Krav Maga And The Ground

MJS

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So, while surfing a Krav Maga forum today, I came across a post from someone, asking about schools in the Miami area. People commented, and someone mentioned Rick Blitstein. They said that he was a great teacher and part of the IKMA. Another member commented, and said that while Haim Gidon is the real deal, Rick and Haims org. basically took their Krav Maga in a different direction, by adding in alot of BJJ/ground work.

Now, I'll be the first to say that I feel that having a ground game is very important for everyone, especially today, considering that MMA is very popular. I have seen and enjoyed many IKMA youtube clips, as well as reading a few of David Kahns books, so I know that they do in fact incorporate the ground work.

It was a concern of this one person, that this violated the basic prinicples of Krav Maga, because you dont want to go to the ground. Of course, I've also said that intentionally going to the ground may not be the best idea, but again, if you have no other option and end up there, you better know what to do.

I'll close with this. I'm not affiliated with any Krav Maga org....yet anyways :) but that will most likely be changing in the near future, but IMHO, I think that the IKMA seems to be constantly updating their art, ensuring that they're as complete as possible.

So, I'm looking forward to hearing from the Krav Maga members on the forum. What are your thoughts on this?
 

harold

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I train at the local KMWW school here and ground work is part of their program.
In my opinion, nobody should want to intentionally go to the ground since it leaves you open to attacks from others and therefore puts you at more of a disadvantage, but it is something you need to be familiar with in case it ever happens.
I have also trained in Modern Kenpo and they teach ground work as well.It needs to be part of your training in order to have a well rounded program.
 

masherdong

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I train with the IKMF and we have ground stuff as well. But, as the OP stated, we dont want to be on the ground, but, if we find ourselves on the ground, we are trained to do what we have to do to get back up.
 

Spork3245

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Warning: I'm in a no-nonsense mood and I'm going to be blunt, if I offend/insult your "orginization", I'm going to appologize in advance.

Imi's system has ground work, this is true. But it's a simple ground system. Obviously, going to the ground is a bad idea in a street fight. Think about it, where are you (referring to civillians) most likely to get into a "tiff" with someone? Probably a bar, or a club of some sort - how often have you been to one of those places alone? Most peoples answer to that question is "not often", if at all - So logic suggests that they are going to have at least one friend with them who will come over and stomp in your head, so obviously you don't want to "play around" with someone on the ground and transition to a bunch of different locks and submissions; you want to break what you need to break, or, hit him/her in the groin, or, shove your thumbs into his/her eyes and get back up as fast as possible to deal with his friend(s) that are coming to the rescue.

That being said; what if you're up against someone who's an advanced jiu-jitsu fighter, MMA grappler, wrestler, or simply watches too much UFC? The simple stuff found in "original" Krav Maga will not help you too much in those situations, and will probably wind up with you dead or seriously injured (sorry, but I'm being blunt and honest, I don't feel like being political here). Now, it's true that I've heard of some KMAA/KMF/IKMF instructors showing/teaching "advanced" ground-work, but it needs to be noted that these are instructors that have some sort of ground fighting experience and that they are adding it on their own - it is NOT part of the KMAA/KMF/IKMF's system, only simple, basic, ground work is. The IKMA calls what they do "Gidon System Krav Maga". Haim Gidon, the grand master and Imi's highest ranking student along with Eli Avikzar, is Imi's successor (it was put to a vote who would lead the IKMA when Imi retired, Haim was elected, other "top ranking students" got pissed and left the IKMA to create their own orginizations), and he began to "update" the system, and before Imi passed he said "this is good, this is what I want for Krav Maga, this is why I approved when Haim was elected to be the Grand Master", so to put it simply, "Gidon System" is the "natural evolution" of Imi's Krav Maga.

Now the real question left is "Why did the IKMA advance their ground system?", the answer is simple. About 8 or so years back, a bunch of Gracie Jui-Jitsu guys came to Haim's gym in Netanya to "challenge" the fighters there; They tapped all but a single one of Haim's highest-ranking students out. Haim told them to come back in a year... 18 months later a bunch of them came back - Each "fight" was over in just a few seconds with Haim's students being victorious. This story was told to me by Haim himself (translated by one of his top instructors as Haim does not speak much english lol). The IKMA has developed their ground system to be similar to what we already do standing up (as "why learn 2 different defenses for the same thing"), we also do "retzev on the ground" as well as learn all the "fancy"/advanced MMA/Jui-Jitsu moves so we can learn how to defend them. Haim's wrestling background helped this to happen.

