Principles of Krav Maga

Principles of Krav Maga

Krav Maga Swindon delivers training according to four basic combat principals, the fundamentals of Krav Maga. These principals have evolved through many decades of real-world exposure to war, violence and aggression. As well as the four combative principals, there are a few basic training principals we adhere to also. More below.

Combative Principles

Stop the threat

The first and most immediate concern is to stop an immediate attack and prevent/reduce injury. This may mean prioritising between 2 simultaneous threats such as being held by the throat and punched in the face.This is the most important principle of all.

In conflict, the first task is to stop the threat. If someone is trying to punch you in the head, you stop the punch. If they are trying to stab you, you stop the arm with the weapon from reaching your body. If they are trying to choke you, you break the choke before you lose consciousness. This is the most vital of the principals. Success depends on decisive, immediate action.

Immediate, aggressive counterattacks

The ideal is to carry out counteroffensives at the same time as stopping the threat, exactly simultaneously. For example, if someone is trying to punch you, you use one arm to stop the punch and the other to deliver a strike to one of the key target areas: eyes, throat, groin, knees. Counterattack must be immediate and aggressive. Any hesitation and you will not triumph. The more outnumbered you are, the more this is true. In a multiple opponent fight your best chance lies with pre-emptive striking, but if you have missed that opportunity, you must end one opponent in the first one or two moves or you will be overwhelmed.


The ultimate objective of Krav Maga is survival – not defeat of an attacker. The Kravist will disengage from the assailant as quickly as possible. The majority of assaults have 2 or more attackers so it is vital the Kravist disengage quickly and escape the situation. Exceptions to this principle could be the need to protect a third party, to make an arrest, or to remove a weapon – for example a firearm.

Scan for the next threat

After disengaging, the Kravist must scan for further threats and dangers. An emphasis is placed on physically scanning around, as the movement of scanning helps overcome the effects of stress induced tunnel vision. Moving the head also helps the eyes identify movement in the peripheral vision.

Training Fundamentals

Simplicity of form

Techniques should be as simple as possible. Simple techniques are faster to learn. Easier to master and better retained over time. Simple techniques are more reliable in high stress situations. It is a fact that fine motor control and function degrades with high heart rate. Gross motor movement improves under stress. Complexity should be saved for sport, dance and martial arts – not survival.

Use Natural Responses and Reactions

Where possible, Krav Maga uses natural reactions and reflexes. Krav Maga stresses an intuitive approach to combat. This is characterised by the use of gross motor movements where possible.


The same defence should be used for as many attacks as possible, If each attack requires a separate defence, the Kravist would be required to learn an unending number of techniques. Instead, Krav Maga teaches a small number of techniques that are highly adaptable and easily mastered.

There are no rules when you are fighting for your life

The Kravist will use any means available to protect themselves or a loved one. Improvised weapons, striking to the groin, gouging or biting are all acceptable. Criminals recognise no code of conduct – neither should the Kravist. The prime objective is survival.