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

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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!


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

How to do a Front Kick – With Video Demo!

First of all, Happy Holidays to all of my Krav Maga friends and family! I am so grateful to all of those out there who share our great self defense system and help to make this world a safer place!  Now let’s talk about the Front Kick:

Kicks are generally a longer range weapon, so you can make an effective strike with them from a relatively long distance.  One of the most useful kicks, is the ‘Front Kick to a Vertical Target’ (Our technique names are useful but aren’t very creative, see ‘Spinning tiger dragon palm budda fist’… haha).  In this kick, we are using the ball of our foot to strike aggressively at the stomach, solar plexus, or even the throat or face.  Think of this as a punch to the gut or higher of course depending on your target, and of course using your foot instead of your fist as the weapon.

My goal is to do damage to an oncoming attacker, not necessarily create distance between us. The striking surface of the ball of my foot is small, and thus it penetrates more than using my whole foot, which would likely do less damage, but would maybe stop an attacker or buy me some time before I make my next move.

If I chamber my knee up first and then fire my hips forward, I can throw a very effective kick, and then work my way in for closer range combatives, or even leave the situation if the kick did the job on its own.  Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed, because if they crunch forward, you won’t be able to fire your hips as aggressively.

Ok, that’s all for now.  Hope you enjoy the video! Happy Holidays, Be safe, and of course… Go do some Krav Maga today!

-AJ @ajdraven


Elbow Strike! Video of the Week

I consider elbows your ‘Best Friends’ in a fight.  It doesn’t matter how big or strong you are, you can use the extremely sharp bone in front of your elbow to do a ton of damage to an oncoming attacker.

Elbows are short range weapons, so you need to be in relatively close range to an attacker.  You can also use your elbows in any direction around your body, which makes them an extremely versatile combative.

Today’s video focuses on what we call Elbow #1, or forward elbow.  The key to executing this attack effectively is to use your entire body, starting with your feet, then legs, hips, and finally your shoulder.  Tuck your thumb to your chest as you rotate and drive through the target, thus ensuring a small, sharp striking surface that can easily penetrate and do maximum damage to an attacker.  Be sure to recoil and get back to a good stance so that you can assess what to do next.  And then, as always… go home safe!

Ok, hope you enjoy the video this week.  Now go do some Krav Maga today! -AJ

@AJDraven – Twitter

How to Defend a Choke : Video!

The danger is this:  An attacker wraps their hand or hands around your throat, cutting off the air supply to your body, causing you to suffocate.  This attack can of course be fatal, and must be defended against as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Chokes are very common in violent crimes of passion and cases of Domestic Violence.  The attacker does not need a weapon, just his hands to potentially kill someone.

Fortunately, we can defend against a choke without relying on our strength vs. that of the attacker, as it is important to assume an attacker will be bigger and stronger than you are.  In this video, I demonstrate a one-handed plucking defense against a choke.  The principle of the defense is that I am ‘ripping’ and the attackers thumb as quickly and explosively as possible, causing it to move away from my throat.  Simultaneously, I am striking the attacker in the face to catch him off guard and prevent oncoming attacks.  From there I continue to improve my position and throw counter attacks until the attacker is no longer a threat.

I hope you enjoy the video this week,  let me know your thoughts here, on Facebook, or Twitter.  Thanks!

AJ – @AJDraven – Twitter

The BEST way to defend a punch – VIDEO!

Ever wonder what the best way was to defend against a punch in a street fight? Well if so, this is your lucky day!

In this weeks video, we go over one of the most common attacks, the straight punch.  The goal is to get your hands up in front of your face and redirect the punch offline, instead of trying to stop or block the incoming attack.  Once the punch has been redirected, proceed to throw counter strikes until the attacker is no longer a threat.  Then go home safe!

The scenario that I teach in the video assumes a very good state of readiness, thus allowing us to throw a simultaneous counter attack to the body while the punch is coming at you.  If you are a bit later, or less ‘ready’, you may have to forgo the initial strike, and just clear the hand and punch to the face after the redirection.  As usual, the more aware that you are, the more ready you will be to defend anything that comes at you.

Ok, that’s all for now.  Enjoy the video, and of course, do some Krav Maga today!

– AJ @ajdraven

Thanksgiving and Krav Maga? VIDEO!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  In this week’s Thanksgiving themed video, I teach how to create a distraction using common objects in a fight.

If you are forced to defend yourself, it is necessary to gain any available advantage.  We must assume that the attacker will be bigger, stronger, and/or faster than us.  This means that any distraction that we can create will help us to level the playing field and to achieve our ultimate goal, which is to go home safe of course!

In this video, I demonstrate how to open up one of the most effective strikes in a street fight, the groin kick, by using a common object like a drink or a set of keys as a distraction.  Any object will work, just throw it at the attackers face in order to get him to flinch, or raise his hands, and then the groin should be wide open for a kick.

I hope you enjoy the video, let me know what you think!

Be safe, enjoy your Thanksgiving, and of course… Do some Krav Maga today!

-AJ @AJDraven

Did you seriously just try to kick me? Video…

The new video is out!  In this week’s video I discuss how to defend against someone trying to kick you.  The kick of the day is a rising kick, likely to the groin area.  The context is that I am very late.  I would much prefer to defend with my legs against a low kick like this one, but because I am so late, it is necessary to defend with my hands.  We often call this the ‘Reflexive Defense’ against a front kick, as it is based on the reflexive/instinctual movement of trying to protect your groin with your hands.

Anyway, enjoy the video, and feel free to share or comment. Thanks, and go do some Krav Maga today!