I hope this answers any/all questions about the IKMA/Krav Maga groundwork. :)

Chris

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MJS

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Hey Chris,

My apologies for not getting back to this sooner. Thanks for a detailed, well thought out reply. :)

Now, another question for you. You said that in the Krav Maga system, there is ground work, however it sounds, by your description, to be very basic. What exactly does it consist of? The ground work that your group does, sounds like it was taken to quite a few higher levels. I get this impression from the clips that I've seen. Hopefully soon, when I make it up to your area, I can get a first hand taste of it. :ultracool

Mike
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I think it is great that they are incorporating a lot of ground work it can only help them if they ever are on the ground.

As to the story of the Gracie Jiujitsu guy's showing up in Israel if you know which academy it was I would be interested in more details.
 

Spork3245

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Hey Chris,

My apologies for not getting back to this sooner. Thanks for a detailed, well thought out reply. :)

Now, another question for you. You said that in the Krav Maga system, there is ground work, however it sounds, by your description, to be very basic. What exactly does it consist of? The ground work that your group does, sounds like it was taken to quite a few higher levels. I get this impression from the clips that I've seen. Hopefully soon, when I make it up to your area, I can get a first hand taste of it. :ultracool

Mike


The ground-work found in the majority of Krav Maga is simply "pound the groin" or "stick fingers in eyes" with a few basic bucks and bridges here and there. If you watch the Krav Maga episode of Fight Quest, every time Doug took one of them to the ground, their reactions were pretty much their entire "ground system" (pounding the groin and trying to spastically-fight (aka: flailing... they may as well have been windmilling with the "technique" they were showing most of the time, ugh!) their way back up to their feet). It looked good the first time I saw the episode (the premiere), but now that I've been doing Krav for awhile, it looks like poo. :p

I think it is great that they are incorporating a lot of ground work it can only help them if they ever are on the ground.

As to the story of the Gracie Jiujitsu guy's showing up in Israel if you know which academy it was I would be interested in more details.

With the heavy accents and the broken English I have to sit through, you're lucky I know as much of the story as I do! lol
Seriously though, unforutnatly I have no idea what academy/branch they were from. It's very possible that they weren't even "Gracie" guys, but this is the story I was told, so it is the story I shall repeat - I have no reason not to believe it, or at least the basis of it; "Advanced ground-fighters came to the IKMA, took the IKMA guys to the gound and beat them. The IKMA's ground-system was re-written". It honestly happened so long ago I doubt that their "academy" is even relevent at this point in time. :)
This is certainly not ment to talk down about any Jiu-Jitsu/ground-fighting organization. What they do is ment for a ring, what we do is ment for the street - We know and respect that, as do they. In fact, Ricardo Almeida's school is literally less than a quarter mile from the official IKMA-US training center, he's sent many people to us (those looking for pratical street fighting), just as we've sent many people to him (those coming in looking to be professional fighters). When compared, both are a completely different way of training and thinking to one another, and that needs to be understood by all.
As I previously stated, we learn all of the "fancy"/advanced ground moves found in other ground-fighting systems, so we can also learn how to defend them. However, our "escapes" for them certainly are not usually "UFC-sanctioned" escapes, often involving attacking the groin, small-joint-manipulation, taking the eyes, cranking the neck, biting, etc. That being said, if we fought a high-ranking Gracie student (or any advanced ground-fighter) in a ring where there were rules and we couldn't use our "dirty tricks", we honestly probably wouldn't fair very well - Likewise, if they fought one of us on the street, they would fair equally as poor.
 
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ratman

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I take KAPAP which is also an Israeli combative. Very similiar to Krav. We also have very limited ground work. It's one thing if you take an art for sport, exercise,etc. but if your taking an art for self defense real world application I think your selling yourself short if you do not incorporate a ground art along with it.

In my oppinion, BJJ is the best ground art available. You can not truly be a well rounded fighter without a stand up and ground game. KAPAP, Krav, etc. are effective stand ups but have very limited ground work. I take two stand up arts and still take BJJ so that I can be a well rounded fighter.
 

K831

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Here is the other one I knew I had seen;


Ground stuff is at the end.
 
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Spork3245

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I take KAPAP which is also an Israeli combative. Very similiar to Krav. We also have very limited ground work. It's one thing if you take an art for sport, exercise,etc. but if your taking an art for self defense real world application I think your selling yourself short if you do not incorporate a ground art along with it.

In my oppinion, BJJ is the best ground art available. You can not truly be a well rounded fighter without a stand up and ground game. KAPAP, Krav, etc. are effective stand ups but have very limited ground work. I take two stand up arts and still take BJJ so that I can be a well rounded fighter.

Not to start an argument, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but BJJ is the best ground art available for a sports match, not the street.
 

K831

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Not to start an argument, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but BJJ is the best ground art available for a sports match, not the street.

I couldn't agree more. I hear all the time that BJJ is the "best ground art" and I always think, eh, maybe for grapplers quest. I think it is terrible on the street.

