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The grim reality of dealing with a knife in an enclosed space.

Let’s consider a situation that none of us would want to find ourselves in, being in a car with someone intent on causing us harm with a knife!

In the video below you’ll see a really tragic event unfolding, it’s a long video and the early stages need to be examined closely to take in what turns from a jovial conversation between a taxi driver and a passenger into an event that ends the taxi drivers life .

Please don’t watch the video if you feel it may upset you, I really wasn’t sure whether I should post it as I’m sure there are those who would object strongly. My heart goes out to the family of the taxi driver.

However I can’t really describe the scene with any sense of reality with out it, my apologies to those I may offend. I fully expect the video to be removed.

Warning:- Graphic content

Okay, what happens? Around minute mark 4.20 the attacker starts positioning his knife unbeknown to the taxi driver, at the 4.55 mark he’s reaching across to it with his left hand and the driver is looking at him but doesn’t pick up that something odd is going on.
The attacker keeps his hand on the knife tucked inside his jacket for around 16 seconds, this could have been a signal that something was distracting the attacker, he’s clearly starting to prepare himself mentally to rob and possibly stab the driver at this point.

From around the 5.20 mark he starts to go quiet and the driver looks a little uncomfortable.
At the 6.40 mark he’s very clearly preparing himself with a notable change in demeanor.
At the 7 min mark he’s reaching for the drivers wallet, the situation rapidly deteriorates and the knife is pulled.
The driver struggles with him trying to prevent him from robbing him with his left hand and trying to fend off the knife hand with his right hand.
At 7.30 mark the attacker starts stabbing repeatedly, there is a short lull at one point as he tries to get the driver to hand over the goods but to no avail. He stabs roughly 20 times with a couple of random stabs at the end that have little or no effect.

We need to assess the situation from a self preservation first point of view. Without laying blame on the victim as after all he was just trying to protect himself and his lively hood and go home to feed his family.

Yes the attacker was trying to steal his hard earned money, but it’s just not worth loosing your life for.

For sure the driver would have been scared, as you can see by the way he was sending his hands out to defend and keep the knife away. All very natural behavior, but unfortunately it’s just not enough.
As soon as the knife was produced he should have been thinking to exit the car, let him have what he wanted!
Of course if you can’t escape then you must fight with overwhelming aggression and determination and we can train you to have this mentality at Krav Maga Canberra, but most importantly we can train you to think and respond rationally when faced with extremely stressful and life threatening situations.

In conclusion:-
There were some tell tale signs in the behavior of the attacker, the period where he had his hand buried in his jacket after he’d already been poking around in there.
This should have tweaked the attention of the driver, followed by the change in his behavior when he went quiet, then the very clear head forward and facial expression. At that point it should have been very clear something was wrong.

Once the knife was produced submission would have been the best response, once the stabbing started the best option would have been to try to exit the car even though he would have sustained some wounds in the process.

We know he simply reacted as many of us would when confronted with somebody trying to take from us, however the lesson to be learned here is that the natural response from males and sometimes females to resist somebody behaving this way is often the worst thing we can do. For men in particular our ego / muchisimo can be our own worst enemy. No body likes to eat shit in their lives but some times it’s the best option!

Even if you train regularly in Krav Maga and have indeed attended a transport course where you have worked in cars with all kinds of weapons threats, your best bet would be to simply comply and give him what he wanted. If you have had the opportunity to train in a car with plastic training knives then you’ll know how hard it really is to deal with that kind of attack. And you’ll realize that as much as you may feel a great deal of resentment toward your attacker during and after the incident it’s just not worth loosing your life over any amount of money.

Blog post by Dave Sargent, senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra

Some interesting statistics and what it means for us.

Let’s have a quick look at some interesting statistics in violent crime in Australia and then look at how that effects us as Krav practitioners and teachers for that matter.

Homicide:- fortunately for all of us homicide in Australia has been on a very strong decline for many years, in 1989/90 the rate was approx 1.9 incidents per 100,000 in population falling dramatically to approx 1 incident per 100,000 by 2014.

With younger males unsurprisingly 18 to 24 being 25% out of 100% of males killed as opposed to young women (same age group) at roughly 8% out of 100% of females killed.
In the 25 to 34 age group we become somewhat more even male/female at roughly 25% of males and 21/22% of female fatalities.

