Krav Maga Law Enforcement and Civilian
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

June 8, 2018, Israel

With most Krav Maga associations there are separate divisions, separate courses and separate certification for "Civilian Krav Maga" and Krav Maga for Law Enforcement professionals. There is also a category for "Military Krav Maga".

I have already written six blogs explaining in great and through detail the FALACY of this idea of "Military Krav Maga". I consider it nothing short of fraudulent activity. In plain English, "a fool and his money are quickly separated"

Here are those blogs for review.

Krav Maga Military Secrets Part One 

Krav Maga Military Secrets Part Two

Krav Maga Military Secrets Part Three

Krav Maga Military Secrets Part Four

Krav Maga Military Secrets Part Five

Krav Maga Military Secrets Part Six

Now let us consider Krav Maga for law enforcement professionals as compared to regular civilians. 

An argument can be made that LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) face different sorts of situations or must handle these situations differently than us ordinary professionals.

That is both true and false at the same time. 

Statistics (and personal experience of training with many LEOs) tell us that most LEOs will go through an entire career without ever drawing their weapon. Very few will ever engage in a hand to hand fight. 

However let's deal with those cases where they do need hand to hand combat, or defense vs a knife or hand gun or some improvised weapon, what do these situations have in common with those faced by the rest of us, and how are these situations different. 

One might argue that a police officer, or a bouncer/doorman at a club, may not use excessive violence to deal with the aggressive attacker. But what if your very life is in danger? What if you are really facing death?

And what if you are just a patron at the pub, and not the doorman, does this give your a license to kill? Do you have carte blanc to do as you please, or do you as well have a legal and moral obligation to only use the level of force that is necessary for this situation?

Is there a clear dividing line between what a civilian may do and what police may do? May a police officer never use more force? May a civilian never be charged with excessive force?

Where is the line drawn?

The fact is it depends. 

On what?

It depends on what we call APC - Ability, Purpose, Circumstance. It depends on your ability, your strength, your level of training. It depends on the purpose of your being there, and it depends on the circumstances. These three factors, and not whether you are LEO or not, will determine the correct response.

Some examples: 

You are a tourist, you are visiting another area and are attacked. You have A - Ability, at a low level, P - Purpose, you have no particular purpose, you are not security, you are not there to defend and protect others. C - Circumstances, you are alone. 

Thus your logical application of APC is Hit and Run, inflict minimum damage and get away.

However, if A - Ability is very high, you are a highly trained professional. and P - your Purpose is to defend all the people here in this market, theater, church or mall, and C - the circumstances are that there are many old people in wheel chairs and young children in baby carriages, and if you do not fight hard these people will die. In this case, applying the APC means that you must fight hard and continue until you have neutralized the threat.

APC determines our response, not whether we are LEO or not.

Let us look at another issue.

You are LEO, a police officer, and you are attacked on your way home from work. You are currently off-duty, but still in uniform, do you use Police Krav Maga or Civilian Krav Maga? What if you are on vacation? What if now you were called for your military reserve duty, do you respond with military Krav Maga?

As you can see the entire issue becomes rather murky and confusing.

Our body/mind must be able to respond instinctively, respond like an echo. When the attack comes our response must be immediate and instinctive. After our initial response to the attack we can decide how to continue based on APC. But when the attack happens, in that first second, we cannot deal with multiple choices. We cannot look in our computer for the correct program; Civilian, Military, Police, kung fu, jujitsu. That totally confuses our system, we will be a like a person trying to speak five languages at once and be completely incomprehensible. 

I know people that teach Krav Maga for women, for Law enforcement and even for specific professions. I teach only one Krav Maga but I teach you how to apply it to all situations based on your APC, Ability, Purpose and Circumstances. 

In Israel this idea is actualized in our daily lives. When terror attacks have taken place the first responders have never been the people in uniform, it is "civilians". But these are civilians who have some training, some military experience, perhaps some experience in security or police work. It is not their current uniform or job that determines their behavior but their APC, Ability, Purpose and Circumstances. 

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