Grabbing and Precision MARTIAL ARTS

March 27, 2024, Israel


Sorry for the violent disturbing image, this is a real knife, from a real knife attack in the city of Jerusalem. Please do not attempt to grab the arm of a determined attacker with a knife in his hand, please understand that life is not a movie, and you are NOT the Zohan. Many Israeli style instructors will indeed have you believe that you can grab the wrist of such an attacker and twist him or her around. (I am not trying to be gender neutral, I am suggesting that a female, a girl, a woman, might also stab you). Be careful when you chose a self-defense instructor. Leave the acting to professional actors. 

There are things I learned over the years, the hard way, the slow way. Perhaps when you learn it on your own, as they say in Hebrew, Al Gofi, on my own body, you never forget them. The lesson was do not use self-defense techniques that involve precision, do not use self-defense techniques that involve grabbing, and certainly do not use self-defense techniques that involve precisely grabbing a moving object.

There was a recent seminar, I will not mention names, my point is not to embarrass anyone but to teach. I checked out his videos although I already know the individual. I could not bear to watch it; after all these years he is still teaching the same stuff, still believing the same dogma. Reality has not dented his beliefs one iota. I see a guy grabbing an arm that his holding a knife, grabbing it in mid-air, in motion. He then twists and turns etc. and the crowd goes Wow....

I remember when I felt that way. It is like believing Santa Claus is real. It must be difficult when kids discover that Santa Claus is not only not real but has an ugly historical background. It must be difficult when a martial artist discovers that his techniques are useless, or worse! But then it appears some people never grow up. The fantasy remains. Perhaps there are adults still waiting for Santa to come down the chimney. 

The guy (master instructor) continues with grabbing a gun directly from the bad guy. Yes, a real bad guy, a street thug, a criminal, will just stand there not moving. This makes me want to shout G'valt! (Yiddish for Oy My God!) You can't be real. After all these grabbing moves, of guns and knives, he demonstrates how he expertly, turns and twists and gets the bad guy into a pretzel like Adam Sandler in the Zohan. The only difference is that Adam Sandler knows that he is an actor and a comedian, the instructor seems not to know this, yet. 

As he twists the guy into a pretzel, and the guy complies with appropriate facial expressions, the instructor is smiling, to show how easy and casual it is for him as he makes mincemeat of this bad guy.

I have also seen the classic "redirecting" knife defense, i.e. the bad guy is stabbing, and the defender adeptly intercepts at the wrist and redirects the knife attack. I trained in this, was tested on this, even used it in one of my earliest videos, but then I dropped it. Speak to any survivor of a terrorist knife attack, they will use words like "I was overwhelmed", "I froze", "the attack seemed to come out of nowhere". Expertly connecting with his wrist and redirecting him, I don't think so. 

I have seen videos of guys facing two guys with guns, and the defender grabs BOTH guns from the two attackers. Remember, the attackers have the initiative and yet they are caught so totally by surprise that the master can grab both guys, hold on to them and Zohan the bad guys. 

Only the bad guy is not a bad guy, he is a participant, a complying student. If this were real, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAPPEN. In the real world, as my dear father would say, when the Shit hits the fan, you get covered in shit. And that is what would happen here. That is why over the years I have abandoned all those techniques. All those grabbing techniques, all those precision techniques, that I spent years learning, I had to DROP!

I dropped all of it, and had to rethink everything I knew, everything I had learned and been tested on for black belt ranks. I had to be honest. Will this work for an Average person against a violent determined attacker? That is what we need to ask, that is why IKI simplifies everything. We do not memorize techniques, we understand concepts. We use only simple moves, only gross motor moves. 

Everything must be

Easy to learn

Easy to apply in a vast variety of situations, even those you never trained for

Easy to remember.

Otherwise, honestly, what are we doing here?


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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