what makes "krav" krav?

Kababayan

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Darn it. I dont visit the forum for two weeks and I miss this great discussion. I have a feeling that this post is going to be rather lengthy because there are so many topics to address here. I apologize in advance. To address the original post, Krav Maga definitely has a very specific signature, just as TKD, Jiu-Jitsu, Arnis, Aikido, and Kenpo do. Basically, when you see a person practicing one of those arts you can identify right away which one they are practicing. There isnt any ambiguity. Kravs signature is its aggressive reaction, use of hammers and knees, immediate bursting, continuous attack, and disengage/escape. Krav also focuses a lot of time on scenario training. I cant think of any other system that focuses so much time on verbal de-escalation, active shooter defense, third person defense, kidnapping defense, carjacking defense, and gun and knife defense. Also every Krav technique tends to look the same so that students dont have 200 individual techniques to memorize. Its entire philosophy is about turning the victim into the aggressor and escaping to safety. I thought DannyTs original response described it well.


Regarding the rest of the topics that were brought up in this post, let me preface them by addressing the martial arts ego. I think its safe to say that most martial artists have egos, or at least can be defensive regarding their chosen art. I was 100% guilty of that when I taught Kempo for many years. I used to say that Kempo was a street fighting art (even though it wasnt) and it was difficult for me to acknowledge that Kempo had its limitations. It was when I stepped back from Kempo and began studying other arts that I was somewhat objectively able to separate reality from hyperbole. Fifteen years ago I would have argued that Kempo focuses on the survivor's mindset, but it doesnt. Most Kempo teachers have their students do the techniques, and then cross out on guard and wait for the up command. There wasnt many aggressively violent reaction drills using simple techniques that teach to disengage and run away. I guess my point is that it can be difficult for students of a chosen art to be able to step back and objectively analyze their art. Im not saying that to insult anyone...thats not my purpose at all. The martial arts inherently creates an environment of mine is the most effective because, as teachers, we need our students to buy-into what they are learning. With that being said, here are my responses to the other topics discussed:


The survival mindset isnt necessarily unique to Krav, but Krav embeds it into its techniques, which makes its philosophy and method of training unique. As a contrasting example, my Tang Soo Do training never focused on a survival mindset. I would argue that most systems of self defense focus on the survival mindset, but most martial arts dont. Runs with Fire and drop bear both brought up physically and mentally training for a dog fight (drop bears words) and I think they are both 100% correct with that analogy. True Krav Maga embeds very physical drills into their training. Krav doesnt practice punches in the air like my Kempo and Tang Soo Do training did. Good Krav does all of its basics while making contact on punching bags. Krav is trying to instill the physical and mental aspect of self defense. Plus Krav trains scenario training in every class...something most martial arts dont do. One benefit that bjj and wrestling will have over stand-up arts, like drop bear said, is that they are always working with a resisting opponent in every class. Runs with Fire is right...there is a lot of Crap Maga out there. It reminds of back in the 90s when dojos began advertising that they teach bjj just because the instructor wrestled a year in high school and bought a Gracie video. There was a lot of crap jiu jitsu out there.


Regarding the comparison to Krav and JKD/Arnis/Wing Chun/Silat, they have very different signatures. Ive trained with Vunak and his students and my friend is a Wing Chun instructor. You definitely can make the argument that those arts have similar principles to each other, but they are very different than Krav. I would also include Panatukan in there as well. I would not ever put any of those arts down, or any martial arts for that matter, as I love my Arnis kababayan (brothers and sisters), but they are different than Krav. Not better or worse, just different. I love Silat and am currently training in it consistently. Ive noticed that Silat seems to have large variations between instructors.


I would have to agree with Runs with Fire that most martial arts schools do not get much beyond philosophy and tradition, and I am surprised by the backlash of that statement. I owned a dojo for many years and have been in the business for a long time, and know a lot of people in the business. I can say with confidence that most martial arts schools teach techniques based on theory and tradition. I think its pretty well known that there is a disconnect between what is taught in traditional dojo and the reality of attacks...I just dont think that its admitted that often. That is why MMA gyms have become so popular; people can see a connection between what is taught in the gym and what they see on Youtube. Although I will say that the training in most most MMA gyms comes with a strong sport emphasis. I know that there is more to say here, but this post is getting very wordy.

Im sorry that this post is so long. I guess when you mix a great topic with an old-timer like myself (Im not that old but I been around martial arts for awhile) words just start to flow. Regarding the terms fighting vs. self defense, as was also discussed in this thread, Ill save my thoughts for later, as this post is getting way too long. Thanks everyone who read it in its entirety. Thank you for the great discussions my martial arts brothers and sisters.
 

drop bear

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before we address a survival mindset that involes life or death street fights. I challenge you to wrestle hard out for three minutes. I dont care what style, Submission,pins whatever. But just go hard get subbed stand back up and go straight back in.

See if you quit before the three minutes is up.

See what your mind set is like when you are hurting and want to quit.

See the points where fighting off a pin or a position gets too hard and you give up.

Take note of your mind set before you wanted to puke as to your mind set during.


