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Aspirations And Abilities, don’t get them mixed up!

Where am I going with that?

Well, it’s a fairly self explanatory statement really, from the perspective of Krav Maga.

Don’t allow your ego or an inflated view of your abilities to get you into trouble.
It’s more common than you may think, just add bravado from your mates and or alcohol, all of a sudden you have a very inflammatory situation.

On the one hand you may have mates egging you on as they want to see you do your stuff, on the other it maybe that you think highly of the skills you have acquired, and believe in your abilities that have so far only been tested in the Dojo.
Very dangerous indeed!
The outcome may be very different to what you may expect.

The truth is, it’s all about understanding not only your own abilities, but those of the aggressor that you are dealing with, and….. understanding the situation that you find yourself in.

What environmental factors are going to work in your favour or the aggressors favour?

One thing I learned whilst working on the door in both Canberra, Australia and London, England is that some of the most unassuming characters can, when push comes to shove, be far more inclined to extreme violence than you may expect.
Whether it’s purely out of survival instinct or just second nature is also something that can vary hugely from person to person, country to country.

For instance, I ran security in a club in London in the late 1980’s when soccer hooliganism was in full swing.
It never ceased to amaze me how guys and girls who seemed so placid and unassuming on the exterior could with very little provocation erupt into extreme violence.
When I say extreme violence, I’m talking about glassing / stabbing people or picking up objects to strike people with or pack violence.

I saw on many occasions, much larger people do terrible things to smaller people ( kind of common in society unfortunately ) but I also witnessed on many occasions, incidents where people who appeared to believe, that they were far more capable than their opponent, come unstuck when the smaller person resorted to an extreme level of violence straight off the bat.

So why am I bringing this up?

Well, when we as Instructors of Krav Maga talk to our students we spend a lot of time talking about situational awareness, don’t get into a bad situation in the first place.

How do you achieve that?

Have your eyes open and observe, observe, observe your environment and act accordingly!

Which brings me to the subject I really want to talk about.

What is the appropriate response to the situation that you find yourself in?

The first thing we should understand as Instructors and students is that every situation is going to have a completely different set of variables, that can and will lead to different outcomes to any other situation that we have been in previously.

That being said, what are the main things to take into consideration in the moments you have to assess the situation before something happens?

Well if you’ve been alert and observant you’ll already have a bit of a grasp of your environment and what can be used to your advantage or disadvantage.
Eg:- Common objects to use as shields or tools for striking, obstacles you can use to prevent people getting to you, your exits, choke points to be avoided or capitalized on, lighting conditions that may be used to your advantage etc.

The Elephant in the room however, is the decision to engage or not to engage and if you do, how do you engage?

Is it a verbal response of aggression or de-escalation or outright pre-emptive attack?
The first 2 both require the appropriate body language to achieve their goals and you need to be prepared to back them up with the appropriate actions. Pre-emptive attack requires a strong mind set and a reasonable skill set, all be it gross motor skill orientated.
I don’t normally talk about the aggressive verbal response as we teach people to de-escalate all the time, it does however have its place as a tactic and if used appropriately can stop things progressing further. You will need to appear, at least, prepared to back it up. And if push comes to shove be pre-emptive or disengage rapidly.

Which brings me to something one of my Instructors said to me recently, You Don’t Practice What You Preach!

Yep, sometimes that’s true! It comes down to Experience and the ability to rapidly assess the situation and make the appropriate decisions.
I don’t recommend the aggressive approach to most students because it’s inappropriate to their level of ability.
Remember Aspirations and Abilities, you shouldn’t arm someone with a tool they will never have the ability to use!

What I’m trying to say is, if you understand the difference between your abilities and the potential abilities of the attacker / attackers and your environmental constraints or advantages, you can choose to posture and verbalize aggressively. It is a valid option.
It’s not for everyone though, and as instructors we need to make that clear.

The important word here is Experience!

You need to know when to be aggressive ( if that’s your solution, be prepared to back it up ) and when to be submissive in your appearance.
The latter usually incorporates verbal de-escalation and a show of empathy and submissive body language, but still needs to be executed with a level of confidence and no apparent cowering or apparent fear, even if you feel it, as this may well trigger an assault by the aggressor.
Pre-emption is an appropriate response here, if the submissive approach doesn’t achieve your goals and you feel an attack is iminent. Lead them down the path, make them think you’re weak then explode!

I’m frequently pointed to videos on facebook by people showing all kinds of different approaches to self defence. A couple of guys that come to mind are Geof Thompson and Lee Morrison, both English guys and both are very experienced and have good stuff to offer.

Their approach is very aggressive, with pre-emption frequently being the preferred approach, as it is suited to the UK environment where violence is a national pastime ( no offence to any Britts out there ) and generally at an extreme level.
These guys have a good understanding of extreme violence and teach appropriately. Credit where credit’s due.

However for the Australian situation, where people generally don’t have a proclivity to such levels of violence it would be inappropriate to teach this way on a regular basis and as the norm, the aggressive approach is a useful tool but its application is problematic if you lack experience in such situations. Not to mention you’d leave yourself open to legal ramifications.
However we can use the very aggressive verbal and posturing approach that we see in Geof Thompson or Lee Morrison’s videos when appropriate, as this may well be enough to defuse the situation, sometimes saying nothing and just glaring at someone aggressively and using strong body language is enough!
Again it’s a case of assessing what’s required and most importantly understanding the difference between your Aspirations and Abilities!


  • Remember every situation will be different, so train for many different scenarios in different environments.
  • Understand your strengths and weaknesses both mentally and physically.
  • Never underestimate the aggressors abilities and act appropriately to the particular situation you find yourself in.
  • Remember that being overtly aggressive is okay if used at the right time in the right situation, but shouldn’t be your go to solution for every situation!
  • Be nice! And de-escalate where possible!
  • Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor and school owner at Krav Maga Canberra

    Click here to:-
    Join us at Krav Maga Canberra

Krav Maga Training In Isolation, what are the options?

First off, let us consider the word Isolation and how that changes the training dynamic.

Obviously we can no longer attend our regular class situation whether due to travel or the current self imposed Covid 19 Isolation but, in this day and age we have so many other options at our finger tips.

The internet can provide numerous training options from online classes to training videos of all kinds, but we still need to be able to re-invent our own training regime in our own space.

It’s not as hard as it sounds, although it will require a little creativity and then some self control / determination and focus to enact our training plan.

The beauty of Krav Maga in Isolation is you can work it into your daily routine with ease. You can train all through your dwelling, be it a house, unit or hotel room. They all have doorways, door frames, walls and furniture that can be used as training tools with a little creativity.

So let us look at the basic options and then we’ll go into some detail on each.

  • Visualization:- Neuro Linguistic Programming.
  • Dry Driiling:- Execution of technical material without a partner.
  • House fighting:- The use of the dwelling, halls’ walls and doorways.
  • Furniture:- Training from different seated positions / in and around furniture as obstacles / use of furniture as common objects.
  • Punching bag:- If you have one.
  • Mirror training:- If you have one.
  • Mental conditioning:- Meditation, breathing, power posing.
  • Fitness and conditioning:- Body weight exercises and stretching.
  • Okay, so let’s look at each aspect in detail. Keeping in mind that these options are all able to be used in combination with each other depending on how creative you want to be.

    Visualization:- This can be done sitting at the dinner table, sitting on the couch, at your work station, flat on your back in bed or even on the toilet!

    There’s 2 Options here,

    1. Visualize a technique that you want to work on and do it as you would in a dry drill by ramping each step of the technique until you have the whole thing, then later dry drill it exactly as you visualized it.


    2. Start by visualizing an attack happening to you in what ever position you’re in eg:- seated or lying down.

    But don’t limit yourself by your environment as you can visualize a mugging situation in the street, car jacking, anything that comes to mind really.

    When you start your visualization you can visualize as though there is nobody there and you are only going through the technical aspects of the defence for a specific attack, then you should add in the reality by picturing the attacker as well. When you do that, work from complete failure to complete success step by step and repeat each visualization 4 or 5 times before moving on to the next step.
    Make sure you visualize the same attack each time and with each attack the same response and end result for that stage of the visualization process.

    1. I’m attacked, I’m completely surprised and am able to make no defences and get bashed very badly, maybe even to death. The attacker leaves me for dead.

    2. I see the attacker just before I’m struck and start to cover up, I don’t have time to defend properly and still get bashed but manage to survive. The attacker makes a hasty escape.

    3. I see the attacker, recognize what’s about to happen and manage to defend and get away with only mild injuries. Attacker heads the other way having failed.

    4. I see the attacker, recognize what’s about to happen and make a very good defence leaving the attacker disabled and am able to disengage, I move to a safe zone and check myself for bleeding and other injuries then call the police to report the incident.

    Keep it as simple a scenario as possible but always start with the worst possible out come and work to complete success.

    Dry Drilling:-
    Take whichever technique that you want to work on and mentally break it down into at most 3 stages then work stage 1 several times, add stage 2 and then stage 3.
    As you work through the drill you repeat stage 1 say 3 times, then add stage 2 and repeat 1 & 2 together 3 times then add stage 3 and you have the whole technique which you then repeat 3 times or as many times as you wish, repetition is good!

    Eg:- 360 / outside defence,

    Step 1. Just make the defence.

    Step 2. make the defence with simultaneous counter.

    Step 3. make the defence and counter and add tactical movement and scanning for other attackers, exits, common objects etc.

    House fighting:-
    One of my favourites!

    This requires a bit of imagination, and would be good if you were the only one present at the time (due to others thinking you may have lost the plot).

    You can do this anywhere in the house and if you have a long hall with lots of doorways it’s even better.

    You will need to be warmed up and you need to keep safety in training in mind at all times! Door frames are very unforgiving opponents!

    Starting in any location in the house from standing, simply shadow fight your way around the house using the furniture and walls as the ring so to speak.

    Visualize opponents popping up in doorways, in the kitchen, the hall, anywhere really.

    You’re moving through the whole environment and you can use all the angles to your advantage.

    Halls are especially good for this as you move along the hall you can visualize attackers in the doorways, in font of you, to the sides and behind you, multiple attackers from multiple sides!

    Work the angles!

    You will find here that you need to be very spatially aware and have good control of your limbs, not much in the way of circular motion strikes, no roundhouse kicks, hook punches can be used but carefully. They are good for punching around a corner or to a door frame (with gloves or open handed), but due to the confined nature of a hall you’ll mainly be making front, side and back kicks with straight punches, elbows and forward, downward and upward hammer strikes.

    If you have good gloves and solid door frames you can even strike the door frames from all kinds of angles with some care!

    Try to add in all kinds of releases from chokes and head locks and really consider the use of the environment, practice ramming the attackers head into door frames etc, use common objects and the furniture (with care!) as both obstacles for your attacker and weapons for yourself.

    This is a lot of fun and will improve your skills and control and you should try to use peripheral vision also as part of the exercise.

    Start slowly and once you get the idea go as fast as you’re comfortable with.

    But most of all don’t hurt yourself or the house!
    Your home and contents insurance won’t cover any damage to you or the house! Nor will Krav Maga Canberra!

    Furniture fighting:-
    Training from different seated positions / in and around furniture as obstacles / use of furniture as common objects.

    Exactly as in House fighting only now you start in a seated position, can be on the lounge (which provides some difficult scenarios) or in a regular chair or seated with your legs under the dining table etc.

    Visualize a scenario then work on making defences whilst seated, then getting up to deal with the problem while being attacked, then getting up and intercepting the attacker, then retreating behind the seat or lounge, then if possible use the seat as a defensive tool / shield. Work the time line! (be carefull!)

    Punching bag, if you have one:-
    You can do the usual of working striking combinations or just single techniques or you can be far more creative and start from varying angles and make both defences and attacks on the bag.
    Eg:- make inside sweeping defence to the air then coming back with the same hand to make a hammer strike to the bag, this will give you a much better feel for the defence and allow you to build more striking power at the same time.

    If you have room you can make forward or backward rolls to the bag then come up fighting, this will improve your proprioception enormously and you’ll get a much better feeling for range.
    You can do the same with break falls forward, backwards and sideways which also gets you attacking from the ground with your feet, then works your get ups to continue attacking the bag from standing.
    Think out of the box, the options are endless here!

    Mirror training:-
    There’s not a lot to say here, it’s a great tool if you have one in an area where you can move.
    Basically you can dry drill or shadow fight in the mirror using the mirror to see how good (or poor) you look.
    You can even do 360 or punching combo’s in the bathroom mirror!

    Mental conditioning:- Meditation, breathing and power posing.

    While meditation really isn’t my thing, on the odd occasion that I have used it to clear my head of noise, I’m not talking audible noise but the kind of white noise that goes on in our heads, too much obscure brain activity with no focus type of noise, it has been very helpful.
    So in the isolation environment it’s not a bad tool to use prior to, and after training, to clear your head and give focus.
    I like to stare at a spot on the wall until all else is blank and I only see that spot, it’s very settling for the mind and afterwards allows you to perform somewhat better with much more focus and clarity.
    It would be worth doing a little research on various types of meditation if you were interested in delving deeper as different methods work better for different people, the above is just one example of what works for me.

    Abdominal Breathing:-
    A really good tool for settling the nerves and used by many Special Forces personnel around the world prior to and during opps.

    It’s also a technique Psychologists use when helping people with anxiety etc.
    Again it’s very settling for the mind, lowers the pulse rate and generally brings calm to the nervous system.

    Essentially you should breath in and out to a count (6 to 8 works for me) the more practice you do the longer your count will become.
    It should be that your diaphragm / stomach region rises first and finishes with your upper chest inflating last.
    Then the chest empties first with the diaphragm /stomach region emptying last, with counting the same number on the way in and out, slowly but surely.

    Power Posing:-
    Why use this in isolation?
    Well it’s a good way to make you feel better about yourself (I Am A Winner!). It’s about adopting the correct mentality to both survive the isolation and all the mental aspects associated with it, and having a winning mentality while training is especially useful when house fighting or bag working.

