Police Krav Maga (PKM) provides the shortest route to defensive tactics proficiency with minimum (or even no) sustainment training. A few core tactical movements may be applied to myriad situations. Importantly, PKM DT builds and incorporates a deputy’s existing defensive tactics skill set.
Defensive preparation: The three most crucial elements of defensive tactics preparation: (1) MENTAL (control the aggressor mindset); (2) TACTICAL (tactical advantage through decisive movement combined with distractions into the adversary decisive control/breaking contact) and (3) PHYSICAL preparation. Every defensive tactic must be defensible in court adhering to the Graham v. Connor “objectively reasonable” force standard. PKM DT’s philosophy is direct and simple.
Goal: to teach law enforcement personnel to (1) react instinctively with speed, economy of motion, and, when necessary, (2) to use distractions combined with decisive control and, if necessary, controlled descent of a non-compliant suspect.
PKM DT’s LE mindset or goal is to de-escalate/de-conflict a situation. Should objectively reasonable force be required:
(2) Break Contact For A Different UOF Option.
Note: non-lethal options are emphasized. Last resort/no-choice lethal options are both incorporated as directed/SOP.
PKM DT ground-survival focuses strictly on LE applications: either asserting decisive control or creating separation to allow a deputy’s other UOF options. Importantly, LE ground survival and standing tactics are the same (with a few modifications).
PKM DT has been successfully taught to instructors from the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, NJSP, PSP, Phil. PD, DOD PD, Coast Guard PD, NJT PD, US Army MPs, USMC MPs, VT Game Wardens, PA Game Commission Wardens, Amtrak PD, 9 NJ Sheriff’s Depts., Royal Caymanian Police along with and additional 160+ municipal PDs.
Civilian, Law Enforcement, and Military Krav Maga Training
Responsible people pursue Krav Maga training as a shield against violence, not as a weapon to orchestrate violence. Krav Maga training for civilians, law enforcement, and military personnel all share the same principle: to deliver oneself from harm’s way. Importantly, the “ending” or end goal is different. The exception is when any category of defender faces a situation involving deadly force.
The following table summarizes the engagement strategies with the key end-goal differentiations for civilians, law enforcement, and military:
- incapacitate as necessary
- disengage; call police
- incapacitate or maim
- subjugate and control or, if necessary, terminate
As noted, the core tenets and building blocks of Israeli Krav Maga are taught to civilians, law enforcement, and military personnel alike. The crucial difference, again, is the “finish.” Regardless of one’s professional standing or state-granted immunity, if you are faced with a life-threatening attack, you are generally justified in using lethal counterforce. For civilians or law enforcement, three elements must be present to warrant the use of counterforce: an assailant must have the (1) intent, (2) means, and (3) capability to cause bodily harm.
In a legal use-of-force analysis, civilians may use counterforce commensurate with the amount of force used on them. (Hence, the term counterforce.) For law enforcement, however, most jurisdictions allow an officer or agent to escalate the use of counterforce one level higher. When an arrest must be made, law enforcement’s goal is to use “objectively reasonable” force in taking a suspect into custody (Graham v. Connor 490 U.S. 386). When force is required, the goal remains the same while safeguarding both the officer and the suspect. A deadly force encounter is just that: officers are facing down a perpetrator intent on severely injuring them or a third party.
For military personnel, Krav Maga focuses on lethal-force applications. These include the optimum offensive use of weaponry. Firearm or “hot weapon” lethal tactics, impact and edged-weapon lethal tactics, and techniques using all of your personal weapons—your limbs, head, teeth (if necessary)—are essential to professional Krav Maga training. Krav Maga employs specific methods to strangle an enemy combatant or sever his spinal cord. We do not publish these tactics for public consumption.
There is a distinct difference between law enforcement and military Krav Maga training.
Not everyone understands or honors this important separation. For example, when training military police, we successfully tackle both spheres by combining elements where applicable and separating the law enforcement versus the military’s respective end goals. It is vitally important that readers understand their end goal and the force the state empowers them to use. An unfortunate common mistake is to substitute law enforcement techniques for military techniques. To be sure, there can be overlap, but military training, when taught properly, focuses on terminating an enemy combatant.