Krav Maga and Ground Fighting

Some of the best techniques to break a person’s arm while fighting on the ground are the armbar lock from Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and the Kimura from BJJ. One of the better ways to control your opponent on the ground is the Kuzure Kesa Gatame from Judo. So why won’t a Krav Maga practitioner find these moves in the Krav Maga system if they work so well? What kind of ground game does Krav Maga have?

I will start by saying that even though I have traveled many places throughout the world, I have yet to see streets made out of inch-and-a-half mats.

IMG_9486I say with sincerity that the two fighting systems I mentioned above are amazing fighting styles. But we have to remember that street fighting is very different from competitive fighting, with unknown threats, unknown obstacles, and no ability to stop the fight at will. As a well known fighter/celebrity in the BJJ world once told me: “In the street, I will definitely take my opponent down—but I would not go down to the ground.”

In Krav Maga, there are a lot of takedown prevention techniques and drills. Krav Maga has ground techniques, but our philosophy is that if you’ve been taken down, the first rule is to get up as fast as possible. Regardless of your skill or ability, the exposure and danger on the ground is very high. Some risks of going to or staying on the ground in street fights are: the ground itself (fatal impact to the head when falling on concrete); multiple attackers, especially when one or more are standing while the defender is on the ground; and unseen weapons or objects used by one or more attackers.

IMG_4054There are ground techniques and moves in Krav Maga, but they are all followed with striking and are coupled with the essential goal of getting up as soon as possible. And there you go. This is why we don’t spend time on learning how to do an armbar, Kimura, or Kazure Kesa Gatame. To execute these (still effective ring techniques) means we must spend more time on the ground, on a dirty concrete sidewalk of some alley, or in the middle of downtown surrounded by strangers without knowing who will attack you next and break a bottle on your head or even push you into oncoming traffic.

Stay safe and standing.

So that one may walk in peace.

Danny Zelig

2 Responses to “Krav Maga and Ground Fighting”

  1. Anon

    Not learning how to do an arm bar, kimura or other basic ground submissions means that the person doesn’t know how to defend against one either. If a person gets attacked by someone with BJJ experience, they will be taken on the ground, and then what?

    • KMI Team

      Thanks for your comment. As we state in the article, our curriculum does have defenses against ground submissions.


Leave a Reply