    There are three basic poses:-

    1. The winner with the fists clenched and held high above the head just as you would see an athlete on the podium.

    2. The arms crossed and the chest fully inflated, head held high.

    3. Hands on hips with the chest fully inflated and head held high.

    Believe it or not doing these stances will lift your mental state.

    You should do your stance in a mirror for a period of at least 30 seconds or more and embrace it, you are a winner!

    If you put your aggressive face on while doing the arms crossed or hands on hips position this can also raise your aggression level somewhat and is worth doing as an exercise prior to the fighting training or bag work.

    Fitness and Conditioning:-
    Should be an integral part of your Krav training regime even if only for body maintenance.

    If you have a gym then by all means use it, but try to think of more functional forms of exercise when it comes to Krav training.

    Body weight exercises and kettlebells if you have some are best for us.

    Again you’ll need to be creative here to keep it interesting if your isolation is going to be prolonged.

    There are many variations of body weight exercises, take the push up / plank family, how many different ways can you do these?

    Krav Maga Canberra push up with punch and stomp

    Push up with punch and stomp

    Krav Maga Canberra Spiderman push up

    Spiderman push up

    The main thing to keep in mind is that the exercises that you’re doing has some purpose other than just going through the motions to keep fit. You want to be targeting whole muscle groups! Not just focusing on aesthetics, biceps curls for instance, how is this going to help your Krav?

    Krav Maga Canberra

    Functional exercise for Krav maga

    If you ask yourself that exact question when choosing a workout, it should be easy to find something that will fulfill both your need to break the workout boredom / exercise burnout cycle, and create something that is interesting, fun and functional in relation to Krav Maga.

    Stretching should also be an integral part of your workout, prior and post workout.
    It doesn’t hurt to spend some time a couple of times a week on stretching alone, think about your mobility and what that’s going to look like when you’re older!
    The same applies here with the internet being a great source of info.
    Just be careful that you’re not doing harm to yourself, stretching shouldn’t be excruciatingly painful in nature. slowly but surely wins the race here!

    Training in Isolation is not hard, you just need to be creative and think outside of the box.
    Try different approaches, have a plan and be prepared to adjust that plan if it doesn’t work for you.
    Don’t be scared to try different approaches as there is nobody there to judge you other than yourself, if it’s not working, move on, try something else.

    Just go for it!

    Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor and school owner at Krav Maga Canberra

    Click here to:-
    Join us at Krav Maga Canberra

What’s our purpose? Krav Maga and women’s self defence.

What is our purpose?

Is it to train women to simply fight off an assailant or is there more to it?

The short answer is there’s a whole lot more to it!

Our purpose, while delivering an easy system of solutions to learn and use for dealing with the physical side of things should be first and foremost, to encourage a change of mentality on the part of the participant.

It’s our responsibility as self defence instructors to convey the message that while we give you the skills to deal with a violent encounter they should be the skills of last resort, not the first or only response.

We use the acronym AOI when talking about what creates the environment that allows a perpetrator to carry out their desired goal.

What does that mean?

  • AOI:- Ability, Opportunity, Intent!
    3 words of major importance,

    A. The attacker has the Ability to overwhelm, control, subdue or simply beat the victim.
    O. The attacker has the Opportunity to do so.
    I. The attacker has Intent to carry out an act of one form or another of assault, could be Social violence, Domestic violence, Sexual assault or Robbery.

  • The most important word here from the perspective of self defence / personal security is:- Opportunity!

    Without all 3 of those things being in place the chances of something bad happening are slim, however when all 3 come together at the same point in time the probability of something happening is high.

    Whilst we can’t really do anything about the Intent side of things we can certainly address the Ability and Opportunity aspects.

    Risk Mitigation.
    It’s all about Risk Mitigation.

    So how do we achieve that?

  • Situational awareness.
    We need to create a really good understanding of Situational Awareness and what that means to us as individuals, at this point it should be made clear that we approach self defence for males and females in exactly the same manner.
    We’re not suggesting that females need to behave any differently to males, violence is violence regardless of gender or nature ( meaning social violence, domestic violence, violence for gain or violence for pleasure ).
  • So what is Situational Awareness?

    Situational awareness is without a doubt the best tool you can learn to use, it’s about being aware of your surroundings and your condition both mentally and physically. With the aim of taking away the Opportunity for a potential attack.
    It’s about using your environment to your advantage, it starts the moment you leave the comfort of your own home, sometimes just letting the bad guys know you know they’re there and are observing them will be enough.
    It’s also something you should be aware of in your own home, in case of domestic violence or violent home invasion etc.
    You should be aware of common objects that you can use in a defensive manner, objects that you can use to create obstacles between yourself and a potential attacker to inhibit their Ability to carry out their Intent.

  • Ability is not necessarily down to who’s strongest!
  • So when we talk about risk mitigation and situational awareness we’re really trying to limit the opportunity for all 3 aspects of the AOI situation coming together at one point in time.

    Violence as mentioned above comes in many different forms, but there are some things that occur with reasonable frequency prior to or leading up to the actual act.

    There is frequently what we call an interview stage, where the perpetrator will size up his / her target. How they do this varies enormously depending on the goals of the perpetrator and or the constraints of the environment.

    It may be they brush forcefully past you in the street / night club etc, to gauge your reaction, it may be they try to stop you and ask for money, maybe they try to chat you up so to speak ( it should be said not all members of the opposite sex have bad intentions but! ), or it could be they just check you out from a distance, all of which will be to gauge whether you’re strong and confident or appear weak and vulnerable (an easy target).

    Basically it’s an assessment period, the intent is already there, they are working out whether they have the Ability to act, next or simultaneously they will look for the Opportunity.

    We need to recognize this and make sure we don’t create any unnecessary Opportunities for them to exploit.

  • Domestic Violence
    In the case of ongoing domestic violence the upper hand has usually been established already or if it’s the first occasion all 3 things are already in place, you’re at home hidden from societies prying eyes, or in an environment the perpetrator feels comfortable in when acting out.
    There will be many recognizable signals prior to the violence stage, generally a build up of aggressive behavior and there may be some very recognizable triggers to that aggressive behavior.
  • With domestic violence we can teach self defence and it may save you but the most important thing we can do is to build the ability to recognize the precursor or symptoms prior to the event, they will vary dramatically from one relationship to another, the most consistent would be a build up of aggressive behavior sometimes very rapidly other times over a period of time, never the less the outcome will likely be the same.
    The safest solution ( but the hardest ) is to leave the relationship, this can also dramatically increase the aggression from the other party and you should be sure you have a safe place to go and that the police have been informed.
    The bare minimum should be to seek some kind of counseling as early as possible, for both parties if the aggressor is amenable to the option.

  • Sexual Assault.

    Risk Mitigation, is your best option, Situational Awareness being the best tool you have available.

  • It is of course impossible to prevent any Risk of assault, but limiting the Opportunities by being aware of your environment, alcohol or inebriate consumption both your own and that of others around you and planning your movements if you are out and about consuming alcohol etc, are all essential parts of your survival plan, being able bodied enough and delivering a strong physical response will stop many sexually driven assailants. Your self defence skills should however be the last thing you need to rely on.
    Having said that when dealing with extreme predatory behavior things can happen without any warning at all and self defence or submission will be your only options.
    Self defence may be more than enough to stop an attacker, however if they are a violent attacker it sadly may be a better option to submit so as to survive.

