Choke Against a Wall…

Or in this case a car!
Here is the situation:  An attacker wraps his hands around your throat squeezes, and slams you up against a wall, a tree, a car, etc…  We must defend against the immediate threat, which is his hands around my throat, but we must also prevent head or spine injury from getting slammed against the wall.  This is a very common attack in crimes of passion or domestic violence situations, where the attacker is trying to use power and strength over someone.  It can happen at any time and any place, as the attacker does not need a weapon to initiate this attack.
As the attack comes on, the goal is to do a fall break against the wall to disperse the power of the slam over your body and arms, instead of it being focused on the head or spine.  Race your hands and arms to the wall and tuck your chin if possible.  Once on the wall, we have to keep a few things in mind while executing our defense.
The attacker is pouching forward and likely up, so the places that I won’t be able to move are forward into him and down.  I need to stay attached to the wall, and must modify my regular choke defense due to the lack of space.  To do this I reach my hand up as high as I can, (think 12 O’clock) and my other hand as low as I can (6 O’clock).  From there I must dip my shoulder down (with the 6 O’clock hand) and draw a u shape with it on the wall.  this allows me to stay ‘attached’ to the wall and prevents me from moving forward into the choke.  I then rotate my body and arm past my that, applying immense pressure with my entire body against the attackers wrists.
** Tip: Be sure to keep your bicep tight to your own ear on the 12 O’clock hand to ensure that you defend at the attackers wrist, which is a weak point in his attack **
After the choke is released, and you can breathe, slam your elbow as hard as you can into the attackers face, and then turn towards the attacker, set your feet in a good fighting stance preferably to the outside or ‘dead’ side of the attacker, and give counter attacks until he is no longer a threat.  From there assess the situation, and go home safe!
Ok that’s all for now, enjoy the video, be safe, and… GO DO SOME KRAV MAGA TODAY!

Your feedback on the post is welcome.

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

-AJ  @AJDraven

Knife Threat to the Throat

There are not a lot of things more dangerous than a knife attack or threat.  Knives are  unpredictable, and can be used in so many different ways that we have to be extremely careful when creating our defenses.

In this particular scenario, the attacker is threatening me with the knife against my throat.  There are only a few ways that I can move without getting cut, slashed, or stabbed.  My movement will change based on which part of my throat the knife is placed on.  In this video, we will focus on the knife to the left side of my throat.

The goal is to control the weapon while sending an effective strike to help maintain control, prevent oncoming attacks, and eventually take the weapon away.  If I rely on controlling the attackers hands without throwing a strike, I must be faster and/or stronger than my attacker, and that is not always the case.  As usual, we must prepare for the worst situation, and the only assumption that we should make is that we must strike as quickly as we can to an area that is likely to illicit a response from our attacker.

Ok that’s 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!


Carjacking Defense

The definition of Carjacking is:  A criminal taking of a motor vehicle from its driver by force, violence, or intimidation.

More often then not, the criminal is carrying a gun to carry out this violent act.  Carjackers generally rely on the element of surprise to commit their crime.  So as usual, being aware of our surroundings is key to preventing this potentially deadly attack.

Many victims of carjacking report never even seeing the attacker until after the gun is in their face or even until they are already being taken out of their vehicle.

These attacks commonly occur in big cities, at stop lights, or in parking structures or lots.

Here are a few tips to prevent a carjacking situation:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when entering and exiting your vehicle.  Notice who is around you or if you are potentially being followed.
  • Try to walk to your car with another person if possible especially at night or in an unfamiliar area.
  • Avoid parking near objects that someone can hide behind, such as dumpsters and large bushes
  • Use Valet parking if in an unfamiliar or unsafe area
  • Trust your instincts!  If an area feels unsafe, it probably is.
  • Avoid parking your vehicle in areas that aren’t well lit
  • Lock doors and drive away quickly when parked in unknown or unsafe areas.
  • Keep windows up and doors locked while driving in unknown or unsafe areas, especially if you have to make frequent stops.

If prevention isn’t possible, it is time to make a defense, or to just give up your vehicle and leave the situation safely.  If you decide to leave the car and give the attacker your keys, do not leave any passengers or children in the vehicle!  The chance of survival after being removed from the scene of the crime is significantly reduced.

In this week’s video, I discuss a carjacking attempt from the front driver side of the vehicle.  These attacks can occur from many angles, or even from inside the vehicle, but for this video we are focusing on one of the more common types of attack. The defense will changed based on the position of the attacker and the way that the gun is presented.

This situation is extremely dangerous, so please practice this technique at your local Krav Maga school.

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!

Krav Maga Stick Defense

I am a big fan of baseball, (Go Cardinals!)… However I am not a fan of someone swinging a baseball bat or a stick at my head!

In this week’s video, we discuss what it takes to defend against a stick attack coming in at a horizontal plane, similar to that of a baseball swing.  The attacker can use one or both hands on the stick, which doesn’t really change my tactics while defending.

As usual, when defending against any attack, we must analyze the inherent danger and create our defense from there.  The strength of a weapon such as a stick, bat, or blunt object is its length.  If used correctly, a stick can be incredibly powerful and even fatal if the blow is delivered effectively.  For this reason we must treat a stick attack as a potential deadly threat, and defend accordingly.

When this threat is presented, I believe you need to make a quick decision.  The choices are simple… Run away, or close the distance and strike while defending.  Staying in range of the stick, but out of range to counter attack, is potentially the biggest mistake you could make in this situation.  Remember, the stick will be moving fastest at the point furthest from the attackers arm, so getting inside that point on the stick is crucial.

When dealing with a horizontal swing, it is best to try and close the distance by building a wall and protecting yourself, and then striking as aggressively as possible.  If you can get inside the sticks long range, the weapon for the most part neutralized and the fight is on.  Now your goal is to strike as effectively as possible and then take the stick away when possible (or, as I prefer to do, counter attack until they are knock out or no longer fighting back and the stick will fall out of their hands).

Ok that’s 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!

The Rear Naked Choke

One of the most popular moves in Mixed Martial Arts is the ‘Rear Naked Choke’.  If executed properly, it can render someone unconscious in a matter of seconds.  The goal is to wrap your arms around the neck, cutting off blood circulation via the carotid artery to the brain.

This choke is known as a submission hold.  I rarely recommend using a submission hold in a street fight, and this one in particular occupies both of your hands and attaches you to the other person.  For a variety of reasons including if there happen to be multiple attackers that you have to deal with, or the attacker is bigger and stronger than you, attempting this choke hold could put you in a dangerous position.

That being said, there may be a time where you must render an attacker unconscious, and this is probably the best way to do so aside from knocking them out with a combative.  It will be much easier to get into the position necessary to complete this choke, if you have already attacked with strikes such as groin kicks, punches, and eye gouges to ‘soften’ the attacker up.

This week’s video addresses how to execute this technique properly, as well as how to defend if someone should attempt this choke on you.  Keep in mind that the best defense (as usual) is awareness and prevention of this dangerous situation.

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!

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

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.