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Knife Fighting Tactics in Israeli Krav-Maga

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

In this article we will go over: What is the conception of Knife Combat in Krav-Maga? What are the tactical mistakes in knife fighting? What are the tactical mistakes of a rookie in knife fighting? What are knife fight tactics against multiple attackers? What is psychological preparation in the fight against a knife armed in Israeli Krav-Maga? What types of training knives and protective equipment are used in Krav-Maga training? What types of real assault knives exist? What are the recommended books to read, on the subject of knives?

The concepts presented here are for illustrative purposes only. Before attempting any technique discussed or presented in this article, seek professional training from a reputable instructor.

What is the conception of Knife Combat in Krav-Maga?

Fighting with an opponent armed with a knife
Fighting with an opponent armed with a knife

The peculiar features of a fight against an enemy armed with a knife should be approached with great caution and foresight. The knife is a quite dangerous weapon and any false step can cost a life. It is impossible to predict which knife blow will be used by the enemy. However, seeing the position he is standing at this moment, one can try to foresee his possible actions. Every position dictates its own conditions. That is why In Krav-Maga, a highly efficient solution is created for each scenario. After that, the same scenario is worked out to perfection.

Sudden attack in real hand-to-hand combat with "bare hands" is quick and transient, but knife combat is still shorter. In knife combat, any well-aimed blow will be either mortal or disabling. One cannot shorten the distance to make the enemy's blow weaker at the moment of an enemy's attack, as it is usually done in hand-to-hand combat because in that case even if one weakens the force of a blow, all the same, he will be wounded. As a result, In Krav-Maga, the emphasis is on combat distances in front of the enemy; footwork - geometry in terms of triangular steps; so that the fighters are able to move away from the knife attack line, i.e. from the center, at the left or right angle; With the main goal, to find a more comfortable position to the enemy.

What are the tactical mistakes in knife fighting?

A knife slash, even not too strong, is very dangerous. Therefore, knife combat introduces some changes to the fighting technique. As the slightest mistake is fraught with mortal danger. In such a scenario, Israeli Krav-Maga is taught to move back and side if possible, to learn the opponent's offensive movements, and at the appropriate time to attack him back. While you are jumping or moving, the enemy can swiftly run up to you and deliver a mortal blow. This battle tactic indicates the lack of experience of the opponent. At no account, one should thoughtlessly jump and caper before the enemy. If you are in a state of readiness, you will easily respond to the enemy's movement and quickly move aside or back. If you are jumping up at one place, at that moment you are in a state of unreadiness; and cannot dodge back or aside. The same happens when you make unnecessary movements before the enemy. At that moment you are in a state of unreadiness too and become easy prey of your enemy. As a result, according to the Israeli Krav-Maga technique, one should dodge aside or back with a slashing blow (Provided he has a knife), with a subsequent counterattack with a stabbing or slashing blow at vital points, which are very important in knife combat. It is necessary to evaluate the situation and clothing of your enemy. If the enemy wears thick and dense clothes, slashes will not harm him seriously. In this case, arm blocks can be also used.

What are the tactical mistakes of a rookie in knife fighting?

Judging by the fact that the enemy holds a knife and how he moves, one can say at once if he is a rookie or professional. If the enemy holds a knife before him and makes various passes with it, one can say at once that he is a novice who saw a lot of cinema thrillers. In such cases, the professional very quickly learns the movements of the attacker, moves right, left, and back and at the appropriate moment performs a lethal attack. The knife, even if it is before you, should not move too far from the torso, moreover, one should not make various figures with it, as at that moment you can allow delivering a mortal blow. The expert with extensive experience in knife warfare as part of training groups in Israeli Krav-Maga, Russian Combat Sambo, Kali and etc... Does not make unnecessary movements in mortal combat; his movements are economical and simple. He will never brandish a knife before himself. A professional expects the enemy's actions and acts depending on the situation. If the enemy expects your attack in a state of readiness, your thoughtless attack will look like a jump on the precipice, and most likely you will perish. If an enemy is in a state of readiness, it is necessary to bring him out of this state with various false actions. But at no account does it mean that a professional will run or jump before you, brandishing a knife. Not at all! A professional clearly senses the distance and knows where he will be safe and where he will become an enemy's target. If your enemy is jumping, bustling, or brandishing a knife, he will be easy prey of a professional. The only thing to do is to choose an appropriate moment and make a swift attack.

What are knife fight tactics against multiple attackers?

Combating against several knife-armed enemies extremely aggravates the situation. In this case, one must not stand motionless and wait for an enemy's mistake. You must move all the time to avoid hostile attacks from several sides. That's why you need to move toward one of the enemies so that the other enemies could not approach you from the back or sides. While moving aside, it is necessary to watch enemies' actions all the time and choose a convenient moment for a counterattack. When moving aside, deliver strong slashing blows at the enemy's vital points of the body. Combat against several enemies armed with knives is complicated by the fact that you cannot always use a mistake or fault of one of your enemies, as during your counterattack the second enemy can deliver a mortal blow. In that case, although you neutralize one enemy, the second one will still be able to hit you with the knife to you.