Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Holiday Hours

Happy Holidays!

Here is our schedule.  *denotes regular schedule 

Wednesday December 20th*
Thursday December 21st*
Saturday December classes
Sunday December classes
Monday December classes
Tuesday December classes
Wednesday December classes
Thursday December 28st*
Saturday December 30th*
Sunday December 31st*
Tuesday January 2nd*

Feel free to contact me with any questions. 

Christopher Gagne,

Monday, December 18, 2017

Holiday Gift Certificates

Give the gift of safety and fitness:

Pricing options:

For more information: Christopher Gagne, or 416-657-1028

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

7 traits of an effective Krav Maga practitioner

      Over the past 13 years, I have seen many Krav Maga students and instructor. Since this time I have seen various levels of progress. The ones who become the most proficient self-defense practitioners have the following traits:

1. Consistency. Three, two, even one session a week consistently over a long period of time seems to lead to the best results.  Some students come in, "gung ho" to get their next level, train 3 or more times a week then disappear for a time until the next test date. Their progress is relatively slow compared to the student who trains consistently week to week. 

2. Attention to Detail. There are no shortcuts. A flashy gun technique entertains the untrained eye but a well-trained expert will see the flaws that could be fatal in real life. The A practitioner attends to details that can determine the outcome of a self-defense situation.

3. Fundamentals. Students who work on the fundamentals- footwork, body defenses, striking, etc- progress and are able to better protect themselves. Again, no shortcuts. 

4. An Open Mind vs Memorization: Assaults are unpredictable so memorizing techniques limits your capacity to adapt.  The best practitioners learn to adapt to unpredictable/surprises by understanding Krav Maga principles.  
5. Open to Correction/Feedback. Most students want to know how to get better. Others, (happily this is rare), don't welcome criticism and don't progress near as quickly. 

6. Fitness.  You don't have to be an Olympian to train in Krav Maga but having a decent fitness level allows you to train consistently and helps to prevent injury.

7. Stress Training. Stress training reveals, among other things, how well you know how to protect yourself. It highlights your strengths and your weakness giving you an opportunity to further improve.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Surviving Assaults on the Ground: General Tips

       Many assaults end up on the ground.  You can fall, trips or slip.   An assailant might hit you, pushes or pulls you to the ground. Being on the ground is very dangerous. Here are some general tips for surviving assaults on the ground.

Avoid the ground (if possible). This is not easy as many assaults go to the ground.  Training needs to include prevention techniques such as sprawling.

Protect Your Vulnerable Parts. Chin into the chest, head off the ground, arms protecting head and ribs and legs between you and the attacker.

Keep Limbs Close. Don't give someone an opportunity to grab your limbs and put you in a lock or expose your vulnerable parts. When striking makes sure you recoil as fast as possible.

Fight Dirty, Look for vulnerable targets. Bite, pinch, gouge, scream, scratch.... whatever it takes to protect yourself. There are no rules, only your survival. 

Keep Legs Between You and the Attacker:  Having your strongest muscles between you and the attacker give you the best chance of defending yourself.  If the attacker gets around your legs, he has easier access to vulnerable areas such as your head, ribs etc...

Get Up!  Easier said than done ut being on the ground leaves you more vulnerable to concealed weapons, secondary attackers, the primary attacker and the ground itself!

Training must also include "troubleshooting", meaning exploring unexpected incomes.  We cannot forget that attackers will adapt of might have some training in wrestling, jujitsu or other excellent systems.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Explore the Unexpected: Krav Maga Training and asking "What if?.."

Many of the most welcome questions from Krav Maga students begin with "What if..?"

What if they don't let go of my wrist?
What if I am sitting down instead of standing?
What if I am in a small space and can't escape right away?
What if there are two of them?

These questions show that students recognize that self-defense situations are dynamic, and to a large extent, unpredictable. After all, there can be so many variables at play.  
  • where the assault take place (elevator, parking lot, private vs public space)
  • When you perceive the danger (avoid, escape, fight)
  • How the assailant attacks and perhaps adapt to your Defense/counterattack

This list could go on and on because there are so many possibilities to mention!

The IKMF curriculum offer an excellent foundation that covers many of the assaults people encounter.   As we outlined in another blog, it is only the tip of the iceberg as there are so many variations of attacks and so many potential situations.  

With this in mind, we encourage students to work on the fundamentals, refine the curriculum techniques on the curriculum and to ask "What if?"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Understanding "Timeline": An Introduction

An oft repeated term we use in Krav Maga is "Timeline."  In most cases, timeline refers to the distance of the assailant.  This distance has an integral role in how we defend ourselves.  There is a significant difference, for example, in how we respond to someone 10 meters away running toward us waving his fist or a weapon(run!), compared to someone within arm's length throwing a punch to your face.

Of course, there are other factors besides distance.  Do you have an escape route? When did you perceive the danger? Are you alone or do you have to protect someone such as family members?
Here is a general introduction to  Timeline and Distance

Very Long Distance: This varies but an example would be more than 4 meters or you see someone running at you half a block away.   If there are escape routes and you are mobile, "hightail it outta there" (that means run)!

Long: Kicking Distance - when you can reach them with your legs but not your hands.  If they are approaching with aggression and you see it, why wait until they get close enough to punch, grab, slash, stab etc....?  Effective preemptive kicks can maintain distance and hurt or even disable an attacker.  This is usually a "preemptive strike" where you are striking first to protect yourself.

Medium: The assailant is within arm's length so he can grab, punch, stab.... You will likely have to perform a preemptive strike(e.g. punch) or a hand or leg defense of some variety (block, deflect, slide).   In the picture below, Avi Moyal is defending a knife attack by blocking and punching at the same time.  The attacker is too close to kick and too far to effectively use a short-range striking tool such as an elbow strike.  

Avi Moyal blocks and punches at medium range.  

Short Distance: the assailant is very close, often grabbing, holding, choking...  Kicks and punches are rarely effective this close so it is time to elbow, knee, head butt, pinch or bite!  Below, a woman is using an elbow strike against an attacker at very close range.

Elbow strike against rear bear hug.

Self-defense training must emphasize timeline as assaults, and our perception of assaults are not predictable.  Prepare for as many possibilities as you can imagine.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Workshop:Surviving Knife Assaults (Expert 4 Jean Paul Jauffret) - Friday, Sept 22rd, 6-9pm

Knife assaults are especially dangerous as they can be fatal and are very difficult to defend. Moreover, knives (and other sharp objects) are readily available.

On Friday, September 22nd, IKMF Expert 4, Jean Paul Jauffret, is offering a workshop, Surviving Knife Assaults.
Jean-Paul Jauffret

: 3hrs . During the first 30-40 minutes, Jean Paul will talk about real life assaults to give participants a better understanding of how knife assaults actually occur.  The remaining time is devoted to "hands-on" training.

Jean Paul explain a knife defense to workshop participants

Who Can Participate?
 Adults 18 and up.  Beginners welcome!  No experience necessary.
Location: IKMF Toronto.  2156 Yonge St. Lower Level.
When: Friday, September 22nd, 6 to 9pm
What to Bring: Indoor running shoes, workout clothes, water.
Price: 60
How to Register:  Contact Christopher Gagne (IKMF Toronto), at

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Your First Krav Maga Class: What to Expect, What to Bring

It is natural to be a little nervous(and excited) before your first Krav Maga class as it can be with other first experiences(e.g. I was nervous before my first hot yoga class).  Here are some things to expect, know, and bring.

Students are Friendly. We are fortunate to attract students who are very welcoming and friendly. 

What to Wear? Please bring workout clothes (t-shirt, long shorts or pants), indoor running shoes, and water. Men should bring groin protection (just in case).  

Class Format: The format of our classes is consistent. Here is an overview of a typical class.

Fitness: Some people have expressed concerns about their fitness and being able to keep up. Here are some tips.

Beginners:  Beginners are very welcome in all of our classes.  We have beginners joining every week.  Go at your own pace.  Classes are interactive so questions are welcome and encouraged.  For a blog about Krav Maga and beginners visit:

The Bigger Picture: People often ask about the bigger picture, what will I learn? Here is an overview of what you can expect to learn in 3, 6, and 12 months.  

The first class is free.

 To arrange, contact Christopher Gagne at



Monday, June 12, 2017

International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), Practitioner 1 Overview

Practitioner 1 (P1) can be divided into categories or as IKMF like to call them- families. Here is an overview.

These cover the various standing positions from where we might have to defend ourselves. Passive/not ready, semi-passive/ ready but not physically engaged, and fighting/outlet stance.

Upper Body Strikes: How to strike with hands (palms, fists) and elbows in various directions, angles, and distances.
Lower Body Strikes. Using knees and kicks to protect yourself.
Striking All Directions: This allows you to demonstrate that you know how and when to use P1 strikes. 

Hand Defenses,  Outside and Inside Defenses
360 Knife Defence: Here we are looking at close range circular attacks-ice pick stab, upward stab
Punch Defense: This introduces the inside defense (contrast with 360 outside defense) vs straight punch. 

Preventing and Escaping Chokes
This begins with prevention using kicks (long distance) or strikes and deflections (medium distance).  Next, are chokes from the front, side, and back. Pluck, strike, escape! 

Depending on the Ground
Ground techniques: 3 ways of getting up according to distance- forward (close), backward (medium to far), sprint (far or very far.)  Also, escaping side choke on the ground.

Using Common Objects:
Krav Maga involves learning how to use everyday objects to protect yourself.  For P1, shield-like objects (chair, backpack, chair, and yes, shield).

Falls, Rolls: 
P1 introduces front break fall against a wall.   The principles here offer a foundation for break falls and rolls on the ground – e.g. protecting the head etc…

Multiple Attackers:   
The P1 test ends with the "zombie game" where numerous people, with hands extended (hence zombie), approach one defender who needs to stay to the outside.  Never go in the middle! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Striking Fundamentals.

We prefer not to engage with an assailant.   Avoidance is the best self-defense. There are situations, however, when you must physically protect yourself and to protect yourself you need to strike effectively.  Strikes can be used to create distance, to distract or disable an attacker, to help you escape a hold or choke, to defend against a weapon assault....

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Escaping Chokes. Some Practical Points

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Self Defense Workshop: Surviving Assaults in Limited Spaces (April 8th, 4-6 pm)

Due to confined space (elevator), busy areas (subways), or due to the assailant's actions, assaults can occur in limited spaces with limited opportunities for avoidance or escape.  This workshop will help you:

  • Understand the nature of close range attacks ( including real life examples)
  • Assess these dangers
  • Develop tools (e.g striking -elbows, knees etc) to protect yourself
  • To escape and or disable an assailant

For tips on defending in limited spaces please visit:

IKMF Toronto
2156 Yonge St., Lower Level
Saturday, April 8, 4-6pm

For more information please contact:

Christopher Gagne

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Combat Classes with Expert 4 Jean Paul Jauffret (March 2017)

Jean Paul Jauffret is one of the foremost Krav Maga experts in the world and is offering a series of workshops focusing on learning combat skills.

All workshop are located at IKMF Toronto - 2156 Yonge St.

Thursday: March 9, 8pm
Friday: March 10, 6pm
Saturday: March 11, 4pm
Sunday: March 12, 5pm   
Monday: March 13, 6pm.

These workshops will focus on:
-Developing strikes and counter strikes
-Developing and improving striking combinations.
-Footwork to be more mobile and balance to attack and defend. 

Beginners are welcome.

Please bring:
-Shin pads
-Indoor running shoes

For more information:
Christopher Gagne