While at the Krav Maga Worldwide National Training Center for Expert Series I, I picked up from licensing instructor Matt Romond a helpful way to visualize the kinetic chain of defensive and offensive Krav Maga techniques. Matt presented us with a simple mnemonic, but I’ll do my best to complicate it as a math analogy with ancillary nerdery…
With Krav Maga techniques, like solving a polynomial expression, the order in which the parts are assembled will have an effect on the result. The terms of our equation are
FEET. The order of those three components will depend on the technique, but we can generalize into two categories: Offense (strikes) and Defense (self-defense techniques).
Example: Straight Punch from a fighting stance.
Feet: All combatives must come from a strong connection to the ground. A good straight punch begins with a drive of the rear foot into the ground, and that drive continues through the entirety of the punch until it begins its recoil.
Body: The drive that begins in the rear foot travels up the legs, and the hip and shoulder on the same side of the punching hand rotate forward.
Hands: The rotation of the torso fires the hand. The shoulder and elbow extend, and the fist is clenched and rotated as it approaches the target.
Example: 360° Defense vs. a big, sloppy punch. As distance and/or preparedness increase, the bigger the motion of the defense can be.
Hands: If the attacker is very close to you or you are caught very unaware, you may only have time to make a hand/arm defense (90° bend at the elbow, fingers extended, blade of the forearm out), and the punch will be blocked very close to its target (i.e. your face). This action is more of a flinch than a proper defense.
Body: If the attacker is a little further away or the punch is more telegraphed, you may have time to make the hand defense, extend and lock out your shoulder, and lean into the defense to get your weight behind it.
Feet: If the attacker must cover distance to punch you or the punch is very telegraphed, you may have time to form the hand defense, extend and lock out the shoulder, and then burst forward to close the distance and “attack the attack” (block the punch) at the earliest possible point in its trajectory.
See also: “Krav Maga: Techniques vs. Concepts”
Here’s a summary:
The Five Stages of Violent Crime
- Intent – A person is mentally prepared to commit a violent crime.
- Interview – The criminal decides if the target is safe to attack.
- Positioning – The criminal puts himself in a place where he can successfully attack you.
- Attack – The criminal commits to using force or the threat of force.
- Reaction – How the criminal feels about what he has done, i.e., how the criminal might further escalate the attack if his initial goals (e.g. robbery, empowerment) are or are not met.
A related concept:
The AOI Triangle
- Ability – Does the person have the ability to attack you?
- Opportunity – Does this person have the opportunity to attack you?
- Intent – Is he in a mental place where using violence to get what he wants makes sense to him?
“The fastest way to figure out if you are in potential danger is to look for these three elements.”
Also read the counter to the Five Stages, the Pyramid of Personal Safety.
Marc and Dianna MacYoung seem much more rooted in reality than most every other self-proclaimed expert on violence. They are not alarmist reactionaries intent on making you feel like everyone in the world has the potential to rob and murder you. What I really like in particular about their writing is that any discussion of self-defense always returns to use of force considerations and the legal and psychological repercussions of resorting to violence.
Groin strikes are a bit of a running gag about Krav Maga. It may seem we have a fixation, and, admittedly, there are few things funnier than seeing someone biffed in the crotch.
Juvenile giggling aside, there’s a reason why groin strikes are barred from combat sports: they’re fight enders. Even with protection, a strike to the groin can completely incapacitate the strongest of fighters. Doubt it? Seen this?
Click here for cringe inducement »