The importance of strike training
The most important thing to train when preparing for a street fight is striking. Striking is the fundamental and the structure on which everything else is built on. In any fight, it all comes down to how good and effective your striking is.
Unfortunately, in many self defense schools the emphasis all the time is on techniques, and many times complicated and unnecessary techniques. For example people train in so many techniques for a shirt grab, when the most simple, and effective solution is an uppercut hook combination. Practically, the answer to any grab and hold is striking, in knife defense there is striking, in stick defense there is striking, and so on. If your striking is not effective, you won’t have enough stopping power to end the fight. Sadly, most people training for self defense don’t have a high level of striking. A fight is not a shirt grab, or front bear hug, those are specific scenarios, fighting is punching and kicking. The better you are with your striking, the better and more effective you’ll be with the rest of your techniques. There is no limit to how good you could become with your striking!
Another important element of strike training is sparring. Of course sparring is nothing at all like in a street fight, but it’s good for mental toughness, and for getting used to see punches coming your way. Most fights start with striking, and end with striking. Get good at striking.s.
Think outside the gym
When preparing for any battle, you must prepare, as much as you can, in the closest possible conditions to the ones you will have when engaging in battle. This rule applies to any kind of battle field; a boxer trains inside a ring, an infantry solider trains in rough terrain, going up and down mountains, and so on. Imagine it wasn’t like that, a boxer stepping into a ring for the first time in a real match, or a solider running up a mountain or in the river creek for his first time in a real firefight. Obviously, they would loose the fight.
In the self defense world, most people train only inside the comfort of the gym, and in a straight line of attack. When preparing for any battle, you must prepare, as much as you can, in the closest possible conditions to the ones you will have when engaging in battle. This rule applies to any kind of battle field; a boxer trains inside a ring, an infantry solider trains in rough terrain, going up and down mountains, and so on. Imagine it wasn’t like that, a boxer stepping into a ring for the first time in a real match, or a solider running up a mountain or in the river creek for his first time in a real firefight. Obviously, they would loose the fight.
In the self defense world, most people train only inside the comfort of the gym, and in a straight line of attack. Lately I’ve seen many self defense videos, which for example show how to effectively use the gun against a knife at close distance. The problem is that the attacker always attacks in a straight line, while there is nothing in between them to bother the scenario, and with no surprise. A knife attack is always a surprise, always at full speed, and hardly ever in a straight line of attack! Imagine sitting in a coffee shop, getting out of your car, or walking in the park with your family and then being attacked with a knife. Now that’s reality! So after training the technique in the gym, go outside and train in conditions closer to the real thing. An attack will never be in a nice big room with mirrors on the wall and mats on the floor. Training in real conditions will not only help you get ready for a real fight, bit also give you a better perspective on your techniques what works and what doesn’t work, so you could take away the bad techniques, and train more on the good ones.
With my students I make sure to train at least one class each month outside the gym, making sure they know the feeling of being outside in reality. Think outside the gym! Lately I’ve seen many self defense videos, which for example show how to effectively use the gun against a knife at close distance. The problem is that the attacker always attacks in a straight line, while there is nothing in between them to bother the scenario, and with no surprise. A knife attack is always a surprise, always at full speed, and hardly ever in a straight line of attack! Imagine sitting in a coffee shop, getting out of your car, or walking in the park with your family and then being attacked with a knife. Now that’s reality! So after training the technique in the gym, go outside and train in conditions closer to the real thing. An attack will never be in a nice big room with mirrors on the wall and mats on the floor. Training in real conditions will not only help you get ready for a real fight, bit also give you a better perspective on your techniques what works and what doesn’t work, so you could take away the bad techniques, and train more on the good ones.
With my students I make sure to train at least one class each month outside the gym, making sure they know the feeling of being outside in reality. Think outside the gym!
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Training to fight multiple opponents
In many cases, attacks in the street are not a one on one situation. Most people have what’s called a “tribal mentality”, and get their power and courage from the pack. If he’s alone he will not attack.
For this reason when training for real life fighting, it is crucial to add a lot of multiple opponent drills and training to the program.
Training for multiple opponents must include the awareness aspect as well. Many people when confronted in the street get a “tunnel vision”, and only see the person they are arguing with in front of them. Such behavior could get you badly injured or worse. The fact that you don’t see another person doesn’t mean he is not waiting around the corner, or in a parking car. Scenario training is one of the best ways of getting this awareness, and getting in the habit of looking around and being aware to what’s really going on.
For the physical aspect of the training, the most important thing is working on your leg work and striking capability, and knowing what to do and what not to do. First, look an exit, never go first to the guy in the middle, and move in angles so that they bother each other. Search for weapons, never stop moving! Throw fast punches at anyone who is within punching distance from you. Be aggressive. If you can’t exit, do not try to defend yourself, it will not work, attack them! Hit, hit, hit! Get out as fast as possible. Do not work on specific techniques unless you’re doing scenario training. In reality there is no time to think, only think hit!
Preparing for a knife fight
A knife attack is not only the deadliest and most difficult attack to stop when it comes to cold weapons; but also the most common attack. In the UK alone there is a knife attack every 4 minutes; 130,000 per yea
There are a few reasons for the frequency of knife attacks; a knife is extremely easy to find, and easy to conceal. It doesn’t have to be a knife to be considered a cold weapon and inflict damage; it could be a peace of glass, sharp peace of plastic, a fork, a peace of wood and so on.
A knife attack is so fast that in many cases, the person being attacked by a knife doesn’t even know what he was attacked with until the attack is over and it’s too late!
Because of all these facts, when training for a knife attack, it’s important to train hard, and keep the techniques simple and to the point. Keep training the principles and keep training hard. Sadly most of the knife defense techniques used in the martial art world in reality would never work. A knife attack is too fast and too strong for any fancy technique, keep everything simple. To win such a fast attack there is only one option- attack back, don’t defend yourself! One of the best ways to prepare the body and head for such as a fight is training under pressure, train your self to attack the person with the knife, take the fight right back to him, then control the weapon. This is the only option.
The KM OTU Group organizes courses throughout the year in France and abroad. The subjects taught in the course are Krav Maga OTU, the female self defense, or set of disciplines that are taught in our centers, but also subjects taught by speakers exterior and which are complementary to our teaching. One "word Maitre" openness !!!!
JOHAN ZAHDOUR GJERLAND
ASSISTANT INSTRUCTOR KRAV MAGA
COACH PHYSIQUE/FYSISK TRÆNER
INSTRUCTOR KRAV MAGA OTUD 2 dan
KARATE SHOTOKAN 1 DAN
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