Self Defense Disarm

This is the third part of our gun defense series. While it can be read separately, now is a great time to read or re-read Part 1 and Part 2.

There are few self defense disarm techniques more efficient than a Krav Maga disarm. This is understandable since the Krav Maga system was developed primarily to give unarmed fighters a way to combat violent, potentially armed fascists before and during World War II. This next technique uses what is called a cupping defense to help you gain better control of the firearm.

The Assailant

Once again we will be joined by our aggressor, a man of average height and build holding a semi-automatic firearm and some bad intentions. He has stepped out in front of you on the way home, holding his gun in front of his body pointed at your general centerline or slightly to the left. We’re going to assume he is aiming center mass, however this technique is effective for a weapon threatening you from groin to crown.

Your Primary Focus

Your first goal in this self defense disarm technique is to avoid being shot. We’re going to fall back on our principles of redirect, control, attack, and take away to neutralize the threat to ourselves and those around us.

What To Do


Since the gun is pointing more toward our left in this scenario, we’re going to attack it with our right hand. Using as little movement as possible, knife your right hand up, index finger along the side of the barrel, and push the firearm further left, clearing your body. This will give you greater reach with your right hand and pull the left half of your body out of the shifting line of fire.


Close your hand on the barrel, turning it sharply away from you as you bring your left hand up to cup the back of the gun and the hammer. This two handed grip gives you better control of the weapon. By pushing it wide, you have also opened up his centerline for striking.


Use kicks and leg strikes to injure your assailant or break his focus from his weapon. At this point, the groin, knee, and breadbasket should be open targets that are particularly vulnerable to accurate strikes.

Take Away

Turn the weapon towards the assailant and down sharply. This should break their grip if not their finger. If the assailant manages to hold on, you still have two hands in control of the gun and the opportunity for further strikes.

Train For The Threat

Any Krav Maga disarm is only as good as you’ve trained it to be. When training, make it as real-world as possible, only modifying your technique to prevent your training partner from being seriously injured. If you want real world self defense disarm training, stop by a Krav Maga Worldwide location and sign up for classes today.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of our self defense disarm series.

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.

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