All of this will give you a realistic idea of where your combatave mindset actually is without having to get seriously messed up. And having to fight through that.

By the way when I started I gave up before three minutes. And worked my way up to fighting while giving up. I was there but I didn't want to be. To mabye just stalling that proccess a bit longer each time. But when I started I went from hero mind set to zero mind set really fast. And it is important to know that can happen.
 

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before we address a survival mindset that involes life or death street fights. I challenge you to wrestle hard out for three minutes. I dont care what style, Submission,pins whatever. But just go hard get subbed stand back up and go straight back in.

See if you quit before the three minutes is up.

See what your mind set is like when you are hurting and want to quit.

See the points where fighting off a pin or a position gets too hard and you give up.

Take note of your mind set before you wanted to puke as to your mind set during.


All of this will give you a realistic idea of where your combatave mindset actually is without having to get seriously messed up. And having to fight through that.

By the way when I started I gave up before three minutes. And worked my way up to fighting while giving up. I was there but I didn't want to be. To mabye just stalling that proccess a bit longer each time. But when I started I went from hero mind set to zero mind set really fast. And it is important to know that can happen.
I don't think that's a solid indicator of whether a person will keep fighting when their life is on the line. I'll give up some stuff in training just because my toe hurts. But when my safety is at risk, the toe doesn't have nearly as much weight, based upon experience. It's a pretty good indicator of how long we could hope to survive if the attacker is competent (or lucky) enough to keep things going for a while.
 

drop bear

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I don't think that's a solid indicator of whether a person will keep fighting when their life is on the line. I'll give up some stuff in training just because my toe hurts. But when my safety is at risk, the toe doesn't have nearly as much weight, based upon experience. It's a pretty good indicator of how long we could hope to survive if the attacker is competent (or lucky) enough to keep things going for a while.

Ok. what is your more solid indicator?
 

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Ok. what is your more solid indicator?
I dont think there is one thats dependable for predicting someones willingness to continue fighting. I suspect (without any good evidence Ive be n able to find), that how intensely someone is willing to go is relative. So someone who always goes soft, even when they are supposed to go hard, has less will to fight. But thats just a suspicion, backed only by the kind of evidence prone to confirmation bias.
 

drop bear

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I dont think there is one thats dependable for predicting someones willingness to continue fighting. I suspect (without any good evidence Ive be n able to find), that how intensely someone is willing to go is relative. So someone who always goes soft, even when they are supposed to go hard, has less will to fight. But thats just a suspicion, backed only by the kind of evidence prone to confirmation bias.

Except that placing someone under pressure increases their willingness to fight. At least under those same circumstances.

So basically in six months of doing that wrestling drill people will wrestle longer without quitting.
 

wab25

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The survival mindset isnt necessarily unique to Krav, but Krav embeds it into its techniques, which makes its philosophy and method of training unique. As a contrasting example, my Tang Soo Do training never focused on a survival mindset.
The survival mindset is part of every martial art I know of. How much time and how validly it is taught in any particular school is more a function of the instructor, not the art.

I can quite easily find a Krav Maga school, where they do a poor job of teaching or even showing that survival mindset. You would say that what I found was a Crap Maga school. Fair enough. But if you went to a Tang Soo Do school that never addressed the survival mindset, then I say you may have really found a Tang Soo Doo-Doo school.

I have nothing against Krav Maga. I just don't think that they have cornered the market on the survival mindset as much as they think they have. Whether a school has that mindset and or can teach / show that mindset is mostly a function of the instructor, not the art. That mindset training can be found while studying any of the martial arts, Krav included. That mindset can also be missing from any of the martial arts, Krav included.
 

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Except that placing someone under pressure increases their willingness to fight. At least under those same circumstances.

So basically in six months of doing that wrestling drill people will wrestle longer without quitting.
Agreed on both points. I still don't think there's any evidence that translates to being more or less willing to fight for one's life.
 

drop bear

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Agreed on both points. I still don't think there's any evidence that translates to being more or less willing to fight for one's life.

You dont think there is a direct translation between to being able to push yourself through adversity and being able to fight for your life?
 

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Agreed on both points. I still don't think there's any evidence that translates to being more or less willing to fight for one's life.

Here is a gallup study on sports that create the best navy Seals.

Study points SEAL recruiters toward athletes

An artical on mental toughness from a military perspective and the direct link between toughnes created though adversity. (especially athletics) and ability to perform in fights for life.

Mental Toughness
 
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Gerry Seymour

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You dont think there is a direct translation between to being able to push yourself through adversity and being able to fight for your life?
None I can find evidence to support. I think there's likely a correlation between whether someone will go with intensity and whether they will fight back with any intensity (or at all), but I don't see any evidence that being willing to wrestle longer (dealing with the discomfort and improving conditioning) changes whether someone will fight for their life.
 

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Here is a gallup study on sports that create the best navy Seals.

Study points SEAL recruiters toward athletes
A good article, and I agree with the concepts in it. There's a lot of value in mental toughness and the discipline that comes with it.

