Principles of Pure Krav Maga


In programming oneself in hand-to-hand-combat skills the one principle of Pure Krav Maga is combining navigation of 360 Impact drills and push & pull drills to control pressure points under the constraint of reaction time at their break even points of maximum efficiency! [BOAZ AVIRAM]Overview: The overall concept of Pure Krav Maga is founded in the Israel Defense Force and the first one to be named Krav Maga. The uniqueness of Pure Krav Maga Training System is that it incorporates three generations of Israeli Defense Force Krav Maga Chief Instructors and is much more transparent to ensure quality control and students defensive and self preservation abilities over holding back secretive knowledge.

Principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

Since Krav Maga is a hand to hand fighting training system, its principles should be revolving around the average student and specifically pertain to training principles to prevail in hand-to-hand-fighting scenarios.

The ingredients of Pure Krav Maga could be summed up to include students, Instructors, programming Navigational skills in reaching the target first, and use of physical leverage and gravity to generate damaging force.  As for quality control you must know the human limits and manage to control them.

The learning process of Pure Krav Maga Principles and their applications is done through the short one week curriculum which is broken into manageable training segments. 







The principles are embedded into the training curriculum, and that training curriculum is drawn from these principles. It is impossible to learn one but not the other if you are practicing Pure Krav Maga! It is an intricate process that you need to expect and it will reveal itself to you!

Principle Number One - Grasping the Whole Picture: To be a good training System, Pure Krav Maga believes in getting students to see a complete realistic picture of self defense and hand-to-hand-fighting through an accurate definition and sufficient illustrations.   Getting a good idea of what the training process is all about helps keeping focus on the individual segments learned putting them in the right perspective yet knowing what is missing and looking forward to complete the missing parts.

Seeing the Whole Picture of the  Self Defense process could be summarized as: two people hotzone, limit of reaction time;impact push and pull; pressure points; preserving liberty and life.

Learn to Prioritize between Immediate Danger to your body to potential prosecution by the Law of the State - Use Judgment wisely.

The programming of the self defense navigational tools should be comprehensive and the whole picture must be visualized by students at the beginning, during and the ending of the training process.

Prioritize training to specifically apply to student's needs, the time allotted for training, and make students aware of any strength and limitations the training provide.

The objective of Pure Krav Maga is to give Its students the ability to instinctively identify a dangerous potential of a possible opponent about to jeopardize your physical well being and neutralize it before being harmed.

The danger is defined as another human with only two legs and two arms with which he may hold an object used as a weapon extending his reach and providing him with extra blunt impact or sharp penetration qualities with lesser physical effort.

Principle Number Two - Breaking Down to Manageable Instructional Segments of the curriculum of Principles, Techniques and Training Drills:  
The myriad of possibilities are being consolidated and classified in the most meaningful presentations, broken down to the smallest meaningful training unit, put back together to meaningful realistic training drills, and being tested realistically. This principle of learning to learn and specifically apply, is one of the fundamental principles of Pure Krav Maga.

Pure Krav Maga has all the techniques and the Tactics that the other Martial Arts have distilled in their most efficient combination of form and prioritization geared for Self Defense Training under the constraint of reaction time. The invisible forces of self defense and hand-to-hand fighting are taught through drills and techniques and the Reaction time constraint is one of the most important one of them.

Timing - Keep your ability to control your faith by understanding the Limits of your human neurological  Reaction.  This is the 
 time limits of attack, defense, and counter attack once an opponent is getting close to the hotzone - the invisible barrier where the reaction time is diminished!   This principle dictates the timing of defenses as much as timing of attacks. 

Since there is a point where it might be too late to respond, the emphasis is to react on time without hesitation rather than find a solution for a problem that is a result of a less skilled opponent that might give you a second chance. Pure Krav Maga takes the approach that there is no second chance!

The reaction time limit calls for Danger Awareness: Understand the Danger of Unexpected violent attack knowing what is the least and worse mental and physical injuries you could sustain from another human species entering your territory with suspicious intentions or dangerous speedy action. Learn Pressure Points and be familiar with methods of hurting them with impact, pressure, contortion, tearing, or cutting. 


Understand the Chain of Defense process where for each split second that passes from the moment you noticed the danger, and for each moment your opponent is moving closer you should not skip an opportunity to defend and attack.

Techniques are prescribed methods of tactical approach and mechanical motion of the human body to accomplish something. In Martial Arts, techniques are considered to be a method of driving a punch, a kick, a chop, and a method of blocking either, execution of a choke, an arm-bar, a headlock, a windpipe crush, a squeeze or a jab of a sensitive pressure point as well and the physical prevention or escape from these methods.

Pure Krav Maga Techniques are selected methods of Punching Kicking, Striking, and grappling in many angles that are learned to be executed in the most efficient and effective way to support challenging attacks to test defenses that work. In addition they are also selected consolidated tactical approach to entry into the hotzone for attack and defense purposes.

The uniqueness of the Pure Krav Maga learning process of these techniques lies in its many emphasis training sequences that lead to the most efficient and effective execution of these techniques quickly.

Pure Krav Maga techniques are hard to trace to existing Kung Fu, Boxing, or Aiki-Jujitsu. While parts of each technique can remind you of the aforementioned they end differently with variant specific to the purpose each technique is designed. In fact to understand these techniques one must also understand the combination of principles behind them.

Some of the attack techniques learned in Pure Krav Maga are learned just for the purpose to teach students how to defend against such attacks and make them familiar in what to expect. In reality some of these attacks will never materialize when confronted with a Pure Krav Maga trained student who will stop the opponent before he would ever get close to execute such technique.

Krav Maga assumes a potential opponent would be most efficient, and therefore respond to the most efficient attack from any angle of approach, and counter attacks at the same time.

With this approach Pure Krav Maga students can never go wrong. Since they are trained to counter attack immediately after responding to the opponent’s best capabilities, if the opponent behaved in a way that is not optimal as expected, he would have been cut short on his way to accomplish his mission.

Using a lesser efficient method of attack would not stand a chance against the most efficient method of defense since it is geared to provide solution to the most efficient attack.

One most important principle of Krav Maga is as its founder used to say “Do not get hurt” If you get hurt your chances diminish as your brain is preoccupied with your limiting condition instead of stopping your attacker.

If you get hurt badly, your brain might stop working altogether. This principles calls for finding the most efficient way to identify, timely respond and neutralize the danger according to the need knowing all your options and limiting all your opponent’s options.

These principles drive the reasons for the differences as well. They also help to minimize the list of the curriculum and extract essential lessons from them about the essence of hand-to-hand-fighting.

Defenses from a tactical point of view are methods to stop an attack and prevent further attempt to attack from the same individual in the near future.

Training of the complex should be simplified, drilled to its significant components, put back together, and tested.

Train in all aspects of the training process, breaking the picture down to its components and sufficiently master each part of it. Remember in a confrontation you will be expected to do the unexpected. 


You will need to spontaneously respond on time to an attacker that will have multiple options to use his arms, legs and body with bare hands or with a handy object or a weapon attempting to hurt you or kill you.

Drilling Techniques and Training Methods, contain principles of physics, efficiency and navigational conditioning. They also include principles of programming the human mind and body.

The principles of such a system are understood by its users as the essential characteristics of the system, or reflecting system's designed purpose, and the effective operation or use of which would be impossible if any one of the principles was to be ignored.

If you look at it from the design point of view of the system the predominant concept and principles it follows is making its students systematically trained to be efficient in understanding danger, detecting it, and responding to it by exploring the maximum limits of the element of surprise from offense and defense point of views.

In addition the physical response to stay out of harm's way calls for maximum efficiency in abilities to generate impact, and proper leverages to deflect impact, or leverages to escape holds, and the know how to use other forms of destructive moves on pressure points such as pressure, contortion, tearing and cutting.

Work on the most effective tactics in preparation for the training: Become most efficient with generating impact, leveraging your defenses and forces of push and pull during wrestling applications. 


Train to be more efficient by utilizing the sequential execution concept of offensive and defensive tactics.  Gain confidence in applying impact on training equipment, and gain confidence with applying defenses by practicing with your training partners.

Prioritize and favor impact on pressure points when possible since it inflicts immediate control on your opponent minimizing his ability to respond to your control and reverse the fortunes.

Learn to Prioritize understanding the most efficient opportunity for attack and counter attack in each possible scenario in the chain of defense.

Learn to control your strikes and kicks but yet without developing bad habits in a future possible confrontations. You need to be able to incrementally increase or decrease the level of impact with your training partners according to what the training drill or sparring call for. 


Remember to protect your training partners and proactively avoid injury to both of by learning the details of the training method.

The bottom line is understanding the details of a hand-to-hand-fighting scenario and how to win in the race of life to death.

The mindset of both training partners and the Pure Krav Maga Instructor for drilling and sparing should be totally different than all the other fighting sports! A mutual understanding prior to the sparring drills should be created that in the drill, each entry to the hot zone is a separate drill. Students and Instructor should get accustomed to analyze on the spot (and if necessary stop the drill to make a point) and learn from mistakes or reinforce correct action.

Students learn to identify danger and learn to prioritize what is the most imminent danger in any possible scenario according to the principles of the capabilities of the human body.

This is done by putting the student in the attacker’s hat first and showing them the most efficient ways to harm another person and teaching him the most desirable sequential motion to attack another human.

That promotes efficiency and therefore enables the student to attack fast and control or inflict damage to the opponent. This is what makes it hard to the opponent to timely react and foil the attempt.

