Armed Unarmed Defense
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

July 29, 2017, Durban South Africa

There are styles of self defense, even some Krav Maga schools, that create an artificial barrier between armed and unarmed attacks and defense. At IKI we do not do that. 

Allow me to explain. 

Most/all styles begin with a conclusion. I.e. this is going to be a defense for a knife attack, this is going to be a defense for an armed attack. But the reality of the street is you have no freaking clue. None at all unless the person brandishes the weapon and announces, "I have a knife!"

So instead of beginning with this idea of - I am going to defend against a knife we must really say I am going to defend against...I do not know what. When the guy lifts his arm and swings you do not know what is in it. Most people do not know that have been stabbed or even shot until they begin to feel woozy or when they arrive at the hospital. It is not so obvious. It all happens in a flash. So to create a category of Armed or UnArmed defense is to create an illusion that you can separate between the two. You cannot. You must not.

There are indeed cases where a person pulls out a knife and wants to intimidate you but there are at least as many cases when the attack just happens without any warning. I think the classic "I am going to cut you" is mostly a movie scene created for dynamic effect. Most attackers do not announce their intent. Certainly from the countless real cases I have seen on surveillance cameras this is the case: the attack is sudden and comes out of nowhere. The element of surprise is key.

With IKI, as I have done here in Durban, we do not separate the categories; I begin with a defense against a punch and then I show how the same defense works against a knife. Then I take a very small knife and stab; I ask the participants - what was that?

They do not know, the knife was too small, the attack was too sudden. The point is you cannot have a separate category for armed attacks and unarmed attacks. Bruce Lee pointed out a similar concepts when he said one style focuses on punching, another on kicking, another on grabs and throws, and yet another on ground fighting but this is a great mistake as the reality of a fight is that it may include many of these elements. We must be able to deal with all of them in the same context, we must be able to deal with them in one flow. 

IKI is a total system, a Holistic system. We deal with reality. 


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