Theory and Lectures

Krav Maga for Military / Law Enforcement

Krav Maga is really directed to different sectors. It started with the military, law enforcement, VIP protection units, special units, and the civilians.

Video transcript

Krav Maga is really directed to different sectors. It started with the military, law enforcement, VIP protection units, special units, and the civilians. In the civilians there’s the bulk, the old system, but except of this there are directions to kids and women, and elderly people and handicaps. So there are the basics of the system. The strike, the move, the defense, the body action, the lean attacks and defenses. So we have huge section in the system, which is really for everybody, more or less, with some adjustments.

Of course a soldier will be mainly with a weapon in the hand, but the basic is the basic. So principles of attacks for instance, there are five directions of strikes. Five main directions. With a weapon, with a barrel it’s the same, with the butt of the weapon, it is the same. And of course so many times people use hands and legs even in the military, because of either military use really or law enforcement use, and of course if they are not in duty.

Krav Maga was introduced to police officers, really in the 50’s. First of all, the military police that in Israel is functioning like a police force, inside the military mainly. Later into the civilian police force. In later stages, especially towards the mid 80’s, we started spreading it the USA. I went there with the local instructors also, and we taught instructors and units, and from there it continued. So the history of Krav Maga in police outside Israel is since the 80’s.

Police officer is encountering different levels of violence and confrontations. So when you have the Krav Maga skills, first of all, your self-efficacy, your capabilities, your courage, your ability to make good decision to solve new problems under stress is increasing tremendously. That’s what really we are preparing you guys for. I remember one case that the officer from a corrections service learned how to defend against an axe or a club or an iron bar attack and about four, five days afterwards, there was some sort of … a small riot in that jail, and he was attacked. He managed to use what he learnt less than a week before.

We had many cases in Israel and outside Israel where police officers did different control techniques, defended themselves, defended others against different types of attacks, especially knife attacks. There were many cases like these that the officers managed to do the correct hand defense, the push or the shove or the very strong strike, then continued to apprehend, control the criminal or there were cases that the police officer moved out, took his gun out, threat or even shoot. So all according the situation, with the level of danger of course, to the legality of things.

So visiting units since the 80’s, outside Israel, we could see how they also incorporate Krav Maga in the training, the training of the police force. We could see and get information also, of course, of when things were used in reality and how officers managed to utilize what they have learned. We never had any direction with law enforcement officers or correction officers. It was very, very clear that they value what they are getting because it is life saving for them. Sometimes more than the military.

Krav Maga started in the military. The goal of the soldier, the aim of the soldier of course, to use this firearm when there’s a need. However, what happens at the close proximity, what happens at the close range, 5 meters, 15 feet more or less and less. So we were talking about a whole set of problems and solutions that may occur at the close range.

Soldier in a CQB type of situation, meaning ‘Close Quarter Battles”, when there is a … entering a house, corners, rooms, confined areas, staircases up, down, near walls, near corners, inside corners. In such cases and more, in a violent confrontation, it may not be possible, legal or desirable to shoot. What can we do? Not to … [inaudible 00:05:07] of Krav Maga. Take the assault rifle as an impact weapon and with this, overcome the problem. The defenses, the attacks, the counter attacks, the releases, the weapon retention, how not to lose your weapon, how to function with the weapon in the hands.

When you’re not attacking, when you’re not able to attack or to defend with a weapon. All these things are an integral part of Krav Maga for military. There are many military personnel who are member in Max Krav Maga. The use … The knowledge to understand what they can do and to train accordingly. In different types of situations when they do not have the weapon with them, or would have something like the weapon. In the civilian section, we do use sticks and other objects that can be compared to equipment that the soldier or police officer may have. So the foundation of the system, the self-defense section, relevant for everybody.

Another very important thing of course is for an officer, for a soldier to be able to defend fellow officers. Here also we have the situation that Max Krav Maga is teaching you the principles and the process how to do these things.

What is very relevant for police officers and also for military personnel, especially when you on peacekeeping missions, peace enforcing missions, at close range in a violent confrontation, that can differ in different levels and situations.

