Teach a kung fu guy what it means to be a Krav Maga guy.

Discussion in 'Krav Maga' started by Dagon Akujin, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Dagon Akujin

    Dagon Akujin Jimmy Rustler

    I've just opened a Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) kung fu school right next to a "Jerusalem Pizza" place, and a synagog that is remodeling just moved in 2 doors down temporarily too. First off, who knew that salmon pizza was awesome (and that fish doesn't count as meat for kosher rules)? But anyway, since I'm in a heavily Jewish area just outside of Detroit, a number of people have been asking me about my thoughts on Krav Maga.

    And unfortunately, my experience with Krav Maga is that most everything I've seen has been RBSD bullcrap.

    So, could any of you guys tell me what makes "good" Krav? I know that it exists and is out there. I've told numerous people before that it seems a lot like Wing Chun though: tons of it out there is total crap, but good stuff does exist.

    So, what makes good KM good?

    Dagon Akujin
  3. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    The simplicity of it...
  4. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog




    As the official defensive tactics system of the Israeli police and military, Krav Maga has proven its effectiveness on front lines and back streets. Now, Black Belt Krav Maga teaches and illustrates the discipline’s most potent self-defense moves. Based on simple principles and instinctive movements, these no-holds-barred street-fighting techniques are designed to do one thing and one thing only: End a fight as quickly as possible by completely disabling an opponent. Using these real-world moves—taught to top law-enforcement personnel—you’ll be able to protect yourself and others from life-threatening attacks.
  5. Bonnell74

    Bonnell74 Disciple

    I have been asking this same question about a place that does something called Vanguard Krav Maga. A TKD and Muay Thai instructor here where I live just added this to his school. He has been here since 96 and is a great guy, but I am not sure if this Krav Maga is good because it just seems a bit strange that they are trademarked. I spoke with him and he swore by it and my understanding (from his site) is that he is a pretty established TKD guy. I still don't know what to think, but this is his website that talks about the Krav Maga and his other stuff, as well as himself. Seems like good stuff if it is legit.

  6. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    I think you can tell a good Krav Maga school by watching the classes, and observing how agressive, fast paced, and just generally violent it is. One of Krav Maga's strengths is how they train, lots of pressure!
    Ivor Godley likes this.
  7. Dagon Akujin

    Dagon Akujin Jimmy Rustler

    Is the response of overwhelming violence one of the positive traits of training?

    Oh lord.... these are the sorts of things that I think are a bit ridiculous.... the first one says, on about the 2nd page "blah blah blah then we found out that criminal had 17 arrests for assault with a deadly weapon!!!" ??? Some of it seems to be painting the picture that every stranger is a rapist who will attack you in a dark alley. But really, I guess that should be expected when looking at any martial arts book. It has to fill pages, and has to sell. Meh.

    The "principle" stuff they list is the sort of stuff I'm interested in, because I believe fully that "learning moves" is complete crap, and that's what most of what I've seen from Krav has been about. Interesting principles:

    --"techniques" based on natural instinct
    --"techniques" on the immediate danger
    --"techniques" on attack and counter at the same time
    --complementary "techniques"
    --"techniques" for average people
    --"techniques" for position of disadvantage
    --training in stressful situations.

    I put that word in quotes because I believe it's rather dangerous to talk about "techniques", because most people understand that as something that can be acquired, or used. If you are "using" a technique/move, then you are doing crap. And it's really as simple as that. The real trick to training is in putting the time and effort in so that even the "wrong" "technique" will work wonders. Part of one of the things in the book then talks about how "techniques" are pointless, or only a beginning. That's good to see. They are understanding that any "move" is just a beginning, and in the end not important. How does this look in a class?

