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Krav Maga Canberra What Makes Us Different?

Posted July 24, 2018 2:49 am

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!

Click here to:- Join us at Krav Maga Canberra

Blog post by Dave Sargent Senior Instructor at Krav Maga Canberra