Krav Maga Stayin Alive

Stayin Alive

Today on the way home I heard a song on the radio I have not heard in a long time; Stayin' Alive by the B. G's. Brings back memories of my high school days; Saturday Night Fever, a slim John Travolta, disco music, white leisure suits, and lots of awkward teenagers. Thank God all that is behind us. Don't miss it, don't think about it.

The song Stayin Alive I do think of because I use that phrase in my Krav Maga teachings. Simply put, our goal is staying alive. That might seem obvious but it is not.

Often I teach a knife defense technique and a student will ask, "but where is the disarm?", Or I will teach a hand to hand defense and someone will wonder when will I teach how to tie up the attacker like a human pretzel like Zohan does in the movie.

My answer – our goal is staying alive, not punishment, not making a citizen's arrest, not impressing your girl friend. The truth is that staying alive is hard enough. Trying to do something fancy is way beyond our capabilities.

The problem with most systems is they overestimate what we can do in a stressful situation. They use all sorts of grabs, fancy footwork, and counter attacks that are nearly impossible to pull off in a real stressful situation.

We martial artists tend to enjoy our techniques and sometimes we forget that line, Staying Alive. That is the bottom line; that is what Krav Maga is all about. Martial arts become standardized, categorized, organized, specialized and fossilized. We must never forget what it is all about.

Sometimes I will send out a technique to a new member. They will reply, "Something is wrong with my computer, I can only play the first 3 seconds of your technique." Sorry buddy, no problem with the computer, the technique is only 3 seconds long.

Real life is rarely as pretty as the instructional videos or DVD's we spend so much money on. Much can, and will, go wrong. Success in my book is you got home alive, even if you ended up in the hospital with a minor injury; that is still success. Remember; stayin' alive, staying alive. Disco, leisure suits, falsetto singing and crazy hairdos may be out of style but staying alive is still our goal.