Tactics in combat (Advanced) – 30/01/2016

Here is some homework for those who will attend class tomorrow. The question deals with degenerative capabilities in combat and helps expand our understanding of Krav Maga fighting tactics.

Based on environment, situation and position, there is a limited amount of potential attacks that can occur under stress. To determine possibilities, we rely on predictive statistics under the relevant Krav Maga principles. Provide examples where a main principle can severely decrease the chances of potential counterattacks and cripple adversary options in a self-defense to pre unarmed combat setting only. Furthermore, provide a psychological explanation for the resulting behaviour.


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

KRAV MAGA NEWSLETTER – 29/01/2016

KM3 will release the Official Krav Maga Montreal Newsletter the first week of February and announce the most exciting events that are coming in 2016! Want to be on our newsletter? Contact me to become part of our community or visit our facility to sign up for free. I love meeting new people and getting everyone up to speed on the latest Krav Maga news. Let’s keep in touch and help more people get stronger through Krav Maga!


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

Krav Maga fitness test – 01/27/2016

Thursday the 28th of January marks the end of the 2016 comeback and the beginning of a new journey in Krav Maga training. What does this mean? It means a glorious fitness test à la Krav Maga tomorrow! Come to class and get ready for some pain!

RULES – The test starts at 7:30 PM sharp.

– Complete SET I followed by SET II followed by SET III. Starting with a different set is not allowed.

– Pace yourself. The sets must be completed in the prescribed order but the exercise breakdown is up to you. If you try to complete 100 repetitions of any exercise in a row without mixing in another you will never make it.

– Take lots of small water breaks!

– Motivate yourself! You must finish as fast as possible. Do not take the entire class to complete.

– You have maximum 90 minutes to complete this workout.

– Once you are done record your time and stretch. This will determine your ranking.

THE FIRST SET – 100 Push Ups (Military) – 150 Squats (Past 90) – 200 Regular Sit Ups (Elbow to Knee) *Record your time!

THE SECOND SET – 100 Up Downs (with Jump) – 150 Lunges (75 per leg) – 200 Leg Lifts *Record your time!

THE THIRD SET – 100 Bear Crawls (alternate arm each time) – 150 Horrible Leg Extensions – 200 In Outs * Record your final time!

Whatever time remains you can use to stretch and meditate.

Good luck and please use the designated areas to vomit and pass out. (Not my mats) If you can’t make it to class try to carve out some time and do it at home.


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

Realistic Martial Arts – 22/01/2016

Ever wanted to experience professional level training in self-defense but have no experience? Go beyond your limits and join KM3 to experience the most realistic situational conditioning available for civilians in Montreal. At the beginning of February we will begin a new stage in Krav Maga conditioning and integrate outside training at Belcourt Park in order to increase realism by presenting problems that are very common to individuals living in cold climates with heavy snowfall. Under changing circumstances (uneven terrain, heavy gear, severe weather…etc.) multiple techniques that we believe will work in real life cannot even be properly executed. Our program will go over the advantages and disadvantages of multiple forms of self-defense and analyze the needs of civilians in order to prescribe appropriate training methods. After all, we live in Canada! We love the snow!


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

KRAV MAGA DISADVANTAGES – 13/01/2016

I’ve recently tested a group of students for P level grades and have included during the theoretical examination an essay question asking to explain some disadvantages of Krav Maga. The students thought it was a trick question and all of them, without exception, wrote down that no disadvantages existed in Krav Maga.

While this may sounds great, it is not entirely the case. Like anything in the world, it has a weakness and it can be approached a certain way. Keeping away from the military, law enforcement and professional sectors, I’ll take two examples from civilian Krav Maga that are classified as disadvantages under certain circumstances.

