jujitsu vs. Krav maga

Circa 2010

Black Belt Magazine always enjoyed doing articles on "Battle of the Arts"; Tiger Claw Kung Fu vs. Ninjitsu, Tai Chi Chuan vs White Eyebrow Kung Fu, etc. It was interesting stuff and enjoyable reading. I do not intend to do a comparison of techniques, but I would like to explore two styles which I am intimately familiar with: Krav Maga and Jujitsu.  Krav Maga is an evolution, a modification, an adjustment of other, older martial arts. 

Krav Maga is Jujitsu and Thai Boxing minus the sport, minus the excessive detail, minus the parts that evolved away from the street and the need for practical self-defense.

Our goal, as Bruce Lee said, is simply to simplify, so that our techniques will work for you when you need them. 

Moshe training full-contact with Jerusalem elite security guards

In fact, Krav Maga is a collection of the best and most practical techniques from other styles, modified for practicality, mixed in with Israeli attitude and experience. 

So what is it that Krav Maga adds to jujitsu, what is the difference between traditional jujitsu and Krav Maga?

The answer does not lie in examining an individual technique or two, although here too one will indeed find some differences. The critical difference is found in the application.

You may look at two individuals and say, "What is the difference between them? They both have two legs, two arms, 10 fingers and 10 toes, two eyes and a nose etc. so why do you say they are different?"

Seeing a photograph will not give you the answer.

They are different in how they use those limbs; they are different in how they see things. In order to understand the difference, you must see them in action. Seeing a photograph will not give you the answer.

Jujitsu has wonderful techniques. I must say there are many different schools of jujitsu and one cannot lump them all together, some are more flowing, others practice their techniques more like kata, pre-arranged choreographed robot-like movements.

Nonetheless, they are more about technique than attitude, they have lost much of their vitality and many many of the techniques are very difficult, if not impossible, to apply in street like situations where one is nervous, tired, or overpowered. Herein lays the main difference, in my humble opinion.

Krav Maga is totally designed for the worst, I meant worst, sh_t hits the fan, all hell breaks loose, situation. Because that my friends, is what we call the Middle East. Krav Maga does not focus on techniques but on concepts. It does not focus on fine motor techniques or on fancy applications. It does not matter precisely how you grab the person, and a technique cannot depend upon an exact application because in a real situation you cannot expect it to happen in a textbook fashion.

It has to work even if you do it a bit wrong, it has to work even if you are overpowered. It has to work even if you do not remember the exact details. It depends on attitude, intensity, aggressiveness, and willpower more than technique. This is the difference between Krav Maga and jujitsu.

We apply Jujitsu concepts all the time, but we do not depend upon Jujitsu techniques. We do not depend upon wrist locks but only use them when the opportunity presents itself and even then only as a bonus. I am about 6 feet tall, and in fairly good shape and have lots of training under my belt and I cannot get some Jujitsu techniques to work on non-cooperative partners. So how on earth can you rely upon that on the street?

If you cannot see the difference between Krav Maga and Jujitsu you probably have no concept of what a real fight is like. If you cannot see the difference between them you are like an alien who looks at two photographs of human beings and cannot understand why there would be any difference between the two.

Wake up man and smell the coffee before someone spills it on you.

Krav Maga - Jujitsu Again

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