What’s really interesting is that in the 35 to 49 yr bracket women are equal or starting to creep slightly ahead at a rate of roughly 28% and males just short of that.

Then we see a notable change with women starting to be the victims far more frequently with males 50 to 64 being around 17% and females at 20% then when you hit 65 and over we see women at 10% and males at around 6%.

The figures in groups younger than I have mentioned are all over the shop and in most cases carried out by (generally speaking) perpetrators considerably older than them selves. So I’m not going to address this group today, that’s for another blog.

Domestic or acquaintance homicides account 35 to 40% of all homicides and intimate partner homicides account for around two thirds of all of those.

Most females die in domestic homicide situations in there own homes!
With the majority being victims of intimate partners!
Most males die in acquaintance homicedes and a larger proportion of males are killed by strangers than females.

Weapons involved:- Knives and sharp instruments are overwhelmingly the tool of choice with gun incidents in 1989/90 per 100,000 population sitting at 75 dropping dramatically to 25 to 30 in 2013/14 per 100,000 population.
Where as knife or sharp object murders have only diclined marginally over the same period from 100 to the low 80’s.
A quarter of all homicides are by personal weapon IE; ones own body (hands and feet), beaten to death with or without an improvised tool, (blunt force trauma) or strangled etc.
In 2016 knives were used in 31% of all homicides, 22% of robberies and 11% of abductions.

Most homicides by acquaintance or intimate partner take place in the victims home or the offenders home.

Stranger homicides tend to happen in the street or other locations.

Males are far more likely to be victims of physical assault from strangers than females.

In conclusion! What we see is that both male and females need to be actively training self defence, with confined spaces being taken into account (your own home) as a serious problem to be addressed in training.

Knife and sharp objects need to be dealt with on a regular basis in ones training.

Gun defences are a waiste of the students time, as the incidents of homicide are low and generally not at point blank range with little or no threatening behavour prior to discharge of the firearm, EG:- drive by shootings and / or gang related assassinations.
Muggings in this country rarely take place at gun point!

Females need to be particularly aware of the threat from their partners and males need to pay attention to acquaintances and strangers more.

Data source:- ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia,

Blog post by Dave Sargent Senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra

Conflict, what does it mean to us and how do we deal with it?

Firstly, there are many forms of conflict ranging from state sponsored
(war or insurgency), gang or tribal conflicts to name but a few, or most relevant to us:- inter personal conflict. That is between individuals or small groups of individuals not necessarily gang related but none the less pack mentality type situations.

What it means to us is that we need the skills to recognize, rationalize and respond appropriately depending on the situation.

Some people may have heard of the OODA loop, an acronym for the decision cycle developed by a US Airforce Colonel.
It goes like this:- Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.
In other words for us, we need to use this process in our everyday judgement process when dealing with a potentially violent interaction so as to respond appropriately.

I’m not going to go to far into depth here as that’s for future blogs.
Let’s look at the individual versus individual or small group situation.
As that’s what’s most relevant to us as Krav Maga practioners, this is what we train for!
Having said that of course some come to us for fitness or strength training or just plain exercise and fun, never the less, all leave with the ability to defend themselves to a degree.

Conflict / potentially violent encounters!

Here’s a couple of examples;-
The kind of thing that can happen after a football game between supporters of opposing sides or as is common a bunch of supporters wound up on alcohol and some innocent passerby who happens to look the wrong way or bump into one of them accidentally.
The truth is the above situation doesn’t require a football game to wind people up, it’s just what can happen given a group of people mixed with alcohol and somebodies poor choices at a given time.
It could be the new kid at school being picked on by his new peers for nothing more than being new!
It could be one on one, where for anyone of a thousand reasons somebody feels the need to vent their aggression on another individual.

So, the what causes it question?
Well that’s a very broad question really, as I’ve pointed out above with just a very small set of examples. Conflict can evolve in an instant.
It doesn’t NEED a long term precursor but frequently comes with one. Eg;- an ongoing grudge between individuals or groups.
It can come from a perceived injustice, a glance in the wrong direction especially common with men (EGO! IT IS A DIRTY WORD!). Or it could be in the case of gangs or groups a punishment being handed out or if it’s more a random act by those groups it’s likely to be a nominee or an up and coming member who has to prove something to the group.
We could spend hours on the phsycology behind it, but in the end that’s of limited use unless fighting an enemy in war. We simply need to read the signals and act!

The thing to do here is try to recognize the symptoms of the problem and deal with it as early as possible to avoid the conflict in the first place. Which by the way is not necessarily possible when it comes to long term grudges, however the spontaneous situation between people who don’t know each other, even though spontaneous in nature may well be far more manageable given a little SITUATIONAL AWERNESS and use of previously trained skills both physical and mental (remember the OODA loop).

We need to OBSERVE both the people in our surroundings and the environment. ORIENTATE ourselves in relation to common objects to use as weapons and shields etc, exits and potential obstacles or choke points. DECIDE on our path, be it to deescalate verbally and physically with words and body language and evacuate ourselves before it gets violent, or to preemptively escalate / attack, with an appropriate level of aggression to solve the problem or simply create enough time to evacuate ourselves. THEN OF COURSE WE MUST ACT!

All in all the most important thing to remember is we need to observe and recognize the situation before or very early as it unfolds to respond appropriately. The single most important thing to us as Krav Maga practitioners is without doubt SITUATIONAL AWARENESS!

In summary, at Krav Maga Canberra we aim to not only train people to better defend themselves but to better understand the conflict dynamic or in plain english, what causes it, how to deal with it when it happens and most importantly how to avoid it if possible.

Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra

Christmas / New year approaches!

With the season to be merry rapidly approaching we should be thinking about a whole range of things from a personal security perspective.

Travel plans :- leaving the house locked, some lights on a timer or even a radio on a timer would be a great idea to give the impression of somebody being home.
Turn the volume down on any landline phones if you still possess one of these as the phone ringing out repeatedly is a dead give away that you’re not home.
Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to collect your mail and do not leave your garbage bins out while you’re away.

If you’re headed out over the festive season then be aware that this time of the year especially New Years Eve brings a spike in violence. Add very hot weather to the mix if you’re in the southern hemisphere and you have a potentially very volatile situation.
So be alert and switch on you’re situational awareness! There are people out there who won’t be as happy or fortunate as yourself and may well choose to spread their unhappiness through violent or malicious attacks.

It’s also a very hard time for some people as far as mental health issues go so be aware and if you see someone who may need a friend to talk to etc, just ask are you okay?

Read our previous blogs on personal security while traveling for some ideas on how to be safe on your holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Krav Junior, what’s it all about?

Krav Junior, gives kids self confidence, teaches them discipline and skills to deal with bullying and inappropriate adult behavior to mention but a few aspects and develops them as responsible, respectful human beings.

We use a structured syllabus combined with attention and discipline drills to build them into a well rounded little warrior capable of distinguishing right from wrong both in their own behavior and that of others.

The training isn’t just physical, it’s a combination of cognitive recognition as well as physical aspects. We use games with the younger ones to build skills in a fun way and before they know it they have a whole host of skills that they can use, with a focus on disengaging from the confrontation with a minimum of aggression where possible and when needed they will know how to turn it on.

With the older kids we tend to move away from the games aspect, although there is still some use to encourage a friendly, fun mindset and of course when needed they learn how to change their mindset into a survival mindset.

All of them learn how to strike and make releases from common grabs and holds. They also learn how to respond to problems such as being followed or approached by individuals who may not have their better interests at heart. They learn to identify what’s acceptable behavior from an adult and when it’s time to report to their parents or somebody else that they feel somethings not right. They will learn to head to a safe place and report from there, how to give commands to let people know somethings not right with what’s happening.

All in all Krav Junior will give them Life Skills to keep them safe!

Personal Security / Online Dating

Online Dating may be the norm these days but it certainly comes with some risks.

Much the same as all social media, these sites have their fair share of predators and perhaps theses sites in particular carry some added risks as these predators aren’t just out to take your identity but possibly your finances, possessions, dignity and at the extreme your life. (A good reason to train Krav Maga)

The same process should be carried out when entering ones details as with other social media, limit all personal information to a minimum.

Falsify if only slightly certain aspects of your data to prevent identity theft and don’t give out email or phone numbers as contact details until you have had a good deal of chat if at all. It would probably be better to arrange to meet in a neutral location such as a cafe etc first, to judge whether that person is trustworthy or not.