  • Social Violence / Violence for Pleasure.
    While there are some factors that differentiate the two it should be noted that they often both take place in the same sorts of environments and that there is a marked rise in women being involved in both aspects.
  • Social violence can be completely accidental in nature, eg:- spilled someones drink in a bar, bumped into someone accidentally and things get out of hand etc.
    Violence for Pleasure meaning that the perpetrator is acting out to fulfill their own needs for entertainment or to make themselves feel better about themselves to make up for feelings of being socially inadequate in some way, both these forms of violence will have an interview stage that you will be apart of.

    The trick is to recognize it as it’s happening and remove yourself from the situation as fast as possible ( de-escalate and disengage ). It’s not always that easy to do, but having good situational awareness skills will make the job easier. Positioning yourself tactically to prevent the assailant from getting to you easily whilst verbally and with body language de-escalating the situation, is a good start. Again it’s your mentality that will control your responses, so we need to build the ability in you to stay calm under pressure and when needed spring in to action.

  • Violence for Gain
    Robbery of one form or another involving violence, eg:- mugging or violent home invasion.
    Both are extremely predatory in nature, mugging will generally include an interview stage all be it a very short one at times and other times a more protracted calculated approach of a stalking type of nature and also of the ambush type.
    The home invasion is almost the same, where there may have been some stalking or observing of habits whilst finding the right target, other times it can be totally random and include violence for pleasure as a byproduct result or indeed be the whole purpose of the act.
  • In regards mugging, Situational Awareness is essential and as stated previously just letting the potential perpetrator know that you know he / she’s there may be enough of a deterrent to prevent an incident. If push comes to shove you should be mentally prepared when weapons are involved to simply comply and hand over your goods.
    If there’s no weapons involved, know your limits and decide quickly whether it’s compliance or aggression that will solve the problem and never under estimate your attacker they are a different person to the sexual predator and often violence will be factored in.

  • Conclusion.
    In all of the above types of violence understanding Situational Awareness and good confident body language are essential factors in your survival kit.

    Having the ability to recognize a potentially bad situation before it unfolds is a skill in itself, and requires time to train oneself to be observant, it’s not necessarily something we do naturally.It’s something that we need to embrace on a daily basis in every aspect of life.

  • Be alert not alarmed!
  • Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor and school owner at Krav Maga Canberra

    Click here to:-
    Join us at Krav Maga Canberra

Is De-escalation, a key tactical component of Self Defence?

De-escalation is a term we use fairly loosely in self defence training, perhaps too loosely.

As there’s simply more to the whole process than meets the eye. Meaning we may not have the option to go to de-escalation at the first instance of trouble and there are other aspects of tactical behavior that should come first.

When we look at the pre fight stages of self defence, we first try not to get into a situation (don’t be there) by being situationally aware and if we feel that we’re headed into an area or situation that may not be good we change course.

In other words we make a clear tactical decision to avoid a situation, group of people, individual or dark alley etc. So as not to put ourselves in harms way.

Sometimes through no fault of our own, or by choice (perhaps in the role of preventing harm to others) we find ourselves in a situation that has either the potential to get violent or is already there.

So, is De-escalation a tactical component of self defence?

To answer the question Yes, and it is also possible to de-escalate a situation even after it has become violent!

In the case of defending ourselves, the best solution would be to de-escalate prior to any punches being thrown which is not always possible, but certainly the best solution.

Communication is key here!

So what are the options?
In the case of a situation that has already turned to violence, obviously we have the option of using force to subdue the aggressor or, we could try to deflect the usual pushing type behavior prior to the attack or defend the initial flurry of attacks and then try to control him/her/them and then de-escalate, or even when the punches are flying we can try to verbally de-escalate the situation!

How do we De-escalate?
Well, it’s a combination of;

  • Body Language
  • Verbal Communication
  • Showing Empathy
  • And even a little bit of ego massage directed at the aggressor if necessary.

Body Language:-
Prior to punches being thrown, appear confident but not arrogant, have your hands up and out in front of you in a manner that doesn’t appear threatening, in other words parallel to each other not in a fighting stance, this gives a submissive appearance.
Have your eyes looking toward their chest and your peripheral vision switched on, again this appears submissive but is actually very defensive in nature. It allows you to detect any strikes very early on and prevents you from being psyched out or intimidated by their aggressive stare or facial expressions.

Do not cower!
As this will almost certainly feed their feeling of dominance and may well be a que for the aggressor to escalate! (think typical bully here).

Verbal communication:-
Before during and after the encounter!
Show empathy towards the aggressor even if you feel that they’re an ass hole!
That will tell them you can identify with the problem from their point of view, hence building some kind of bond or understanding (it doesn’t have to be long term).
Try to reassure the aggressor that you don’t want any trouble and if need be, even apologize for what ever the perceived injustice might be.
Be very careful with the use of threats of police or the damage you may be able to do to them. As in the case of the police it can go both ways and either de-escalate or rapidly escalate the problem, it really depends on the aggressor’s mindset. That’s not to say that that they aren’t appropriate actions under the right circumstances.
Threatening them with violence is never a good option, as it can also rapidly escalate the situation and can also be used against you later in a court of law if there are witnesses present.
Don’t be a smart ass, don’t try to belittle them, again this will escalate the situation.

What if you’re trying to stop a situation between other people?
It’s pretty simple really, firstly be sure of who the aggressor / aggressors are before sticking your nose into a potentially very volatile situation (you don’t need to choose sides here). And be very aware of both parties behavior as you may get an unexpected surprise whilst you’re in the middle of the pack so to speak.
Apart from maybe having to get between the parties and create separation just follow the same process.

Good Body Language and Verbal Skills are the answer!
Having said that it can be that if your social skills or personal development are lacking a bit you may believe that you are de-escalating the situation when you’re actually prolonging the situation unnecessarily or escalating it. So you need to really pay attention to the responses of the people involved and try to understand if you’re making it better or worse, yourself included!

Also you need to be aware of your own triggers, those are the things that will tick you off and fire you up. If you don’t have yourself under control how can you expect to keep others under control?
Triggers! That’s for another blog!

Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor at Krav maga Canberra

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New Year, it’s almost here!

Another Christmas has passed and another New Year is almost upon us.

Whilst for most of us this is a time of family gathering and joy, we should be aware of those who are less fortunate for whatever the reason.

For some this can be a particularly difficult time of the year and if we can offer a helping hand or a kind word or an ear to listen with, it can mean a lot to those less fortunate than ourselves.

We should also be aware of the risks that the holiday season brings with it.

Lets have a look at a few problem areas and think about what we can do to minimize or even negate the risk.

  • A higher rate of Domestic Violence.
  • What can we do about it if it’s happening to us or someone we know?

    If you are a victim of domestic violence or fear that you may become one, the first thing to do is to try and disengage from the situation.

    That may be a lot harder than it sounds, many people find it very difficult to walk away from a partner or loved one when there’s an argument even when they know the next step will be violence and indeed many victims of domestic violence feel that in some way, they are to blame for what happens to themselves.

