Shotgun Defense

When dealing with a Long Gun threat, I must abide by similar principles to that of a hand gun or a pistol.  I follow the acronym, R.C.A.T., which we use to defend against the majority of gun threats.

  • Redirect
  • Control
  • Attack
  • Takeaway

First I must redirect the line of fire off of my body.  Once I have made this redirection, I must make sure that the line of fire is never put back on me or anyone that I am protecting.

Second I must control that line of fire, and to ensure that step one is maintained throughout my defense and I stay out of potential harm.  At any moment the gun could fire, and I never want to take the chance that I will be in front of the weapon should that happen.

Third, and often simultaneously with the ‘control’ step, I must attack as strong as I can to the most vulnerable area on the body that is available to strike.

Finally, I must safely take the weapon away while maintaining control of the line of fire.  This may mean striking until the attacker is knocked unconscious, or simply taking the weapon away at the first moment that it is available to take.  Circumstances change based on the type of weapon and the position that the threat is posed to you.

When dealing with a shotgun or long gun, it is important to make the most efficient redirection possible and then get inside the line of fire.  Once inside, I can use the gun as a blunt weapon against the attacker if I move quickly and throw an effective counter attack to gain a momentary advantage.

Remember, when defending against a ‘gun threat’, we are not necessarily racing the finger pulling the trigger, but the change of mind made by the attacker to escalate his threat into an active shooting scenario.

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

-AJ  @AJDraven – Twitter

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25th Episode!

Here is a look back on some highlights to celebrate 25 weeks in a row of Krav Maga videos.

I have had a great time making these and truly appreciate you watching each week.  Your comments and feedback are the reason that we keep making them!

Hope you enjoy these clips put together by the people at Kravmaga Worldwide.

Keep training everyone!

Ok, thats all for now, enjoy the video, be safe, and… GO DO SOME KRAV MAGA TODAY!

-AJ  @AJDraven

Your feedback on the post is welcome.

Please leave it in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook!

Hostage Situation

As we have discussed before knives or edged weapons are one of the most difficult types of weapons to defend against.  Today we are going to discuss a particularly dangerous threat, where the attacker has already grabbed you and may be trying to hold you hostage.

Here is the situation:

Someone grabs you from behind and squeezes a knife against your throat. One false move and this dangerous situation can be fatal.  Whether they are holding you hostage, or just threatening you from behind, we must be extremely careful and efficient with our movements.

In this situation, like many other threats, the attacker has not decided to slash just yet, and is holding the knife at the throat threatening the fatal attack, or waiting for the moment to kill.  This is why we call it a threat, not an attack.  However this situation can change to an attack at any split second, so when we decide to defend we must commit all the way and move as explosively as possible.

I cannot defend at the blade of course, so I must explosively ‘pluck’ at the wrists in a similar movement that I make when executing a headlock defense.  (Here is a link to the headlock defense blog/video in case you need a refresher: )

From here I must use my body as leverage to ensure that the knife cannot be put back on me, and must not allow the attacker any space so that he can pull the knife away and attack with a stab or slash from another angle (see video below for details).  It is crucial that once I get control of the wrist with both of my hands, I do not give any space for the attacker to move the knife.  I like to think of making my hands and arms like a boa constrictor, getting tighter every chance I get.

Because of the angle of this attack, and the deadly threat involved, my best counter attack is likely to rotate towards the attacker with the knife pinned to my shoulder and drive it into his body.  I only do this if I am sure that his intent is to murder me or others in the room, and if he is clearly fighting to regain control of the knife to use it against me.  I then continue into a hand/wrist control and take the weapon away.

This technique is extremely dangerous.  Please use this article and the video as a reference guide only, and practice on your own at your Krav Maga training center.  Or come practice with me!

Ok, thats all for now, enjoy the video, be safe, and… GO DO SOME KRAV MAGA TODAY!

-AJ  @AJDraven

Your feedback on the post is welcome.

Please leave it in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook!



Attacking where it hurts…

“It’s all fun and games until someone gets kicked in the balls” -me

There is no way of knowing who or when someone will attack you.  It is important that we never make any assumptions about an attacker, and if we do assume anything, it should be that we will be at a disadvantage in size, strength, and stress level.

So if the person that attacks me is stronger than me, and faster, and more coordinated, how can I possibly get out of the situation safely?  One of the answers to that question is that I need to choose smart and effective counter attacks that will likely illicit a response out of someone regardless of size or strength.  I need to make quick movements that are difficult for the eye to perceive, thus making them difficult to defend against.  Going after the eyes, throat, groin, and knees are great places to start should you need to fight your way out of a dangerous situation.

One of these attacks, is the front kick to the groin.  Sometimes referred to as ‘The Krav Maga Handshake’ (see official pic below!), we use this attack in many situations that require us to defend ourselves.  This move is effective, fast, hard to see, and it can do some seriously painful damage!


In this week’s video, we have a special guest instructor Kelly Campbell, who has been known to do some serious damage with her front kick.  In this particular scenario, someone has entered her home, and she uses the front kick as an effective weapon to do get an immediate response and then she moves in to finish the fight with other combatives.  Often, you can use this kick to buy yourself enough time to run away if that is best way to get out of the situation safely.  Every situation is different so the best plan of action is to make the strongest/fastest kick that you can and then assess your surroundings and any imminent threats and make your next decision from there.

