Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Tip of the Iceberg: Curriculum as a Foundation

Our IKMF curriculum covers various "families" of self defense techniques and situations including stances,  striking, escaping holds and chokes, surviving weapons assaults, third party protection, and multiple attackers.  The highest levels,  Expert 3-5, specialize in VIP protection, Law Enforcement, and Military techniques and tactics.  
The curriculum is comprehensive and very well designed but we must approach it as a foundation rather than as an answer to all self defense scenarios.  During classes, students will often suggest a new problem.  What if the attacker chokes you this way instead?   What if he grabs your shirt and tries to punch you like this?  This is excellent because it demonstrates that the student is engaged and it brings up variations that could happen.   

Let's take for instance an ice pick/downward stab knife attack at close range.   In Practitioner 1 (P1) you block and strike with a body defense and escape.   In Graduate 1 (G1) you defend, strike, control, and disarm.   What happens for instance when the attack grabs you by the shirt or throat then attacks?  What if he grabs the arm that your would usually punch with?  (See below video for some solutions). Since teaching is based on principles (plucking chokes, striking the most accessible vulnerable point, etc...) practitioners can adapt to novel situations.  

So, while the curriculum provides the essential tools to survive, it is important, (with the guidance of a certified instructor) to explore variations to better prepare for real life situations.   If we can't come up with solutions then we can always call upon our excellent Global and Expert Instructor teams for answers and suggestions.  

Stay safe,  

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto