Thursday, March 27, 2014

Workshop: Using and Defending Against Common Objects (May 4th)

Objects surround us in our daily lives.   Assailants can use these against us but you can also learn to use objects such as chairs, liquids(e.g. coffee), household objects such as appliances etc.., to protect yourself.

This workshop will help you understand what kind of objects have been commonly used and how to best utilize such objects for self defense and what to do if an attacker tries to use one against you.

May 4, 3:45 to 5:45pm
IKMF Toronto, 2156 Yonge St.

To register contact:

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

Stay Away: Women's Self Defense Workshop - April 12, 4 to 6:30pm

On April 12, IKMF Instructor Olivier Birot is offering an Introductory Workshop:  Stay Away - Self Defense for Women.
The workshop will help you understand how assaults occur, how to prevent, and how to defend.  All techniques are practical, easy to understand and effective.

For more information visit:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Home Invasions and Weapons of Opportunity

On February 10, 2014, two men broke into the home of an elderly Canadian couple in Mexico, murdering both of them. The invaders used objects from the victim's home- a knife and a statue.
This tragedy highlights how assaults often involve weapons of opportunity, also known as common objects.  In everyday life, in our office, on the streets, and in our homes, there are objects we can use to protect ourselves but can also be used against us.

Developing an awareness of common objects/weapons of opportunity is an essential part of a practical self defense program.  Wherever you are you should scan your surroundings for points of entry/exit, other people, and objects that you can use to protect yourself or can be used against you.

Here are some examples:
  • coffee, water, and other liquids
  • furniture such as chairs, small tables...
  • sharp objects such as knives, broken bottle, utility knives
  • appliances - blenders, kettles, pots and pans
  • canned goods, jars, plates.....
There are innumerable examples.  When you have a moment walk through your house and take an inventory.  You will be surprised at the variety of options.

Lastly, if you are taking self defense classes ask your instructor to include classes that focus on using common objects to defend as well as learning how to defend against an attacker wielding them. 

Stay safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Your Surroundings: Walls, Cars, Doors, and Other Obstacles and Opportunities

Real-life self defense situations do not occur in controlled environments such as dojos, studios or rings.  Your surroundings can hinder or help your ability to defend yourself.  Static objects like walls or parked cars, for instance, can play a significant role in how a situation unfolds.

Barriers to escape:  Having your back against a wall or trapped in a small space (elevator, bathroom) will hinder or even prevent your ability to escape.

Limiting Space/Mobility: Imagine defending yourself in an elevator?  There is no way to avoid physical contact with an attacker.  Kicks are a limited option in favour of medium and close range strikes.  Grappling is very likely.  It will get ugly.

Concealing Assailants:  Walking around the corner of a building and being confronted by an aggressor, someone lurking behind a vehicle in a parking lot...  Physical obstacles offer hiding spots for assailants.

Site of Impact: If you are standing against a wall and someone punches you there are at least two points of impact. The first punch and your head hitting the wall.  Be aware of your proximity to such objects.

Separating From Your Assailant: I know at least one person who ran and used a car as a barrier between her and the aggressor.  The time she bought, and her yells, attract the attention of local residents who came to her aid. 

Knowing your surroundings must include a sense of any physical boundaries that can hinder or help your ability to defend yourself.  If possible train in various settings and explore what opportunities and obstacles each one offers. 

Be safe, 

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong /