Monday, October 28, 2013

Workshop: Introduction to Surviving Knife Threats - November 24th


Assailants will often use a weapon to solicit compliance - theft, sexual assault, abduction....   Knives, being readily available, is a frequent weapon choice.

Topics include:
  • What does he want?
  • Assessing the danger - when to comply when to act.
  • Defending Against Threat and escaping
  • Defending in small spaces
  • Defending from a sitting position
  • Introduction to Disarming.
No self defense experience necessary.  Beginners welcome. Techniques are easily to learn and easy to perform. 

International Krav Maga Federation, Toronto
2156 Yonge St. Lower Level
Sunday November 24th, 2-5pm
$80/2 people

To register online please visit:

In the meantime, here are some articles about knife threats.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. 


Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

Defending on the Ground Workshop - November 10th


Many self defense situations end up on the ground. You might fall and an attacker might try to kick or punch, or try to control you through holds etc...

On November 10th we are offering a workshop focusing on giving you the skills to survive these situations. 

Topics covered include:
  • Escaping chokes and holds on the ground
  • Getting up from the ground safely
  • Defending against strikes
  • Escaping to safe places

No self defense experience necessary.  Techniques are easily to learn and easy to perform. 

International Krav Maga Federation,  Toronto
2156 Yonge St. Lower Level
Sunday November 10, 2-5pm
$80/2 people

To register online please visit:

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Defending on “the Ground”: 5 General Points

Many self-defense situations occur on the ground.  You can be knocked down, pushed, or dragged from a standing or sitting position.  You can fall on the unstable or slippery ground.  On the ground, an attacker (attackers) can kick, punch, stab, choke, hold, control.....

 It is a very dangerous place to be.

Here are 5 general thoughts about defending on the ground.
  1. Don’t Go There(if possible)!  It is not always possible but try to avoid going to the ground.  Why? See points below.
  2. The Fall.  If you don’t know how to fall, or can’t because you have been stunned(punch, blunt object), falling can lead to various problems, including head injuries, sprained or broken limbs etc...  Self-defense training must teach students how to fall - break-falls, rolls....
  3. Visibility/Lack of. Being on the ground severely limits your ability to assess your surroundings.  Your vision is especially impaired if the attacker is on top of you.  
  4. Size, Strength. Size and strength are always factors but they especially come into play on the ground.  Throwing off an attacker who outweighs you by 60lbs is no easy feat. 
  5. No rules. No referee.  Taking down an adversary during a competitive fight (MMA, judo, wrestling etc...) requires refined skills and can be tactically effective.  In real life, however, you might have to contend with harsh surfaces (gravel, cement), multiple attackers who can kick, punch, or stab you while you are grappling, and assailants doing things you can't do during a competitive fight - using a weapon, biting, eye gouging......
  6. Getting Up/Escaping. Gaining distance from an assailant and escaping to a safe place is obviously more difficult from the ground.  Accordingly, self-defense training must include getting up from the ground in effective and safe ways (also a great workout!).

Avoid going to the ground if possible.  This being said, you must devote significant time to training on the ground - just in case!

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Women's Self Defense Workshop - Oct. 27th

Violence against women is a horrible reality that we must confront in various ways.  Education, for example, can challenge some of the archaic thinking and practices that contribute to such violence. 

Another way to prepare for the reality of violence is through self defense training - training the fosters awareness, promotes prevention, and develops the skills to survive when prevention is not possible. 

This workshop offer an introduction to self defense focusing on developing your awareness as well as your ability to escape and survive violent assaults.  All fitness levels are welcome.  Ages 16 and up. 

See poster below for details.  To register online visit:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Functional Fitness: 4 Fitness Benefits of Krav Maga Self-Defense Training

As self defense instructors, our raisin d'ĂȘtre is to give you practical skills to save your life.  This being said, there are other benefits to Krav Maga training.  Once of these benefits is fitness, something I like to call functional fitness.

What is functional fitness?  Essentially it is fitness that improves your capacity to protect yourself.  You will lose body fat and improve muscle tone but we are not preparing you for beach season or photo shoots but rather for real life assaults. 

So what does this involve?  Here are 4 elements of functional fitness.

  1. Improved Cardio: Training prepares you for intense situations that challenge your cardio.  Striking, releasing holds, blocking, deflecting, running... are all exhausting! 
  2. Less Body Fat/More Muscle Tone.  We don't take measurements but students lose weight (unless training induces irresistible donut cravings).  High intensity workouts utilize all muscles and burn fat.  
  3. Flexibility: Training involves stretching as flexibility improves your performance and prevents injury that could occur from a sudden attack.  
  4. Coordination: Krav Maga offers simple techniques but your motor skills improve significantly as you learn to use your body to defend yourself from various distances, angles, heights, directions.....

Every exercise we do is aimed at improving your ability to protect yourself.  Better physical health and self esteem are added benefits.  

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Understanding the Attacker. 4 General Ways an Attacker Will Approach You.

There are various ways an assailant will approach you from overtly aggressive to subtle and deceptive.  You should be aware of these various tactics.  

Here are 4:

Ambush: You don't see him coming. He grabs you from the side or even behind you when your guard is down.  Initially, you have no idea what he looks like or what is happening.

Intimidation. No holds barred charge, attack, verbal threats.  Nothing subtle here.  By design or not, his actions often lead you to panic, to freeze. 

Charm. "How are you? It's raining your hair will be a mess.  Get in. I'll give you a ride."  Well dressed, well groomed.  Well intentioned?  You don't know.

Deception.  "Please, I have a flat can you give me a hand?:  "Hi I am selling... Would you mind if I came in and told you about our special deals?" "There was an accident. I'm late for work.  I have to use your phone or I'll get fired."  Students have told us about people feigning car trouble to lure them or someone they know to an isolated area.  We all want to help but be mindful. 

A survey of assaults in Toronto and globally offer innumerable examples of such tactics.  Without becoming utterly cynical consider these various approaches and how best to respond (sounds like a future blog topic!).

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto