8 Principles of Krav Maga

Krav Maga is a tactical, combative, self-defense system that combines boxing, judo, jujitsu, and aikido. In recent years, other martial arts systems have been incorporated into Krav Maga such as Muay Thai, Wing Chun, and Filipino Kali.

Here are the 8 fundamental principles that make up Krav Maga:

Neutralize the threat – The primary goal in Krav Maga is to neutralize your threat as fast as you possibly can. This overarching goal extends to all other principles of Krav Maga. Since your objective is to control and incapacitate your attacker as fast as you can, pretty much anything goes in Krav Maga. You can’t worry about rules, strict disciplines, and basic martial arts etiquette when you life is at stake. You do whatever you must to survive the attack.

Keep it simple – There are no structural katas or strict, repetitive patterns in Krav Maga. Just strikes, holds, and blocks. Krav Maga was developed so that it could be put to quickly with as little effort as possible.

Simultaneous defense and attack – Many martial arts systems treat defensive and offensive movements as separate and discrete actions. For example, you first block (defensive), and then you strike (offensive) when you find an opening. The disadvantage of this tactic is that it’s reactive and you typically end up in a cycle of never ending defensive movements. In Krav Maga, the fighter looks to combine an offensive movement with every defensive movement. You disrupt the attack and simultaneously counterattack. For example, if an attacker goes for your throat, you would deflect his attack while simultaneously counterattacking his eyes, groin, or throat. The goal of Krav Maga is to neutralize your attacker as quickly as possible.

Continuous motion – Another principle of Krav Maga that is closely related to simultaneous defense and attack is retzev, the Hebrew word for “continuous motion.” In Krav Maga, retzev is a seamless explosion of violence, in which the goal is to neutralize your attacker with a continuous series of aggressive defensive and offensive movements.  As your attacker reacts to your counterattacks, you’ll respond with more diverse strikes until the attacker is no longer a threat. Retzev requires the combatant to work from his instinct and not rely on a pre-set routine. A well-trained practitioner of Krav Maga will know how to react to any type of threat without hesitation.

Use of weapons of opportunity – You can easily incorporate firearms and knives into any Krav Maga system. Besides these traditional weapons, Krav Maga also teaches practitioners to improvise and use any object at their disposal as a weapon. Keys, pens, belts, and chairs can (and should) all be incorporated into Krav Maga techniques in order to neutralize your opponent as quickly as possible.

Weapon defense – Besides teaching students how to use weapons, Krav Maga also shows how to defend yourself from an attacker with a weapon such as a firearm or knife.

Focus on vulnerable soft tissue and pressure points – Krav Maga also focuses on striking vulnerable soft tissue and pressure points throughout the body of an attacker. Many counterattacks involve eye gouging, groin attacks, and strikes to the throat. Some criticize Krav Maga for this, arguing that it’s not manly to punch a guy in the nuts. However, the goal of Krav Maga is to neutralize a dangerous attacker as quickly as possible. In these scenarios a strike to the groin can sometimes be the best option to neutralize an attack. When you’re violently attacked in the street, the person attacking you will not follow any rules or code of chivalry, he wants to hurt, maim, or possibly kill you in any way possible. Therefore, in Krav Maga you must not worry about fighting etiquette or whatever is considered “manly” when your very life could be at stake.

Subduing techniques – In addition to striking attacks, Krav Maga also incorporates subduing techniques in order to de-escalate a violent confrontation. Joint locks and various grabs are used to exert control over your attacker and put you in a position to end the threat.

krav maga ft lauderdale free classes