Krav Maga Follow up and Finishing Moves

January 19, 2023, Israel

Things are often not what they appear to be.  

I have recently been viewing Krav Maga videos as a means of compare and learn. I.e., what do we do differently and why, and it occurred to me: There is a lot of really poor-quality self-defense out there but yet the videos look great. Here is the angle; the initial defensive move is not very practical or effective, but no one really seems to notice or focus on that, for it is followed up by a lot "Shah shah, aya! swoosh swoosh" sounds etc while the defender is executing repeated knee kicks or punchs or elbow strikes. For the novice this looks practically god-like. With a good video production, cool sound effects, and some tough looking muscular instructor with sunglasses, you have a winning combination. 

Let us analyze this for a moment: all that really matters for now is the opening move. If you opening move is bad, the rest of your routine does not matter at all.  What I see is that a poor opening move is glazed over, glossed over, by the violent follow up and finishing moves. The overall effect is one of WOW. But to the experienced trained eye it is nothing but a show, a slight of hand trick, and a sad one. 

It reminds me of cake that looks really tasty, and indeed the frosting is tasty, but the cake itself is dry and tastes like sawdust. The dry cake is covered by suger and chocolate, but the overall effect is only good for the eyes, but not for the palate, or the stomach for that matter.

At IKI we focus on the initial defensive move, that is what we teach. The followup, the finishing moves, that will depend upon the practitioner and his/her physical makeup, personality, previous training and circumstances. The key is that if the Initial move is ineffective, nothing else matters at all. 

Often the aggressive follow up, angry face, shouts, smashing the opponent etc, impress beginners, but it should not impress veteran instructors. We should see it for what it is, a colorful icing on a really bad cake. 


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

Understand the Israeli Fighting Mentality - Israel a Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz


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