• Darren Levine’s Krav Maga Tactical Training Tip

For all its fitness benefits, it is impossible to forget that Krav Maga was developed to be a brutally efficient martial art. It was designed to give Israeli Defense Force troops the best possible hand-to-hand combat skill set should they be disarmed in battle. That training, by necessity, included the use of deadly force. Read on to learn more about how and when to use deadly force in real life scenarios.

Use Of Deadly Force In Self Defense

While the use of deadly force should always be avoided when possible, Krav Maga does include techniques designed to take another person’s life. Even many of the non-lethal techniques taught can cause injury and even death intentionally or inadvertently. At Krav Maga Worldwide, we train the body to execute the techniques correctly, and we train the mind to make good decisions about when and why to use specific techniques.

The Criteria For The Use Of Deadly Force

Whether you are defending yourself or someone else, simply stating that you feared death or great bodily harm without any basis for the fear is not enough to justify homicide. The danger must satisfy three criteria:

  • The danger must be apparent and must be such that a third party would reasonably understand the threat to be to life or limb.
  • The danger must be present and the aggressor must be in your immediate vicinity when the incident occurs.
  • The danger must be immediate and the physically threatening action must be happening at that very moment.

Your lethal response must also satisfy certain criteria:

  • Your action must be instant and the killing blow must be struck as the only immediate way to end the threat, or at least reasonably appear so to a third-party.
  • Your action must be reasonable and the killing must be done under a well-founded, good faith belief that it was the only way to save yourself from death or great bodily harm.

The Aftermath

When there has been a use of deadly force, the appropriate authorities should be notified when it is safe to do so. Remain in the area if possible, if not, make contact with a law enforcement dispatcher as soon as possible, explain the situation, and attempt to remain on the phone with them. Remember the call is recorded, so any statement made at this time is on record. Follow law enforcement direction and seek legal advice as necessary.

Legal Caveats

Local and state laws can vary greatly when the use of deadly force in self defense is concerned. It is best to familiarize yourself with the local statutes, especially if you feel you are at risk of needing to use your training in a lethal manner. This is only a general guide, not legal advice.

The Role Of Training

When a use of deadly force has occurred, your training may be scrutinized as a means to decide whether or not lethal force was appropriate. At Krav Maga Worldwide, we focus on training your body and mind so know how to fight, and also when to fight.

Visit a Krav Maga location or affiliate near you today to train with the self defense experts at Krav Maga Worldwide.


Today's tip is an extrapolation of an excerpt from Black Belt Krav Maga, co-authored by Darren Levine and Ryan Hoover. Available on Amazon now.