Krav maga is the official combat system of the Israeli Defense Forces and an excellent system of self-defense for men and women. “It’s taught and practiced with the David and Goliath scenario in mind, which emphasizes speed and well-placed infliction over size, strength, age, or fitness,” says Matan Gavish, personal trainer, founder and chief instructor of Krav Maga Academy in New York City.
Even though you’re not relying on brute strength, these movements are intended to cause maximum harm and impact in a life or death situation. Gavish, a former Krav Maga officer for the Israeli Defense Forces, has trained Special Ops soldiers, U.S. Navy Seals, and U.S. Army Rangers in the design, practice, and implementation of Krav Maga, Close Combat, and Counter Terrorism techniques, and regularly works with the NYPD Tactical Training Unit.
The following three defense moves should only be applied in situations of duress. “It’s important to remember that whenever you’re in danger and decide to react with force, always aim for soft spots like an attacker’s eyes, nose, jaw, ears, throat, groin, pubic bone, knees, and the Achilles tendon,” Gavish says. Just know that hitting these target areas with inflect serious injury to your attacker and should only be used when absolutely necessary.
Get familiar with these moves; they can help strengthen your mind and body and maybe even save your life one day.
Note: Men’s Fitness does not endorse violence. Always train at a well-regarded, reputable school staffed by well-trained experts.