Krav Maga Basics
Krav Maga is a martial art developed in Israel. Addressing the areas that traditional Asian martial arts were perceived as lacking, Krav Maga was designed to improve defenses against weapons when unarmed. Unlike traditional martial arts, Krav Maga doesn’t have set forms for practice, like katas, but instead aids to improve improvisation.
- Focus on key targets. When facing an opponent in Krav Maga, the emphasis is not on making the moves look pretty, or stringing together perfect sequences as if in a coordinated action film. Instead, the focus is on neutralizing a threat before the threat can hurt you. In this sense, Krav Maga teaches to attack key target areas of the body to cause the opponent as much damage or pain as possible, thus neutralizing the threat he poses.
- When attacked, immediately switch from defense to offense. An attack can always be surprising and frightening, and mentally the first instinct is to go on the defensive. In Krav Maga, the idea is to go almost instantaneously from defense right to offense and attack. This is learned through practicing varied improvised combinations of moves in sparring and practice. Always follow a defensive move with an offensive move, or two. The longer the opponent has to remain in the offensive position, the more likely he will attack again and again which increases the likelihood of getting hurt.
- Do not think that your hands and feet are your only weapons for defense or offense. Hand and foot blocks and strikes are a key element, but the entire body can be moved out of the line of danger from an oncoming attack, in conjunction with hand and foot moves to both defend, disorient, and neutralize the opponent.
- Increase visual and physical awareness of the situation and surroundings. If the attack is a true surprise, the moment an attack is blocked and you move out of the attacker’s direct line, increasing awareness will help you visually scan the environment for additional threats as well as anticipate where the next attacks will come from. This takes a lot of practice for many, however, so do not be discouraged if this is a troublesome lesson to master.