Hands Up Baby
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

September 10, 2015, Israel

I heard a song called "Hands Up Baby", I hate it. But apparently this is what a lot of instructors base their Krav Maga on.

When I teach Krav Maga around the world and I approach the topic of handgun defense I see that students (and instructors from other styles of Krav Maga) automatically pick up their hands. Like the silly song..Hands up Baby. They seem to do this without thinking, an automatic response. There is a gun, first thing we do is pick up our hands.

But why?

Is no one but me thinking?

There are certain cases where we do take that extra step of raising our hands, however...

that is only in certain cases where we must do so in order to bring our hands to a better position. We bring our hands closer to our intended target and we improve our leverage. (i.e. our strength and ability to take the gun away, not relying upon speed or muscle but on body position and leverage).

So we have accomplished two things: We are closer to our intended target, and we have better leverage.

However in most gun defense situations this is not the case. Yet everyone else in the Krav Maga world seems to be automatically picking up their hands.

Why is this a problem?

This is a major problem, a major error that could cost you your life.

They are making two major mistakes

1. They are wasting valuable time. All this "please don't shoot me Sir" is taking up precious time. You are engaging with the enemy for too long. There is no guarantee that while you are groveling and begging he is waiting for you. Never assume he is falling for your acting routine. Criminals are not fools.

Every second counts!

Do not waste valuable time. Do not waste a step raising your hands unless there is no other option. Instructors who teach the hands up approach are putting you at a much greater risk.

2. In most cases this "hands up" approach will actually put you in a position with very poor leverage. While watching videos it may look good, it may appear as if the defender is easily taking the gun away, but remember - that is acting! Those are his students and this is a choreographed video. It is no more real than the cool antics you see on TV. Do not be fooled by a video. Life is not a movie.

At my seminars I stress not to automatically go to the hands up approach but to understand distance, timing, psychology, body position and leverage. All this is part of our approach at IKI. We are a thinking system. Not all Krav Maga is the same.

An educated person is our best student. The head is not built for headbutts, it is built for thinking.

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