    Well it’s simply not true, if someone works themselves into a rage and violently takes it out on somebody else, the only blame lies with the aggressor.

    As early as possible you need to extricate yourself from their environment, generally speaking, the indicators will be there before the violence starts.

    Having said that every body’s situation is different and you need to be aware of what signals the aggressor may be sending, the sooner you pick them up the better.

    There are many support groups or hot lines out there but you must take the first step and reach out for help even if it’s only to a friend, the hardest part may be to admit to yourself that there is a problem and you need help to solve it.

    Lifeline Australia’s page – Lifeline Australia Domestic Violence Help page.

    Domestic Violence hotline numbers –
    White Ribbon Australia list of Domestic Violence Hotline numbers

    If you think somebody you know is a victim of domestic violence,

    You should be very careful when assessing or judging people, as the victims can be very defensive when questioned on the subject and if you’re wrong there’s all kinds of potential for fallout.

    However we all have a duty of care if we think somethings not right especially when children are at risk, so tread lightly but do something.

    That may be just offering a safe place to discuss the situation or some kind of refuge, or registering your concern with the police, keeping in mind the aggressor may turn on you too!

    Intervention at the time of a violent occurrence can be extremely tricky and your best intentions could land you in a lot of hot water.

    It’s very common that when somebody tries to intervene during a domestic violence situation that the victim will turn on the rescuer, after all you are either trying to restrain / control or for want of better words, in the victim’s eyes attack, their partner or family member.

    Regardless of the violence being metered out to that person you are, quite probably in their eyes, sticking your nose in where it’s not wanted. That brings with it some inherent risks of it’s own, so best to call the Police and let somebody better equipped for the situation deal with it unless you think that the victim is going to be badly hurt.
    Then you must act, but be aware that you may have two aggressive people to deal with and also be aware that their may be some legal consequences of your actions!

  • New Years Eve, the most violent night of the year!
  • Mmm, having worked as security at several night clubs for 6.5 yrs and having worked on New Years Eve 6 times, I’d have to say that whilst the majority of people are out for fun, there are those who either can’t handle their alcohol and or drugs and loose control or are just plain anti social and thrive on the opportunity to take advantage of people who are less capable than themselves.
    Add to the situation (in Australia at least) extreme hot weather and you have a potentially very volatile mix of factors that can contribute to a lot of violence!

    What’s the answer?

    Well, go out and and be situationally aware, keep control of your own consumption and if a situation starts to present itself de-escalate and disengage! and simply leave the area / venue if things start getting hostile, it’s not rocket science!

  • A high rate of Accidental Death on the roads.
  • So many people on the roads at once and so many in a hurry!

    Krav Maga is as much a self defence system as a mentality, you can adopt a defensive mentality to driving just as you can to walking down the street.

    That doesn’t mean be scared or afraid to venture out, it just means drive defensively, be situationally aware at all times. Be courteous when someone else is in the wrong but not at the expense of your own safety of course, just be aware that people will be tired and make bad choices this time of the year and when it comes to cars or motorbikes it can be deadly!

  • Road Rage!
  • Everybody is in a hurry, everybody is tired and cranky. What might you expect if you are less than courteous on the roads? Or perhaps just driving normally and someone thinks for some reason you’ve wronged them in some way, so they get aggressive.

    What to do?

    If you’re stuck in traffic and can’t safely escape, lock the doors, wind the windows and call 000 for assistance assuming the offender is out of his car and it warrants the call, otherwise if it’s just a bit of abuse smile, apologise whether it’s your fault or not and get on with your day, what’s the big deal?

  • Higher rates of Theft and Burglary.
  • Whether it’s break and enter to your home or vehicle or opportunistic theft of a hand bag etc, there’s a lot of it going on over the Christmas / New year period.


    Because the opportunities present themselves to the bad guys left, right and center at this time of year due mainly to complacency on the part of the owners! That’s a fact!

    What to do about it?

    Don’t be complacent!
    The, it won’t happen to me mentality, is quite simply a recipe for a bad outcome!

    Taking a few simple steps around the home before you go away like checking everything is locked up and secured, lights can be set on a timer to come on at night, landline telephones should be disabled, ask the trusted neighbour to check your mail from time to time and maybe take your bins out. Closing all the curtains can be as equally good as bad, as it hides anything of value but is a dead giveaway that nobody is home for some time, so it may be a good thing to leave the odd curtain open with nothing of value in sight.

    Regards the car, it’s much the same as the house lock it! And either don’t leave valuables in sight or just don’t leave them in the car full stop.

    Regards personal items, don’t put them down in a thoroughfare (walkway), don’t leave them unattended and where possible just don’t have valuable items on your person.

    Remember, personal security is a state of mind, a form of behavior that you can choose to adopt!

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

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Street Tactics for Survival!

We all know what survival means on a day to day basis, go to work, come home pay the bills blah. blah. blah.

But what do we mean when we talk about survival on the streets?

It’s a jungle out there! Or is it?

The bottom line is, out in the street, it’s pretty much as safe or dangerous as you choose to make it.

What does that mean?
It’s pretty simple really, if you choose to go about life without giving a thought to personal safety on a regular basis (could be daily, weekly or every 5 minutes depending on your environment), you’re potentially setting yourself up for an unpleasant experience at best and outright disaster at worst.

When we’re kids at school we get taught to look left then right then left again before crossing the road (in Australia).

Why is that?

Well cars aren’t meant to run pedestrians over are they, but hey! Some times they do!

So we all learn some kind of street survival skills from an early age, whether we’re aware of it or not!

From a more serious angle, that’s where Krav Maga comes in, we need to develop a mentality that allows us to go through the mundane tasks of day to day life without being ignorant to the risks that other people or our environment may present.

We need to consider situational awareness as part of our daily routine to the point that it just becomes ingrained in your behavior, therefore eliminating many unforeseen risks.

In other words the first rule of Street Tactics for Survival is don’t put yourself in a bad situation to start with.

It’s not always that simple of course, and there are people out there who are truly determined to do harm to others no matter what.

So what are some of the things we shouldn’t be doing?

  • Wearing hoodies! They effectively create a tunnel vision effect that leaves you vulnerable from attacks from all sides apart from the front and can in some cases also effect your hearing to a degree.
  • Using some kind of I Pod type device or head phones to listen to music, this blocks out exterior sound also leaving us very vulnerable to attack and even the potential for being run over by a vehicle of some sort.
  • Combining the hoodie with an I Pod etc, now you have none of your major receptors working for you! You’re effectively deaf and blind!
  • Or, all of the above including walking with your eyes down to the ground or on your phone, this ties up your awareness and leaves you very vulnerable. Not to mention presents very weak body language.
  • Wearing expensive clothes or even worse, jewellery when traveling, this will attract all the wrong kinds of attention from the bad guys.
  • Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs that will inhibit your ability to make clear sound judgements and make you vulnerable to assault of one kind or another.
  • Being loud and outrageous in an environment where you don’t know who’s around or for that matter behaving arrogantly in an environment where you are clearly not considered a local.
  • Underestimating the abilities of your potential opponents when something does start to occur, this could be a potentially fatal mistake!
  • Walking through a group or crowd of people who are inebriated or clearly behaving in a manner that would suggest that they are all together and behaving with a pack mentality on the street.
  • Posturing up and being aggressive unnecessarily if confronted by one or more bad guys (we’ll talk about this a bit later, the important word here is unnecessarily).
  • Parking your car in a spot that isn’t well lit at night and potentially difficult to access without going through an ambush point eg:- dark alley / secluded stair well etc.
  • So, these don’t sound like tactics from the fighting mans point of view, but they are in fact sound tactics to apply if you want to avoid having to use fighting tactics, which by the way is our aim!