1. The lack of preventative techniques.

I believe that Krav Maga is light years ahead of any other system of self-defense when it comes down to environmental analysis and problem resolution before self-defense techniques are necessary. Even so, much more developments are needed to better serve the needs of civilians. The best Krav Maga student is the one who avoids getting into fights by acting early enough to prevent violence. (Don’t come tell me how once upon a time you had to fight 4 people and knocked all of them out, it simply shows you failed your prevention miserably or simply wanted to get into a fight.) We have developed timeline defenses (reaction according to a realistic unfolding of events) that tries to prevent situations from escalating but heavy psychological training is required to implement them. Verbal commands must be heavily reinforced and behavioural conditioning must be taught to students if they are ever to execute soft techniques with a high level of efficiency. In short, a hard mental state needs to accompany the soft techniques taught to civilians otherwise the individual will not have the proper behavioural signs (confidence, good posture, relevant acting, verbal commands) to deal with the issue at the onset.

2. Brutal counterattacks.

After a few months of training, everyone is used to attacking the most vulnerable targets such as the eyes, the groin and the back of the head. The conditioning becomes natural and I believe that a lot of students don’t realize exactly what they are doing yet. Movies and TV shows have given us a very wrong depiction of an actual fight and martial arts “gurus” make daily cases about biting, eye gouging and hits to the groin as being ineffective once adrenaline kicks in and therefore ineffective in self-defense. However, the reality is very different and we know that attacks like the above cause devastating injury and can even inflict death. For many people, that is not what they want to accomplish in a self-defense setting. Even when they are a victim of an attack or a robbery, do you really want to gouge someone’s eyes out? Leaving the legal implications aside (depending on where you live) you as a human being will change dramatically following an incident like that. Chances are you won’t come home and congratulate yourself on how fast you managed to handicap someone for life. The primary goal for civilians is to run away and save themselves, it is not to engage and destroy their enemies. More preventative strategies and greater awareness of situations is required in order to build a better responsive system in early practitioners. A rise in confidence will allow even less experienced students to apply more preventative techniques rather than resort to self-defense strikes.


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

Why Krav Maga – 12/01/2016

For those who truly understand the nature of Krav Maga, it is apparent that we are constantly looking for the best possible solutions to self-defense and combat problems. We do not have a million ways to do something and will not offer multiple solutions to problems because we recognize that an individual will have a limited response capability under stress. Based on operational experience (professional terminology for experience acquired in real life situations), we also recognize that this capability can be increased but only with a certain variation. Stress, fear, adrenaline and the overall psychological challenge will always be an integrate part of fighting and will prevent an overly developed spectrum of defensive strategies to be applied under extreme speeds even for experienced practitioners.

For this reason, we are always trying to figure out a responsive system that is simple, generalizable and most importantly, compatible with our innate psychological reflexive system. The last part might be difficult to understand for others because it requires knowledge of biomechanics, human behaviour, mathematics and physics within a combat setting. In short, Krav Maga is a very logical system of self-defense that has been rooted in scientific principles. To better explain how we build our techniques, let’s take a simple example.

Defense vs. the Front Choke. (Refer to Facebook video for demonstration.)

0. In pre-combat we offer an analysis of the environment and take into consideration situational awareness. For simplicity, let’s assume there are no other opponents, the terrain is plain, there is a clear exit and no other difficulties are present. This will allow us to execute our reflexive defense and finish a basic technique without involving a very common category in Krav Maga referred to as Troubleshooting. (Or if you prefer the Krav slang: the “Shit Happens” category)

