The Best Self-Defense For Street Fights
Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense is a system that was designed to give people real skills to fight back, win, and go home safe in the case of an assault. Krav Maga was created and developed in Israel by a man named Imi Lichtenfeld just after WWII.
Imi’s job was, essentially, to train Israel’s newly formed military. The challenge was training a large group of people who were immigrating to Israel, and had no hand-to-hand combat experience, in a way that would make them skilled at hand-to-hand combat in a very short period of time.
Imi was a combat veteran in the Nazi resistance movement and he had a great deal of experience in boxing and grappling. He knew it was essential to teach people how to be aggressive in fighting back, and to think about survival at all costs. What Imi developed in Krav Maga was a principal based, no-holds barred, self-defense system that is easy to learn and easy to recall under stress.
Creating Krav Maga was a necessity. The entire nation of Israel was fighting for survival at the time (it could be argued that it still is fighting for survival) and these people knew they were going to have to fight. They didn’t want to fight but it was inevitable.
If you think about it, those concepts and that necessity is, for the most part, completely contrary to the idea of going out and getting into a “street fight.”
That distinction needs to be very clear. Self-defense is not fighting. Fighting skills and learning how to fight are a fundamental part of self-defense. Krav Maga Worldwide teaches people to use these skills in fighting BACK against an assault. That might ultimately lead to being in a fight, however being involved in a fight is, in no way at all, the goal of self-defense training with Krav Maga Worldwide.
Training at a Krav Maga Worldwide certified training center will give you real skills to be safer and stronger. That is the goal. That’s what we do every day.
Considering that fighting skills are an essential part of self-defense it’s important to look at some fundamental concepts and survival tactics as applied to being in a “street fight” that is the result of an assault. These are somewhat broad elements but they could make the difference in a fight for your life.
Prevention and "The Rules of Stupid"
The best self-defense for street fights is, ultimately, not to be involved in them. A fight is going to result in someone getting injured to some degree. It’s also going to have legal consequences. The absolute best way to make sure that you don’t suffer a serious bodily injury, inflict serious injury on someone and/or wind up in court or in jail, is to do everything you can to NOT get into a fight.
USMC Vietnam War Veteran, self-defense, and firearms instructor John Farnam developed and popularized what are known as “The Rules Of Stupid”, a clear guide to limiting your exposure to dangerous situations. These “rules” have been amended and utilized by other instructors and experts but the basic idea is, “Don’t go stupid places at stupid times to do stupid things with stupid people.”
If you are able to limit your exposure to danger by adhering to these basic rules, the chances that you will be in a street fight are exponentially lower.
This may seem naive and somewhat overly simple in theory because, as in the case of an unadulterated assault, it is certainly possible that there are factors out of a person’s control and impossible to predict.
Target Vulnerable Areas
There is no rulebook for a street fight. If someone has written one, nobody in the Krav Maga Worldwide organization has ever heard about it, seen it, or read it. We teach our students that if they absolutely have to fight to protect themselves or a loved one, nothing is off limits .
Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense training teaches students to use striking techniques that target areas like an attacker’s groin, throat, eyes, and nose. These areas and features on a human body cannot be made stronger by conditioning or training so they are always going to be vulnerable. Strikes to these vulnerable areas also produce an involuntary, functional, response. For example, gouging an attacker in their eyes is going to affect their vision. There’s nothing that the attacker can do to prevent that functional response.
This is an essential way of thinking and training. Ending a fight quickly and getting away are of paramount importance in terms of self-defense. Especially in the case of thinking about “street fights”. There is no advantage to being in a long and drawn on out street fight. If you must fight back, fight aggressively, and fight without regard to rules or what would be considered “uncool”, “off limits”, or “disrespectful”.
Situational awareness can, really, apply all of the concepts and tactics in this blog. Being constantly aware of your surroundings and who is in them, is a skill that Krav Maga Worldwide helps students develop.
In anything you do, anywhere you go, always take an extra few seconds to look around and take note of your surroundings. This will help you identify potential dangers as they develop. One of the ways that people get victimized, set up for an assault, jumped, or just sucker-punched, is by getting surrounded or flanked without realizing it.
At Krav Maga Worldwide certified training centers, one of the things we train on is circling and moving to the outside of a group of people. This could literally be anyplace in public. Even if you don’t FEEL like there is danger, let’s say at a concert, at a crowded bar, in a restaurant, or maybe even a crowded sidewalk. Staying to the outside of crowds like this provides better access to avenues of escape and limits how you can be approached or ambushed from behind or from the side.
Value Your Space
Keeping things in front of you is an essential concept to maintain. However, generally, you should always be aware of the space that is around you. Think of several concentric circles with yourself as the midpoint. The outermost circle or circles represent a low threat or danger of being attacked. Moving inward, the closer circles represent a greater danger.
Don’t let anyone get into your space without assessing them. Don’t let anyone get into the closer and closest circles without making an adjustment or taking action. This could be as simple as moving to a different place and increasing your distance from the person or persons drawing closer to you.
Controlling your own space doesn’t have to mean confrontation. It does however mean awareness and recognition of where danger might be.
Krav Maga Worldwide training centers teach this sort of awareness and we drill on it. At the most intense levels, drilling and training becomes about fighting back and doing damage to an assailant at different distances. An example of this might be working on different long range positions and angles at which to kick from vs. working on angles and positioning for close range striking like elbows and knees.
Understand Takedowns and Ground Fighting Positions
Takedowns and throws are “transitions” that take the fight from the feet to the ground. Winning in the transition phase…or at least being able to stalemate that phase is an essential skill for self-defense and for fighting back in against an assault in a street fight situation.
One of the huge dangers in fights and assaults that happen on the “streets” is literally the surfaces on which the incident occurs. Being on hard, unforgiving, surfaces like concrete means that the very act of going to the ground in a fight is going to cause damage to someone.
It is essential to have an understanding of how takedowns happen, how to execute them if needed, and how to defend against them. Fights have an unpredictable dynamic in terms of distancing but many fights and incidents end up taking place at very close range. Exchanges at close range like this sometimes lead to awkward grappling tie-ups and positions. It’s easy to get thrown to the ground or taken down if you don’t have some sort of understanding of balance, positioning, and available strikes in situations like tie-ups, bearhugs, headlocks, etc.
Being on the ground in a street fight situation presents myriad dangers and complexities. Even in a dominant position, like the full mount or side control, you still might be vulnerable to attacks from other people…like if your opponent has friends who decide to jump into the assault or if there were multiple assailants to begin with.
In order to be able to defend yourself in a street fight situation you absolutely must develop some sort of familiarity with the “positional hierarchy” involved in fighting on the ground. It’s also essential to develop skills that enable you to improve your position and get away if you find yourself in a less advantageous position.
Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense training teaches this sort of understanding and provides this sort of skill building. Our mindset in terms of fighting on the ground is to “Control. Damage. Get out”. We teach students to work their way out of less advantageous positions, get to a better position, make damage to their opponent and, ultimately, get away.
Train With Krav Maga Worldwide
Understanding self-defense and concepts that can keep you safe is one thing. Having the skills to actually be capable of defending yourself takes some consistent training.
Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense training is designed to be easy to learn and it will help you develop self-defense skills in a short period of time. Every Krav Maga Worldwide certified training center has expert instructors who have dedicated themselves to helping people get stronger and be safer.
If you are wondering “where can I find the best self-defense training near me” or “where can I find Krav Maga near me”, make sure to look for a Krav Maga Worldwide certified training center. Many of our certified training centers will let you take a trial or intro class for free. You can search for a location near you by clicking here or you can give us a call at 800-572-8624 and we’ll help you.