Nothing is more dangerous than an idea — when it’s the only one you have. French philosopher Émile Auguste Chartier was a pacifist. But his advice applies to self-defense. Here’s an example . . .
During a trip to the mall with your family, you accidentally bump into another shopper. They mistake your bump for a shove. The stranger becomes immediately aggressive. Belligerent. You apologize and try to de-escalate the situation. You try to walk away. It’s not happening. He blocks your path. He’s spoiling for a fight. In fact, the fight’s already begun . . .
Your everyday carry gun is safely holstered, out-of-sight. The real problem? It’s your only mode of self-defense. You don’t have the knowledge or experience to go “hands-on.”
This situation will end badly, no matter what. You will either get your ass kicked or you will “stop” the person by shooting them. If so, you face the prospect of arrest, prosecution and jail time for using deadly force against an unarmed opponent. Whether or not you’re vindicated, it’s going to be hell. And it’s most likely unnecessary.
There are many forms of hands-on self-defense that can end a physical altercation quickly and efficiently: karate, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu and literally hundreds of others. I don’t not recommend any of them. I do recommend Krav Maga.
I believe Krav Maga is the best self-defense system for someone, anyone who carries a gun. An armed self-defender trained in Krav Maga can use his or her skills to create enough distance to flee from danger, get to their gun or inflict enough damage not to need to draw their gun at all. Here’s wikipedia’s description.
Krav Maga is a military self-defence and fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli security forces (Shin Bet and Mossad) that derived from a combination of techniques sourced from Boxing, Wrestling, Aikido, Judo, Karate along with realistic fight training.
Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and its extreme efficiency.
It was derived from the street-fighting experience of Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler as a means of defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, in the mid-to-late 1930s. In the late 1940s, following his migration to Israel, he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the IDF.
From the outset, the original concept of Krav Maga was to take the most simple and practical techniques of other fighting styles (originally European boxing, wrestling and street fighting) and to make them rapidly teachable to military conscripts. Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing aggression and simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers.
Do you know how to kick someone in the balls? It’s a simple and [hopefully] devastating “long range” self-defense technique that can be learned (if not completely mastered) in a single Krav Maga training session.
Krav students can quickly add a range of other simple, basic and extremely powerful combatives to their self-defense repertoire. Skills that combine well with armed self-defense, exponentially increasing an armed defender’s abilities and options. Remember that . . .
Most attacks are ambush attacks, depending on speed, surprise and violence of action. The chances are high your attacker or attackers will “get the jump on you.” Simply put, you may not be able to draw your gun, or draw your gun fast enough to end the attack.
Even if you do manage to get a shot or shots off, there’s no guarantee that ballistic perforation will end your attacker’s ability to retaliate. Brutally. Perhaps fatally.
Using Krav Maga, an armed defender can incapacitate an attacker enough so that the defender can get to their gun, use their gun effectively or, as stated above, not need to use it at all.
Another important point: even the best firearms malfunction, sometimes these malfunctions are caused by external factors, like your garment, a wall, or someone’s hand on the slide or ejection port of you gun.
In close quarter environments you won’t have enough time to address your stoppage. You will have to first fight to create distance, to give yourself time to fix a stoppage and re-engage your threat.
Krav Maga instructors also teach gun disarms and knife defense. But the basics are the thing.
If you’re carrying a gun daily for self-protection or simply keep one at home, Krav Maga is a necessity. It will help you prevent the use of deadly force, fight to your firearm, retain your firearm, or create distance to get your firearm back in the game.
But don’t take my word for it. At most Krav studios, the first class is free. And useful.
About the author:
Ron Grobman is an ex-IDF special forces sniper and professional Krav Maga and firearms instructor. He currently provides Combat classes combining Krav Maga and shooting with his company Tactical Fitness.