Awareness is the key to self defence

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In martial arts we don’t often talk about some of the most basic principles of self defence. When I trained across different disciplines we would often train the technique with the problem as the starting point. For example we would start the defence as someone striking you, grabbing you or from the ground.

The training method seemed a logical approach to learning the art. After 15 years of training I accepted it as the norm. However a lot of that has changed in the past 9 years since I have training in Krav Maga. We discuss with students the pre-fight stage. This is what happens before the fight, and we train things you can do to stop a problem from escalating.

At first the concept was unusual as for the past year 15 I had followed in the steps of my instructors and never questioned their training methods.

Now in Krav Maga we teach students to recognise the signs of an attacker – it is rare that you will be attacked without warning. Pre meditated attacks account for less than 5% of all attacks.

When a conflict arises a student will need to determine if the person is a potential treat by assessing how they use their physical body and eyes. It is no different to looking at the behaviour of animals before they fight or attack.

After these early stages we discuss having the awareness to recognise these pre fight signs and walk away or move somewhere safe. You can then use your words to talk from a safe distance and hopefully be able to diffuse the situation with your open hands up in a defensive manner – but still being ready to defend or attack.

If all else has failed the situation may move into a fight – but hopefully not! In Krav Maga we need to master this stage of the pre-fight, consistently study it and actively teach it in classes.

In the past with my old training I had no idea about any of the pre-fight stages. With my prior knowledge unfortunately the fight would start after I had been hit or about to be hit as this is all I had trained for!

In today’s society you can’t afford for this to happen and you need to have knowledge and actively practice these skills in your classes.

The same theory is taught in our Warrior kids classes. I teach the children not to play with people that are bullying them and avoid them and find someone else to play with. If it continues find an adult you trust to tell such as a teacher! Then the last straw for them is to tell the person to “Stop! Leave me alone”. This needs to be done before they need to use any kind of defense. This needs to be done in order to maintain the Warriors code.

I hope that as my students master this knowledge and awareness of the pre-fight stages that their training becomes just a vehicle to enhance their life and they never have to use it in a fight!

To book a free class in our Krav Maga Self Defence Program email us