The principles of Krav Maga and its approach to training are very unique. They evolved from exposure to aggression and violence at the front line. Essentially, the principles of Krav Maga can be categorised into two kinds – combat principles and training principles.

Combat Principles

1. Halt an imminent attack

The prime objective is to halt an imminent attack and reduce/avoid injury. This calls for a quick analysis of the situation, anticipating the attacker’s possible moves and taking instant action to counter the most immediate threat. This is the most essential principle of combat in Krav Maga.

2. Instant, aggressive countermoves

A Krav Maga combatant must implement quick, aggressive strikes to the most vulnerable parts at the earliest. There shouldn’t really be any time-gap between defence and attack. Quick countermoves could help prevent further attacks, and may even stop the attacker in his tracks.

3. Disengage at the earliest

Defeating the attacker is not the primary goal of Krav Maga. Survival is the primary goal. The Kravist must extricate himself from the situation as soon as possible. Most attacks involve 2 or more assailants, so it is essential that the Kravist disengage instantly, and remove himself from the dangerous situation.

4. Look-out for the next threat

Immediately after disengaging, the Kravist should be on the look-out for further possible attacks. The emphasis is on physical scanning the surroundings; this helps keep away tunnel vision induced by stress. Rapid movement of the head also helps in identifying movement in the line of sight.

Training Principles

1. Simple techniques

Krav Maga is all about simple techniques. The simpler the technique, the more efficient it is in all respects. Simple techniques can be learnt quickly, mastered easily and are highly reliable in high pressure situations. When it comes to survival, there’s no place for complexity, which is best left for leisure activities.

2. Natural

Krav Maga puts emphasis on using natural reflexes and reactions wherever possible. The stress is on an instinctive way of combat. This is evident from the focus on use of gross motor movements when possible.

3. Usability

The defence technique must be such that it can be used for several different attacks. If every attack calls for a different defence technique, the combatant will have to learn and rely on an endless variety of techniques. However, Krav Maga focuses on teaching just a few defence techniques that can be adapted and mastered in any situation easily and quickly.

4. Survival has no rules

The Kravist can use any method that’s available to them to protect themself or your loved ones. There really are no rules when it comes to survival. Strike to the groin, biting, gouging, improvisation of weapons – any and every technique is welcome. Criminals have no codes of conduct, so why should the Kravist. The prime motive is to surive.