The issue of ground work is what got me to attend a Krav school in the first place. It is pretty tough to find anyone teaching ground work that applies to the street and takes into account all the needed variables. Everyone teaches bjj and the training is not realistic at all for survival/street type situations. Best luck I have had is a gym teaching what they call "anti-bjj" it is largely western wrestling focusing on gnp.
 
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DarkShadowfax

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I think that knowing some groundwork will definitely help on the streets. The basic groundwork at KMWW exists of hurting sensitive spots, moving around while you're on your back/side and kicking from such positions, which will, hopefully, significantly hurt your attackers so you have enough time to get back on your feet to give your victim a good smacking of your own, or to run for it.
Intermediate belt levels (Green, Blue) also deal with fancy groundwork, such as triangle chokes, armbars and interesting lock escapes. We're also told that, while it looks awesome and such, that you don't want to go there in a street fight. They're taught so students will recognize the move and counter against it. Locks are rarely used in street fights, cause just pounding someone is usually a lot easier. I guess that's why beginner levels don't deal with such fancy moves, unless you have a trainer who likes to add in some BJJ at times. (Like mine, but I like it :))

As to whether BJJ is the best ground art, in competitions with rules, probably yes. On the streets, probably no, because you have to be fast to finish your opponent while you're on the ground. Chokes will take several seconds once applied to significantly hinder your opponent, and your attacker's buddies need only a few seconds to come help their friend.
 

TMA17

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Old post but I'd like to add that David Kahn told me the ground work they included is more similar to Japanese JJ than Brazilian. In the IKMA Haim Gidon system, they do have a good amount of ground work.
 

FriedRice

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Not to start an argument, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but BJJ is the best ground art available for a sports match, not the street.

Tell that to Brazilians in Brazil who fights a lot. When our American boys go to Brazil to visit, rare (if any) bothers us as long as we hang with the BJJ crowd there. You think Brazilians don't fight in the streets?
 

drop bear

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Tell that to Brazilians in Brazil who fights a lot. When our American boys go to Brazil to visit, rare (if any) bothers us as long as we hang with the BJJ crowd there. You think Brazilians don't fight in the streets?

To be honest BJJ kind of isn't the best system of ground for self defence. But because it is so consistantly better than the average self defence systems of ground work. (like that krav video) That it doesn't really matter that much.

If we integrate striking the priorities change and we can take short cuts on some areas and should focus more on others.

More standing up, Less guard pulling in its most simplest terms.

eg.

This means the time spent training will just be more bang for buck essentually.

So even BJJ with eye gouges and groin punches just is not as efficient as you could get with self defence focused ground game.

So what we find happens is this.

Where people mix krav with bjj. And we get a system that works. But seriously jumping off guard for arm bars for self defence? Punch them. leave. Find a top side sub.

You dont really need these wiggly complicated throws and sub set ups. It is not about your moves list.
 
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FriedRice

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To be honest BJJ kind of isn't the best system of ground for self defence. But because it is so consistantly better than the average self defence systems of ground work. (like that krav video) That it doesn't really matter that much.

If we integrate striking the priorities change and we can take short cuts on some areas and should focus more on others.

More standing up, Less guard pulling in its most simplest terms.

eg.

This means the time spent training will just be more bang for buck essentually.

So even BJJ with eye gouges and groin punches just is not as efficient as you could get with self defence focused ground game.

So what we find happens is this.

Where people mix krav with bjj. And we get a system that works. But seriously jumping off guard for arm bars for self defence? Punch them. leave. Find a top side sub.

You dont really need these wiggly complicated throws and sub set ups. It is not about your moves list.


Most of the street fight videos where BJJ is used, it's mostly taking down the other guy, full mount and raining punches & elbows. The only time they jump guard is because they're being nice and not really wanting to hurt the other guy.

Even with BJJ'ers not being known for their trashy takedowns....but a decent double leg with a nice pickup for height to slam someone onto the solid cement, back & head head first with the BJJ's weight on top, is going to **** someone up quite nicely; before the pounding even starts. Yeah, I can beat most of the BJJ only guys at my gym in a full fight, but that's only b/c I train full MMA.

I don't say it's the best SD system neither, but I would take BJJ over most other arts as a standalone. I might even take Wrestling over BJJ. It was quite an eye opener for me when I saw a high school wrestler take down a TKD black belt and GnP'ed him into a bloody pulp at a McDonald's parking lot, when I was young....this was years before 1993 UFC 1 and all that chopsocky myths & legends were plentiful....going about unchallenged. Pretty wild that that HS wrestler knew all of this way before Gracie even came to the USA.
 

marques

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As much as I know about Krav Maga (which is not much) IKMA always trained and gave importance to ground work. Imi was wrestler and he passed down (t)his knowledge. It is not something they decided to had later (but as a live art, of course they can keep updating).

For some reason, some other Krav Maga organisations dont focus as much in ground work. And, at least, one I have tested is null in ground work; yet they teach it.
 

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