Why is Firearms Training Essential for Krav Maga Practitioners?

Why is Firearms Training Essential for Krav Maga Practitioners?

When it comes to real world self-defense techniques and tactics, knowledge is power. If you understand the nature of the threat you’re facing you can formulate a practical defense — whether that’s compliance, fleeing or attacking. People who know little to nothing about firearms are at a severe disadvantage. If they’re assaulted by someone with a gun, they may well be too frightened or too ignorant to react properly.

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The Different "Accents" of Fighting

The Different "Accents" of Fighting

Over the past decade of teaching Krav Maga I have taught thousands of students, young, old, fit, out of shape, police, military, and civilian. Unfortunately, my most frustrating students have always been the ones coming with previous martial arts experience. This is not because of their inability to learn techniques, but their almost complete inability to change the way they move.  The reason stems from the little differences that are apparent between different fighting systems or martial arts - one system may call it a good technique and the other a bad habit. I call it having a martial arts “accent.” Much like when learning a new language after the age of 12 and most likely having an accent in the new language you learn.

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Darkness - a form of tactical concealment

Darkness - a form of tactical concealment

During my service in the IDF my unit operated almost exclusively in complete darkness. Operating under the concealment of darkness gave us a huge tactical advantage, not only for the ability to surprise the enemy but also to ability to be concealed. Except in Security Ops, we seldomly used white lights.  When in use we still had to understand the importance of staying concealed whenever possible. As a civilian, I adapted these tactics for the defensive shooting and self-defense world, since night vision and thermal optics are no longer readily available to me.

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Close Proximity Shooting, using your hands first or reaching for your gun?

Close Proximity Shooting, using your hands first or reaching for your gun?

Instagram seems to be filled with a lot of tactical ninjas featuring high speed close proximity shooting.  I have partaken as well as it’s a lot of fun after all!  The videos show people engaging threats with a pistol from the hip, with little to no distance, and in most cases with one or two strike beforehand.  But do these ninjas and the people watching understand the context, the reality of the situation, or the biomechanics of it? Should the hands be used first or can the gun be drawn in time?  

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The Biomechanics of the Combat Stance

The Biomechanics of the Combat Stance

The term “combat” to me, has always been something that is related to all forms of combat, armed and unarmed. It followed me through my years of training in Krav Maga and my service in the IDF. I noticed over the years that each form of combat had its stance, and a lot of the time that stance was similar between the different forms. As an instructor of both armed and unarmed combat, I have always tried to streamline the learning process for my students. As a result, I have consolidated the different stances into one “combat stance.”

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Fighting in Confined Spaces

Fighting in Confined Spaces

As Murphy's law implies, you will never be in an ideal environment when in a physical altercation on the street. There will not be gloves, wraps, a gi, a cushioned mat, and a referee. More than likely that environment will be confined, like a pub, nightclub, or in or around a vehicle. Hence, you will need to adapt your hand-to-hand techniques to those confined spaces. A person needs to know which hand strikes, leg strikes, and how to use the environment to your advantage, in these situations.

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Daily thoughts: the lazy EDC community / Gear based solutions

Daily thoughts: the lazy EDC community / Gear based solutions

I am constantly seeing this phenomena with the EDC (every day carry) community. They will buy every accessory possible for their firearm but will not spend any money on training. It is as if their firearm will magically shoot better with a new trigger and sights. This is similar to buying workout videos to get in shape but never actually working out. Learn to use your firearm as is and then spend your money on items that will give you a slight tactical edge.  

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The combat mindset known as the “switch"

The combat mindset known as the “switch"

As a former IDF commando and later a Krav Maga instructor, I found that many soldiers and Krav students lacked what is known as the switch. The Switch is a type of conditioning where a person is both mentally and physically ready to completely take out an opponent.  Lacking this conditioning I’ve seen soldiers hide or hesitate in combat situations and students hampered in the more advanced training exercises.

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The Self-Defense Training Disconnect

The Self-Defense Training Disconnect

During my service in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), the majority of my training was conducted at night and in simulated terrain with a great amount of stress and uncertainty. Why does the IDF train this way? Because these are the realities of modern warfare. When I transitioned to civilian life I started to notice a great disconnect in the civilian training community. Training was almost always during the day in a cushioned gym environment that was made to be comfortable and predictable.

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