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

-AJ @AJDraven – Twitter

KMW Lead Instructor – AJ Draven

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Back to the Basics

We must learn to stand before we can walk…

Every now and then it is good to get back to the basics, and focus on the foundation of which we build upon.  When learning how to protect yourself, that foundation is our fighting stance.

We must get into a position that affords us the best balance, strength, and flexibility.  We must be able to defend any type of attack and counter to the best of our abilities from our fighting stance.  We should be able to move fluidly and adapt quickly to whatever danger is sent our way.

In my opinion, the best fighting stance is one that feels comfortable and is easy to get into.    By simply taking a natural step forward with your non-dominant leg, you are putting your feet in a good and comfortable position.  Your weight should be balanced and it is best to go onto the balls of your feet.  This will make you more explosive when it is time to move, and help you to go in any direction necessary.  Now bring your hands up to protect your face, and tuck your chin.  (see video for demo).

I like to call this your home base.  From here you can strike, defend, gain distance, assess the area and situation, and plan your escape.  It is important to understand that anything can happen and the context of any particular situation will dictate the best course of action.  From a proper fighting stance, we are giving ourselves the best chance to get out of a dangerous situation safely.

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

-AJ @AJDraven – Twitter

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





Gun Threat to the Side

When dealing with a gun threat, we must always keep a few things in mind.  First and foremost, this is not an active shooter scenario, and the gunman is currently ‘threatening’ us as opposed to shooting at us.  The gunman likely wants something from us;  our wallet, car keys, or even to move us to another location.  Regardless of what he wants, we know that he hasn’t decided to pull the trigger to shoot us and that we have an opportunity to defend if we think that is our best option for survival.  It is important to understand that we are not necessarily racing against a pull of the trigger, but more the decision of the gunman to escalate his attack from a gun threat to that of an active shooter.  (He may decide at any second to become an active shooter so we must proceed with caution and extreme efficiency should we decide to defend against his threat.)

Second, we must take into account our own training and knowledge of the situation.  If you are new to training, and haven’t spent a lot of time dealing with weapons defenses, it may be best to comply with the attacker and give them what they want.  If the gunman is asking for an item such as your purse, wallet, keys, etc… then there is a good chance that he will just take it and leave you to go home safe.  These things can all be replaced.

However if the gunman is attempting to kidnap or assault you, it may be in your best interest to attempt a defense as the likelihood of survival in one of these situations is significantly decreased.

***This is in no way an exact science and every situation is different.  Your situational awareness and your gut instincts will help you decide if defending or complying is the better course of action.***

We also must realize that we likely have very little to zero knowledge of this attackers gun.  The weapon may be in perfect working order and it may not even be a real gun at all.  If our defense is successful and we disarm the attacker, we cannot assume that the gun will work and that we will be able to use the gun against continued attacks.  If I have knowledge of guns, I can attempt to clear the weapon and threaten my attacker to stay back as I assess the situation.  (This may or may not work, so we cannot rely on this to happen every time).  However it is more likely that we will be able to use the gun as a strong blunt object to attack with, as long as we stay out of the line of fire at all times.

This video discusses the specifics of a gun threat to the side of the body and in front of the arm.  Remember, watching a gun defense video online is a good supplement to your training but you must get some hands on experience.  Take these tools and practice them in a Krav Maga class near you, and hopefully in my class one day!

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

-AJ  @AJDraven – Twitter

Your feedback on the post is welcome.

Please leave it in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook!





Uppercut Punch!

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
– Mike Tyson

Iron Mike has said a lot of things over time, but in this case, I couldn’t agree more! If someone should ‘plan’ on attacking us, they had better be ready for the fight of their lives… and we just may send an uppercut their way!

Knowing how to punch is one of the most (if not the most) important aspects of self defense.  We instinctually use our hands for almost everything, and learning how to punch effectively can potentially save your life in even the most dangerous situations.

Today we are focusing on the uppercut punch.  This is a mid to close range combative that is meant to come from low to high, and likely up in between the targets hands.

As with all punches (and strikes in general), it is crucial to get your body working in conjunction with your hands when striking.  Using very similar mechanics to a straight punch, we want our body weight to drive forward into our attacker (assuming the attacker is in front of us of course).  The difference is that I also must drive my weight slightly up, or to the same angle that I am punching.  I must push with my feet, legs, hips, and torso.  I then drive my shoulder forward and snap my hand towards the target.  Finally recoil back to your fighting stance in a circular motion after striking through the target.  Be sure when punching to have a tight fist and use the top two bigger knuckles.  Your palm should be facing you when striking, and your wrist should be aligned properly to prevent hurting yourself.  (see video for details!)

It takes a little time and practice to get used to throwing an effective uppercut, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a very effective weapon.  I recommend wearing gloves to protect your hands and wrists until you feel comfortable with this strike.

Lastly, remember that we are not boxing here, so use the uppercut in conjunction with other weapons such as elbows, kicks, and knees if you should have to defend yourself.

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

-AJ  @AJDraven

Your feedback on the post is welcome.

Please leave it in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook!