About Krav Maga

Krav Maga Direct From Israel The Krav Maga Yashir program is made up of 4 components. These are:

  • Reality Based Self Defense Program
  • Movement, Striking & Blocking Program
  • Self-Protection & Personal Safety Program
  • Combat Fitness/”Cosher Kravi” Program


  • Movement, Striking, Blocking & Self Defense Program(s)

    The Krav Maga Yashir system is based and founded on sound common combat principles, and teaches these to a specific methodology. It is this which makes it a distinct system, as opposed to a collection of disparate techniques. All of the techniques within the system adhere to these principles, and interlock together to create a comprehensive system of self-defense. Because of this adherence to principle, reuse of techniques is possible, and certain techniques are almost interchangeable e.g. a knife control or disarm can be used as a gun disarm and vice versa.

    Below is a list – not exhaustive – and explanation of some of the concepts and principles upon which the Krav Maga Yashir system is founded.


    Founding Concepts & Principles



    Pre-emptive Striking

    If a person points a gun at your head you don’t need (or want) to wait to see if the pull the trigger to confirm that they have harmful intent towards you, equally if a person is displaying an array of Pre-Violence Indicators (PVI’s) towards you, you don’t need to wait for the inevitable punch or attack before dealing with them. Pre-emptive striking is taught from day-one in the Krav Maga Yashir system, based off of the understanding that the person who attacks first has the advantage, and this is something you don't want to give to an assailant but instead claim it for yourself.


    Attack Should Follow Defense As Close As Possible

    Krav Maga Yashir Knife Defenses It is impossible to survive a real-life conflict by having a defensive mindset and only focusing of dealing with the assailant’s attacks. To survive, an assailant has to be taken out of the fight as quickly as possible. This involves either inflicting enough pain and damage that they emotionally take themselves out of the fight, or physically incapacitating them by destroying limbs or putting an assailant unconscious (by knocking them out or choking/strangling them out). These actions should be taken as quickly as possible, as the longer the duration of the fight, the more likely a person is to suffer injury, or see their assailant aided by third parties etc. This is why an attack should be made as soon as possible, after a defense – a person should work offensively not defensively. Every defense movement or technique should form part of an attack.


    Defense as Attack

    In Krav Maga Yashir there are no “Defensive” movements, every movement and technique in its intent is an attack. When a block is performed against a punch, a stab or a slash, the blocking arm is intended to cause as much trauma to the attacker’s arm as possible. Rather than just be a defensive movement the blocking arm is looked upon as an attack. By having defensive movements that cause pain and damage to an assailant, it causes them to hesitate when making future attacks, as they are aware of the potential pain that will accompany their next assault, as well as take away the timing of their strikes (this is important when dealing with knife attacks, where the knife will be recoiled and reset after an initial stab or slash) etc.


    Hand Defense/Body Defense

    In a real life conflict, especially when a person is surprised, it is unrealistic to expect that they will perform every technique 100 %. This means some form of contingency needs to be built in. Rather than rely purely on a hand or arm to make a complete defense, a body defense is associated so that if the hand defense isn’t fully effective the body defense will compensate. The idea is that if the hand-defense is performed perfectly (100% defense) and the body-defense is performed perfectly (100% defense), there is effectively a 200% defense in place.

    Combined with this is the concept that the body defense should be used to put the person defending an assault into a position where they can launch their own attack e.g. attack, should follow defense as quickly as possible.


    Soft Strikes into Hard Strikes

    Krav Maga Yashir Defenses Against Knife Threats The Krav Maga Yashir system breaks striking down into two halves: soft strikes & hard strikes. A soft strike is one which doesn’t require any power to have an effect, such as an eye strike or groins strike – these targets can be hit with a “soft” striking tool such as the fingers, or the back of the hand. Hard strikes, use hard striking surfaces, such as the fists, elbows, shins or knees etc. To be effective, these generally require the body to be aligned and positioned so that it is able to generate power, something which is often difficult to achieve in the initial moments of a confrontation – especially if a person is surprised. This is why the Krav Maga Yashir system advocates the initial use of soft strikes, such as eye and groin strikes to disrupt an assailant, and as these are thrown, the body can be positioned to follow up with hard strikes that can disable an assailant.

    The Krav Maga Yashir system follows the continuum: disrupt, damage, destroy and disengage. The first strikes that are thrown should be ones that have the greatest chance of disrupting an attacker, and take into account that fact that a person is usually surprised and not in the optimum position to deliver powerful strikes. A bad eye strike, is much more effective than a bad punch, so the chances of having a better effect with an eye strike than a punch in the first moments of a fight means that such a strike is favored – as would a groin slap, or throat strike (all strikes that don’t have to land perfectly to disrupt an assailant’s attack). After these initial “soft strikes” have been thrown, disrupting an assailant’s attack, and allowing for the body to be properly aligned, “hard” power strikes are used to finish the fight.


    The Use of Natural Reflexive & Instinctive Movements

    The body naturally has certain inbuilt defensive mechanisms that it uses to instinctively protect itself from a variety of threats and attacks e.g. we will naturally bring are hands to our throat, if we are being choked or strangled and flinch when we catch fast movement crossing into our peripheral vision. Krav Maga Yashir uses these movements as the foundation for many of its defenses.

    There are many things that we may lie to think we would do when attacked, and then there are those things that we will do i.e. our natural reflexive movements. Rather than try and build “new” responses, the Krav Maga Yashir system builds on these natural movements creating what are called “Assemblies”, which are trained and learnt movements associated with reflexive ones e.g. when we flinch because somebody throws a punch or makes a slashing attack with a knife, the natural arm movement is used to block whilst a “trained” movement, moving to the side and towards the attacker is added; creating an assembly.


    Life Threatening Attacks – Attack the Attack

    Krav Maga Yashir Defenses Dealing With Knife Threats In Krav Maga Yashir the first and primary goal is to make yourself safe, before you attack the assailant. There is little use trying to attack an attacker if they are in the process of choking you out. Your priority is to clear the choke and then attack your assailant. If the attack, is a lapel, wrist or clothing grab, it is non-life threatening and so the attacker can be assaulted without clearing the grab.

    This leads to the principle, “if it is a life-threatening attack, attack the attack, if it is a non-life threatening attack, then attack the attacker.”


    Use of the Environment

    A fight is not something that happens in a vacuum. Despite mostly training in matted environments, where the floor is even and there are no natural tools that could be used as improvised weapons, the real world is full of objects that could be used in both an offensive and defensive manner. Krav Maga Yashir practitioners are taught how to use common objects for their own defense, and that these should often be the first things that are used when threatened or attacked.

    A parked car, can be used to create an effective defensive barrier to prevent an assailant getting close to us, tables and other pieces of furniture can be used in the same way. Improvised weapons are categorized in the following way:

  • “Hafatzim dmooyey magen” - “objects, similar to shield” (such as bags, chairs)
  • “Hafatzim dmooyey even” - “objects, similar to rock/stone” (such as snooker balls, bottles)
  • “Hafatzim dmooyey sakkin” - “objects, similar to knife” (such as scissors, keys, broken bottles)
  • “Hafatzim dmooyey makel” - “objects, similar to stick” (such as scaffolding, snooker cues)
  • “Hafatzim Ktanim” – “small objects” (such as coins, pebbles, sand and gravel)
  • “Hafatzim dmooyey Hevel” - “objects, similar to chain”
  • By understanding how to categorize objects in this manner, a practitioner can look at their environment and understand not only what can be used as a weapon but how it should be used as well. If a student is trained in offensive stick fighting, then they will also know how to use other objects that resemble a stick.


    Expect Anything

    A fight is not a combat sports match where there are rules, and participants know what to expect from each other. In a real-life conflict, anything can happen e.g. a knife can be pulled when on the ground as well as when standing. If you only train to expect certain things, then when the unexpected happens you will find yourself both surprised and unprepared. Three basic assumptions that are taught in the Krav Maga Yashir syllabus are:

  • Always assume your assailant is armed, even if you have disarmed them (they may have another weapon) or you can’t see a weapon.
  • Always assume you are dealing with more than one assailant, even if your primary attacker seems alone.
  • Assume your assailant is technically and physically competent to deal with both your defenses and attacks.

    Working from these 3 assumptions you should be prepared to deal with any situation you have to face, and should not be surprised if/when the direction of the conflict changes.

    The Krav Maga Yashir system uses all of the above principles and concepts (as well as others) to design and modify its techniques as well as its approach to real-life violence, so that it provides comprehensive and effective solutions to real-world violence. It also teaches students how to predict, identify and avoid violence in the first place, using a system of Self-Protection.


    Self-Protection & Personal Safety


    It is far easier to avoid becoming a victim of a violent assault than it is to deal with one, especially if it involves weapons and multiple assailants. By teaching practitioners how violent assaults occur and what prior steps assailants need to take in order to launch an assault, students of Krav Maga Yashir are taught how to predict and avoid violence before it occurs. To read more about this approach, please click here (this will take you to the SEPS - Situation Effective Protection System - website).


    Combat Fitness/”Cosher Kravi”


    Reality Based Self-Defense is comprised of three components: simple, effective techniques, an aggressive mindset and physical fitness. Once a person’s adrenaline is used up, all that they are left with is their underlying physical fitness. If this is lacking, and they don’t have the necessary gas in the tanks, it matters little how technically competent they are. Being able to function in an exhausted state is something that is necessary if a person is to survive a real-life encounter. Our Combat Fitness program prepares the practitioner for that reality. To read more about this please click here.

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    Gershon Ben Keren, was approached by Tuttle Publishing in 2013 to write a book based of this blog, giving practical instruction in the techniques and solutions to violence that he recommends. If you would like to buy the book on Amazon, click here.

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    Blog Articles
    By Gershon Ben Keren


    Manchester Terror Attacks
    The Pertinent Negative
    More Of The Same
    Reality Based Ground Fighting
    Emotional Intelligence
    Codes And Jargon
    Multi-Phase & Multi-Dimensional Training
    Lone Wolf Terrorism & ISIS
    Witnesses
    Violence As Communication
    Sadists And Psychopaths
    Timeline of Violence
    Existential Honor
    Muggers & Mugging
    Pain Management Systems
    Methods of Attack
    Proactive Vs Reactive Blocking
    Knife Attacks - Pre-Violence Indicators
    Opportunity
    Where Traditional Martial Arts Get It Right
    Simplified Thinking (How Children Think)
    Training To Improvise
    Fitness Conditioning
    Predicting Violence Through Movement
    Unsettling People
    Fear Versus Anxiety
    The Importance Of Breathing
    Intervening On Another Persons Behalf (Part 2)
    Intervening On Another Persons Behalf (Part 1)
    How To Get Guns Into A Government Building
    Tai Sabaki & Body Defense
    Training Methods That Can Mislead
    Is Krav Maga Relevant
    That Will Never Work On The Street
    Group Violence (Part 2)
    Violence Towards Animals
    Group Violence (Part 1)
    Training Vs Reality
    Why Scenario Based Training Is Essential For Krav Maga
    Lessons From Competition That Can Be Applied In Real Life
    Prescriptive Solutions Vs Situational Solutions
    Sun Tzu & Death Ground
    The Usefulness Of Judo & Krav Maga
    The Men Should Just Stop Raping Women Argument
    Predators & Socially Awkward Situations
    Runners Safety
    Decision Trees
    Humility, Respect & Martial Arts Cults
    Home Invasion (Part 2)
    Home Invasion (Part 1)
    Terrorism & Mental Illness
    The Benefits Of The Freeze Response
    Nice Truck Attack
    Synchronization Of Movement
    Blocks As Attacks
    Specificity of Violence
    Active Shooter (Part 2) - Hide, Fight
    Active Shooter - Run, Hide, Fight (Running)
    Working Under Pressure
    Dads Dont Know
    Muhammad Ali
    Using Items As Intended
    Being A Hero By Disengaging
    Baselines
    Heavy Bag Workouts
    Are Two Handed Choke Defenses Relevant?
    Krav Maga And Conflict Resolution
    Jargon And Terminology
    Telegraphing
    The Illusion Of Speed
    Repeat Victimization
    Big Picture Violence
    Personal Safety & Social Media
    Workplace Violence (Trespass)
    Women's Self Defense
    Use of Force
    Air Rage
    Kidnappings And Risk Assessments
    5 Personal Safety Myths That Put You In Danger
    Exceptions To The Rules
    Ride Sharing Services
    Rushing It
    Specificity
    When Instead Of How
    Speaking Out
    Active Shooters
    Cyberbullying Adults And Children
    Dog Attacks
    Predatory Kids And Teens
    High Heel Self Defense
    What Can Self Defense Training Do For Me
    Personal Safety Blind Spots
    Ignore Them And They Will Go Away
    Ringcraft For The Street
    The Myth of Striking
    What If
    Mass Shootings In The US Versus Knife Crime In The UK
    What Has MMA Ever Done For Us
    The Myth Of The Krav Maga Groin Strike
    Intervening In Domestic Disputes
    Children And Adults RBSD
    Responsibility And Blame
    Workplace Violence
    School Shootings And Islamic Terrorism
    Campus Safety
    How Simple Is Simple?
    Weather, Heat & Violent Crimes
    The Self Defense Component
    Failing & Failure
    Assault & Abuse A Legal Perspective
    Becoming An Active Bystander
    Not Wanting To Hurt People
    Justification For Violence
    Justification & Secondary Motives
    Real Life Predator Process
    Backing Down & Backing Away
    Scanning
    Situational Awareness - The Environmental Aspect
    Returning To The Scene Of The Crime
    The Value & danger of Experience
    Preemptive Striking
    Civil Unrest Part 2
    Flash Mobs & Civil Unrest
    Natural Surveillance & Bystanders
    Marathon Weekend
    Always Room For Improvement
    Training for Reality - Putting the Pieces Together
    Becoming Versatile
    Weapons Vs Targets
    Treating Each Step towards Disaster as Normal
    The Post Conflict Phase of Violence
    Not Limiting Yourself By The Obvious
    Color Codes & The Timeline of Violence
    Empowerment Through Personal Safety
    Women\'s Self Defense - The Same Tired Old Story
    Investment, Optimism & Expectations
    De-escalation - Saying Sorry
    Martial Arts & The Movies
    Burglary
    Terrorist Attacks, Workplace Violence & Evacuation Strategies
    Dirty Fighting - Eye Gouges, Biting and Spitting
    Location - Accepting Reality
    Car Services, Taxi\'s, Crimes & Assaults
    Knockout Strikes, Continued Assaults & Killing Grounds
    Walking Away
    Interpreting Body Language
    Holiday Shopping Safety
    Convincing Others
    Self Defense Applications & Technology
    Falling for Predator's "Traps"
    Defensive Knife Carry
    Protecting Friends & Family Members etc.
    Punching Problems - Fixing Common Errors (Part 2)
    Punching Problems - Fixing Common Errors (Part 1)
    Adult Bullying/Workplace Bullying
    Female Sexual Assailants
    Pepper Spray - Types & How To Use Them
    OC/CS Spray
    Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
    Back to School
    Cell Phones
    Dating Advice
