Guest article by Edwin Bradley, member of Krav Maga Institute
Recently I have surveyed the small sample of street fight videos available on YouTube. Some of the scenes you’ll find there are amusing, some are absurd, and quite a few are disturbing to watch owing to the sudden, ruthless and potentially lethal violence on display.
Occasionally I try to analyze the situations from my perspective as a student at the Krav Maga Institute for the past two and one-half years. Considering these video examples of mayhem has helped me focus my training at KMI. Watching the vast selection of knucklehead fights from the safety of my couch, I’ve noticed several common occurrences that highlight the training we receive at KMI. It might be useful to summarize them here.
First, always try to avoid a fight. The videos show a wide variety of ability, from emotional but harmless slap-fighting at one end to disciplined, motivated combat technique at the other. Before the action starts you probably cannot know what you’re up against. As we are taught, the best technique starts with de-escalation. Accept an insult, ignore a challenge, and walk away if you can. But if retreat is not possible, here is what my amateur YouTube study tells me about my KMI training.
Scan, scan, and scan some more! Many YouTube combatants defend a frontal attack only to be sent to the ground unconscious by an unseen roundhouse punch to the head from another attacker approaching from a blind-side. Don’t focus on the guy you just repelled or put down. Keep moving, clear the area and scan your surroundings. It just isn’t over until you’re away or reinforcements have arrived. And even then, scan some more.
Stay on your feet. If you go down, get up combatively and fast. YouTube shows repeatedly that things do not go well for people who curl up and try to endure kicks. An endurable flurry of kicks often leads to fist blows and stomp kicking the head against pavement with predictably bad results. Practice your combative stand-ups, practice escaping from a ring of standing attackers. Get good at getting up.
Practice your kicks. Get good at them. Many videos reveal how helpful the defensive push-kick or a hard, well-placed straight-kick would have been to people who needlessly endured fist blows from stronger, faster opponents. Practice combining kicks with hand defenses and strong combative punches.
Do not get caught in a bear hug from behind. You are in extreme danger when a strong attacker with the ability to lift and twist backward pins your arms and drives your head into the ground. I’ve seen it happen in an instant and those folks do not get up – perhaps ever. Scan, practice the P-3 bear hug technique of dropping your body weight forward and other techniques to interfere with this potentially fatal technique.
There’s much more of course. In the few instances of street mayhem YouTube videos where I’ve seen what resembled Krav Maga techniques, the defender always had an obvious advantage. Learn it at KMI. Train the techniques into your muscle memory that you may continue to “walk in peace.”