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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Effective Self Defense – The Direct Approach


Practical self-defense must employ techniques that are adaptable, efficient and based on natural reactions and movements.

One aspect of efficiency involves economy of motion – taking the direct approach.

Consider a straight punch aimed at your face.  The fist is coming in a straight line and probably fast!  If you don’t deflect this strike you are in trouble. 

There are teachings that involve elaborate movements where the defenders arm crosses under the incoming punch then circles back to deflect or even grab the hand. 

Does this techniques look good?  Yes.  Does it generate a lot of power? Yes.  Does it work?  Not likely, unless the attacker is compliant – e.g. a student who has been trained to strike in an unrealistic manner – elbows cocked back, no recoil. 

To succeed you must take the direct approach.  The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Your closest hand must travel in a straight line to the attacker’s wrist area.

Try this exercise. Have someone (you trust) try to touch the top of your head – with open hand – from all directions while you try to prevent her from doing so.  Gradually, and in a safe manner, she moves her faster.  Try elaborate motions (think wax on/wax off) then try the direct approach.

Which one works?   One results in a shinier car and a trip to the dentist, the other affords a better chance at preventing the strike from landing.  Which one do you prefer?

Me too. Take the direct approach.  



Stay Safe,


Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor and Owner
International Krav Maga Federation(IKMF), Toronto
416-657-1028

Ikmftoronto.com