    Later we have the whole KRAV IS NOT A MARTIAL ART thing, which I realize is more pointed at the idea of what people think about when they think about "martial arts" (as in, they for some reason don't think of boxing or wrestling as martial arts). But then I see a rather dangerous idea in here: "isn't a martial art-- it's a problem solving system." I find that dangerous because you shouldn't have to think, or plan, or problem solve at all. Later on it mentions "smallest number of techniques", and "techniques that work for anyone, no matter how athletic", etc etc. That's good. I think some of the dangers of any book though, is that you have to put things in words and pictures, things that by their very nature don't really tell you much of actual training. So how do you handle that? How does a good school handle teaching a "technique" that will work for anyone? Bond talked about simplicity, so how is that shown with all of this stuff?

    Anyway, a couple other things I saw by skimming through those links:
    -never quit: a good idea for anyone or any martial art school... and oddly enough, something that a lot of people need trained out of them.
    -use the environment: this can be disastrously bad, because it means you have to stop, think, prepare. Certainly, grabbing something might be beneficial, maybe. But to need to get something is not. And I can say this from experience.
    --explosive power ideas: I think these can be a really good, at least if the explosiveness can be trained in automatically. I'd like to see how KM trains this in.
    --I find it nice that KM talks about actually training for the emotional/psychological stuff, because as we all probably know, talking to people about dealing with it is pointless. Any more on how they actually handle the training for this? Seems interesting.
    --drills that require the person to take hits: this is one of the most important things I can say any martial art must teach. What happens when you are hit? I laugh at any martial artist I've ever met who says (and yes, I've heard this many times before): "I'm training so I would never have to take a hit, so why would I train that?"
    --can be learned with minimal practice and review: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. This is probably the BIGGEST danger of RBSD stuff. No, no, no, no, no. You cannot make something work, at all, ever, just because you did it a couple times one afternoon and it worked in that one situation. This gets back into the idea of "learning a move". Just because you "know" a move doesn't mean anything. And I find it very dangerous to think in those terms.

    Thanks though! Lots of reading there, which seems to have brought up plenty of good points of conversation. Perfect.
    Eric Dufurrena likes this.
  8. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    Whatever, I have trained with ex Israeli Soldiers in KM and it works. It worked for them because they are alive.
    This is where I did it. www.technontactical.com.

    The problem is that you now have Commando KM, Vanguard KM,, Kapap (which is not KM) and everyone else telling you that they teach KM. The guys I trained, spoke Hebrew, had taken several martial arts and were combat vets. KM is NOT I repeat it NOT a MA, as we define ART. KM was designed to teach how to fight to win in combat easily, quickly and effectively.
    Now can you teach a KM guy what a KF guy is?
    Ivor Godley likes this.
  9. Dagon Akujin

    Dagon Akujin Jimmy Rustler

    Just so you know, this is immediately how I pictured everything you said after that.
    You do realize that this is no different than someone saying "My Karate teacher has 18 different black belts and he once won the kumite! It worked for him because he is alive to tell me about defeating Bolo Yeung!"

    Sure, if you define MAs as things with belts, gis, kiais, etc. But if you define boxing and wrestling as martial arts, then krav maga fits too (and doesn't KM even have belts?). In fact, I'd argue that every society ever has had martial arts. It's just us Westerners have a fascination with East Asian stuff. Do you not think fencing is a Martial Art?
    So was _ing _un kung fu. So were all "martial arts". Now, whether that is the case for most practitioners is a different argument. And whether most practitioners still have that as a focus is a different argument also. But that's what all arts start as.

    "Kung Fu" is a totally meaningless phrase, really, because it can mean a million different things. If you wanted a simple definition of what "kung fu" is, I'd tell you it's mostly bull****.

    Now, what MY kung fu training is is different. I'd point these out as extremely important concepts though from my Ving Tsun linage:

    --RELAX: This is the first and most important idea. Whether you are getting your face punched in, or knocking the other guy's teeth into his esophagus, doing it relaxed is a lot more powerful.

    --Posture and structure: Good posture and structure means you can deliver more power in your attacks, and means everything is much harder for the other guy. Just about nobody I know (other than an extremely amazing old Judo master) has been able to get any sort of wrist/arm/neck lock on me in years. Good posture prevents just about everything like that (of course, getting knocked to the ground is a whole different idea of "posture", though the idea still holds in bjj and ground fighting positions). Posture before "techniques". We also train to move the other person's posture with our strikes. You punch to move structure, or your punch is pretty much pointless.

