What You’re Missing in Fight Class

To say that attendance for Fight Class has waned is an understatement. For the past few classes, without a quorum to fight, those with the dedication to stay have chosen the training topics. Last week we did defenses against knife slashes. This past Wednesday, we were training stick defenses when the often-asked question inevitably arose

Sword Defense

Stick defenses on the dead side are incredibly versatile. Against a two-handed freakin’ laser sword? Check.

Shelby: But what if it’s a sword?
Susanna: I have a sword in my trunk.
Patrick: LET’S DO IT.
Brendan: [paraphrasing] You guys are nuts.

At least for the summer, or so long as attendance is so sparse (but still enough to support even having a class [nudge nudge]), “Fight Class” will be an open format hour where we’ll focus on technical training of… whatever you want. If that happens to be fighting, great. If not, that’s OK too. Because we will most likely be sparring or working with weapons, the class will still be open to Krav Maga Advanced students only.

Fight Class was added to the schedule because so many students were asking for it. This is kinda the last-ditch effort to keep it alive…


South Philly “Stick Defense”

I doubt this guy has trained in Krav Maga, but this video is nonetheless a perfect, real-world example of how an instinctive reaction is turned into an effective defense.

I’ve cued it right to the action for you @ 1:00. There is some salty language shouted back and forth, so use your judgment before viewing at full volume…


Krav Maga Advanced Student Appreciation Seminar: 04.12.14

A FREE Advanced Student Appreciation Seminar will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 1-3pm. The seminar will cover techniques from the Krav Maga Black Belt Curriculum, specifically stick vs. stick, stick vs. knife, and knife vs. knife.

  • This seminar is open to Krav Maga Advanced students only.
  • It is highly recommended, but not required, to have hockey gloves for this seminar. (Yes, hockey gloves.) You can purchase these at a sporting goods store or online at Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc. You can still participate without hockey gloves, but you will not get the most from training.

The sign-up window is closed.


Krav Maga Scenarios 04.05.14

This week’s scenario will be…

A Lunatic Swinging a Baseball Bat

Saturday, 4/5, 8:30AM

Post requests for future scenarios to the comments below!


Photo credit: dunechaser, on Flickr



Stick Defense with Krav Maga Worldwide® Lead Instructor A.J. Draven


Krav Maga Scenarios 12.14.13

174: Cat taming
This week’s scenario will be the last in our chair series…

Using a Chair as a Shield or Weapon

Saturday, 12/14, 8:30AM

Post requests for future scenarios to the comments below!


Photo credit: practicalowl, on Flickr



Machete Defense?!

The usual question came up the other night at the end of a stick defense class: What if the object is not blunt? What if it’s a machete?!

My very brief thoughts:

  • RUN!
  • Grab anything you can to use as a shield and/or weapon.
  • If you have to make a defense, it is most likely going to be a “stick” defense rather than a knife defense due to the size of the weapon and the hacking nature of the attack, which more closely resembles how a blunt object is typically used. When making the redirecting defense against an overhead or angled swing, we ideally make first contact with the wrist and avoid the weapon altogether. When making the blocking defense against a horizontal swing, we ideally burst in past the weapon and slam into the attacker’s arm. The key adverb here being “ideally.” Our stick defenses are designed to “work” (i.e. avoid fatal injury but not necessarily serious injury) even if we’re very late in our defense. Not so much with a machete, though. And, of course, I would not recommend using a stick disarm against a blade!
  • For me, my ideal defense (if I were able to kindly request of my assailant) would be Knife Defense Against Backhand Slash: dodge a forehand slash and pounce in on the dead side before it comes back. You know, if I could choreograph it.
  • We’re talking about a miscreant with a machete here, not a master swordsman. If you run afoul of these dudes, I cannot help you.
  • Did I mention RUN?!

Colin sent this video. It is NOT Krav Maga, and I don’t agree with everything in it, but there are some interesting and useful points.


Krav Maga Scenarios 04.13.13

This week’s scenario will be…
'And let's not forget my personal favorite: two minutes for high sticking.'