1. Once the premises have been set we are clear to analyze the situation and continue the breakdown. Our two subjects are talking to one another in a relaxed state at a medium distance prior to the threat. This is an important factor in the type of technique we are going to perform. Since we are not expecting an attack, we consider our future response to be a reflexive technique. For those who have studied this training parameter in Krav Maga, we are in the earliest stages of psychological preparedness (The second being semi-prepared and the third and final stage being fully prepared). The distance for a front choke has a variation in and around 1 meter. This means that a human being cannot strangle another human being at 2 meters unless he is an alien and would render the choke less powerful if it would be applied closer to the defendant. (Example: 0.5 meters) The reason for this lies in the biomechanics of the attack itself. If you want to execute a powerful choke, the arms need to be bent at an angle of 135 degrees (with slight variation accounting for individual arm length) in order to effectively engage the back muscles and deliver maximum strength to the throat. If we are closer we reduce our power considerably and if we are further, we reduce it even more since the arms will become straight and the back muscles can no longer engage. The opponent has either one leg in front (small step) and the shoulders are fairly parallel as he executes the motion. The position of the opponent is referred to as “realistic representation” of the attack. The defendant’s position is also relaxed. This concludes the type of threat we need to resolve.

2. The opponent lunges to choke us! Based on our distance and our mental state, we are not prepared to act with an establish response. Once the assailant’s hands are wrapped around our throat, we initialize a primitive (but not necessarily ineffective) reflex that commands our own hands to cover the opponents hands and try desperately to touch our throat. Why? Because the brain is a very selfish organ that prioritizes itself above everything else and sends the fastest available soldiers (your hands) to the problem (getting strangled). In fact, at this point in time your brain does not really think about anything else, not even attacking. This is also where most self-defense systems don’t really make any sense. They try to immediately deal with a problem they were not expecting with a solution that can only be executed by an expecting defendant. If you think you can suddenly jump out of that front choke or do a spinning kick or send your hands anywhere else than to protect your throat you were either expecting the attack or you have never been assaulted before in real life to experience the effects of your body under extreme stress.

3. Once your hands are covering the opponents and are trying desperately to defend, we proceed to execute a double scooping defense in the most efficient and powerful way possible all the while respecting the position of your own hands. Remember that your initial priority is to breathe, it is very difficult to override your own survival system and decide that you will be attacking with your hands. As you are executing the scoop, you are counter- attacking with the only part suitable to do so under this particular circumstance: your knee. If you look at both the attacker and defendant’s position, you quickly notice that all four arms are involved in either attacking or defending, therefore the legs become the only avenue for a potential immediate attack. (Your head could always be an option but attacking with a part of the body that was itself attacked is not very logical given the circumstances).

3. The counterattack with the knee will serve to “stop the opponent’s brain”. This means that we must give pain to shift the opponent’s focus from attack to defense. Another major mistake in technique selection is thinking we can somehow use locks and disengage from the front choke without giving pain or striking the adversary. This is a big mistake because in reality you are not capable of executing a response like that versus a strong and enraged opponent who is trying to kill you. All responses must include strikes, ideally to very sensitive targets such as the groin, eyes or back of the head. Finally, once the choke has been released as a result of the scoop and counterattack (hopefully you didn’t miss the knee otherwise we’ll have to move to that troubleshooting category I mentioned above), we finish the technique with two open palm strikes to the opponent’s head. Given the knee was successful, the adversary will bend forward and expose the top of his head. It is important to avoid punching at this point so that we do not target the top of the skull with the knuckles. Push the adversary away to facilitate escape.

4. In post-combat we engage the tactical scan prior to running and finalize the technique. There are many more details to this situation but this is the general building strategy to our responsive system in Krav Maga.


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

Self-defense Myths – 11/01/2016

During Krav Maga or any type of self-defense training, it is crucial to remember that most of the time it is not the technique that will save your life but the general strategies and tactics we develop when dealing with violent situations. Here are some of the most common myths that go around those who have never experienced violence.

 

Myth #1: If I comply the problem will go away.    

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. “Giving up ground” (self-defense slang for backing up extensively during combat and being overly cooperative) is generally a bad strategy because those who are willing to attack you are also willing to go the extra mile to severely attack you. If you let me get away with touching your shirt, then maybe I get away with slapping you in the face. If you let me get away with slapping you in the face, maybe I’ll kick you in the head when you fall to the ground. And if you let me get away with that, then you are playing with your life. What I mean is, once you’ve pissed someone off who is set on fighting, you have very few opportunities to simply talk your way out of it. Complying won’t do much and neither will your cries for help. Sometimes wrongly complying at simpler threats will get you into even bigger trouble later on. That being said, if you bumped into someone and immediately apologize you are obviously working to de-escalate a potential situation. (Assuming you stumbled across a decent human being) However, it is good to remember that negotiations tactics should always be used to enable an engagement or escape protocol and not as a way to turn the person who wanted to hit you in the face 3 seconds ago into your best friend.

 

Myth #2: Other people will come to my aid.      

Not exactly. You probably have more chances of someone stepping over your unconsciousness body and going about their way rather than a random person risking themselves for you. No one wants to get involved in someone else’s problems, least of all when there is a chance they can compromise their own physical safety. In fact, even your friends and family members might freeze during a confrontation if you get attacked. Not everyone is made to react in the presence of violence so as a rule of thumb you should remember that no one is coming to save you.

 

Myth #3: Why me? It’s not like I did anything bad to anyone.     

It’s not about doing anything to anyone, it’s about human nature. Skipping the obvious motivations (money, sex…etc.), people attack each other because they can. Sometimes a simple argument with the wrong person can be enough to start a fight once the ego kicks in. A simple disagreement in a bar with a new acquaintance can result in an assault with a deadly weapon such as a bottle. As my first trainer used to say, they’ll attack you because they “just don’t like your face.” (And no he was not referring to my particular face) You don’t necessarily need to do something major for a confrontation to ensue. Perhaps you looked at his or her friend “funny” or you slightly brushed by someone in the metro. So many people have fallen victim to this type of mentality and have been severely attacked because they don’t understand how and why violence happens.


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

Self-defense systems – 10/01/2016

As there are numerous differences between martial arts and self-defense, there are also plenty of differences between  individual self-defense systems. So how does a regular person know what school or what system to select?

 

The answer lies in understanding what is required in a self-defense setting and what is not, what can be taken out and what cannot. Unfortunately, you must already know a little bit about self-defense if you want to make an informed decision. Consider these following guidelines when looking for a school and make sure to ask your new teacher if you will deal with the following topics in the near future. If the answer is no, I would suggest finding another self-defense school. (Keep in mind that I’m NOT talking about martial arts here, I am only referring to systems of self-defense).

 

Multiple Opponents: If your training is preparing you to fight in a ring or in a cage, you are already missing the point. In fact, this type of training will teach you that your world involves only three elements: you, your opponent and the cage (And sometimes, the referee that stops the fight when you get hurt). In reality, you are faced with a variety of problems that can create unimaginable difficulties if you are not constantly developing strategies and tactics according to your everyday environment! Let’s be honest and think about the number of teachers or schools that train their students to analyze their surroundings and employ operational scanning at the end of every technique in search for multiple opponents. How many instructors tell their students that if you don’t cover your 6 during engagements you exponentially increase your chances of getting seriously injured during a confrontation? At the VERY least, the system must include elements that assume you will be engaged by multiple adversaries.

 

Basic Weapons: If the system you select is teaching you how to fight with spears and staffs, fine, but unless you are planning to participate in a re-enactment of the Trojan war, the skills you learn might not be of service to you in a self-defense setting. People stab each other with knives, crack their heads open with bottles and pick up sticks, rocks, chairs, tables and urns full of boiling coffee to throw in their face while they are looking the other way. If you are not doing situational training based on what could happen, then what is the point? This is what I mean by knowing the difference between reality and fantasy. Learning how to fight with swords is awesome, but you probably have greater chances of being struck by lighting than being attacked by a ninja.

