Israeli Krav Maga: Legally Speaking - Part 3


As we continue with our “Legally Speaking” series, please be advised that our content is not meant to substitute individual legal counsel nor are we condoning unnecessary violence. Please bare in mind that laws are applicable based on the nature of their geographical location and applicable governance.

Using a retzev counter-attack will invite acute legal scrutiny.  For the average kravist, a retzev counter-attack of short-lived yet continuous explosive counter-violence is usually completed in as few as two to three seconds.  In a violent crisis situation, there is no time to analyze what specific counter-attack might be optimum.  You’ll need to defend yourself by counter-attacking whatever part of the attacker’s vulnerable anatomy is opportune to stop him.

It may be advisable that you provide preemptive answers to the representative  police/prosecutor questions listed above without being asked should you decide to make a statement.  Note, that you should reflect on your analysis of the situation and subsequent actions as best as you can before answering questions or making a statement.  If possible, wait until your adrenaline has subsided.  Note, in a violent confrontation’s legal after-results, the person who first goes on the record with a more compelling story is likely to receive the benefit of the doubt.

With the caveat that following sample explanations are not to be construed as legal advice, you might provide the following answers to use of force “reasonableness” questions in the following four hypothetical situations:

  • Example 1:  when defending a punch. “I kicked him in the knee to STOP him from punching me in my head.  It is well known  that people suffer concussions along with secondary brain injuries from hitting their heads on the ground after being struck in the head.  Obviously, if he hit me in the head he could continue to attack and injure me.”

  • Example 2: when defending a choke.  “I struck him in his eyeball to STOP him from choking me which could have killed me.”

  • Example 3:  when defending a tackle takedown.  “I kneed him in the head and then stomped on his ankle to STOP him and from further attack.  His stance and takedown attempt showed that he was trained to take people down to injure them.  It is well known people such as boxers, mixed martial arts fighters, and other types of people skilled in hand-to-hand combat, train to get hit in the head and continue an assault.  If he had taken me down he could have mounted me to beat me, broken my arms or choked me.  I also could have been attacked by other people while on the ground.”

  • Example 4: when shooting a gunman with his own gun.  “I was forced to shoot  him because after I disarmed him and created distance from the threat, he would not obey my commands to get back.  Clearly, he wanted to injure or kill me.”

Stay tuned for the next part in our “Legally Speaking” series, as we continue to dive into how to protect yourself from a legal aspect. If you have not done so, get caught up on Part 1 and Part 2 in this series.