Two men sparring in a Krav Maga fight class, both wearing boxing gloves and protective shin guards.

The landscape of the self-defense and martial arts training world can be incredibly confusing. Trying to figure out which style of training, which physical location to train at, which community of people to become involved with, can all seem overwhelming and stressful. Everyone who becomes interested in learning self-defense wants to train at the “best” place. 

It’s a decision that involves factoring in time and effort that will go into training, what sort of training will actually be taught and, really, what the student will get out of training. For some people it’s really about getting the most bang for their buck.

To others it’s about getting a sense of accomplishment or reaching a personal goal. There’s also many people who just feel like they want to be doing “something” in the realm of learning self-defense because it’s a smart thing to do. 

Krav Maga vs jiu-jitsu

Get informed.

Take a look at apps like Citizen or Next Door every once in a while to get an understanding of the real dangers and types of incidents that are happening in your neighborhood. 

Self-defense training should provide you with real skills that make you both safer and stronger. It should be a practice and a program that empowers you and really gives you a chance to prevail in situation where your life is on the line.

Understanding Krav Maga

Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense training was developed for this exact purpose and Krav Maga Worldwide as a company is dedicated to making people safer and stronger. That’s different from the idea of teaching people skills so they can fight. It boils down to personal safety and the kind of training that will help provide it. 

Imi Lichtenfeld

Krav Maga was created to teach people who had virtually no hand-to-hand combat experience to become skilled in hand-to-hand combat in a very short period of time. In order to do that Krav Maga’s creator, Imi Lichtenfeld, had to create a system and a systematic approach to teaching. A way in which people could learn self-defense skills quickly, and be able to recall and rely on them under stress. 

The system that Krav Maga Worldwide certified training centers use to teach students to be effective with self-defense and improve their personal safety is applicable at all Krav Maga belt levels. This means that as students progress in their training, the method of learning and developing remains consistent. 

krav maga techniques

Fundamentals are irreplaceable.

Higher level Krav Maga self-defense classes deal with complex scenarios and tactics. However the fundamentals and principles remain the same as what is learned in beginner levels of Krav Maga training. Realistically, you can’t be effective at defending yourself against someone who is pointing a gun at you unless you have solid fundamentals. 

In terms of personal safety, it’s those solid fundamentals that everyone should know in order to really be able to protect themselves. Krav Maga self-defense classes stress those fundamentals.

Our classes build those fundaments in students and push students to constantly refine them and keep them sharp. One of these self-defense fundamentals is understanding and utilizing what Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense training refers to as “the distance continuum.” 

Context for what is essential.

If you think of limbs as your “personal weapons”, the distance continuum is the idea of being able to understand which range from an opponent or attacker that each of your personal weapons will be effective in. Krav Maga is a no-holds barred system.

We teach students that there are no rules in a fight for your life. When it comes to learning Krav Maga techniques for personal safety it’s about which range to strike from and how to use each of your personal weapons in that given range to make the most damage to someone who wants to damage you. 

Long range combatives.

front kick to the groin

The length of your legs. It’s pretty simple. However that distance is, of course, different for each person. Regardless we consider long range combative to be used from a distance that is about the length of our legs, or just slightly outside. 

Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense is really about staying safe. There’s a chance that if someone is outside the length of your legs, you might be able to get away from them and not HAVE to get into a fight. That chance is dictated by a number of factors that could be uncontrollable, though so we teach students to use their legs to throw long range strikes. 

What you NEED to know.

One Krav Maga technique that everyone should know is a front kick to the groin. Front kick to the groin is a rising kick that travels on a vertical plane, up and through the attacker or opponents groin. 

The initial movement comes from driving the hips forward and leading with the knee of the kicking leg, then unfolding that leg up and through the attacker or opponent’s groin.

The striking surface of the kick should be the top of the foot or the shin. In order to make sure the striking surface is correct, it’s important to point the toes of the kicking leg toward the target, not up toward the ceiling or sky. 

Front kick to the groin is an essential Krav Maga technique to know because, aside from causing pain, it can cause an involuntary reaction that incapacitates the person who is kicked. That reaction could end the encounter entirely or give the defender a chance to escape.

Mid-range combatives.

Man throwing a punch to a focus mitt being held by a male Krav Maga instructor during self-defense class.

The length of your arms. Again, this is pretty simple to understand in terms of concept but there are variances depending on each person’s body. 

What you NEED to know.

The essential Krav Maga technique to know from mind-range is a straight punch.

Power in straight punches comes from the body turning, not just from the arms. To become proficient at throwing straight punches, try to imagine that your whole body is going to send the punch.

The rotation of the body is what throws the punch and generates power. The striking surface of the hand that is used for a straight punch should be the “top two” knuckles of the fist (pointer finger and middle finger). We generally think about the straight punch targeting areas of the face that are located “eyebrows and below” on the opponent or attacker.

Similar to the thinking behind kicking to the goin, punching to the “eyebrows and below” gives the defender a chance to damage the “soft targets” of an attacker’s face. The idea here again is to cause an involuntary reaction as well as pain. Disrupting an attacker’s ability to see or breathe gives the defender an advantage in the altercation and could provide an avenue for escape.

Close range combatives.

Woman throwing a knee strike to a man's groin during Krav Maga self-defense class. Man doubled over in pain

The distance that inside the length of your arms.

If an attacker is so close to you that they are inside your arms reach, you might still be able to kick them in the groin, but a straight punch is going to be less effective.

Remember it’s your knuckles that deliver the straight punch so if the attacker is so close that they are past your knuckles, fists, wrists, etc. we teach students to think about using elbow strikes and knee strikes.

Man throwing an elbow strike to a focus mitt being held by a male Krav Maga instructor during Krav Maga self-defense class.

You NEED to know elbows.

The Krav Maga worldwide self-defense system teaches 7 different elbow strikes. The technique varies based on the position relative to the attacker but the distance is the same. You can learn all about them here.

You NEED to know knees.

Knee strikes are delivered similar to the initial movement involved in sending a front kick to the groin. Driving the hips forward and bending the striking leg into an “arrowhead” shape so that the knee is leading.

If we think about an attacker being in front of the defender, the knee strike should go forward as if going through the attacker. It shouldn’t go up as if the attacker was going to take their knee toward their chin.

Female Krav Maga black belt student throwing a knee strike to a man's midsection. Man doubled over in pain

Depending on just how close the attacker is, there might be a need to grab or hold the attacker in a “control” position. Whether you are throwing a knee strike with a control or without, Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense classes teach students to target the attacker’s groin or midsection.

The logic for this being the same with previous techniques. Try to cause an involuntary reaction in the attacker that will incapacitate them. 

If the attacker folds or bends over after being hit with a knee strike, it might be possible to follow up with knees to the head. However initial strikes should target the groin or midsection.

Consistent Training.

Man wearing MMA training gloves in a fighting stance during Krav Maga self-defense class.

Understanding the distance continuum and knowing how to strike effectively from various distances is really the foundation for being able to effectively defend yourself. 

Knowing how to do this and really having the ability to utilize the knowledge comes from consistent training and practicing in different scenarios and under different levels of stress.

So, if you’re thinking about self-defense training and all you see is a confusing landscape consider that Krav Maga Worldwide training is all about practical self-defense for personal safety. Our system is designed to make people safer and stronger. It’s not about learning how to fight for the purpose of fighting or for anything involving ego.

Krav Maga Worldwide certified training.