Arm Bar!

I rarely recommend submission holds in a street fight or a self defense situation.  It is extremely dangerous to be on the ground due to our lack of mobility and any number of variables that can happen on the street.

The truth is you can have the greatest arm bar technique in the world and while you are executing it his buddy can come over and stomp on your head.  So let me say this again, if possible, stay off the ground and use strikes to get up as quickly as possible when already on the ground in a real fight.

That being said, it is still crucial to understand any type of attack so that we can become more well rounded fighters and so that we can learn what to expect in a fight.  I must understand the basics of grappling and submission holds as they may be used against me one day and I want to understand how it works in order to be able to best defend against it.

And of course, there may be a situation where this technique truly is the best counter attack that I can use, and in that case, I want to know how to do it!

In this weeks video I go over the basics of an arm bar from the guard.  You can absolutely break someones arm while doing this, so be careful in training!

If I must use an arm bar, I will then attempt to get to my feet as soon as possible, assess the situation, and leave safely.

Ok, that’s 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.

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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!

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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

Your feedback on the post is welcome.

 

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!

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.