By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

December 30, 2014, Israel

With all due modesty I believe that our style of Krav Maga is revolutionary. We have turned the table on conventional dojo philosophy.

At first it was Bunkai; the idea of applying dojo techniques to the street, finding the application of the moves in a kata or form and seeing how they might be interpreted in a street situation.

A senior Shurin Ryu Instructor who had been trained in Okinawa showed us a kata. After leaving Okinawa he trained in this kata for no less than ten years. When he returned to Okinawa he asked his sensei/instructor if a certain move was a strike or a block, the response:

Ah, my student, you are on the path to understanding.

He went back for another ten years of training with that kata.

With Krav Maga we are a little more direct. (and our students are a little less patient).

After Bunkai application came the often repeated phrase, "Your best performance on the street will not be as good as your worst performance in the dojo."

The idea was not meant to discourage students but rather to motivate them to work harder, for even if they were a 9 in the dojo they would only be an 8 or 7 or less on the street.

We have turned the tables on that.

We believe that with our training your best performance in the dojo/training hall will not be as effective as your worst performance in real life. In other words, the way we train, a real life encounter, a real surprise will trigger your training in a far more effective way than you could possible do in the training hall.

Our results have proven this many times over.

I repeat: You will do better in a real life encounter than you would in the dojo/training hall.


With many, nay, most, martial arts techniques we are really anticipating the attack. This is how we are trained, this is how we train. But most of us will deny this.

Of course we know what is coming, we are drilling knife attacks, so we know a knife attack is coming, etc.

With our IKI Krav Maga training we stress not to anticipate an attack, to allow it surprise you and to let your natural body reaction guide you to the correct response.

Of course if you are caught completely by surprise you will be unable to do anything. Thus we say Awareness, but without anticipation.

How so?

Walking through the Arab market, or anyplace else known for random attacks we are aware of the danger but yet we are not anticipating a specific attack from any specific individual. As such if, God forbid, we are attacked, our reaction will lead us to our trained response. We will not be able to "prevent" the attack, we are not likely to be able to "preempt" the attack, or anything along those lines. That is simply not realistic.

However, being that we are, 1. Trained, and 2. Very aware, our response to the surprise attack will be our trained defense.

We will flow with the attackers energy and implement the defense we have trained in.

Thus when we train I stress to "allow" the attack, because that is exactly what will happen in a real life encounter.

Recently we introduced some new defenses (I will not say new techniques because we are just applying old techniques) to the types of attacks that are taking place here in Israel.

In one such scenario the terrorist comes from behind, grabs the person by the mouth and stabs to the chest.

Our response involves flowing with the energy of the initial grab.

One of our members, from our Krav On Line Distance training program, raised a question, but ultimately saw the logic and simplicity in what we are doing. I thought this could be of benefit to others.


It presupposes that you are able to prevent the attacker from off balancing you by grabbing your face and pulling you backwards. It follows your general guidelines, yes-- Pay attention to your surroundings so at the first sign of trouble you will be ready to react. But the Hamas attack is presupposing that you are walking around mildly distracted-- as most of us are most of the time.

Look at their video--- in which the "attacker" comes up from behind the "victim", grabs his face and pulls it backward towards him. Your defense assumes that, while you may be off-balanced, you would still be able to spin around. Is that true? Even if let's say he  grabbed your hair or had his hand under your nose? And if not, what would you advise?

Moshe's reply


Sorry but you missed the point entirely. Our technique presupposes that he will off-balance you! We use our "defeat" (i.e. being caught by surprise) to our advantage and we go with the flow.

If we "see the trouble and react" our situation will in fact be much worse. In fact this technique will not work if we are trying to fight it. The entire point here is that we are off-balance, and we are not fighting back, we are going with his attack and turning the situation around.

No, it is never a full turn backwards it is always tilted one way or another, perhaps only slightly, and if he is attacking with a knife his other hand is pulling a little in the other direction. So we are not "forcing" the spin around at all, we are "allowing" it to occur naturally based on his pull, we are never resisting. (as this would only make things worse).

Please understand our defense never "assumes" anything !! ever !! the only thing we assume is that you are caught by surprise and what I consider "revolutionary" in our system is we use the surprise to our advantage rather then "presupposing" that I am able to "prevent" anything.

Our system is not only about better techniques but about an entirely different approach. We will be caught by surprise (to some extent) and our reaction to this surprise is our defense. We never train for anticipating the attack or preventing it or out muscling the attacker. 

So, no, we do not assume that while off balanced would "still be able to spin around", not at all! It is precisely the Off-balance that creates the opportunity to make this work.

Grabbing the hair or nose is even easier. We have tried all these things and even beginners can make it work, because it is all based on the flow that the attacker himself creates.

I hope this makes sense to you. If not, come and train in person.


P.S. I just watched it again, and while it appears that the victim is going straight back , he is in fact not. In the clip he is playing along to make it look good, but as you watch the continuation you see clearly that after the stabbing he is being pulled to the outside. This pull did not begin after the attack but was in motion the entire time, i.e. there is always at least a slight tilt one way or another. This is also what we discovered in numerous trials.  We feel this tilt and flow naturally with it, and this is what the technique is based upon. We use the attackers' energy to guide us to a safer zone.

There is always a slight angle.


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