An artical on mental toughness from a military perspective and the direct link between toughnes created though adversity. (especially athletics) and ability to perform in fights for life.

Mental Toughness
I can't get this one to come up. Damned Aussie links to good, hardworking American articles don't work. I'll read it and reply again if it ever shows up.
 

drop bear

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None I can find evidence to support. I think there's likely a correlation between whether someone will go with intensity and whether they will fight back with any intensity (or at all), but I don't see any evidence that being willing to wrestle longer (dealing with the discomfort and improving conditioning) changes whether someone will fight for their life.

That is the basic principle behind people who prepare guys for life or death fights.

8 Reasons It Wasnt Easy Being Spartan
 

Gerry Seymour

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That is the basic principle behind people who prepare guys for life or death fights.

8 Reasons It Wasnt Easy Being Spartan
I'm not convinced that training is necessary for the fight itself, so much as for getting there. When we're looking at war, you need people who can withstand the rigors of what goes on between fights, and who will go to the fights, rather than avoiding them. It may be necessary - note that I'm just not convinced. When I look at the psychology of it, in a fight for life and death we're dealing with the reptile functions (emotions, fight/flight). When we're overcoming not wanting to do something, we're actually overriding the emotions and using executive function. With continuing to wrestle beyond being tired, it may be a mix of both, or it may be entirely executive function.
 

drop bear

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I'm not convinced that training is necessary for the fight itself, so much as for getting there. When we're looking at war, you need people who can withstand the rigors of what goes on between fights, and who will go to the fights, rather than avoiding them. It may be necessary - note that I'm just not convinced. When I look at the psychology of it, in a fight for life and death we're dealing with the reptile functions (emotions, fight/flight). When we're overcoming not wanting to do something, we're actually overriding the emotions and using executive function. With continuing to wrestle beyond being tired, it may be a mix of both, or it may be entirely executive function.

You think life or death fights are not conducted consciously?
 

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The survival mindset is part of every martial art I know of. How much time and how validly it is taught in any particular school is more a function of the instructor, not the art.


I understand what you are saying, but some arts embed the survival mindset into the training and techniques, while others focus on developing other aspects of the martial arts. Individual martial arts philosophies are limited to the principles of the techniques that they teach. For example, Tang Soo Do focuses on proper kicking technique, rooted stances, powerful reverse punches, etc. If my Tang Soo Do instructor began teaching us stickfighting, trapping, and straightblasts, then it would no longer be Tang Soo Do. It would be a hybrid art. Aikido is another art that comes to mind where the techniques don't necessarily lend itself to a survival mindset. A dojo across the street from me focused on Olympic TKD. Their techniques and philosophies dont lend themselves to the do anything to survive mindset. I had a Kempo student who came from a Silat dojo. He would cuss while he was sparring because he was trained to use violent verbal aggression while training. His art embedded the survival mindset into their training. Some arts traditional philosophies and techniques dont focus on a survival mindset.


[/QUOTE]I can quite easily find a Krav Maga school, where they do a poor job of teaching or even showing that survival mindset. You would say that what I found was a Crap Maga school. Fair enough. But if you went to a Tang Soo Do school that never addressed the survival mindset, then I say you may have really found a Tang Soo Doo-Doo school.[/QUOTE]

I think what Runs with Fire means when he calls it Crap Maga is when someone begins teaching Krav Maga without the skill level or understanding of true Krav techniques and concepts. He is not saying that if a martial art does not teach the survival mindset that the martial art is crap. Your Tang So Doo-Doo analogy does not fit in that scenario because Runs with Fire is not suggesting that if a TSD dojo doesn't teach a "do anything to survive on the streets" attitude, then it is teaching bad Tang So Do. Not at all. TSD has a different mindset then Krav, Arnis, Panatukan, Judo, JKD, etc. They are all wonderful arts, they just focus on different things. There is a push in the Krav world to keep Krav Maga from being turned into a generic term like Karate or Kung Fu. Because Krav Maga is such a recent form of self defense, it is easy to route the lineage back to the founder. The issue is that people are training in Krav for a short period of time, getting a Level 1 Instructors certificate, and then video training the rest and teaching it as a complete art. They are also blending Krav with others arts. I like to call it Krav-fu, and even though I have a Black Belt in Krav, I am 100% guilty of blending Krav with my other systems. When I train in Krav schools I tend to move like a Kempo guy and throw sidekicks where I shouldn't. Thats what Runs with Fire was meaning when he references Crap Maga. If an instructor cant link his lineage back to Imi Lichtenfeld, or his main students, then there is a chance that a student isnt learning real Krav Maga, just an individual interpretation of Krav.
 

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I think what Runs with Fire means when he calls it Crap Maga is when someone begins teaching Krav Maga without the skill level or understanding of true Krav techniques and concepts.
If you have a real understanding of your art (whichever art you choose) then you understand where and how the survival mindset exists within the techniques of your art. Sure, some arts have more to offer than just the survival mindset. But all decent martial arts do have that survival mindset. If one is teaching that art, without the skill level or understanding, to know where that mindset is within their art, then they are teaching a crap version of the art.
 

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