If that’s not acceptable to them, then most probably their intentions are not honorable.

Most of all Do Not go straight to their house or allow them to know where you live or have them come to your house.

Be vague in details about where you work, where you hang out and your general where abouts no matter how nice they seem. Until you’re sure of them.

Remember predators are well practiced at making people think they are nice.

Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra.

Personal Security / Social Media

Where to begin? It’s a big subject!
Not really.
A hand full of simple rules and guidelines could save you a lot of angst.

Lets have a look at Facebook for instance, we all like our friends and family to know what we’re up to.
But do we really want everyone on social media to know what we’re up to?
Potentially leaving ourselves open to stalking, we give away valuable hints to predators and or thieves about times, locations and future destinations, without even a second thought to the possible consequences. You’re identifying that you’re not home, potentially giving the green light to someone waiting to break into your home or letting the stalker know where to find you next. What if you’re at the coast somewhere and you take a photo of yourself with your car in the back ground and someone wants to get to you? You’ve just identified make model and possibly registration number. Maybe you have a landmark behind you, all small but useful details to the wrong person.

A few simple things to do would be to go to your settings on Facebook
and limit who can see your posts to friends only, limit who can send friend requests to friends of your friends only and if you don’t know someone who tries to friend you, don’t accept their request.

Limit who can see your stuff to friends only.

Very importantly limit who can see your friends list ( I’ve limited mine to Me Only ) as this prevents people targeting people through you therefore looking like they’re a friend of yours and perhaps you don’t even know them.

A clip from Facebook settings “Remember, your friends control who can see their friendships on their own Timelines. If people can see your friendship on another timeline, they’ll be able to see it in News Feed, search and other places on Facebook. If you set this to Only me, only you will be able to see your full friends list on your timeline. Other people will see only mutual friends.”

There’s also:- who can contact me and who can look me up in privacy that you can restrict and it would be well worth the effort of doing so.

I don’t use Instagram, snap chat or twitter but I’m sure they all have some degree of privacy setting and again it would be well worth while checking them out.

When setting up your page etc, don’t use correct birth dates, don’t give your home address, work details, phone numbers etc. Really limit the personal information easily available to the those out there there that are up to no good. All of that stuff can be used for identity theft.
You can easily pass that stuff onto the people in your life who count via other means.

Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra

Personal Security / In And Around The Car

In the car, It’s pretty simple really.
The car is in it’s self a secure location for you if some one’s chasing you or trying to do something to you. Get in, lock the door and keep the windows up, move the vehicle to a safer place and call for help. If need be use the car as a ramming device.

Road rage incidents:- Stay in the car! Keep the windows up and doors locked, car windows are suprisingly tough and will withstand reasonably hard impact from fists etc. Move the vehicle away from the attacker if possible and call the police for help. If you can’t move the vehicle then call for assistance immediately and get a photo of the attacker/attackers.
It’s worth noting at this point that in Australia it is illegal to resort to violence in the protection of property, so don’t worry about damage to the car! If the attacker manages to get in then you can legally defend yourself within the bounds of the law. Don’t start off as the victim and end up being the criminal.
Krav Maga Canberra offers training in and around cars, busses trains and planes.

Property:- As far as securing personal items goes again it’s just common sense:- don’t leave valuable items exposed where they may tempt a would be thief, perhaps if leaving valuables in the car and you have a boot then lock them in there or hide them under clothes behind the seats etc. Having tinted windows can even be a way to make it harder for potential thieves, they’re after an easy target with a clearly defined valuable object in view. chances are if they can’t see in they won’t bother.

When stopped:- Don’t leave the windows open or doors unlocked when you stop at the lights, not such a huge problem in Australia but in other countries this could end up being a fatal mistake. In a lot of places it’s very common to lock the doors when you get in and only unlock them when you arrive at your destination, for a single female occupant of a car this would be sound advice in any country.

True story:- I taught a couple of young women who were traveling to South America to work with an aid agency and one of them told me about a girlfriend who’d been dragged out of an open taxi window in Buenos Aires Argentina, she was robbed then let go fortunately for her.
She spoke Spanish well enough to understand that the assailants were discussing whether to kidnap her but didn’t have anywhere to take her, so they just robbed her instead, the taxi driver did nothing to assist the girl. You’re often on your own in such situations, a good reason to learn Krav Maga.

