What Is Urban Krav Maga?
Krav Maga is Hebrew for “contact combat”, or “close-quarter combat"; simply put, urban krav maga is a martial arts system designed to teach average individuals the art of self-defense in urban areas. With the alarming rate of street crimes in today’s society around the globe, there is a growing interest in learning how to defend against would-be attackers. The objective of urban krav maga is to outfit each student with the physical and mental ability to defend themselves against the ten most common street attacks.
The exact origin of urban krav maga is disputed. What is known is that in 1978, Imi Lichtenfeld opened the Federation for Krav Maga and Self Defense, the first school specifically for teaching the art of Krav Maga. He further developed Krav Maga by instructing Israeli citizens. Before this, in 1975, Dennis Hanover, a South African immigrant, interjected ju jitsu and kyokushinkai karate to the growing Israeli military martial arts movement. Then, in 1981, Darren Levine completed a Krav Maga course in Israel, and upon returning to America, started the Krav Maga Association of America (KMAA) in California.
The basic techniques and theories of Krav Maga are: neutralize your potential attackers immediately, transform yourself from a defensive position to an attack position rapidly, employ any available objects during your resistance and attack, do not get hurt, and be attentive to your surroundings at all times. Some of the attack defenses that are taught in Krav Maga include gun attacks, knife attacks, bottle attacks, and fist and kick attacks. Krav Maga encourages you to use any weapon or object available to you when dangerous situations arise and you find yourself under threat of attack.
An example of the hand defense techniques is the punch defense in which an attacker is attempting to throw a punch. Krav Maga teaches you to step in towards the attacker’s shoulders with your arms bent upwards, tight against your face and neck area, placing yourself in a position of attack. Another hand defense example is the double-handed grab defense in which an attacker is attempting to grab the front of your shirt with two hands, perhaps to head-butt. Krav Maga teaches you to tuck your chin into your chest–to protect your nose, grab the attacker by the back of his head with one hand and punch at the attacker’s nose, while twisting him to the ground.
Front Knife Defense
The front knife defense is a method by which you handle a knife attack from the front. Krav Maga teaches that as the attacker holds the knife up against your frontal body, you should raise your hands and act terrified–you probably will be, so it won’t be much of an act, and engage the attacker in conversation (“Take it easy”…”I don’t want any trouble”, etc.) Your acting and conversation is meant to throw the attacker off-guard. Do not look into the attacker’s eyes, as this might provoke her; instead, look towards her chest. Then, in one motion, suddenly ease your head/neck away from the knife; grab the attacker’s wrist – the one with the knife in it, while leaning your elbow into her chest, bending the attacker’s arm as if to break it. Use your chest for added pressure against her arm. With your other hand, grab the hand with the knife in it and apply pressure to the fingers to cause the attacker to release the knife. Finally, step back from the attacker.