Monday, May 6, 2013

Situational Awareness: Appropriate Use of Force

Krav Maga teaches you to adapt to various circumstances.  Life, after all, can be very unpredictable.

One aspect of adapting involves appropriate use of force.

Let us consider two examples.

  1. Imagine you are suddenly grabbed by the wrist by a man who is winding up to punch you.  His friend is lurking behind him, ready to pounce.   
  2. You (by mistake, of course) step in front of a fellow commuter as walk into a subway car.  Upset, he/she grabs you wrist and demands to know where your manners are.  
In both cases you are being grabbed at the wrist but the circumstances are very different.

One situation warrants more force than another.  In the first instance, you are going to have to be more aggressive as there is an imminent strike and a potential second assailant.   If you limit your reaction to a wrist release and a pleasant "let's talk about this" you will not finish your sentence.  

What about the second situation?  Perhaps the person is simply trying to get your attention to point out your offensive behaviour.   Here, simply apologize for you rudeness - intended or not.    You might have to perform a "soft technique", a wrist release, but there is no need for aggression.  

 If you only train for the most aggressive situations you might overreact to relatively harmless situations.    The consequences can include needlessly hurting someone and legal action.

Krav Maga is not about pummelling people into submission.  It is about getting home safe.  Often, this involves simply not allowing a situation to escalate. 

Often, this involves using appropriate force/no force.

Train for all situations.

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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