Parking:- When parking the car where ever possible reverse park so you can make a rapid escape when under pressure from an attacker or group of attackers.
Always park in an area where you can see clearly at night with good lighting and other people around, not up some dingy poorly lit alley way.
Arrive at the car with your keys out ready to go, don’t be caught off guard bent over foraging for your keys in a handbag, this would make you an exceptionally easy target.

Being threatened:- If you are being followed or chased make sure you use the environment to create barriers and obstacles between yourself and the attackers, think tactically and keep them at distance. If need be head to a safer place rather than trying to get into the car and manage a bunch of fine motor skills under pressure. Where possible in a safe manner get in and lock doors and windows move the vehicle to a safe location and call for assistance.

Apon arrival:- Most of all when you arrive at your destination be observant of your surroundings and aware of potential hiding places for dodgy characters and avoid being secluded from the view of the general public by choosing wisely where to park. Where possible reverse park in case you need to make a quick exit.

Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra

Training and age! = Constant Body maintenance!

Old Guys Rock!

Age is no barrier, check out the guys at the back of the room on the video!

Well, where do we begin, I’m too old for that? Or don’t be silly, you’re too old for that!


I often hear these comments bandied around when it comes to people thinking about training in Krav Maga or for that matter any kind of physical activity at a later stage in their lives.

The truth is you’re only as old as you choose to think you are!
Your body may tell you otherwise, but essentially it’s a choice whether you let the niggling aches and pains take over or not!

I myself at the time of writing this article am 51, and yes I’ve had an active lifestyle since I was young which helps enormously. But having said that I do suffer from many an ache and pain and in fact I’m carrying a chronic (long term) groin injury which if I was to believe the armchair experts, should have put me into retirement some 2 yrs ago.

Fortunately I was directed to a very good Physio who literally saved both my careers. At this stage I should state that I have a concreting business and I have a Krav Maga business and between the pair I can live comfortably.

I have had to make some changes to my lifestyle and work options, notably I have to be a lot more selective about what I do when it comes to concreting and indeed have to turn many a job away due to the physical nature of certain aspects of those jobs. I still do my own physio work at home on my own, I have no choice or my injury will simply reoccur, not that it’s ever left it’s just that I manage it or it becomes unbearable.

So, I adapt and most importantly don’t give up!
Perhaps the lifestyle changes are the most difficult to deal with as being limited in one’s leisure options is really quite mentally challenging at times.

So what’s to be done about it?
Well you could just sit back and give in to the people who’d have you bound up in cotton wool for the rest of your life, (I can’t think of a more miserable existence) or you could take the positive approach and get on with it!

What do I mean by get on with it?
Well to put it bluntly, you need to accept that some things just won’t be the same any more and focus on what you can do and what needs to be done to make it possible to continue doing those things. I’m not saying give up on the things you used to be able to do, just don’t focus on the (used to be able to) part.

I have in my class a couple of older guys (mid sixties), hope I don’t get into trouble for giving that away! But back to the point, they both started training krav late in life by comparison to the majority of my students. Neither of these guys is injury or pain free in day to day life let alone when they come to Krav training. But they both love it and have a great deal of fun every time they train regardless of the niggling aches and pains.

So what keeps them going?
Well, it’s simple really. Apart from determination to have fun and keep active, they both work on body maintenance as do I and most instructors involved with Krav Maga Global.
The bottom line is that you must spend some time if not everyday, then at least 3 times a week working on your body.

No I’m not talking about serious weight training, yes with a carefully managed program it can be very good for your body, but most of you won’t have the desire to, or the need to train that way and perhaps other aspects of your life / lifestyle will prevent you from affording the time to get serious results with weights.

What I am talking about is is a hand full of basic body weight exercises, may be some band work (resistance bands) and a bit of stretching on a regular basis. You don’t need hundreds of reps and sets but just enough to keep the joints oiled and the muscles challenged. You can achieve that sort of result in a very short period of time, say 20 minutes out of your day and you don’t need a bunch of fancy expensive equipment just a bit of imagination.

Mobility is the key to longevity!

Maintain your body!

Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra.