January 19, 2018, New York, USA
It is very easy to be impressed. And it is very easy to be fooled. Most people believe tons of stuff simply because they were told it is so. But what if you challenge the facts? How many "trees that stood a thousand years suddenly will fall"?
There are many martial arts techniques that we accept as truth, even in the Krav Maga Gospel; Knee kicks will always work, snap kick to the groin and eye gouges.
Well, you know if a guy stands there in his military fatigues, talks tough with a cool accent then it must be true. If every photo you ever saw shows a certain Krav Maga technique, then it must be true. If the alleged "founder" is photographed doing this very move, then of course it is true.
Unless it is not.
I challenge and question many of these "Go to moves", i.e., the moves the instructors consider holy and untouchable. The knee kick for example: in most situations your hands are in a much better position to strike a rapid surprise blow to the opponent's face. If you examine this both scientifically and empirically you will see that what I am saying makes sense.
The knee takes longer to lift off the ground, the hand is already right there on the correct trajectory. The knee faces more potential "roadblocks" and opportunities for failure. The knee has to go from down to up. And the knee must hit a rather specific spot. None of these shortcomings apply to the hand.
The knee kick certainly has its place, my point here is that unlike the stock photos that you see', it is not a guaranteed fight finisher. The advertisements will fool you.
The same is true of the eye gouge; yes, it is seen as the great equalizer as we have all seen the Krav Maga stock photos of attractive women digging their nail polished thumbs into the eyes of a male bad guy wincing in pain. But think about it; basically it is a precision move. I will not even go into the fact that most people will recoil, in a moment of truth, from sticking their fingers into someones' eye socket. What I am saying is that while it has its place it is not a Krav Maga Go To Move.
We have tested this many times, it is one of those moves where "if the opportunity presents itself" great, it can work well for the right person. But that opportunity will not always present itself and you may not be the right person for this move. As such it fails the IKI test.
Bruce Lee in his day, and the Gracie family from Brazil more recently, challenged and questioned many martial arts "facts". The results were devastating. "Trees that stood a thousand years suddenly shall fall" (Robert Zimmerman).
Grand-masters fell like trees before an ax. The humble took note and began to modify their way of training, this led to the new sport of MMA; Mixed Martial Arts. The less humble came up with excuses.
I trained with some great submission wrestlers, and they taught us some wonderful moves that I was always excited to pass on to my students (Pre IKI). But they explained to me that most of these moves will only be used rarely, when the right opportunity presents itself. 10% of the moves will be used 90% of the time, if not more. The vast majority of the moves will only present themselves rarely, but when they do it is really cool to have the perfect solution.
All this was borne out in the early UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championships. Many styles failed miserably as their trademark "Go To" techniques were not usable. Against an aggressive opponent from a different style the opportunity simply did not present itself. The "game plan" failed and Grand Masters were easily defeated. A technique is great until it is tested.
Back to the famous Krav Maga eye gouge, think about it, you need to strike a very specific and small target. You need a stationary person, you need the correct angle. There will be times when this situation presents itself, if you are being held and grabbed in a specific way, but this is not a Go To technique. In addition we have found that most targets/victims in this case will instinctively move their heads just enough to make this impossible, or their eyes will naturally close. The eye is protected by some bones, cleverly places their by our creator to act as a natural defense.
We have other Go To moves that we consider far more effective and far easier to use and implement.
Remember our motto:
Easy to learn
Easy to apply
Easy to remember.
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