Krav Maga for Self-Defense — The Basics

Krav Maga is a hand-to-hand, reality-based combat system. It is gaining popularity as a non-competitive self-defense training system.

The practice involves a mix of jiu-jitsu, boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, plus various survival, grappling, and fighting techniques.

There are no rituals involved: The practice is built around instinctive moves and simple principles. Given that, Krav Maga can be taught at a level appropriate for all ages and for both males and females.

The goal of Krav Maga self-defense techniques is survival. This means students are encouraged to use only the force needed to survive. In other words, harming the attacker is not the primary concern.


Various types of strikes are the foundation of Krav Maga. Different kicks and punches are used to strike sensitive body parts of the attacker. This includes the groin, stomach, and eyes. Besides using the feet, palms, and heels of the hands to deliver punches, students also learn to deliver elbow strikes.

Besides learning to deliver strikes, students also learn to defend themselves from similar blows. In order to hone skills, scenarios are practiced in group settings.

Chokes and More

Krav Maga for Self-Defense

Can you defend yourself if you’re attacked?

Krav Maga teaches students how to defend against such common attacks as chokes, headlocks, and bear hugs. These attacks are practiced from various angles and positions. For instance, a choke can come from behind or from the front and the victim may be pulled or pushed while being choked. In some cases, a bear hug may include lifting the victim off the ground.

Krav Maga teaches students how to respond to numerous versions of the attacks in an aggressive manner. Plus, the student is taught that the initial defense is appropriately followed up with a counterattack.


Krav Maga for Self-Defense gun

Guns add to the dangers of an attack.

Defending against gun and knife attacks is also a part of the training covered in Krav Maga. Hostage scenarios are covered as well as self-defense techniques related to gun situations that require redirection of a weapon, taking control of the weapon, or attacking and taking control of the weapon.

Scenarios involving knives can be anything from a knife to the throat to a knife in the distance. Therefore, a number of methods of defense are practiced.


Krav Maga techniques are practiced in what are often called ‘training drills.’ Obviously, the drills are designed to depict realistic encounters, but another thing that makes them unique is the fact that the drills are often conducted repeatedly. One line of thought is that if the defender is able to react appropriately when feeling tired, stressed, or feeling out of sorts, he/she is very likely to do the same or similar actions in a real attack.

When learning Krav Maga, students are reminded of the importance of keeping the body in motion and the ‘how and why’ related to deflecting blows from attackers. Like other methods of self-defense Krav Maga has some valuable benefits that are sometimes overlooked.

Besides physical preparedness, students are also taught to be aware of the significance of their surroundings. Plus, they learn to be more mentally and emotionally prepared to identify and even avoid attacks before they occur. That can be an advantage for anyone.

If you have experience with Krav Maga. please share your story in the comments section below.

Debbie Allen is a freelance writer who writes about everything from how to choose the ideal roofing contractors [] to how to save money on dental insurance.

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