    --Forward, definitive, decisive energy: moving into your targets is another thing that completely throws most things off from other people.

    --Immediate, reflexive destruction: You don't want to think or plan. You want immediate reflexes to enter openings easily when they present themselves.

    Etc. etc.
    Eric Dufurrena likes this.
  10. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    Listen you asked a question. I answered the question. You did not like my answer. Fine.

    There is a big difference between "18 black belts" and surviving in modern combat. Look at the multiple LEO certificates posted on the technon website, you think they give those out for free? When I was there, in the training we had DEA agents, and LEOs from several South Florida PDs. I guess they could have chosen to be "kung fu" fighting instead but did not.

    And I have nothing against kung fu, specially Wing Chung.

    Look, I really don't care what you think or may not think or if you like to dress up as a biker.

    Don't learn about it...don't ask questions if you don't like the answer.
  11. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    The mental aspect of being in a fight and doing what you have to in order to survive is very big in KM, and it was an eye opener for me. I started KM about 10 years ago, when I already had 20 years of martial art training, and was shocked, class was pretty scary. Now scary is a lot easier to take. Now in our curriculumn we have KM for the self defense aspect, and Muay Thai for the fighting aspect, and BJJ to take up the ground, fighting and self defense.
    Bonnell74 and Mr.Bond like this.
  12. Bonnell74

    Bonnell74 Disciple

    I myself like any input that anyone can give because I am sure that even the less "realistic" fighting styles have something in them that is useful. It may not even be the fighting part at all, but maybe the style teaches a great deal of awareness of your surroundings, which alone in many cases can save your life. I think that defining any fighting style as an art could be appropriate if you take the words in context. Martial means, Of or appropriate to war; warlike. Art means, The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture. If you look at the older styles like Tai Chi or some of the Kung Fu styles, you can see the visual expression that would make it an "art" by means of definition. I would venture to say that any fighting style that has katas and movements that are visually pleasing could be considered an art as well (not saying katas are just for looking at). Actually, for the sake of this argument, any fighting style could be considered a martial art because you are in fact expressing and/or applying human creative skill and imagination.

    I have heard and read many different opinions on what makes a martial art effective or not and that is what I think the main question about these different Krav Maga styles really is. I have heard masters say that sparring and/or techniques are the only way to learn and some say sparring and/or techniques will still give you false hope because you are training to "do something if someone does this" and nothing in a fight is set in stone. I have heard (as we all have from Bruce Lee) that katas are a waste of time and others say that katas are vital to making any art effective. I have also heard that the ultimate expression of any art is the ability to defeat your enemy without actually hurting them and just controlling them (such as the case with the Ki branch of Aikido) and others say that you need to take them out as quickly and effectively as possible for your own safety. I am starting to wonder what the hell is truth and what is just crap at this point. For example, the art I study is Serrada Escrima and my instructor was taught by Angel Cabales himself, who if you look up information on is said to be the father of Escrima in America; who has also been said to have killed over 20 people in real sword and dagger fights back in the Phillipines. Is this true, I am not sure as he has been dead awhile, but if so then I should be able to do great in a real life fight because of myth alone. I have found that this style of Escrima is lacking in something altogether though and that is ground fighting. Putting that in perspective makes me wonder how well it would work against someone who is a wrestler or grappler. Sure there is ju jitsu and throws, but not really any grappling so I might get schooled on the ground. My point to all this rambling is that you are never going to know unless you get into a situation where you have to rely on it (whatever art you train in) to save your ass.

    Anyway, just saw the discussion on here and wanted to chime in. I have still not found anyone who actually studies the different types of Krav Maga and can answer any of these questions, which is who I really would like to hear from on this subject. Can't we all just get along...:D
    treve nathan stoddern likes this.
  13. Bonnell74

    Bonnell74 Disciple

    Thanks Eric!

