When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Why Krav Maga?
Why not boxing for self-defence?
Why not Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Wrestling, or Muay Thai?

The reason is that Krav Maga will utilise the best aspects that other systems have to offer, remove the sport aspect, remove anything that could be considered a rule (a rule put in place to protect the opponent from serious injury), and adapt to each and every situation.

And this is the big part missing from other systems.  The ability, or even the need, to adapt for different situations or different environments.

 

What do I mean when I say “When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”? 

Your training will become a predisposition for your actions.  If your training (or you personally) favours a certain manoeuvre, or strike, or takedown, or “f*ck it try a leg-lock”, then under a stressful situation your mind will focus lock on this one thing.  We have seem this time and time again in MMA.  A fighter becomes known for a certain move, and a lot of the time it’s because this one move has served them well.  Fantastic. After a 12 week training camp they have trained this move against a replica of the person they will be fighting against in a similar environment.  This leaves no room for adaptation.

A good Krav Maga School/Instructor/practitioner should train in Krav Maga.  And this should involve aspects of striking (boxing/muay thai/kick boxing), aspects of wrestling for takedowns and takedown prevention, aspects of BJJ and MMA for being able to get up off the ground and defend yourself on the ground, and then everything else Krav Maga practitioners train in such as weapon defence, bear hugs, multiple attackers, third party protection, all the aspects of self-defence not covered in the octagon or ring.

 

Should someone that teaches Krav Maga train in other disciplines?

Of course. Why not?  A lot of us do.  As hobbies.  I occasionally box and have a muay thai trainer. I train MMA and BJJ a few times a week. I also do weight lifting and metabolic conditioning.  But I’m as much a power lifter as I am professional boxer.  I also cook my own dinner, but I’m far from being a chef.

 

The catch with cross training is two-fold though.

One is that if your Muay Thai training outweighs your Krav training then are you a Muay Thai fighter or a Krav Maga practitioner?  If you’re a professional football player, but you only train football once a week and basketball 4 times a week, are you really that much of a football player?

Two is that you get lost within the rule set of what you’re occupying yourself with, and can easily fall into a trap where your krav maga training and krav maga habits become those of a different discipline.  You can tend to favour techniques that simply aren’t relevant for self-defence.  If when you’re in a self-defence situation the primary goal is to get away, so if you’re in a position to do a leg lock or arm bar, you’re in a position to strike and get up and get away.

As Krav Maga Instructors we first and foremost need to master our craft before becoming a jack of all trades.   Own not only what you are, but own what you’re not.  Involve the aspects of the other disciplines that serve our purpose.

 “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own” – Bruce Lee.

 

Jarrod Krafczyk
Senior Instructor
Krav Maga Defence Institute
Sydney, Australia