The officer, whether police or military, may have different types of problems that he cannot shoot. For example, close range – legal to shoot, not possible. Why? End of ammunition, stop using the weapon. This may happen. So what do you do at the close range of 2, 3 meters, let’s say between 6-9 feet. The attacker is there and he’s charging. So of course we’re talking about only Krav Maga techniques.

You don’t have time to put the weapon in the holster, you don’t have time to reload the weapon, to change the magazine, to clear the stoppage. You have no time for these things. So what can you do? You have to function with the weapon in the hand to defend and attack with a weapon in the hand. To do whatever is needed, of course. The weapon is in the hand. So one is, weapon cannot shoot, another thing is that it is illegal to shoot. For instance, you threaten somebody, he drops his weapon and he’s advancing towards you, not legal to shoot him in most countries. If you will shoot, you’ll be in trouble. You need to know what to do in these cases, of course KMG. That’s obvious.

Another thing is that it is too dangerous to shoot. Maybe other people may get hurt. Other thing is that maybe there’s some substances like gas in the area, and there will be an explosion if you shoot. So then maybe dangerous substances, or people that may get hurt and in the close range… problems, you can definitely act when the weapon is in the hand. So attack with the weapon, defend with the weapon, etcetera.

Sometimes your natural response is not to shoot. So then in this case of course, the natural response is directing you in certain action, for instance, defenses. So if you will try to aim your barrel towards the enemy, criminal, terrorist, whatever, you will absorb the attack. However, if you will use the weapon or use your hands with the pistol in the hand, you will not get hurt. So in this case, the question is, would you shoot afterwards or not? Or strike with the weapon? This is depending on, of course, on the situation and your capabilities.

Another thing is, you are confident enough to solve the problem without shooting. So people who are less trained, more in a panic, will use the lethal weapon. They will shoot. Those who are more trained feel that they can control the problem without shooting, should do it, as a police officer, of course we try to prevent from and avoid from shooting other people. Sometimes shooting doesn’t solve the problem..

In Israel the record is about 10 rounds in center mass when the attacker continues. In the US it’s a much, much larger number because of drugs. There are situations that are well known in the law enforcement community. For instance, shootout in Miami in 86’ where a criminal with three fatal wounds went and executed three injured police officers who were on the ground. After that there was a big discussion, consideration. The FBI changed the policy and the understanding and which weapons will be used, so using other caliber … a higher level of caliber, bigger caliber.

In these cases, we understand, not all the time we can shoot. Not all the time it’s legal to shoot, not all the time it’s possible to shoot. So we should use other means. Many times striking with the weapon can be a good solution. Sometimes it will be defending with a weapon, sometimes will be defending with the hands, attacking with hands and just protecting the weapon, etcetera.

In the past several years, we have been working, KMG, myself, my students, the high level instructors with different units around the world, from Finland to New Zealand, from US to India. Krav Maga to police officers to different police units, to different military units to SWAT, to VIP protection units, anti-terror groups. All these in the past years, on the third pitching, officers in the US … We had one course, the next year we had about 150 people who went through the courses and after that there was a boom where many units started getting the interest in Krav Maga and started acquiring knowledge and sending people to instruct the courses.

Later years, we started in Europe so I traveled to different countries and teaching civilians, but very fast. It came also teaching law enforcement and the military. We started in Finland with the special forces there, the whole Finnish army started training Krav Maga. Later in the metropolitan police. German units, Dutch units and so on. Several years after, we did Russian units, even presidential guards in different countries are training Krav Maga. Germany, Russia and several other countries.

When I started in Australia, for instance, we started with civilians but at a later stage both law enforcement and military air-force and customs started training Krav Maga with us. I can see differently how Krav Maga is growing within the governmental community, why? It just … to my opinion of course, it’s the best thing that’s out there and the foundation that we are setting is of course growing up and more and more people are training. Max Krav Maga is just another excellent tool to get the information if you don’t have an instructor nearby you, or when you’re not training in the training place.

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