    Okay, what should we be doing?

  • Dress appropriately for all occasions!
    Eg:- correct footwear for women (stoleto’s look great but you can’t run in them!) Where possible wear long pants for both men and women or shorts. Why? For both men and women if you do get into trouble they offer some protection against abrasions from the ground etc,and for women, from a rapists point of view they’re hard work and are also more practical to make an escape in.

    Wear clingy clothing that doesn’t inhibit your movement but also isn’t easy to grab onto eg:- stretch jeans or tops, the list goes on.

  • When traveling do some research on the areas you intend to visit and understand the local scams and crime problems as well as hot spots and avoid them, dress down so as not to garner the wrong kind of attention and keep valuables hidden or better still don’t carry them.
  • Check your phone only when safe eg:- in your car with the doors locked or seated on the bus whilst still being aware of your surrounds etc.
  • Walk with your head up and stand straight up to look confident and more importantly aware of your surrounds, this is often all you need to avoid a nasty encounter with a bad guy as they’re looking for the soft target! Don’t present yourself as one!
  • If you’re going out drinking etc, have a plan about getting there and home and stick together in groups wherever possible and don’t let your friends wander off alone, especially women! Make sure your plan to get home addresses the route if you’re walking and make sure it doesn’t take you through isolated areas or ambush points, and IF YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN SPEND THE MONEY AND CATCH A CAB!
  • If somebody does become aggressive towards you, try to show empathy and verbally deescalate the situation and always assume that they may be armed in some way and have friends around that you may not be able to see. In other words don’t under estimate the seriousness of the situation but remain calm and confident and disengage as soon as possible.
  • Avoid passing through large groups by simply crossing the road if need be, if you can’t do that, then move past on the peripheries and always be humble and polite in your approach yet not weak in appearance, remember stand up straight, hold yourself in a proud confident manner but not with arrogance! Once you are passed them, if you’re near shop windows or glass of any kind, a quick glance over your shoulder at the window and you’ll be able to see up to 3 or 4 meters behind you with out turning and attracting attention from the group. If you hear someone approaching rapidly from behind turn and face them, it may be all it takes to stop a bad outcome from occurring.
  • Remember we mentioned posturing? Well, if you do encounter someone or a group that want to cause you some kind of a problem then stand tall and confident be prepared to fight, and show that in your body language. A strong focused expression without sneering goes a long way to say I’m prepared are you? Don’t start puffing out the chest and threatening as this is just seen as a bluff and will very quickly escalate the situation. Confidence is the key here!
    Scan the area and look for your potential exits and choke points and move tactically to position yourself to create obstacles or make it difficult for more than one attacker to attack you at once, look for common objects that you may use for a shield or weapon and be prepared mentally to explode with maximum aggression if needed, but the whole time be strong but submissive, show empathy and deescalate verbally so you will have the element of surprise on your side if you do need to act!
  • If you’re traveling by car, then park it nose out ready to go and park it somewhere where there’s lots of people about, and have your keys ready well before you get there.
  • It’s just common sense stuff really, but unless you make a habit of thinking this way on a regular basis it won’t become ingrained in your behavior and there in lies the problem!

    At Krav Maga Canberra our aim is not only to give you the physical skills to defend yourself but to give you the correct mental approach and tools you need to survive in the streets.

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

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Violence!….. To Engage or Disengage?

What happens when you’re confronted by someone or a group intent on violently attacking you?

Or a commitment to one’s self?

Perhaps a combination of all 3.

For the untrained or somebody who has trained but never experienced a real violent confrontation, Fear may well be the strongest emotion here.

For somebody who has trained regularly and or just experienced violence previously often it will be a combination of Fear and Anger.

However what we really need to see, is a small amount of fear (unavoidable to a degree and useful initially), a small amount of anger (too much is dangerous) and a very strong commitment to ones self! (most important).

What do we mean by that?
Well you need to be committed to going home in one piece or as close to one piece as possible, for it’s not just your self worth, it’s also the worth others have for you , such as family members depending on you etc.

It’s the commitment to survive the situation by what ever means are necessary, keeping the legalities in mind!

It’s the commitment to keep going no matter what!

Giving in isn’t an option here!

To Engage or Disengage?

Let’s look at the options, if we engage what are the odds of winning versus survival, or losing? And what does losing mean?

Well survival and or losing could mean a lengthy stay in hospital, it could mean living with a permanent disability or worse, you’re family may become carers for you.

If we engage after some kind of attack such as a punch or push etc, will we have given the attacker/s the upper hand, or will we be coming from a position of surprise?

That’s a difficult question and will depend entirely on the attackers attitude, Eg:- too much confidence, very aggressive attitude or too much fear.

Each option will cause a different response from the attacker/s, so we need to assess their mental state to a degree and respond appropriately.

Does engagement mean an all out assault with everything available or a moderate response to create distance and dissuade the attacker/s from pursuing the situation further.

The variables are enormous and every situation will dictate a different response from ourselves, the most important thing is, if we are to engage :- do we wait and respond as discussed earlier or do we Preemptively Strike?

Keeping in mind the legalities of the situation and having exhausted every other civilized approach such as verbal deescalation, Preemption may well be the best option.

Having tried the verbal deescalation approach prior to preempting will certainly lower the level of aggression and alertness of the attacker/s giving you a much greater chance of success.

Stun and Run! at this point would be a great strategy if possible!

If there is no option of escape then you must fight on with everything you have!

Keeping in mind that you should recognize when the job is done and it’s time to move on, in other words exercise control and restraint as required.

What if our response is to simply not engage and cut and run?

Well that would of course be the ideal solution, But! it’s not always possible, for a myriad of reasons Eg:- you’re with a loved one who won’t be able to keep up if you run, the attacker/s are too close and if you turn to run you give your back to him / them and they’ll be all over you, confined spaces, you’re encircled or you’re incapable of running due to injury or you’re in some way encumbered.

So what do we do?
Well, we go through the process again, Verbal deescalation (we should be assessing the mentality of our attacker/s at this point), looking for common objects we can use as obstacles or weapons, tactical positioning, mental preparation for the inevitable and make the appropriate decision:- Engage or Disengage!

Advantages of disengaging:-

  • No need for physical interaction.
  • Limited or no injury.
  • No legal risk.
  • Disadvantages of disengaging:-

  • There are very few.
  • You have loved ones and leaving them would be disasterous.
  • Potentially in close quarters you won’t have time to escape without the attacker/s being all over you.
  • Advantages of Engaging:-

  • You may take the attacker/s by surprise, giving you the upper hand and opportunity to overwhelm and disengage.
  • You may create an opportunity for your loved ones to escape unharmed.
  • In a group situation you may be able to defuse a much bigger situation by taking Preemptive action and nipping it in the bud.
  • Disadvantages of Engaging:-

  • Huge risk of personal injury.
  • Legal risk! That is ending up as the criminal when starting as the victim. The bad guys know how to use the legal system against us!
  • Waiting for the attacker/s to throw the first punch may leave you at a huge disadvantage or maybe even catch you by surprise when distracted.
  • Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor at Krav Maga Canberra.

