Kidnapping attempts in Los Angeles and How to Defend

This week there have been some attempts at kidnapping women in the Santa Monica area, right near the Krav Maga Worldwide Headquarters in Los Angeles.  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but I think it is important to address this issue as anyone can attempt this attack at any time and they do not need a weapon to do so.

The attackers used the ‘Bear Hug’ technique from behind, where they wrap their arms around an unsuspecting person and attempt to lift them or pull them away.  While the initial attack of arms around the body isn’t necessarily life threatening, if you are removed from a location or kidnapped, the chances of survival are significantly reduced.

If you’re aware of an attacker attempting to come up to you, be assertive, run, and call for help.  Being aware of your surroundings is paramount to being safe and you can prevent many attacks before they happen.  It is a good idea to walk in a group of people if possible, and try to stay away from unsafe areas after dark.

Sometimes the attack may happen regardless of your awareness, and once an attacker gets in close and prevents you from leaving the situation, it is time to defend.  When grabbed in a bear hug type attack, it is important to remember these two words: ‘Base and Space’.  Your goal is to get a good strong base with your feet, making yourself heavy with your knees bent and ready to attack.  If possible, try to keep as much space as possible between the hips of your attacker and yor own, as they won’t be able to control you as well without their hips in the right place.

From here on it’s all about the counter attacks; Striking to vulnerable areas on the body, with your elbows, stomps, and hands.  Once you get the attacker to loosen up, turn around and keep attacking until they are no longer a threat.
See the video for details!

Ok, that’s all for now.  Enjoy the video, be safe… and GO DO SOME KRAV MAGA TODAY!

Your feedback on the blog post is welcome.
Please leave it in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook!

-Aj @ajdraven

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Krav Maga Knife Defense

There is not a lot more dangerous than a knife attack.  It is the most unpredictable weapon that we must deal with, and unfortunately, the most easily accessible.  Anyone can own and carry an edged weapon.  They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes; and they can be concealed so well that you may not even know that an attacker is carrying one.

There have been many occasions when a victim didn’t even realize that they were being stabbed, instead thinking that they were being punched only to realize later that they were bleeding, cut, or even fatally wounded.

The knife attack can come from any number of angles, which makes it even more dangerous.  The majority of the time, the knife attacker will be attempting multiple stabs, not just the initial strike.

For all of these reasons and more, it is crucial to understand what is in my opinion the most important Krav Maga principle while defending against a knife attack.  That principle is making a defense along with a simultaneous counter attack.

In this video, we are working on defending a downward angle or ‘Ice Pick’ stab.  The attacker is already very close to me and is coming at me with a stab, so I am forced to use my hands to defend (with a greater distance between us, I may use other tactics).  In this scenario, I am using what we call one of our 360 defenses, where I form a right angle with my arm, maintaining a bend at my elbow and attacking the attack aiming my wrist to the wrist of the attackers.  By maintaining this angle with my arm, I am stopping the attack away from my body, and not allowing the knife to slide and strike me elsewhere.

To prevent additional stabs and to attempt to get control of the knife, I am punching the attacker in the face as hard as I can at the exact moment that I am defending the stab.  My goal is to illicit a response from the attacker, whether that means that I knock him out, or simply get him to flinch for a brief second, I can use this to gain control and eventually take the weapon away.

There is nothing easy about this defense, and it takes time and a lot of practice to master.  Even then, it is possible that the defense may not work perfectly.  We must be prepared to disengage if the punch wasn’t effective or if we a not able to get good control immediately.

In this extremely dangerous situation, I believe that a well timed and placed punch, can and will save your life.

Ok, that’s all for now. Enjoy the video, be safe… and GO DO SOME KRAV MAGA TODAY!

-AJ @ajdraven

Your feedback on the blog post is welcome.
Please leave it in the comments.

Anderson Silva broke his leg, and I teach you how!

