Sleight of Hand Krav Maga

May 31, 2023, Israel


These students are doing the gun disarm correctly. IKI Krav Maga, the perfect system for imperfect people.

I recently saw a video of a gun defense technique performed by a Krav Maga instructor from another system. It actually was slightly different from what most styles perform. It seemed to me to be perhaps an adaptation of the Classic Krav Maga gun defense to the head, one which we at IKI do not use and do not advocate.

What he did, when facing a gun to the head, was move his hands very fast. One hand grabbed the gun while the other pushed away the gunman's second hand. It was sort of like a Pull-Push motion, pulling the gun away while pushing the supporting hand away. Not a bad concept. Of course, in the video it was a great success. After he took the gun away, he shouts, in a deep and manly voice, get on the ground, get ON the ground, as the now defeated assailant complies meekly. Very macho performance.

Nice show, but to me it is precisely that, just a show. I know the instructor is sincere and he actually believes this technique will work under real life stress. I do not share this point of view. I find this technique not only highly risky but that the skills that are required to make it work take too long to acquire. 

Our philosophy at IKI is that every technique must be.

Easy to learn.

Easy to apply in a diverse number of situations.

Easy to remember. 

This does not fit that. 

In addition, we believe that we must never rely on these following three unreliable "friends."




This technique indeed fails in every category as I shall explain. 

When I see such techniques performed, the term that comes to my mind is "Sleight of hand". Sleight of hand is what is used by magicians, performers. A well-trained master magician indeed can woo his audiences and make them practically believe that indeed, magic does exist. Of course, we know it is a show, but it is so amazing because it appears real. The others who use this art of Sleight of hand are professional pick-pocketers, thieves. But let us look first at official definitions of this term. 

Sleight of hand refers to manual dexterity when used by performing artists in different art forms to entertain or manipulate.

Sleight of hand (also known as prestidigitation or legerdemain (listen)) refers to fine motor skills when used by performing artists in different art forms to entertain or manipulate.

Sleight means skill, especially with one’s hands (dexterity).

It can also mean trickery or cunning, or a specific trick or scheme.

The word sleight, meaning "the use of dexterity or cunning, especially so as to deceive", comes from the Old Norse.

Therefore, yes, such videos are impressive, and the vast majority of viewers will be impressed. That is the goal of the video, to attract more clients, to bring in more students. and in my opinion, it is act of manipulation. The nonprofessional non practitioner, the average person, cannot tell that this is just a show, a sleight of hand performance. 

Let us analyze, just a little, what is wrong with this technique. For one point, the defender never gets' out of the line of fire. Of course, if you are that fast and totally confident that the technique will work, why bother? Next, he grabs the gun, this is an act of precision, difficult under such stressful conditions. He pulls the gun towards him; this is an act of strength. We push the gun up and away, against the natural force of the attacker. In the technique I am critiquing the defender is fighting force with force. He also is kicking the groin. This means he is dividing his attention, half down below, half up high. He is multi tasking, this can be dangerous.

He is kicking the groin, this causes the body to turn backwards, but the motion of grabbing the gun requires just the opposite motion. These ideas are better demonstrated in person but here I am just touching upon some of the more obvious flaws in these "classic" technqiues. 

Even if this were to work, the skill and strength required to master and execute such a technique, are not the common domain. Remember our motto: Easy to learn, Easy to apply, easy to remember. Do not rely upon the three unreliable friends: Strength, Speed and Precision. In a moment of truth, under extreme tension these are unlikely to work. 

IKI, the perfect system for imperfect people, such as you and I. Leave the rest to the actors and magicians.


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


What is the cultural background of Krav Maga?  What makes it unique? What makes the Israeli military so effective? Why are Israeli security systems used all over the world?

What are the Biblical origins of Krav Maga and who was the first Krav Maga instructor?

What weapons and military strategies did our Biblical ancestors use?

How has Krav Maga developed in Israel and what are its goals?

All that and more in this unique book.

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