    Well there we go. Just as I finish my post about wanting to hear from a Krav guy, someone posts something. Thank you for the input and just out of curiosity, have you heard of or do you know anything about something called Vanguard Krav Maga? Is it just another branch of the same thing like all the different Kenpo or Aikido or Karate places, or is it just a money making McDojo type of place?
  14. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    I have not heard of Vanguard. My guess is that it is just a catchy name, to try to stand out. It is interesting on everyone's views on what martial art means, and the best way to approach fighting. I agree that if you can take out your agressor without hurting him, that would be awesome. I just don't think you can keep the state of mind necessary that you would need to do that effectively in a sudden encounter. Also, there is a difference between fighting and self defense. Self defense is unexpected and possibly life threatening, so it takes a different mindset.
    Bonnell74 likes this.
  15. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    Eric, which one do you practice and where? The guys that I met were plain boring KM from Israel.

    Also, at Technontactical, they teach Kapap with Avi Nardia as a guest but I have not taken his seminar yet.

    There is also Commando Krav Maga which I will explore when I am back in Florida.

    I am going to ask the guy who runs technon who is ex IDF himself about this subject....
  16. Bonnell74

    Bonnell74 Disciple

    Thanks again Eric!

    I totally agree with you about everyone's different views on fighting. This blog gets heated sometimes over topics like that and everyone has an opinion. I see self defense and fighting the same way you do and that is why I asked about the Krav Maga. I practice Serrada Escrima and it solely designed for self defense and that is it. I have been having some financial issues lately and it has affected my practice as my instructor is a ways away. I still train with a guy that lives close, but not as much as I would like to. I found a place that has Krav Maga and was wondering a little more about it because the place is within walking/bike riding distance if I have issues with gas money (my issue as of now). I love to train and want to continue with something more self defense oriented and that is where the Krav comes in. I have a couple friends who have been doing it for about four years out of Dublin, Ca., and they swear by it; say it is the best thing they have ever done for health and self defense. I also spoke with the guy that is close to me and he just added it to his school. He is a TKD and Muay Thai instructor for 20 plus years and he too couldn't say enough good things about the Krav Maga that he just added. Now I read what you wrote and I think that my mind is made up as to what I am going to do about my situation. My other options are Bjj and Koshu Ryu Kenpo, but I think I am going to try the Krav Maga and see how I like it. Thanks for the feedback and extremely appreciated man!!
  17. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    I would say its plain KM. It was originally taught side-by-side in our studio, by my instuctor, and after several years of that he combined it into one program.

    I encourage you to give it a try! See if you can do a month without contract, just to be sure! But as far as BJJ goes, that stuff is awesome. First time I encountered it, I had been practicing striking for 25+ years, and I went on the mat with a blue belt, I felt like a 6 year old kid wrestling his dad! I wouldn't tell you not to do BJJ! Hope I didn't open a can of worms...
    Bonnell74 likes this.
  18. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    Eric, same thing happened to me with a college wrestler when I was in college and a pretty good brown belt in Shotokan....

    We are not invincible!
    Bonnell74 likes this.
  19. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

  20. MattCMMA

    MattCMMA Master

    and... this will get you killed. The techniques shown don't even bother to mention the effects of a muzzle blast. It's is also very easy to show these techniques vs a relaxed attacker. A real life situation the attacker will most likely not be relaxed and more jumpy. A sudden movement may get you out of the way of the barrel, but will also increase the chances ten fold that the attacker will pull the trigger.

    This is my big beef when it comes to MA training in situations where the attacker has a gun. Before I ramble about this, I will just quote Bruce Lee from an interview.

    source -

    Bruce Lee: I want to do the western because, you see, I mean, or else can you justify all of this punching and kicking and violence except in the period of the west? I mean, nowadays, I mean you don't go around on the street, kicking and punching people....(pretends to reach into his jacket for a gun) because if you do....(pulls out his imaginary gun and pulls the trigger) Pow! that's it. I mean, I don't care how "good" you are.
    Dagon Akujin likes this.
  21. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    I will let the Marines know asap.

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