A key tenet of Krav Maga is to attack whatever targets the opponent presents. The kravist learns to laser in on these anatomical targets of opportunity. Within the range of possible targets are anatomical points that yield especially effective results—maximum effect. Some of Krav Maga’s emphasized anatomical targets:

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  • Eyes. A light finger whip to the eye can cause watering and temporary blinding. A thrusting attack with a finger can crush an eyeball or dislodge it from its socket. In addition to intense pain, blinding an assailant provides easier access for other attacks and allows you to get away. Because strikes to the eyes can be fatal, only use them if the threat warrants this type of defense.

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  • The throat. A punch, chop, or other strike to the throat can cause severe damage or death. In addition, strangulation can result in a loss of consciousness or death. You can grab and squeeze the windpipe to deprive the brain of oxygen or crush it by a strike.

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  • The sides and back of the neck. You can target the sides of the neck with “blood chokes”. This compresses the carotid artery in the neck that supplies oxygen to the brain. If you restrict blood flow with a stranglehold, one’s assailant will lose consciousness in a few seconds. This type of hold differs from a stranglehold to the throat, which restricts air passage through the windpipe and may take longer to render an opponent unconscious. Prolonged constriction of the blood vessels and cutting of breathing can also result in death.

  • The testicles. As you may already know, the testicles are a particularly vulnerable part of a male’s anatomy, making them an obvious target for kicks, knees, and hand strikes. A strong blow to this area will result in debilitating pain and could damage the urinary bladder, resulting in internal bleeding, or a fatal blood clot. Although a groin strike is one the most effective combatives, an opponent can experience a significant adrenaline surge before the pain registers and still continue an attack.

  • Vulva. The female vulva is also highly sensitive to any kind of strike and, similarly, will cause significant pain.

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  • Temples. Just above one’s jaw joint, the temples form the thinnest part of the skull and house a sensitive nerve center. Because the brain is the least protected by the skull at the temples, a strike here can produce hemorrhaging. Deliver a strike to the temple with a protruding knuckle or point-like weapon of opportunity such as a cell-phone or pen. As noted with eye strikes, a temple strike can be fatal and should only be used as a last resort.

  • Base of the skull. Striking here can create shock, concussion, paralysis or death because the brainstem is located here.

  • The nose. The nose is extremely fragile and may be attacked with a number strikes including punches, hammer fists, ridge-hand, palm heel, elbows and headbutts. (You’ll learn more about such strikes in upcoming chapters.) You can easily break the nose with a high kick to the face or a knee jab while an opponent is standing or on the ground. Breaking an opponent’s nose can be debilitating, but a determined attacker can continue to fight despite the pain, blood, and watery eyes. You can also lift the nose (philtrum) at the nostrils to pull or push the head back to create separation from an assailant or expose the throat to further strikes. A strike to the nose, depending on the angle, can also be lethal.

  • The ears. Boxing the ears will stun an opponent by throwing off the ear’s inner equilibrium. A concussion from an eardrum rupture results when the large inner canal suffers trauma. Located behind the ear is the mastoid (jaw bone) that when struck hard, disrupts the opponent’s equilibrium.

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