Defenses Against Blunt Object Swings

Saturday, 4/13, 8:30AM

Post requests for future scenarios to the comments below!




Back from Phase C with New Ways to Torture TEACH You

Patrick at Phase C

My Phasemates and me with our Day 6-7 instructor David Bluestein

I completed Phase C (Level 3 instructor training) last week at the Krav Maga Worldwide National Training Center in West LA. I was privileged to train with incredible people and absorbed so much, as you must in seven full days of total immersion! I learned many new things and many new ways of doing old things. I think we did more weapons training than anything else, which was an unexpected treat. I’m excited to share with everyone—right after I take a little time to organize my notes, decompress, and heal some dings and dents!

Big thanks to my most excellent Phasemates. If you ever find yourself in their parts of the world, be sure to check out their schools:

Also a big thank-you to our instructors Kelly Campbell, AJ Draven, and David Bluestein. With such a small, talented group [and me ;)] to work with, the best of the best practically gave us a week-long private lesson. They genuinely wanted to help us improve in all aspects as Krav Maga instructors, and I undoubtedly feel stronger in my technical and teaching skills. And despite the lingering soreness, I’m honored to have been their demo dummy for the week!

Thanks certainly need also go to all those at the Academy who helped me train, especially Brian, Marc, and—of course—Danelle, who had to deal with spinning back kicks and my obsessing over programming for months on end! Only 282 days until Expert Series I!


Stick Fighting Week Recap

Stick Fighting. Get it?

I hope everyone enjoyed the exposure to a different style of fighting this week. Even though this was a sip from the fire hose, I hope you were able to learn some things, big and small. Here are some takeaways:

  1. Exploring new things
    Krav Maga is, for most of us, our primary training modality. While I believe it is unique and effective in its comprehensive design and in applying one solution to many scenarios, there exist many more scenarios than we can possibly train for in the universe of fighting. And then there’s the Law of the Instrument. Gaining skills and perspective from outside the system can serve to strengthen your knowledge of and aptitude for Krav Maga. Often times, seeing something new can make the light go on and make sense of something you previously struggled with. Check out this post for more on the subject.
  2. There’s more to swinging a stick than just… swinging it.
    1. As “The One with the Stick”
      Figure 8, rompida, banda y banda, abaniko… We took a brief look at a lot of different ways to move a stick through space. Think of using the stick as both a blunt object and an edged weapon and you begin to see many more possibilities than just bashing with it like a caveman.
    2. As the Defender
      Someone can whip a stick around in many more ways than just vertically and horizontally! While our Krav Maga stick defenses cover many possibilities, they don’t cover all possibilities. I believe you always have a fighting chance, but your best defense against a trained stick fighter might just be a good pair of running shoes!
  3. Cutting Angles
    In Modern Arnis, virtually nothing happens straight on. Almost every attack and defense must be made on either the live side or the dead side of the opponent. This angular nature and the footwork involved translate very well to our style of fighting in Krav Maga. Try it!
  4. Ranges
    In Krav Maga we often talk about the distance continuum and using the correct combative for the range available. In our three classes this week we covered the three ranges of Filipino stick fighting:
    1. Largo mano: Your opponent’s stick cannot reach your head, but your stick can reach his hand.
      What we did: Defanging the Snake.
    2. Medio mano: You are within range of the opponent’s stick. The “check hand” is added to defenses.
      What we did: Block, Check, and Counter; stick disarms.
    3. Corto mano: Close range; puño / trapping range. All the fun locks and throws.
      What we did: Fun locks and throws!
  5. Use of Force.
    This stuff is undeniably fun to train, but the practicality of engaging in a stick fight is somewhat scant. As a teenager practicing these techniques, I obviously fantasized about recreating scenes from The Perfect Weapon. Let me now be the killjoy, though: You’d better have just cause for striking someone—period, but let alone with an object—and you’d better be able to articulate it to the authorities in the aftermath. Read the use of force post.

Thanks again to all those who attended the classes this week. I love teaching, and I especially love seeing people excited about learning new skills. I can’t remember the last time we packed so many onto the training floor!