Things That Look Good
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

April 6-7, 2017, Israel

There are a lot of things in life that look good at first but in fact are not good at all. What looks good at the first superficial glance often proves to be a huge disappointment. Food on the menu often is bitter in the mouth. It is easy to make a great first impression, especially on someone who does not know much, and that is the case with Krav Maga.

I was recently approached to sponsor a Krav Maga show. I was sent a few video clips of techniques for review. I am always disappointed by these. And yet the producers of the show were very impressed with those videos.

On the surface they looked really good, on the surface.

I watched each technique slowly and slowed it down and paused at just the right moment, here! Do you see how at this exact point a resisting opponent will pull his knife out and, in the process, not only escape the Krav Maga defense but also cut the Krav Maga practitioner? Do you see this?

I do.

At each video there was a point, a key point easily missed by the novice, where the attacker, who will clearly be determined, will be able to withdraw his weapon or redirect his attack.

In many videos the flaws were glaringly obvious. There was a choke where the person from behind is choking the victim. So as the initial response the victim/defender pulls on both the attackers hands. Not great, not a perfect solution, will NOT work against a stronger attacker, but OK...but next the victim/defender lets go with one hand, the stronger hand, and mindlessly strikes backwards at the attacker. Now I was told years ago that I have a "knack for pointing out the obvious" (thank you Aunt Rose of blessed memory), and it is rather obvious to me that letting go of one hand means that the attacker now has no obstacles remaining to choking the living daylights out of you. You have given him the technique.

Those little backward slaps are not effective and will not cause the determined attacker to let go. (yet on the video they look effective and are accepted like Gospel)

All the video clips were filled with similar ideas. In one, a knife threat, the defender squeezes the knife on his chest. The way it is shown the determined knife man can easily pull down and retrieve his knife while cutting the victim/defender. 

If that were not bad enough the following part is to go in the wrong direction, one that allows the attacker a great deal of freedom of movement. I paused the video at a point (easily missed when viewing it full speed) where the attacker is in a powerful position to take his arm back while the defender has a very weak grip and no control.

Now anything can work some of the time for some people, but is that our goal?

No, our goal is a Krav Maga for all of the people all of the time that will work as much as possible. (There is no perfection in this life and there has never been a perfect man or a perfect system of self defense, deal with it). But we work for the common good, to bring as much good to as many people as possible.

History calls those men the greatest who have ennobled themselves by working for the common good; experience acclaims as happiest the man who has made the greatest number of people happy.

(Karl Marx, Reflections of a Young Man, 1835)

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