    Heuristics & Planning
    Inflicting Damage on Others
    Testing Your Models of Violence
    Risk Assessments
    Situational Visualization
    Location & Crime
    Intent
    Never Stop Learning
    Assertiveness
    Dogs & Self Protection
    Sink, Swim or Float?
    Worst Case Scenarios
    What To Do After Disarming A Firearm
    Personal Safety/Personal Responsibility
    Parking Lots
    5 Responses To Violence
    Improvised Weapons (Re-visited)
    Situational Self Defense
    Clothing Grabs
    Combatives & The Martial Arts
    Decisiveness
    Going To Ground
    Notes On Firearm Disarms
    Violence As A Last Resort
    It\'ll never happen to me
    Would You Ever Get Into A Car With A Stranger?
    The False Safety of Crowds
    Multi-Dimensional Training
    School Shootings (Part 2)
    School Shootings (Part 1)
    Training Partners
    Multiple Assailants
    Joining The Dots - Spoiling Weapon Draws
    Training With Heroes
    Secrets
    Disrupt, Damage, Destroy, Disengage
    Warning Signs
    Denial - Recognizing The Signs
    Removing Heads From Sand
    Workplace Violence
    Gradings & Lifting Weights
    Pick Pockets
    Visualization
    The 5 Step Predator Process
    Think Like The Predator
    Extreme Violence
    Disruption Before Execution
    Screaming & Shouting
    Re-Victimization
    Situational Awareness
    Combatives & The Combative Mindset
    Personal Responsibility, Blame & the One Stop Martial Arts Shop
    Meeting Violence With Violence
    Some Lessons From The Terrorism Awareness Course
    Responding To Media Reports of Violence
    Dealing With Anger
    Presenting Real Life Violence To Children
    Choking Under Pressure
    Reality Based Knife Training
    Sparring Training
    Intervening on Behalf of Strangers
    Environmental Training - Beach Training
    Giving Up
    What\'s Your Krav Maga?!
    Terrorism & Personal Safety - The Next Steps
    Boston Marathon, Terrorism & The Future
    Mobile Phones & Personal Safety
    Saving Face - Conversations About Date Rape
    Lessons From Hostage/Crisis Negotiators
    Reverse Knife Slashes, Natural Instincts & Working To Principles
    Interpreting Body Language
    Adrenaline (Part 3)
    Adrenaline (Part 2)
    Adrenaline (Part 1)
    Ritualistic Violence
    Beyond Survival - Learning To Let Go
    Lessons From Close Protection Training
    Threats, Promises, Intimidation & Statements of Intent
    Why People Become Violent (Part 2)
    Why People Become Violent (Part 1)
    New Year\'s Resolutions
    Starting 2013 On The Right Footing
    School And Airport Safety/Security Etc & How We Address Security Issues In Our Personal Lives
    UK/US Gun Culture & Connecticut Shootings
    Defense & Attack
    The Path To Black Belt
    Use of Force
    Drilling
    Being Tough
    Being Tough - CQC Training
    CQB/CQC Training
    The Place Of Non-Compliance In Training
    Meeting Force With More Force
    The Moral Authority To Act
    Honesty In Training
    Perceptions of Violence
    The Dynamic Risk Assessment
    Self Protection: Gaining Defense In Depth
    The Right Balance of Training
    Habituation
    Beyond Technique
    Edged Weapons
    The Disadvantage of Time
    Guns, Knives & Videotape
    Armed Assaults
    Movement, Movement & More Movement
    Principle 10
    Principle 9
    Scanning - Control Of The Environment
    Principle 6 - Power Punching
    Being The Athlete/Person You Want To Be
    Travel Security - Airport Pickups
    Training In Different Environments
    10 Principles of Fighting - Principle 5
    10 Principles of Fighting - Principle 4
    10 principles of Fighting - Principle 3
    10 Principles of Fighting - Principle 2
    10 Principles Of Fighting
    Relationship Abuse
    Combat Fitness/Cosher Kravi
    The Art of \"Throwing\"
    \"Visual\" Decision Making
    Reaching Decisions, Acting & Choosing the Right Time to Act
    Denial, Deliberation, Decision Loop - Deliberation
    The Dynamic Risk Assessment - The Denial, Deliberation & Decision Loop
    Improvised Weapons (Security Overseas Part 2.5)
    Security Overseas - Part 2
    Security Overseas
    When To \"Defend\" Yourself
    Self Defense, Fighting & Pre-emptive Striking
    Dealing With Angry People - De-escalation
    Self Protection Continued - People\'s Instinct For Anger
    The Importance of Self Protection
    Simultaneous Blocks & Counters
    Using The Body\'s Natural Defenses
    Retzef & Attacking Soft Targets
    Attack The Attack, Attack The Attacker
    Systems of Self Defense Vs Encyclopedias of Self Defense
    The Monkey Dance
    The Role Of Third Parties & Bystanders In Incidents Of Violence
    Peripheral Doubts
    Krav Maga as an \"Art\" and as a \"Self Defense\" System
    Movement, Movement, Movement....
    Training To Survive
    Training With Different Partners
    The Power Behind The Punch
    Today\'s Kettlebell Training
    Strength & Conditioning Training
    To Hand Over The Wallet Or To Act
    What Is Reality Based Self Defense????
    Going To Ground - Ground Survival
    The Evolution of "The Street Fight" & Krav Maga
    Being Realistic In What We Expect
    Ground Survival
    Reality Ground Fighting