The person who knows how to use tactics in a fight will win the battle.
Translated from Hebrew, in the bible it is written “with stratagem you will do war”.
I want to continue where Tommy Blom and Dr Ole B left off, talking about the four “legs” of Krav Maga. During the first years that I trained KMG (Krav MaGa), Imi didn’t really put attention on fighting. In fact he did not encourage us at all to fight. He said he doesn’t wish that we will be good fighters, he emphasized that he wanted us to be good instructors that will build many good fighters. I always argued with him that how can I create good fighters without having the experience and knowledge to do so myself. In a way, this was rather strange as he himself had a vast experience in street fights for several years. On a regular daily basis he had fights against the fascists, many times very hard ones and mostly against multiple opponents. In his career as a boxer and a wrestler Imi won many championships.
In the late 1980’s I managed to work, collect, plan and design the fighting tactics of KMG. Imi gave several examples and I took others from experience, logical thinking, physical principles and war books. Eventually we created the tactical curriculum of our KMG’s section about fighting and combat.
Several years ago we also started delivering Instructors Courses in the subject of Combat and Fighting. Like this the three sections that form the KMG system, Self-Defense, Combat and Fighting, and VIP (3rd party) Protection have specific instructors’ courses and education.
There is a difference between the tactics that we have in the self-defense section or the 3rd party protection parts of our KMG system, and those of the fighting and combat section. I would like to explain about some which belong to the latter.
Two people that are engaged in a fight have certain characteristics to the way the think, act and respond. In fighting and combat we wish to inflict maximum damage to the enemy, at the minimum time, while sustaining minimum harm ourselves. Searching for an opening, creating an opening, embarking the regular rhythm of actions, trapping or creating traps, causing mental effects that will diminish the other’s will and spirit are all common practice during a fight and combat.
We divide the different tactics to several families, I will specify few.
Fakes and faints
Here the idea is to have a mental or a psychological effect on the enemy who will think that we are targeting one area or going to do certain action, so he moves his attention and his resources to cover or protect this area, while exposing another. The real attack targets the exposed part. The fake attacks only looks like a real one, it doesn’t try to reach the target, it is changed half way, approximately.
Fakes in direction – is when you send a certain attack, the fake one, as if to hit one target, however, you change that attack to another (done with the same hand or leg) and hit the same target from another direction. Example – fake with a straight strike to the chin and hit with a hook to the chin.
Fake in height – is when you send a certain attack, the fake one, as if to hit one target, however, you lower or elevate that attack to hit another target (you do this with the same hand or leg) that is located below or above the initial target. Example – fake with a straight strike to the chin and hit with a straight punch to the groin.
Fake in speed – is when you start an attack, slow it down or stop it completely, letting the defense pass, and then you continue with the same attack to hit the intended target. Example – start with a straight strike to the chin, stop it half way and continue to hit with the same straight punch to the chin
Combinations of fakes and limbs – here you use fakes in direction and height with the same limb or with two different limbs. Example – fake with a left straight strike to the chin and hit with a whipping fingers strike to the groin (from below).
What to be worried about
Be prepared to be attacked while you perform the fake. If your attention is on the fake and the enemy is targeting you at this moment, you may be hit.
Building a fake
Strike or kick a certain attack with the aim to hit. Do it 1-2 times. Then fake with the same attack and hit with another according to the families of fakes mentioned above
This family is a physical removal and mechanical change of the posture and position of the enemy to create an opening that will allow the targeting of the exposed area.
We have trapping, pulling or pushing, one hand while striking or kicking the exposed area. This can be the head or the lower ribs. Trapping can be of a leg too, this causes loss of balance and diversion of attention that leave the adversary exposed.
Trapping two hands – here we grab and move (cross one on another or open sideways) both hands of the enemy, while striking the exposed area, such as the groin or the head. This trapping can be in a way that you “tie” the hands of the enemy, controlling them with one hand while you strike the exposed area with the other.
Breaking the corners
This fighting tactics is targeting less common areas as the fingers, palms, knees or feet of the enemy.
You can cause much damage to certain areas; however you can also use this as a disruption that will create an opening. If you manage to cause much pain you can attract your enemy’s attention to that pain (using verbal communication), this will cause disturbance to his attention and create a less attentive mind with a diminished will to fight.
Changing of rhythm
It is common that in a fight there will be a certain rhythm of actions, especially of foot work (moving around) and the combinations of attacks. A talented fighter who knows to identify and change rhythms may quickly gain the upper hand. We have natural, broken, shattered and simultaneous rhythms. If for example the enemy is applying and also used to deal with only natural rhythm, he will fail to defend himself against broken or shattered rhythms, where the attacks are more overlapping in time.
Broken rhythm is when at the moment you start recoiling one attack, you start sending the next one. Shattered rhythm is where at the mid time that the 1st attack is on the way to its target, you start also with the second attack. These changes in the rhythms are very effective and mostly unexpected, thus leaving the enemy exposed.
Mental effect with the use of the eyes
There can be several ways of using the eyes to create certain mental effects on the enemy. The common two are the following:
According to the saying “the eyes are the window to the soul”, your eyes can be intimidating and full of fire and aggression, this will instill fright in the heart of the enemy. A faint heart in vulnerable.
If you strongly look at a certain target, the enemy will think that you are going to hit that area and will allocate resources and attention to protect it. You should use this to strike the exposed parts.
Large changes in the style of fighting
Assume that the enemy thinks that you are one kind of fighter, let’s say a kicker, and at a certain moment you change your way and fight like a grappler, rapidly closing the distance, lifting and throwing the enemy to the ground and kicking him. This is a large change in the way you operate and act. Or when you dance and bounce around the adversary, from time to time delivering a strike or a kick, avoiding any prolonged encounters. Then suddenly you burst directly towards him, closing the gap with double or triple simultaneous attacks, and continue with a fury of attacks at close range. With this surprising and confusing action it’s rather easy to defeat the enemy.
I just gave a small taste from the families of tactics that we have in the fighting and combat section of KMG, since the modern curriculum was established for it in the late 1980’s. When you check some of the tactics that were used in the Israeli wars, you can practically see the same ideas but on a large scale of using battalions, regiments, flight squadrons, as well as small units from the special forces.
Study the fighting tactics, they create a great mental challenge, and are very interesting and useful to apply also in the world of corporate and business sector. Among other teachings, we even have them in our “Boardroom Warriors” workshops.
NOTE: You may be wondering why I am using the term KMG and not Krav Maga to represent the system. First the acronym of Krav Maga in Hebrew is 3 letters, KMG. But mainly it is for the very simple reason that these days there are many imitators or ‘wannabes’ who say and claim that they are teaching Krav Maga, while the truth is that they are cheating, they are very remote from it and from the real deal.
There are even legitimate Krav Maga instructors who were not updated nor monitored since the late 1970’s or 1980’s or 1990’s and their Krav Maga is very different than what has been developed. KMG = Krav Maga is an evolving system, it is specific, special and unique. We had several revolutions in it, and we have constant small evolutions. The ones that have been since the mid 1980’s I was very much involved with. Now to differentiate ourselves we should call what we do KMG.