Minimize Your Krav Technique
By Moshe Katz, Krav Maga Instructor, Israel


It says in the Talmud, "You have grabbed much, you have not grabbed anything, if you grabbed a little – you grabbed!(Tractate Sukkah, page 5B)

The meaning is clear. Do not be overly ambitious in your self-defense technique. Do not attempt more than you can reasonably pull off when you are fatigued, stressed, out-muscled and caught by surprise. Do not over-estimate your own ability in a real life situation. Be humble; if you try for too much you will end up with nothing, or in this case: hurt or dead.

OK, we just knocked off nearly 100% of all martial arts.

Yes, sad but true. ( I come from that background, see Moshe Katz story).


Allison from the United States using simple gross motor moves vs. her "attacker" Alex from South Africa. In real life this is a very dangerous situation and not a time to be trying sport style jujitsu or UFC moves.

(Tour and Train Experience, Israel, 2010)


The fact that some styles even make a passing reference to being a self-defense system, offends me. They are lying to the public, they are lying to you, perhaps they are lying to themselves.

To be a decent self defense/survival system is not easy, not at all.

Lets start with a few points

1.    Check your ego at the door. Do not think so highly of yourself, do you think that because you have a belt of some color that you are immune from the street thugs and terrorists? You are not! These guys are not your friends from the dojang, dojo or kwoon, they are worthless crap with nothing to lose. They have no respect for anyone.

2.     What you knew yesterday is not relevant. You must keep your ears and eyes open and attuned to the public. I thought I knew it all, but then I was asked by Tibor Sklut from Slovakia about the "Gypsy Attack" (never heard of it), by the guys in Joburg about "Stitching" (had no clue), by the guys from Brazil about a machete attack, (never thought of it), by Jacques in Capetown about someone sitting on you and doing this or that…. I have even been asked how to defend myself while wearing 4.5 inch heels, (honestly never tried that, or even thought about it).

Every week I learn about some new situation, and no, the answer is not in your Karate Kata, so sorry. (and yes, I too did kata's for years, and loved them).

3.    Keep everything simple, it is your only chance of survival. Forget everything you ever so in a movie. The only thing you can learn from movies is "Situations", i.e. you can see a situation, and say,…Hmm, I never thought about that, what would I do? And then please do not try doing whatever it is that Chuck Norris or Bruce Willis are doing.

4.    Test everything against many people. Test everything by using defenders of different sizes and gender. I do not care if it works for you when you stand 6 foot four and full of muscle. I do not care if it works for an IDF soldier. I want to see if it works for my 5 foot one female friend with two weeks training under her belt. Got it? And if it works for her it will also work for you. One technique for all! (Equally, Liberty, Fraternity).

5.    Try your best to be surprised, Mess with your mind.

If you train only when you are anticipating a technique - you are not training for the streets, you are only training for a sports tournament.

Back to the Talmud; If you grab a lot…you have grabbed nothing. A guy has a knife to your throat, if you can get out of this, if you can get home alive – Consider yourself the luckiest man alive today!

No!? You want to also strike him in the vitals and punish him and then do the Zohan on him and tie him up like a pretzel? Then please, live in the movies. (you are doing it anyway).

But if you have grabbed a little, small basic gross motor moves, if you have grabbed a little, modest goals – Survival – then my friend you have grabbed a lot. You have grabbed your future, your ticket for tomorrow.

Now read this again and live by these words. This is your mental training for today. You can do your 3,000 finger pushups later, now think!


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