 

Modern Weapons: When I mentioned “near future” above I really meant more near than future. Times are changing and your self-defense system needs to reflect those changes. If you will not be taught about firearms, chances are you are learning a fairly outdated system of combat. We are in the 21st century and while people still bludgeon themselves to death, threats with handguns, rifles and grenades, especially against civilians, have become extremely relevant in today’s society. I would also suggest to view a firearm safety videos before starting your training and compare the handling of real firearms to how your instructor handles the rubber firearm during explanations and demonstrations. This will give you a fairly good idea if the teacher has good knowledge of modern weapons. Baptizing (self-defense slang for pointing a fake training firearm towards students while explaining and being unaware of the barrel of the weapon) should be a clear indication that he or she has never been trained professionally on weapons.

 

Finally, I’d like to point out that you (as a new student) don’t need to wait 10 years until you get a black belt to practice any of the points above. These are problems and situations that you could unfortunately encounter so the sooner you start practicing the more chances you will have at defending successfully. Start learning the principles and understand how to handle yourself in these types of situations ASAP. If an instructor tells you you need to wait 5 years to touch a plastic handgun, something is wrong.


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

TESTING IN KRAV MAGA – 09/01/2016

Testing is meant to bring students closer to the true nature of self-defense by challenging them in a way representative of what they might encounter in real life. In order to do this properly, the conditioning during the examination must be designed harder than the level of skill the candidates are testing for. This is done so that students do not develop neither false confidence nor self-doubt in their technical abilities. Krav Maga has no competition or tournaments therefore the tests must act like the hardest challenge a practitioner undertakes short of having the misfortune of using these skills in a life-threatening situation. As a rule of thumb, if your technique is 100% satisfactory and judged according to its own level, then you have to take 2/3 off the student’s mark to achieve a realistic operational delivery. (Chance the technique will be developed cleanly under real circumstances) Example: – Defending vs. a straight punch to the face is a P1 (first grade) level technique. Performed at 100% efficiency according to P1 standards, the technique will have 33% chance to be successful in a realistic situation. If we were to perform this technique at 100% efficiency according to P3 standards, including more details, far better vocabulary and improved biomechanics, the technique would have 100% chance to be successful in a realistic situation. The decreases in percentage is often attributed to the damaging effects of stress (1/3) and the lack of psychological conditioning (1/3). Obviously this is not always the case but we can use this as a fairly realizable guideline when assessing students.


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal

 

Why “KM3”? – 01/08/2016

It is my wish that one day, “KM3” (standing for Krav Maga 3 or the Third Krav Maga) becomes representative of the purest form of Krav Maga in the world.

 

It would be a great honour to be able to pass on the legacy of Krav Maga by developing and maintaining, without ever deviating from the core principles, this unique and revolutionary self-defense system. In this journey, we look for the wisdom to carefully differentiate between a development and a core principle and remember that the former needs to be constantly worked on and integrated very cautiously, while the latter should never be retailored.

 

This may sound logical but it is much easier said than done. Numerous Krav Maga instructors and schools have already lost the way either by altering the fundamentals or by morphing this very complete system and incorporating other disciplines to solve problems that already have a perfectly good Krav Maga-ian solution. More often than not, this is either done purposely (feed the ego, pretend you are the inventor of a “new” technique..etc.) or out of a lack of knowledge (instructor has no more material to teach, the problem is too difficult solve…etc.)

 

That being said, I wish courage to all instructors and participants in keeping with the way of Krav Maga while at the same time giving credit where credit is due and remembering those who have pioneered the system.

 

Krav Maga “1” – Imi Lichtenfeld’s Krav Maga, the founder of the system.

Krav Maga “2” – Eyal Yanilov’s Krav Maga Global, Imi Lichtenfeld’s closest assistant, top student and currently the leading master in Krav Maga. Mr. Yanilov is considered the most knowledgeable person in Krav Maga and the purest conductor of the system.


Vladimir Alexandru

Krav Maga West Island

www.KM3.ca

Self-Defense & Martial Arts Dollard-des- Ormeaux, Montreal