Whether you watched UFC 168 or not, you most likely heard the rumblings about the nasty leg break of the former UFC champion, Anderson Silva. Not for the feint of heart to watch, Chris Weidman defended a low round kick from Silva, which snapped the Brazilian legend’s leg at the shin. Hopefully Silva can comeback to the octagon to fight again, but it will take a miraculous recovery.

The defense that Weidman used is quite simple, sometimes called a shin check against a low round kick. In this week’s video, I go over the technique needed to make an effective defense against an attacker attempting to kick you in this way. Our goal is not necessarily to break his shin in half, but hopefully we can defend the kick cleanly, counter attack if necessary, and go on our way safely.

A low round kick is generally aimed at the thigh, or worse, the outside or inside of the knee. My goal when defending is to protect my knee from moving in a direction that it is not built to go. This is why step number one in this defense is to line up my knee and and toe perpendicular to the angle of the kick. I then lift my leg and use the large/strong part of my upper shin, against the kickers instep or lower shin. I must recoil quickly to make my defense as sharp as possible and of course get my foot back to the ground.

From here I can counter attack immediately to prevent additional attacks. I recommend using shin guards while practicing this defense, as it can be painful especially if you are not used to the impact in this sensitive area. The more that you practice, the less it will hurt and after a while you should be able to use your shin to make an effective defense without any padding.

Ok, thats all for for now. Enjoy the video, Be safe, and GO DO SOME KRAV MAGA TODAY!!

-AJ @ajdraven

 

How to Fight Against Multiple Attackers – …As you wish

One of my favorite films of all time is The Princess Bride (hence the ‘as you wish title!’). There is a scene where Fezzik, played by Andre the Giant, is fighting the Man in Black.

The scene goes like this:

Fezzik: Well, I haven’t fought just one person for so long … [struggling] … I’ve been specializing in groups – fighting gangs for local charities, that kind of thing.

The Man in Black: Why should that make such a … difference?

Fezzik: You see, you use different moves when you’re fighting half a dozen people, than when you only have to worry about one.

— Remember Fezzik? Here is a picture!

fezzik

Anyway, contrary to Fezzik’s issues with fighting only one man, the average person will likely have more trouble with multiple people. In this week’s video, I talk about the tactic of ‘Stacking’ an opponent to get into a better position when dealing with more than one person.

The goal is to get out from in between multiple attackers. It is very difficult to defend yourself when attackers can come at you from different angles, especially with your back turned. By using the stacking method, you can turn one attacker during the fight, so that your back is not exposed. The technique involves pivoting your feet and controlling the attackers neck and head.

Remember, stacking takes some strength and good control, so it is much easier to perform after the attacker has been ‘softened up’ by some combatives like a groin strike or a punch to the face.

Ok, that’s all for this week. Enjoy the Video, be safe… And GO DO SOME KRAV MAGA TODAY!

-AJ @ajdraven on Twitter

Hammerfist to the Side

Happy New Year! 2014 is alive and kicking… So lets keep it going with one of my favorite Krav Maga techniques, Hammerfist to the Side.

Hammerfists are great attacks as they are generally easy to perform, safe, and versatile.  We can throw a hammerfist in pretty much any direction that we can move our arms.  Probably the most common use for this attack, is the hammerfist to the side.

When an attacker comes at you from the side, it is a good idea to turn and face him, so that you can get into a good stance and put your self in the best possible position to defend if necessary.  The hammerfist will serve as good protection for you as you turn in to face an attacker by covering your face with your arm and elbow, especially if you tuck your chin.

When attacking, be sure to push with your opposite foot and drive through the target with your legs, hips, and then upper body.  Snap and extend your arm just before you connect with the target.  This will be a very strong combative if you perform it correctly. (Be sure that your partner is holding the pad correctly to ensure safety while training).

Ok, that’s all for now, enjoy the video, and of course… Go do some KRAV MAGA today!!

-AJ @ajdraven