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Old July 4, 2005, 11:27 PM   #1
Full Metal Jacket
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What to expect from Krav Maga

I'm considering taking Krav Maga, Israeli hand-to-hand combat tactics. What should I expect? What are the pros/cons of it?

Thx.
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Old July 5, 2005, 01:57 AM   #2
Wozzer
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In my limited experience it all depends on the teacher. The fundamentals to hand-to-hand are similiar to shooting: Get the basics and practice practice practice. The class I took focused on practice - we'd go over a few principles for that class and then spend the rest of the time hitting and kicking over and over.
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Old July 5, 2005, 09:01 AM   #3
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Good response by Wozzer. There's nothing too fancy about it, and that's a good thing. A lot of places put a real emphasis on conditioning, since fighting is exhausting. Recently they've been working in more groundfighting (but like a lot of things, there are very good, practical elements to groundfighting, and a lot of things that should never be tried off the mat). Krav Maga is very good for hand to hand, particulalry for someone without much experience. It offers decent defenses for someone sticking a gun in your face, although most of the defenses assume someone will not try to control you with their free hand. The knife defenses are about the weakest thing I've experienced in Krav Maga.
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Old July 5, 2005, 02:28 PM   #4
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I happen to have some martial arts experience. Krav Maga (as far as I know it) is desinged for people who carry guns. It is based on a military system. That means: It helps you get your hands free and gain the tactical distance to use your gun.

What it lacks is "finishing the fight", which is not really neccessary if it does the above mentioned and you have a gun with you. I prefer the jiu-jitsu based techniques, such as ATK (Europe) or gracie jiu-jitsu etc. These systems are more comprehensive and allow you to finish the fight without a gun. I also think that Krav Maga lacks ground techniques (grappling) most non-gun-fights end on the ground.

BUT: There is no bad system. Only bad fighters. Warrior-minded fighters form every kind of school will prevail. They don't fight a specific school or style. They fight their own style which might be based on a school or style...

Just my two Euro-Cents of adivce.
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Old July 5, 2005, 03:00 PM   #5
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So even if you are unarmed, is it still useful for hand to hand combat?
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Old July 5, 2005, 03:20 PM   #6
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any training is useful. I find the jiu-jitsu-based systems to be the most useful. In other words: My advice is to go for jiu-jitsu if you can find a school around.
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Old July 5, 2005, 04:26 PM   #7
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Um, I've been doing Krav Maga for three years. It's ALL about ending the fight. Most U.S. classes are not taught with the idea of accessing a weapon after the initial confrontation (although that's something I wish they did do. That would be of particular interest to the people on this board).

That said, jiu-jitsu or Brazilian jiu-jitsu is great too. I'm not pitching Krav Maga as the "end-all" but it is something worth checking out if you want a basic, practical system that's designed to get people up to speed relatively quickly.
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Old July 5, 2005, 04:31 PM   #8
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MK11,

Are the knife/gun grabs they teach really a smart idea to use? Seems dangerous to me. Also, isn't this assuming the gunman is at point-blank range?
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Old July 6, 2005, 09:41 AM   #9
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It depends--obviously, you'd have to use your own judgement in the situation. If you think they're just after your wallet, hand it over. If you get the idea they're going to execute you anyway, anything is better than sitting there and taking it. The gun grabs are, of course, for very close. They seem very effective--you can knock the gun offline before the trigger is pulled (we've done it with replicas) and then they teach you to drive through the assailant to secure/gain control of the weapon. My complaint is that they don't really seem to address what happens if someone GRABS you with with one hand and sticks a gun in your face (or ribs or back) with the other. They also teach disarms for long guns.

The knife defenses are a little sketchier but to be fair, there aren't too many bare hand defenses against a knife taught in ANY system that you can pull off without getting filleted. I'd much rather face somebody with a gun at close range than somebody with a knife.
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Old July 6, 2005, 10:00 AM   #10
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Krav Magna was developed by the Israeli and it's taught to all their service men and women. It's not just for armed people; it's realistic combat training, that unlike a lot of watered down arts here, it isn't about getting awards or scoring points. It's about getting out alive. It's a great style but as with any great fighting system, it's only as good as the teacher.
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Old July 6, 2005, 02:33 PM   #11
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Gun, knife

if you face a gun or a knife - RUN.

Only think about pulling stunts agains knifes or guns when you are surely 100% cornered.

I agree: knives are worse at closest range.

Krav Maga is the civil version of the Israeli military combat style. I has been castrated to suit civilan legal requirements. Anyway: The israely military carries arms and the techniques tell that they were desingend to fight your way to your handgun.

E.g. if you are already close, Krav Maga teaches to free yourself to half-distance (...to get you pistol and fire....). The styles I prefer reduce the distance to zero and let it at zero until the threat is finished. I consider the half-distance dangerous since you can't control your opponent unless you are actually "on him".
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Old July 8, 2005, 07:35 PM   #12
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Sounds like you're getting pretty good advice here. It all depends on the combination of the instructors, the students, and the art itself. It varies place to place, art to art. There are boatloads of charlatans in martial arts, so keep your bullsh!t detector on at all times. It's your responsibility as an intelligent consumer to be skeptical. Smart instructors will realize that.

In my opinion, one thing you should look closely at is the social dynamic of the class as a group. Are the instructor-level people friendly and open with everyone else, or are they rigid and closed? And even with that, there is no 'right way', but there is a 'most appropriate way for you'. I strongly prefer a very open, informal communication platform in the dojo. I like seeing smiles.

As for the art itself, my major suggestion is to pay close attention to their use of position and balance, particularly that of the 'opponent'. A smart art will compromise the opponent's position/balance and capitalize on it, and make explicit mention of that fact in class. You should not have to 'fight' to win anything. Science before violence!
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Old July 9, 2005, 06:23 PM   #13
tshadow6
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krav maga

The key to martial arts is practice! there is no one perfect system, check out the local martial arts schools in your area and pick one. Look for an experienced instructor who actually teaches, not just tells stories. the best martial art is the one you practice, just like the best gun is the one you always carry.
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