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The Four Tiers of Effective Krav Maga

Updated on November 18, 2012

There are four tiers to certain Krava Maga schools of thought


Defining Krav Maga is not always as easy as you think it can be. The most basic definitions of Krav Maga is that it is an Israeli military based martial art. A civilian self-defense version of the art has evolved out of military training and it offers a no rules method of overcoming dangerous and violent threats.

However, this is a very vague definition although it is also an accurate one. There can be a much more detailed means of defining the art. Generally, you can define the art as a system that seeks to implement a fourfold response to danger:


  • See the threat as early as possible

  • Neutralize the threat

  • Be sure your perimeter is secure

  • Exit the danger area immediately



There is not a lot of mystery regarding what these different components refer to. Seeing the threat as early as possible allows you to react to it in the most effective manner. Seeing the threat early does not only refer to be able to see a threatening physical action the minute it occurs. It also can include picking up on serious danger signs that would indicate a potential threat as it is about to happen. Again, this is a very important thing to be aware of because the quicker you get the drop on a threat, the quicker you will be able to deal with it.

Neutralizing the threat means stopping it with the appropriate amount of force based on the seriousness of the threat and applicable law. A threat must be stopped appropriately or else it remains a threat. Neutralizing a threat eliminates the danger it represents to you or other people. Krav Maga focuses on ensuring you are able to stop a threat with the proper amount of force so it can not cause undue harm to you.

Being sure the perimeter is safe is definitely not something should be overlooked although it is an aspect over whether or not the area is secure. How do you know there is not another threat present when you deal with the most obvious one that has attacked you? You will need to make a careful analysis of the perimeter to determine all is safe prior to making any determinations regarding whether or not all threats have ceased.

As soon as all threats are eliminated, it becomes necessary to exit the danger area as quickly as possible. Why is this? Basically, self-defense is about self-preservation. You are not being trained in Krav Maga to be a cinematic hero. Your goal is to protect yourself from harm and this means you have to leave a dangerous area as quickly as you can. This would be the wisest strategy when you want to ensure you do not suffer from any injury or, worse, a fatality,

There is actually a fifth component and this would be to do everything as fast as humanly possible. There can be no delays when you have to save yourself which is why you have to address these four components of Krav Maga with the appropriate speed and efficiency.

Protecting yourself is not about being flashy. It is about getting the job done and done right. The fourfold method of Krav Maga definitely can contribute to these goals.


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