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Krav Maga Canberra What Makes Us Different?

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about Krav Maga and what we do, how we train, the purpose of some of our training methods and the outcomes of our methods.

I’ll do my best to clear up some of those misconceptions and explain in plain English our approach to training, the end goals of our training and the us versus other forms of traditional martial arts.

By the way I’m not trying to bag traditional martial arts or MMA for that matter, there’s many a good thing to be taken from them, I’m simply clarifying the differences and why, if you want self defence you should be training Krav Maga

I personally have a background in Boxing, Tae Kwon do and some BJJ, and have over the years indulged in training with practitioners of many and varied styles of martial arts, and as I said previously they all had something to offer, just not reality when it comes to self defence.

We have within our ranks at Krav Maga Global many instructors who have high rankings in other martial arts.
We have instructors who train national and international champions in MMA, kick boxing, regular boxing and BJJ etc.

But!!!! They all train Krav Maga for the same reason, that other stuff either isn’t sufficient on it’s own or makes you far too vulnerable on the street.

If you ask Bas Ruten what’s the best self defence training you can get, he’ll tell you it’s Krav Maga!
He’s a guy who like my self worked on the door in some really violent places and learnt what works and what doesn’t in an environment that is difficult to work in and an error of judgement can be very costly!

The first thing to look at really is what is self defence all about?

Well it’s about survival!

It’s about coming home to your family in one piece, as they depend on you in one form or another whether that’s to support and feed them, to love and nurture them or simply as as partner or son / daughter, emotional dependency.

It’s about a sense of self worth, you are responsible for yourself and need to take that onboard and make the right decisions when things get ugly in the street.

Value yourself over the attackers, you need to be able to switch on the animal within to bring out what’s required to get you home to your loved ones. That doesn’t mean anything goes, but it does mean that you’re aware of the consequences if you don’t Survive or Win!

We see people training many kinds of traditional martial arts are finding that when things come to trading blows in the street, that what they’ve invested in mentally and physically, some for a great deal of time, simply doesn’t pay off.

They find that the attackers are far more random in their method of attack than what they have been training for, they find they have all kinds of environmental issues effecting the situation Eg:- slippery surfaces, hard surfaces with far more grip / friction than they’re used to, objects that can trip them up, objects that create obstacles to movement (walls, furniture, cars, fences etc), they find that the attackers have no hesitation in picking up an object and using it on them! They may be attacked with an edged weapon or in countries where fire arms are common they may suddenly be on the wrong end of a gun!

Oh dear, where’s the rules?

Well there are none!

Not all martial arts are sports, but many these days are, and take a very different approach to the desired outcome.

For instance MMA / Cage fighting, Boxing, BJJ, Judo, Tae Kwon Do etc,
In many cases take a sports oriented training approach.

What’s wrong with that you say?

Well it’s great to have goals, and focus on achieving those goals. It’s great to train like an athlete, as you have to if you’re to be successful in the cage or on the mat.


Joe on the street generally doesn’t have the time or money or even the passion in many cases to go down that path.

He does though, have a sense of self worth and doesn’t want to be a statistic!

So when we train, we work on the most basic of motor skills (skills that are easily accessed when under pressure), much of what we do is based on natural reaction.

We know that natural reaction won’t be overridden under pressure, but we also know that it’s not going to be enough so we need to build on it.

In other words, we know to just put your arms up to block etc wont be enough, you need to continue and continue without hesitation or thought.

So we train many different drills, to create many different skills, that we all have but generally fail to utilize. Eg:- situational awareness!
If you were a caveman you would certainly have good situational awareness skills, because your life depends on it daily! (picture wolves, lions other tribes etc).

Well…. the world hasn’t changed that much and the wolves are still out there, just they dress like regular people.

We work heavily from a passive stance, as this is where you’ll start most of the time in reality. We use various peripheral vision exercises to get people to be able to take in more than one opponent and then adjust their positioning so as not to be at a disadvantage.

We teach them to use verbal and body language to deescalate the situation and disengage, or if that clearly isn’t going to work and their is a clear threat of violence, then to engage rapidly in an overwhelming manner, but to use a proportionate level of force to create enough space to then disengage.

We look at pre fight, in fight and post fight stages and teach strategies to deal with each stage as it unfolds. There’s a lot more to a fight on the street than just stepping onto the mat and dealing with one opponent who has to abide by the rules and stop when the referee says stop.

We do multiple attacker drills constantly so our practitioners have to make multiple choices rapidly under pressure.

You have no time to focus on one opponent, you need to constantly be positioning to make it hard for all of them to get at you and, the last thing you would ever want to do in that situation is go to the ground with one of them, as his mates will be tap dancing on your head or even 1 on 1 it should be a last resort.

The drills, and we have many, are ramped up in a manner that will allow even the most meek of people to overcome their fears and learn to make correct decisions

It’s a process of stress inoculation, you need to be put in many varied situations under varied levels of stress or threat to understand how you will react and then build on that until it becomes second nature to be tactical in your approach.

We also spend time on educating our practitioners on the legal aspects of self defence, this is very important as many people simply don’t know how or when to switch off the aggression.
Hence they end up in jail when they just thought they were protecting themselves.

We like our people to be humble, our training environment isn’t about winning / dominating or glory it’s about being discreet about any abilities you may have and getting home in one piece.

We don’t propagate the sports mentality of winning at any cost, we’re not looking to be the champion in the spot light, Ego is a Dirty Word in Self Defence simply because it will set you up with the wrong mentality.

Why engage in a violent confrontation when a couple of words and a bit of empathy combined with situational awareness and correct body language can solve most situations?


  • The Krav Mentality:- humble and unassuming yet ready, as opposed to ego and glory seeking ( again not all are this way ).
  • The physical side:- average fitness but prepared to endure what it takes with minimal training time required as opposed to the athlete.
  • Legal side:- able to recognize when to stop and what’s required, what’s proportional because we train that mentality as opposed to training to destroy and or dominate / win only. (again not all)
  • Rules:- There are none in the street!
  • Weapons:- Yes we know how to deal with them.
  • Multiple attackers:- Yes we deal with this problem! Most other traditional martial arts or sports do not.
  • Situational awareness:- the most important one of all! You cannot train this in a 1 on 1 situation in a ring when your sole focus is the other guy!

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Blog post by Dave Sargent Senior Instructor at Krav Maga Canberra

Self Defence to Prevent Sexual Assault!

Here we are again! A spate of very unpleasant events brings me back to the blog o sphere yet again.

It’s always very sad to hear of women losing their lives in very dismal circumstances, or for that matter surviving incidents and having to carry that with them for the rest of their lives.

