Basics, Basics, Basics

I am often mentioning in my beginner classes that what we are learning is the base, essentially a movement template that will be applied to all the positions of the self defense techniques covered in later classes.

This movement template (foot work, fighting position, ground position and movement…etc)  is of paramount importance for good understanding of Krav Maga. Thus, allowing smooth and easy learning of more advanced techniques; knife ,stick, chokes defenses, etc.


According to the Wingate Institute (Israel’s national sports institute of which I am certified under), perfecting a single technique (i.e punch, kick, etc) takes at least 3,000 repetitions. In a single one hour class it is impossible to get to that amount. However, the movement template mentioned above is used constantly in every class whether it is the fighting stance or standing up from the ground. (my students know that using their hands to stand up will result in sit ups!) Therefore, the magic 3,000 can essentially be achieved within one to three months of training.

Complex techniques, involving several movements (reflexive self defense, chokes, knife attack, stick defense) however, do not have the same amount of time for repetition!

So what does this mean for our training? 

When student’s do have that movement down and are in a class that is covering a complex technique (combining a defense, counter attack, and neutralization), they will have a hard time focusing on the defense at hand as they will be learning on the go more than one movement.  How many times did we say it takes to perfect a movement? 3,000 repetitions!  In a span of a one hour class, maybe 100 quality repetitions of a defense will turn into 25 because the student cannot focus on the actual defense.

Example: 360 Defense and counter attack: what are the pre-requisite movements?

  1. Straight punch or palm strike
  2. Fighting stance
  3. Foot-work

All of which are Practitioner Level One techniques in Gabi Noah International Krav Maga. The 360 Defense technique mentioned above is a level 3 technique. Essentially, the student needs to know these 3 techniques on a functional level in order to be able to focus on a proper 360 defense in class. As well as gain those 100-300 repetitions just performing a proper defense.

Some instructors or students may ask; how do you prevent classes from being boring or repetitive? 

Very simple, off course being a good instructor is the most important, but it is all about creativity; Making different challenging drills, adding a lot of tactics, and most importantly a well written lesson plan .

It is also very important to note that knowing when to shift gears to self defense is critical. Students will get a taste of more complex techniques but will not be overloaded when on occasion (every 3 or 4 lessons) an inside defense or choke defense is introduced, as they will be able to see the application of the movement base they have been working on.

I am providing the breakdown for International Krav Maga’s curriculum for students to see how our classes touch multiple levels while focusing on our base.

*Note that in every level each technique is practiced from every relevant position.

Practitioner Level 1 – 5

  1. All Hand strikes, fighting stances, movement and fall breaks
  2. All leg strikes, rolls in all directions, and fight tactics.
  3. All Hand Strike defenses
  4. All Leg strike Defenses
  5. All shirt and hair grab defenses

Graduate Level 1 -5

  1. Choke and Headlock defenses
  2. Bear hug defenses
  3. Knife threat and attack Defenses
  4. Stick attack and threat defenses as well as basic stick fighting technique
  5. Pistol Threat disarms, basic pistol shooting skills

Expert Level 1 – 5

  1. Military Krav Maga
  2. Police Krav Maga
  3. Security Krav Maga
  4. VIP Protection
  5. Fighting in different setting – Plane, car, bus..etc

Time to train!