Krav Maga is a form of self-defense developed by the Israeli army and its sparring drills simulate neutralizing your enemy in the fastest way possible. A simplified version is taught to civilians rather than the more aggressive style practiced by those in law enforcement or the military. The sparring drills are done with or without protective gear and it is best to practice slowly with your partner and increase the intensity accordingly. Drills cover attacks by a club, a knife and a gun as well as grabs, punches and choke holds; you defend and attack at the same time.
To spar safely, you will need:
- A sparring partner of the same level
- Full tactical vests
- Head gear
- Groin protector
- Sparring gloves
- Plastic club or stick
- Plastic gun
- Plastic knife
- Mouth guard if preferred
- Bursting Knife Attack Your sparring partner plays the role of a committed knife attacker. He moves directly towards you in full force with an overhead knife attack. There are a number of ways to neutralize your attacker, but the quickest is to intercept the attack by side stepping while simultaneously blocking the knife arm at the wrist and hitting him in the chest at the same time with your free hand.
- Stick Defense Attackers usually grab the most accessible weapon—a stick, club or lead pipe. As your sparring partner attempts to hit you with a stick, step back, duck and go behind the elbow holding the stick. In one quick movement, grab the hair on the back of his head and push his head to the ground, your other hand holds his wrist with the stick while simultaneously kicking him either in the knee or foot. This sudden attack gives you the opportunity to grab the stick and beat him with it.
- Gun Disarming A gun can be pointed from different directions, but in close combat, practice with your sparring partner holding it into the back of your head. Raise your hands as if surrendering. With one quick movement, turn around while pushing the barrel of the gun away with your palm. Using both hands, grab his hand and point the gun away from you while dragging him clockwise to disorient him. Upon stopping, go underneath the arm holding the gun while twisting his elbow at the same time. This releases his grip on the gun and you take possession of the weapon.
- Push A normal reaction to being pushed is resistance. However, in Krav Maga, sometimes it is to your advantage to go with the flow and brace your fall, a technique taught in Krav Maga classes. Let your sparring partner push you to the ground. Once on the ground, neutralize your attacker by kicking his knee as he moves forward. Once he is screaming in pain, you can choose to either stay to finish him off or run and live to tell the tale.
- Chokes In this sparring drill, your partner chokes you from the front. In chokes, the thumbs are the weakest link. To remove the choke, raise your hands above your head for maximum momentum and using your fingers, quickly grab his thumbs, hold onto his hands, step one foot backwards and drag him towards you. Once off balanced, kick either his knee or groin while still holding unto him and then grab his head with both hands, push it downwards and jab your knee into his face.
Krav Maga has various disarming techniques covering all angles and positions. The sparring drills allows you to master every reaction to an attack until they become second nature. Every part of your body is a weapon and can be used to defend against pipes, clubs, sticks, knives and guns, and from different grabs and holds. However, at the end of the day, it is always best to avoid dangerous situations and confrontations.