Israeli Krav Maga: Awareness Methods


Krav maga strives to teach you not to be susceptible to a surprise assault. The Israeli krav maga curriculum heavy emphasizes developing the ability to recognize, avoid, and/or preempt physical conflicts. Developing recognition of pre-violence indicators along with impending attacks is essential to krav maga.

  1. The obvious and best solution is to remove yourself from the situation before an impending attack can occur. Common sense should always prevail.

  2. Situational awareness of whom and what to keenly observe is all-important; common sense should prevail. Recognize who or what might constitute a danger or threat.

  3. Subtle cues, “tells,” or “precipitators” observed in a potential assailant’s behavior, especially, when such indicators are assessed collectively, provide an early warning indicator.

  4. Recognizing an attacker’s (un)conscious body language (including autonomic nervous system reactions); proximity and overall behavior pattern collectively produce decisive clues.

  5. Generally, human behavior is overwhelmingly predictable. Identify what are normal human versus anomalous behavior displays.

  6. Body markings, such as tattoos, can also suggest someone’s background, affiliation, values, attitude, and behavioral proclivities.

Being proactive overcomes victimization. If an environment projects an overall negative feeling or “vibe,” heed your internal warning and take appropriate safety measures.

  • In an unfamiliar environment, scan for threats, paying particular attention to potential assailants’ proximity and hand movements. Always trust your instincts and intuition. Only a minimal amount of threatening behavioral information is enough for you to put your defenses on high alert.

  • Make use of your peripheral vision and constantly assess your surroundings. Note that your perihperal vision will identify movements quicker than any narrow focus and site picture you may have.

  • As noted previously, situational awareness is a compromise between being carefree and paranoid. Most people have this innate capability.

  • If someone acts nervous, secretive, or unnatural and the person is within attack range of you, beware; take the appropriate defensive precautions.

Observation Method Samples (Chapter exercept from forthcoming book Defeating Ambushes and Skilled Attackers, YMAA [2019])