The Everyone Kravist Mindset: Empower the Mind and Protect the Body

To make the method yours and react instinctively, you must put just as much emphasis on mental training as you do the physical. Krav maga hones both your mental and physical skills. With correct training, you’ll learn to conquer your fear to control the energy and power from your body’s fight or flight response. You will train not freeze under pressure. Remember, Imi’s goal was survival in any defensible situation. 


Paramount, forgo a victim mentality. Your mindset is the key. Never ignore your intuition. Pair your “gut feeling” with good judgment and common sense not to put yourself in a precarious situation. Safety is an innate mechanism triggering your defensive measures. Your safety can justify a forceful and debilitating physical response commensurate with the threat. 

If a situation is dire, do whatever is necessary to overcome the threat such as dislodging an eyeball or destroying the structure of an attacker’s knee.  You’ll know how to stop and, if necessary, maim an attacker by striking vital points and organs or applying breaking pressure his joints.To stop an assailant, krav maga primarily targets the body’s vital soft tissue, chiefly the groin, neck, and eyes. Other secondary targets include the kidneys, solar plexus, knees, liver, joints, fingers, nerve centers, and other smaller fragile bones. In addition, krav maga teaches you to disarm the assailant and, if necessary turn the weapon against your erstwhile attacker. 

Attack the attacker. Importantly, the tactics and techniques are designed to provide you with a preemption capability prior to the attacker’s initiating. The goal is not to allow an assailant to get the drop on you. Your recognition of his intent and body language literally and figuratively will allow you to cut the legs out from under him.  Krav maga differs from other self-defense systems that may rely primarily on targeting difficult to locate nerve centers. In the heat of a struggle, this type of precise counter-attack strategy is extremely difficult. 

Keep in mind, however, that the level of force you use to defend yourself must be commensurate with the threat. When faced with a deadly force encounter, you may, in turn, need to employ lethal counter-force. Forging an awareness of your own personal weapons (hands, forearms, elbows, knees shins, feet and head) and an attacker’s vulnerabilities is essential to fight strategy and tactics; especially when he is armed and you are not.The human body is amazingly resilient, even when subjected to tremendous physical abuse. Pain may stop some attackers, but other individuals have enormous pain thresholds. An assailant under the influence of drugs acquires yet another layer of pain insulation and artificially increased strength. 

Israeli krav maga training tries to place you in the most realistic training scenarios including weapon threats and attacks. The goal is to develop instinctive solutions to overcome any manner of threat or a deadly attack.  Krav maga uses the same building blocks from the simplest defenses to the most advanced techniques including empty-handed defenses and weapons as you will soon learn.

  • To adopt and streamline the krav maga method, you must personalize the training. Choose the ballistic strikes and other combatives that feel most comfortable and give you the greatest confidence. 
  • Put just as much emphasis on mental training as you do the physical. Remember, your mindset must be to dominate your attacker. 
  • Confidence combined with mental and physical ruggedness provides the decided advantage in a violent encounter. Confidence, however, must not, however, lead to overconfidence. Again, do not underestimate the attacker and always expect the unexpected
  • A proactive mindset can prevent you from becoming a victim. 
  • In short, don’t allow a potential threat to become a real threat. Awareness training allows you to remove yourself or avoid a dangerous situation. Always pan for threats, paying particular attention to a potential assailant’s proximity and hand movements. Constantly assess your surroundings.
  • Develop a strong understanding and grasp of how and why you might find yourself embroiled in a violent encounter. How did he (the assailant) get so close to me without my noticing? Was he acting aggressive towards others before he turned on me? Am I a specific target or a random target put in harm’s way by bad luck?

One of the most effective tactics krav maga can teach you is to not be taken by surprise in the first place. Developing pre-violence indicator along with impending attack recognition skills are instrumental to krav maga training.  Once you develop an awareness of your environment – any environment – you’ll notice at all times who and what surrounds you. By recognizing a potential threat, such as the bulge of a handgun sequestered in a waistband, before the assailant can deploy it, you can avoid a potentially hazardous situation. The best defense against any attack is removing yourself from the situation before the attack can take place. Only awareness of your environment can help you do that. 

  • Situational awareness is all-important and common sense should prevail. 
  • In an unknown environment, keep your head subtly swiveling by shifting your eye movements, using your peripheral vision, and panning for potential threats. Constantly survey your surroundings. 
  • Other indicators might be someone who seems terribly out of place, loitering or who is mirroring/following your location. 
  • If in a worrisome situation, always watch a suspicious person’s hand movements. Awareness and mental conditioning are integral to krav maga training. 
  • Criminals can telegraph their intent through nervous or abnormal behavior leading up to an attack.

Mental and physical conditioning allows you to harness your adrenaline and channel it into action. Mental confidence and toughness, in particular, provides a decisive advantage in a violent encounter. When you feel confident, you believe that your training will carry the day regardless of an attacker’s possession of a weapon. Confidence, however, must not lead to overconfidence. Do not underestimate the attacker, especially, when he has the mechanical advantage of a weapon. And, always expect the unexpected. Mental conditioning will help build your confidence, preventing the panic that can lead to freezing or poor decision making. Mental conditioning will also allow you to de-escalate or walk away (always the best solution if possible) from a potentially a violent situation.

An attack launched by surprise will force you to react from an unprepared state – the negative five. Therefore, your self-defense reaction must be instinctive and reflexive. Krav Maga mental training prepares you for just that. Again, the most important lesson Krav Maga can teach you, is to not be taken by surprise in the first place. Becoming an accomplished observer of a potential aggressor’s behaviour facilitates pre-conflict resolution. As an observer, you are constantly surveying your locale. You will develop an awareness of your environment—any environment—you’ll notice at all times who and what surrounds you.

  • Ignoring unwelcome entreaties will serve you well. You do not need to be civil if your instincts tell you to do otherwise. 
  • Assertiveness is essential and one of the most effective strategies to preventing assault. If you lack assertiveness, develop it. 
  • Body posture says so much about you. Holding your head high, presenting a comfortable and confident demeanor, maintaining eye contact with a confident stride, and many other signaling mechanisms will help de-victimize you.

While you need not live in fear, denial is the most common obstacle to taking appropriate action. That is why you must be prepared if you must face a violent situation down. You must sharpen your mental and physical skills until you can call on them without thinking. With practice, you’ll explode into action. Your attacker will literally not know what hit him – repeatedly. Only serious, hard, and appropriate training can trigger this fighting response.  There are many precautions you can take. Common sense dictates most of them. Developing environmental and personal awareness, boundaries, and physical resistance are the cornerstones of an overall strategy. 

If krav maga is necessary, you must summon the courage and determination the fight of your life. If someone threatens you, especially with a weapon, you must make a decision: comply, escape or fight. If you must fight, you must identify the opportune moment to attack – and keep attacking. Exert maximum speed and aggression. Your goal is not to definitively win a fight, but to escape. 

If you look your would-be attacker in the eyes and your body language conveys the message, “I will not be a victim,” you’llmeet the potential threat head-on. Strategically, however, such deterrent behavior runs the risk of escalating a situation. An assailant generally does not expect you to unleash retzev or a continuous, seamless, integrated and concerted counterattack to stop him.  

Most attackers do not expect you to relate or empathize with them. Empathizing with an attacker carries considerable risk. An emotional appeal can spur on an attack rather than thwart it. Keep in mind, again, that many female victims know their attackers. Sexual predators and other attackers often approach their victims with innocuous behavior such as friendly conversation. Perhaps more remote to an attacker is the expectation that you will physically resist him with a nothing-to-lose mindset that your life is at stake. 

If avoidance or escape is not possible, and resistance is the only check-down option, you must react instantaneously without thinking. Through training, you were put in this position (the attack) or a similar position. Therefore, your autonomic process and response is “I’ve been there, done that.” You will react accordingly and defeat the attack just as you would in training. The techniques become not second nature, but first nature. You will not waiver or contemplate the life-threatening situation. Optimally, the potential attack is thwarted by your counter-force before it can begin. You have neutralized the threat at its inception. Importantly, the adrenaline dump will occur after the threat is no more.  

In summary, with proper training, you’ll learn how to use fear and other negative emotions to your advantage. You’ll harness the energy and power from your body’s fight or flight response rather than freezing under pressure. Only realistic proper training can trigger this fighting response to quickly assess violent situations and react under stress. Training engrains the appropriate responses into your memory bank improving your reaction time. Whether the threat comes from a edged weapon, or gun, you will already know how to react. Equally important, it will speed your ability to choose the most suitable technique for a given situation. Your subconscious mind will turn your instinctive trained responses into immediate action. Honed instinct assumes control.

In a dangerous situation, your observational and assessment skills will answer some essential survival questions including but not limited to is:

  1. a weapon present?
  2. there an escape route?
  3. the assailant intoxicated or under the influence of drugs?
  4. the assailant angry or eerily calm?  
  5. the assailant making demands of you? 

Lastly, and, perhaps, most importantly, are you confident of your ability to physically resist? It is this last question that this book hopes to develop and enhance. 

Imprimis, prevent an attack from happening or immediately physically react without thinking to minimize and terminate the assailant’s ability to pursue violence. Awareness is defined as knowledge or understanding of a subject, issue, or situation along with a set of conditioned responses for recognized stimuli. When we look to define self-defense awareness, we often use the term situational awareness. Situational awareness may be viewed as the ability to perform the timely and immediate analysis of one’s current surroundings while simultaneously prioritizing identifiable threats.

As noted previously, awareness training is best used when you gather information and immediately determine if self-protective measures are warranted. It is also critical that a woman to be aware of her surroundings, determine if any objects are potential weapons of opportunity for either herself or her assailant and what her closest escape route is. To re-reemphasize, awareness training is the foundation of street survival. Keep in mind that your awareness training underpins all technique development.