There’s been several incidents in a matter of weeks ranging from 3 attempted abductions in Canberra, the rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon in Melbourne followed by the rape of another women in the same suburb a week later, also the abduction in broad daylight and rape of an 11 yr old girl in Newcastle in the same period.

We could spend our time asking ourselves what’s the world coming too and shaking our heads in dismay or our fists in anger, but what will that achieve?

Of course we see the knee jerk reaction of the media, the politicians and the rights groups. At this stage I’ll apologize for having an opinion, because I’m almost certainly going to upset some people here.

The only people I see being rational about the whole situation is the Police, only too be derided by some as blaming the victim. That’s incorrect!

The notion of pointing out that we need to have situational awareness and take measures to lower the risk of those sorts of things happening to us, well it just seems to infringe on our rights as individuals, after all it’s 2018 and we should be able to do what we want when we want right. Blah, Blah, Blah!

The truth is this sort of stuff has been going on since the dark ages and jumping up and down about men needing to be better educated about how they should be treating women is simply not the answer.

For sure it is a part of the puzzle but it’s a very simplistic approach to a problem that simply will not go away with education of males.

Why?…. Because the males committing these crimes are generally not well balanced individuals and frequently have anti social tendencies at best and at worst suffer from all kinds of mental issues.

So education is completely wasted on those individuals, that’s not to say there’s no positives for society in educating males to be better people. Just it’s not the answer for those who don’t give a damn about anyone’s rights other than their own.

We have to ask ourselves whether we can do something to better protect ourselves instead of blaming others in hindsight for their failings, be that the police for not being there at the right time (impossible to achieve), the judiciary for releasing a repeat offender (some issues there) or the criminal for doing what he or she did.

Yes the perpetrator is totally responsible for their own actions and should be punished appropriately (again some issues there). What’s appropriate?

Certainly not protection from the general population once incarcerated, perhaps no parole options etc.

But the bottom line is this, we all have the right to go where we want and do as we wish to a fair degree, but we really need to accept responsibility for ourselves and take measures to protect ourselves as individuals period!

Yes that means taking responsibility for our own decisions and actions!

  • At Krav Maga Canberra we continually push the mantra of situational awareness!!!!!!!!
  • And!

  • Don’t put your self in a dangerous or compromising situation in the first place!!!!!!!!
  • Yes, at this stage we’re going to hear people saying that we’re blaming the victim. Wrong!

We’re fully aware that many victims are targeted by perpetrators for all kinds of reasons (that’s for another blog). We know that people inadvertently go about their lives without the slightest notion that perhaps they’re being stalked or randomly targeted in the case of the opportunistic attacker.

We fully accept that people have the right to do what they want and go where they want within the bounds of the law, BUT we have to realize that that’s not to say we should take for granted that we’re safe in doing so.

We can’t rely on the law to do something about the situation as they’re already stretched in their duties and primarily act after the event to catch and incarcerate offenders, they don’t know who or when they will offend.

  • We are essentially on our own in this world!!!!!!
    • So what can we rely on?

  • Ourselves, obviously. As I said earlier we need to stop expecting others to make the world safe and we need to stop blaming them or others after the incident and take affirmative action ourselves to prevent this stuff from happening to us!
  • What does that entail?

  • Well:- We have to have a good hard look at ourselves (most don’t like doing this) and think about things we do that may make us vulnerable or place us in a compromising position and start to change that behavior or habit.
  • We should all be doing some kind of self defence training, Krav Maga being the best their is to offer in that field.
  • We should be making a big effort to take in our environment and observe those around us at all times for peculiar behavior and pay close attention if we feel uncomfortable, gut feelings are usually pretty accurate when it’s just not right.
  • We should think as adults that if I’d tell my child not to walk home alone late at night, then that’s something we shouldn’t do either!
    If we’d tell them not to take a short cut through the park etc, then we shouldn’t either.
  • We should certainly plan our movements.
  • When you go out how are you getting home?
  • Where you park your car (in a well lit location).
  • How you park your car (reverse in for quick escape).
  • Am I walking and if so will it be in a well lit environment on the way home?
  • Are there obvious places we should avoid in our travels due to low light etc?
  • Are there places where somebody could jump out and essentially ambush you (rob, rape, beat or abduct you from)? If so avoid those routes.
  • How much have I had to drink and can I make rational decisions now?
  • Am I able to still defend myself as a result of drinking?
  • Should I just spend a couple of dollars and catch a cab instead?

These are just common sense things that can save us a lot of pain in the long run.
We’re often our own worst enemies in that we may believe it’ll never happen to us or I’ll be right, but that’s just burying your head in the sand.

We need to embrace the thought that we all have rights and that nobody has the right to touch our bodies in an inappropriate manner, while accepting that there are those out there who don’t care about our rights and will act in anyway they want!

We need to give ourselves the best chance and be observant, be aggressive when needed and most of all use common sense and situational awareness.

Learn Self Defence with Krav Maga Canberra!

Blog post by Dave Sargent, Senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra

Child abduction, what can we do about it?

I’m writing from Canberra Australia, the nations capital.
Where we’ve very recently experienced a spate of broad daylight attempted child abductions and as I write there is no guarantee this will stop as the perpetrator hasn’t been taken into custody yet.

It’s certainly not the first time this sort of thing has happened in Canberra and in fact seems to occur more regularly than we may care to think about.

I can’t find any statistics relating specifically to child abduction in Canberra but I can say that in the last 2 years I’ve heard via the news or secondary sources of at least 3 incidents each year where an attempt has been made and of 2 incidents in the last 3 years when a child has been taken. Thankfully both children were recovered, but not without some significant mental and physical trauma that they will have to struggle with for the rest of their lives.

So what if anything can we do about preventing this sort of thing in the future?

Well the unfortunate truth is we can’t do a lot to prevent these sorts of things occurring, apart from working harder on society to educate people about wright and wrong.

Unfortunately the kind of people carrying out these kind of acts often don’t respond to that kind of approach as they frequently suffer some form of mental illness and therefore don’t necessarily recognize wright from wrong.

So where does that leave us?
The best solution we have really is to educate Kids to be aware of the risks, teach them self defence (Krav Maga) and of course without creating hysteria, try to get the message out to the general public to be more vigilant.

Here at Krav Maga Canberra we run a comprehensive Kids curriculum
called Krav Junior.

Our aim is to not only provide the kids with self defence skills so that if they were actually grabbed or assaulted to be able to defend themselves, but far more importantly to also instill in them them a sense of situational awareness.

The best solution is to not get into the situation!

  • We teach the kids about dealing with approaches from adults both strangers and known adults who may be up to no good, the kinds of things to be aware of for instance:- The classic approach of an offer off gifts (lollies, toys etc), adults asking for assistance of some kind, or in the case in Canberra recently of “would you like to come and see my puppy”.
  • How and where to seek help.
  • Also if somebody tries to touch them inappropriately, how to recognize it’s not wright and bring it to the attention of the wright people.
  • We teach how to deal with bullying or outright assault from other kids.
  • How to deescalate and disengage from a situation.
  • How to recognize when aggression is appropriate and how much to use.
  • And of course we teach them how to survive!

Blog post by Dave Sargent, senior Instructor Krav Maga Canberra