Specific counter attacks = Make up?

Predetermined counter attacks = Make up?

What is make-up?

Taken from Wikipedia “In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates cosmetics, defines cosmetics as “intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions.” In simple terms, make up is used to make something look better….

Who needs to use it? People who need to show a part of themselves or divert the attention from one area to another, as the area they are trying to hide is not so attractive or they do not know how to make it look better…Therefore, with the help of some colors and tricks they hope you will be distracted from the sad ugly truth.

Play of words

Now, just for a brief moment lets play with words by simply changing them: people” to instructors, “part of themselves” to technique and “attractive” to efficient. We get the following: instructors who need to show a technique or divert the attention from one area to another, as the area they are trying to hide is not so efficient or they do not know how to make it look better…

This sentence is very true to Krav-maga (or every other martial art). I think that today, there are a lot of instructors out there that put the emphasis on the make up of the technique and forget the basics or the core of the technique!

Are predetermined counter attack series like make up?

When I talk about make up in Krav-maga, the first thing I refer to is the predetermined counter attacks performed after the basic defense or release. There are too many instructors that are showing all kinds of series of counter attacks and drill their students on them, as if they are the only way to go. But I beg to differ. I say that the counter attacks, although important, are just something that needs to be done to finish the incident and deter the attacker from continuing his attack.

If the student learned his punching and kicking and performs them well, knows how he needs to move (out of the line, scanning the area, running away) he will be able to do it regardless of the attack. The second thing, are variations. They are good if presented correctly and the situation demands them, if not, they are just another technique that confuses the students. More techniques does not mean better! This is make up also! The finishing mode is make up! The number of attacks will not change anything if the core of the technique is wrong or just plain s@#t!

The number of attacks will change the result of the police investigation after you have beaten a man to death…that is for sure!

The core is important

The number of techniques against the same attack/same situation will just confuse the students, as they will have to choose from a few possibilities while under stress. This will result in slower reaction.

At the end of the day, what counts is the core/basic of the technique. If the release is efficient, if your first reaction prevented the attack, your reaction was good and on time. The technique you used saved your life/prevented injury and now all you have to do is disable the attacker from continuing his plan. A specific series of attacks you have learned will not make a big difference in finalizing the situation, they just have to be effective. It is all make up!

The thing I am aiming for is this: When you learn a new technique, you first learn the time line (long distance to short distance, prevention of all sorts) and then the specific technique, depending on the angle that your instructor chooses to teach that day. If the instructor does not or can not explain the core of that technique properly, in order for you to fully understand why it is done like that and not otherwise, there is a problem.

If the instructor puts more attention on the predetermined counter attack series (the make up) and/or wants it to be done in a certain way, there is a problem. The worst instructors are those who will say “do it as I say so!” It all means that, the instructor does not get it… It can be that he does not know how to explain the technique, or for him it is not important. So, he goes to what is easy/ fun/ appealing/aggressive to the make up!!!


Now lets talk variations. Are variations make up? Well this is a hard one… The way I see it, we can divide it in two:

1. A variation that is justified – the situation/position has changed. Therefore, sometimes the solution needs to change, but most of the time the core basic of the technique will still be the same. Some adjustments will be needed naturally, in cases that there is a restriction of movement, or position or angle. But this is obvious.

2. A variation that is not justified – the emphasis will be put either on a very small detail (that is so small that no one can do it in reality except of the instructor who invented it…) or on the following counter attacks.

Now do not forget! A very good instructor, that knows what he is doing, that has a high level, that knows how to explain himself correctly will make you think that he is right! Leaving you, the “small” instructor/student under the impression that you are just misunderstanding or incompetent. How to handle that? Just think! Try to see/feel if what is being said or done goes with your natural movement and your previous knowledge. And if your still not satisfied ask again until you get it!

IMI’s greatness

At the end of the day IMI created Krav-maga for everyone to learn it and was a genius in the understanding and executing the natural movements and behaviors/reactions of the body. I do not believe so much has changed since then… although some things have changed, in reality not much has really. You can expect some adjustments here and there but not drastic changes!!!

My advice is, do not worry or focus too much on make up with your Krav-maga! Just what is needed to make it look as natural and efficient as possible!! This is the best way! And it goes to all other make up users also!!!!

Train hard and have fun!!!



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