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Monday, October 1, 2012

Learning to Fight: 8 Training Tips

Avoidance is the best self defense.  In general, we want as little contact with aggressors as possible.  There are times, unfortunately, when circumstances require you to fight.  Escape routes are cutoff.  You are protecting someone - your partner, a friend, your child...

To help our students develop and refine their fighting skills we offer fight training - sparring.  During these sessions we give our students the skills and knowledge to defend themselves when escape is not an immediate option. 

There are innumerable aspects  to fighting.  Here are 8 basic tips:

  1. Keep You Hands Up and Chin Down: Hands up allows you to better defend against strikes You can also strike faster as your hands are closer to your opponent. Chin down protects jaw and throat.
  2. A Good Stance.  Students don't get excited about learning stances but a good stance allows you to defend, attack, and move, efficiently and effectively.  
  3. Recoil Strikes: Unless you are posing for a Black Belt Magazine photo shoot you will need to recoil your strikes to protect and strike again.
  4. Focus on Your Opponent's Center Mass: Following their hands and feet will compromise your ability to see all of their weapons.  Don't be a snake to his/her snake charmer. 
  5. Move: It is more difficult to hit a moving target.  
  6. Don't Fight Their Fight:  Don't box a boxer, wrestle a wrestler, exchange power kicks with a Muay Thai fighter..... You get the point.
  7. Use Combinations:  There are very few people with the punching power of a George Foreman.  One strike will probably not end the fight.  Combinations of hand and leg strikes can confuse and overwhelm.  
  8. Well-rounded Fundamentals:  If you move like a butterfly but your punch can't knock a mosquito off course then you are in trouble.  If you hit like George Foreman but have the defensive skill set of Rocky Balboa (e.g. no defense just get hit) then you are in trouble.  Work on the basics. 

When we teach fighting we do so according to your skill and comfort level.   Beginners, for example will learn the basics of defending punches, punching, how to move...  When you have some of these fundamentals and you feel ready, you move to more dynamic scenarios.

Safety, of course, is paramount.  Fighting is controlled and students wear protective equipment.


None of us ever want to get into a real fight.  If you have to, however, it is essential to have the basic tools and knowledge that can prevent serious injury or even save your life.


Stay Safe,


Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor and Owner
International Krav Maga Federation(IKMF), Toronto
416-657-1028

Ikmftoronto.com