awareness. Aggressive sparring helps to teach this lesson.

Anonymous Ymar Sakar June 11, 2014 1:00 AM  

Women should check out Target Focus Training for all in bets.

For running away and de-escalation, there are other instructors out there.

Rory Miller's history sounds familiar and his thinking is even more familiar. Then there's Marc MacYoung, which has a rather reverse background.

http://www.targetfocustraining.com/category/blog/

http://chirontraining.blogspot.com/

As for KMaga, I heard the founder developed it as an unarmed guerilla in Warsaw during WWII. So their primary trick was either sentry kills from behind, civilian honey trapish moves from up front, or ambushes in the dead of night. Kill one stormtrooper, you now got a gun and some ammo for the war. If you can't kill the stormtrooper, then you're dead if you can't escape. Not really suited for modern ROE, civilian or military. So lots of things in KM changed over the years and decades. Special Forces got most of the original stuff, since SF is already unconventional. Then the Army got it, and it got sort of exercise based, motivation based, spirit based, for mass consumption. Good for PT and aggression training. Then the civilians out West paid big money for it. Then the physical fitness gurus wanted to market it, and down it went. The more money something makes, the more sharks it tends to attract, like DC in the US.

So Kratman's overview of Krav Maga's initiative based offense, I concur with. If you don't have initiative when surprising a military sentry using civilian clothing or stealth killing methods, then you probably shouldn't be targeting armed Nazis to begin with. Use a real honey trap girl and get them while they are naked. How this fits in modern US civilian ROE... shrugs.

A lot of people here seem to do mostly hard or external (weijia) martial arts or H2H, meaning a focus on strength, speed, and size. The internal arts, mostly Chinese in origin, and the soft and hybrid lines tend to be more difficult to apply to distance and close in sparring.

As for attacks on the eyes, that requires a high level of intent. Most people have difficulties getting enough intent to look at the bat they are using as they slam it into a person's neck. They look away. Lack of intent. A gun only needs enough intent to aim, breath, and pull the trigger. The internal power does most of the work after that.

But in certain situations, smaller creatures can generate a higher level of intent. Some small animals, such as cats or wolverines are known to punch above their weight. If they can't outrun larger predators, they are going to make the fight a rather damaging one. From a criminals point of view, there are easier prey. If they get mad, all a woman has to do is to use her body to inflict damage on level with a bullet. Which requires a power source that isn't based on size, speed, or strength.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis June 11, 2014 1:42 PM  

Anyone have any opinion on kyokushin Karate? I did it a while back but had to stop due to medical reasons but I am looking into picking it up again. One of the draws was that every Saturday there was a kumitee, or full contact sparing, the two restrictions being that no blows to the head, though oddly enough controlled kicks to the head were allowed. Anyways, anyone have an opinion? I know Vox specifically mentioned Karate but I don't know if he there were any Kyokushin practitioners in the bunch.

Anonymous Anonymous June 12, 2014 7:43 AM  

I made sure my daughters know fencing. It's great for learning distance, timing, and accuracy. They fenced against men as well as women at full speed. One daughter was skilled enough to compete against men and rank high in those competitions. (With a small sword, they would be extremely dangerous even against a much larger opponent--which is possible as part of home defense.) Of course, full contact against other styles isn't really an option. Fencing teaches you that the #1 rule is: Don't get hit. Great for women as well as men.

People should be trained in rifle, shotgun, and handgun techniques.

Anonymous Anonymous June 13, 2014 10:28 AM  

Krav is meant to take potatoheaded conscripts from being useless in a fight to being competent enough to avoid death until their armed friends chowder the attacker. Outside of that, I don't see much use for it.

On the style debate, I think it's important to note the focus of the school. A competitive fighting sport will have a gym filled with competitive people, who will train more aggressively than hobbyists. I've personallyseen the difference in Judo gyms; I've sustained broken ribs and had my (glass)eye fly out when training with competition track Judoka, and I;ve wrecked hobby judo players more experienced than me simply because I was more aggressive (former Infantry).

This dynamic seems to be everywhere. Some people take MA training to learn how to fight, some take it because they want a semi-strenuous social group. Pick what you want.

Anyone serious about fighting should have at least one grappling and one striking style under their belt, preferably Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling or Sambo and Muay Thai or Boxing. Weapons training is also a must.

Blogger Darren June 18, 2014 11:38 AM  

I am a level 3 Krav instructor in Durham, NC. Lot of BS in many of these posts. For those wondering if Krav is effective -especially the effectiveness for women - go TRY it. Sorry for those who may have had some bad experience, but Krav is the real deal for life threatening situations. Of COURSE women AND men should have a firearm, a knife, and know how to use improvised weapons (pen, rock, chair...), as well as how to diffuse situations/run like hell. Krav is for AFTER these - or if not available. For those that think a moderately trained Krav lady cannot bite, find the eyes, groin, or throat, ...I know some ladies that would be glad to demonstrate. Check out ThisIsKravMaga.com for a video of the curriculum. Organizations I can vouch for are Krav Maga Alliance, Krav Maga Worldwide, and Fit to Fight (Ryan Hoover), but there other great ones, I'm sure.

Blogger Unknown November 10, 2014 2:01 AM  

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Blogger Unknown December 10, 2014 12:25 AM  

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