Friday, November 10, 2017

Surviving Assaults on the Ground: General Tips

       Many assaults end up on the ground.  You can fall, trips or slip.   An assailant might hit you, pushes or pulls you to the ground. Being on the ground is very dangerous. Here are some general tips for surviving assaults on the ground.

Avoid the ground (if possible). This is not easy as many assaults go to the ground.  Training needs to include prevention techniques such as sprawling.

Protect Your Vulnerable Parts. Chin into the chest, head off the ground, arms protecting head and ribs and legs between you and the attacker.

Keep Limbs Close. Don't give someone an opportunity to grab your limbs and put you in a lock or expose your vulnerable parts. When striking makes sure you recoil as fast as possible.

Fight Dirty, Look for vulnerable targets. Bite, pinch, gouge, scream, scratch.... whatever it takes to protect yourself. There are no rules, only your survival. 

Keep Legs Between You and the Attacker:  Having your strongest muscles between you and the attacker give you the best chance of defending yourself.  If the attacker gets around your legs, he has easier access to vulnerable areas such as your head, ribs etc...

Get Up!  Easier said than done ut being on the ground leaves you more vulnerable to concealed weapons, secondary attackers, the primary attacker and the ground itself!

Training must also include "troubleshooting", meaning exploring unexpected incomes.  We cannot forget that attackers will adapt of might have some training in wrestling, jujitsu or other excellent systems.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Explore the Unexpected: Krav Maga Training and asking "What if?.."

Many of the most welcome questions from Krav Maga students begin with "What if..?"

What if they don't let go of my wrist?
What if I am sitting down instead of standing?
What if I am in a small space and can't escape right away?
What if there are two of them?

These questions show that students recognize that self-defense situations are dynamic, and to a large extent, unpredictable. After all, there can be so many variables at play.  
  • where the assault take place (elevator, parking lot, private vs public space)
  • When you perceive the danger (avoid, escape, fight)
  • How the assailant attacks and perhaps adapt to your Defense/counterattack

This list could go on and on because there are so many possibilities to mention!

The IKMF curriculum offer an excellent foundation that covers many of the assaults people encounter.   As we outlined in another blog, it is only the tip of the iceberg as there are so many variations of attacks and so many potential situations.  

With this in mind, we encourage students to work on the fundamentals, refine the curriculum techniques on the curriculum and to ask "What if?"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Understanding "Timeline": An Introduction

An oft repeated term we use in Krav Maga is "Timeline."  In most cases, timeline refers to the distance of the assailant.  This distance has an integral role in how we defend ourselves.  There is a significant difference, for example, in how we respond to someone 10 meters away running toward us waving his fist or a weapon(run!), compared to someone within arm's length throwing a punch to your face.

Of course, there are other factors besides distance.  Do you have an escape route? When did you perceive the danger? Are you alone or do you have to protect someone such as family members?
Here is a general introduction to  Timeline and Distance

Very Long Distance: This varies but an example would be more than 4 meters or you see someone running at you half a block away.   If there are escape routes and you are mobile, "hightail it outta there" (that means run)!

Long: Kicking Distance - when you can reach them with your legs but not your hands.  If they are approaching with aggression and you see it, why wait until they get close enough to punch, grab, slash, stab etc....?  Effective preemptive kicks can maintain distance and hurt or even disable an attacker.  This is usually a "preemptive strike" where you are striking first to protect yourself.

Medium: The assailant is within arm's length so he can grab, punch, stab.... You will likely have to perform a preemptive strike(e.g. punch) or a hand or leg defense of some variety (block, deflect, slide).   In the picture below, Avi Moyal is defending a knife attack by blocking and punching at the same time.  The attacker is too close to kick and too far to effectively use a short-range striking tool such as an elbow strike.  

Avi Moyal blocks and punches at medium range.  

Short Distance: the assailant is very close, often grabbing, holding, choking...  Kicks and punches are rarely effective this close so it is time to elbow, knee, head butt, pinch or bite!  Below, a woman is using an elbow strike against an attacker at very close range.

Elbow strike against rear bear hug.

Self-defense training must emphasize timeline as assaults, and our perception of assaults are not predictable.  Prepare for as many possibilities as you can imagine.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Workshop:Surviving Knife Assaults (Expert 4 Jean Paul Jauffret) - Friday, Sept 22rd, 6-9pm

Knife assaults are especially dangerous as they can be fatal and are very difficult to defend. Moreover, knives (and other sharp objects) are readily available.

On Friday, September 22nd, IKMF Expert 4, Jean Paul Jauffret, is offering a workshop, Surviving Knife Assaults.
Jean-Paul Jauffret

: 3hrs . During the first 30-40 minutes, Jean Paul will talk about real life assaults to give participants a better understanding of how knife assaults actually occur.  The remaining time is devoted to "hands-on" training.

Jean Paul explain a knife defense to workshop participants

Who Can Participate?
 Adults 18 and up.  Beginners welcome!  No experience necessary.
Location: IKMF Toronto.  2156 Yonge St. Lower Level.
When: Friday, September 22nd, 6 to 9pm
What to Bring: Indoor running shoes, workout clothes, water.
Price: 60
How to Register:  Contact Christopher Gagne (IKMF Toronto), at

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Your First Krav Maga Class: What to Expect, What to Bring

It is natural to be a little nervous(and excited) before your first Krav Maga class as it can be with other first experiences(e.g. I was nervous before my first hot yoga class).  Here are some things to expect, know, and bring.

Students are Friendly. We are fortunate to attract students who are very welcoming and friendly. 

What to Wear? Please bring workout clothes (t-shirt, long shorts or pants), indoor running shoes, and water. Men should bring groin protection (just in case).  

Class Format: The format of our classes is consistent. Here is an overview of a typical class.

Fitness: Some people have expressed concerns about their fitness and being able to keep up. Here are some tips.

Beginners:  Beginners are very welcome in all of our classes.  We have beginners joining every week.  Go at your own pace.  Classes are interactive so questions are welcome and encouraged.  For a blog about Krav Maga and beginners visit:

The Bigger Picture: People often ask about the bigger picture, what will I learn? Here is an overview of what you can expect to learn in 3, 6, and 12 months.  

The first class is free.

 To arrange, contact Christopher Gagne at