Impact generation using the formula of physics acceleration times mass:
The method of attack or counter attack is to apply force on a pressure point that cut the opponent train of thought. This action inflicts severe pain on one of his nerves, limiting his body natural nervous system and physical being body from attacking.

Eliminating danger through striking first:
Students acquire a solid understanding of the Human Body Useful Major Pressure points that are easily accessible during a confrontation. The preemptive attack concept is not taken literally here. Instead you only attack first when you identify the danger.

The idea is to attack your opponent's pressure points to control him through distracting pain injury or even death so he will lose his ability to execute his planned attack. That does not mean you are about to punch anyone getting near you for no reason. It does not mean that you do not bother to block and counter attack either.

Most times when efficient attacker approaches you he also attacks at about the same time and you need to block him as you just identified he is attacking you. In this type of scenario you will immediately and almost simultaneously execute a counter attack.

However you need to evade his attack as any light impact to will affect you with a slight distraction.  He can continue to attack you seriously injuring you and perhaps killing you. While you are being distracted you are leaving him the option to escalate for the kill. You simply might not be able to react fast enough for the second tactic.

Students then learn the best most efficient approach for response and defense for a threat by prioritizing.  Techniques learned in Pure Krav Maga are the most efficient approach for generating impact to be applied on the human pressure points or the most efficient tactical approach for defensive tactics. While

Pure Krav Maga examined any technique available in the market, it only chose the most efficient moves so students can extract and learn principles only.

Many techniques that are used for sports martial arts are discouraged from being used since they do not provide the ultimate approach considering all the options.

As for grappling techniques, this applies as well. You learn to use little leverage when needed, and to concentrate on honing your ability to reach and strike soft pressure points. 


Impact has an immediate effect of control and damage over a hold and is much more efficient. Almost as a rule of thumb, in any immediate grappling hold you will have access to a pressure point in the head, or neck area or the pelvis area whether stationary or in motion. You learn the principles of restraining, and escapes from restraining attempts you can apply them to any angle of approach.
In order to apply the techniques learned, students need to learn the correct sequences to initiate them, complete them or transit to the next move.  They also need to learn the reasoning behind these options, so they can resolve problems on the battle field.

Principle Number Three - Putting it all back Together: While students get lectured about pressure points, reaction time, danger analysis, they are also being drilled in combat motion, executing blows and kicks, rolling over, breaking falls, and escaping holds standing and on the ground using leverage and reach to pressure points, these drilling are being isolated to ensure maximum learning and safety in training as close as possible to real life scenarios. Since the breakdown of the process takes about twenty hours of training, you need to devise sparring drills to put all the material learned back together. 


The Pure Krav Maga Curriculum is very complex and immense and intensive, students tend to miss and forget many details. So the best method is clear and detail follow up of prescribed sparring drills with on the spot correction of errors and missing parts of the required components of the drilling. There are simply too many dots to connect and they needed to be monitored and applied by both students and instructors.

Instructors must incorporate consolidating sparring drills that include the elements of feinting, most efficient and inefficient attacks including change or rhythm and distractions to get students in the role of defender well prepared to battle.

From the Instructor's Point of View:
Intensity: Pure Krav Maga calls for intense training as it promotes a more immediate skills to stay out of way of harm, and also promotes better retention. 


Since hand-to-hand-combat training is a complex matter however, being simplified through the training system, it is better if students form meaningful connections to how to apply the parts that they learn. Learning is therefore being maximized with the longest session possible to support retention without getting tired.

Principle Number Four - Testing and Quality Control:  Since Pure Krav Maga is a self-defense, and hand-to-hand-fighting training system, it has two point of view: The instructor's side, and the student's side.

While Instructors are encouraged to assume responsibility to advise students of their training course and recommend number of hours or continuing training to suit the student's self-defense goals, students are advised to monitor their progress by reading the manual, and viewing the instructional training DVD set.

The idea is to use all ancient and modern training aids and learning methods to accelerate learning and retention to support individual self defense capability.

If you find yourself unsuccessful in applying your skills in training drills, get to the bottom of it by going back to prior training steps, and also analyze and test all the options of why it does not work. Consult the training manual, or both. 


On that note, test the offensive and defensive drills for their limits. First allow your training partner to navigate his assigned tasks, and they increase the challenge level by using different speeds and timing. 

That will force him to go back and prioritize all the concepts and principles he learned. Remember that in Pure Krav Maga, both training partners act at times as defender and attacker and a mentor as well.

Check your progress by monitoring yourself and consult with your instructor as well. In summary, learn the theory Principles and application of the Pure krav Maga Training Method.

Finally, students lean to respect humans and their right to live without physical harm including their own lives throughout a realistic journey of being able to control their personal safety in an incrementally increasing danger.

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