Krav Maga Nederland Training

Krav Maga & Urban Combatives Seminar - review written by Lee Morrison

Read here Lee Morrison's review of our recent Krav Maga & Urban Combatives seminar in Leiden. Lees hier Lee Morrison's verslag van onze recente Krav Maga & Urban Combatives seminar in Leiden.

UC & Krav Maga Netherland Seminar in Holland


On the 3rd and 4th of March 2012 I was very proud to have the opportunity to teach alongside my Combatives brother Branimir Tudjan. Between us, we offered a two day seminar to some sixty students from an array of martial backgrounds, presenting our own take on a variety of Self-Protection related subjects. The format employed had us both alternating an hour each for the duration of the event.





My own topics included Third Party Intervention and dealing with a Larger Adversary on day one, while Brani offered his interpretation of Krav Maga - which I must say is the best I've seen so far. Brani's approach is based on conclusions from live experience and employs 'alive' tactical drills, non-compliance and testing under pressure which dovetails perfectly with the UC principle-driven directives relating to Personal Security and Combative skill sets.



My first module was third party intervention - working off the premise that you have walked into a situation where either a significant other, or simply someone you feel compelled to help, is being verbally and physically assaulted. The principle tactic is simple: enter from the subject's blind flank with a significant gross-motor stimulus to put the threat down as rapidly as possible. From here, get the person you seek to help and yourself away as quickly as you can.



Examples for entry included a rear-face takedown via a ballistic bilateral strike; also running in with a good hard Thai kick or knee strike to the thigh. From here, control the head and take the subject down hard and fast. To make things interesting and realistic, we took the module into simulation and varied the outcome in terms of response from the person originally under assault. Possible responses included freezing up on the spot, dropping to the floor as if unconscious, and going completely 'ape-shit' and attacking their now floored attacker - making it necessary for you to control them before getting to an exit.





Next up, Brani started his thing off with a series of excellent drills incorporating a partner and a medicine ball. The med-ball is a great piece of kit for developing upper body plyometric effect. We employ it a lot in our own COM-FIT program - but here Brani used it purely for replicating striking along with impact conditioning and the cultivation of mental toughness.





Without giving you the specifics of each drill I can tell you that these drills were extremely task-specific to Combatives incorporating striking, grappling, pushing and pulling for very arduous work, put together into an extremely workable format, excellent stuff.





These pictures depict some application from these med-ball striking drills on a partner along with control and domination of the subject whilst in a floored position.





Brani went onto to talk about the six probable ways you are most like to experience aggressive behaviour - from intimidation via aggressive body language to verbal threats to getting grabbed in some way; grappling; any kind of impactive assault, striking/punching etc; then of course any kind of weapon assault; and finally the threat of multiple assailants. These six possibilities constitute how any street assault could manifest; understanding the dynamics of each aspect of threat, along with recognising the behavioural cues associated with each at the earliest opportunity, formed the basis of Brani's response options which he went on to present in detail over the weekend.





The next and final module for me for day one was a look at dealing with a larger adversary. The above picture doesn't do the justice it should, but this is my friend Jorge from Germany; he is a student of Combatives and has followed me to seminars around Europe a few times. Jorge is absolutely huge, towering over me by more than a clear foot. Jorge provided a good example for the need of the tactics employed. In short - if it's at the pre-fight interview stage, then ego-stroking and the use of deception is a very useful ploy. In a physical sense, pretty simple principle-based stuff as always. Basically, take his attention low to get the head down to you, then smash the mainframe.





We took these principles into a module format, incorporating a variety of drills that focused on attacking the low-line first in order to get to the high-line target by bringing it forward for a clinical finish via a ballistic follow-up. This brought my presentation for the day one to an end, so it was over to Brani again for the final module of the day.



The main crux of Brani's presentation went onto break down certain physical elements of the six probable methods of assault previously mentioned. Here he looked at grappling, the first priority being to get dominance of position over your Combative counter-part before employing the secondary tools and tactics such as biting and gouging and the like, in order to create space for striking and finishing. Everyone paired up for the drills that offered 'aliveness' of movement and non-compliance.









Next, the same format was applied to dealing with the striker/puncher, and then a look at dealing with the knife. Here Brani demonstrated his preferred method of jamming the weapon-bearing limb at the wrist and shoulder before closing the subject down and finishing at close quarters. Brani also bought into play his favoured piece of training kit, the shock knife. After a series of drills, this brought an excellent first day to a close.







Day two started with my first module relating to Anti-Ambush drills, but my introduction began with a brief discussion on the use of force, the force-to-threat parallel, and the actual context of employing Combative hard skills to a variety of escalating scenarios. All this along with cultivating the understanding of what constitutes a threat and how to articulate your defence in court - all very important information relating to the post-conflict dynamic.





Next was my first physical presentation for the day. Here we looked into the Startle Reflex Response applied to a variety of Counter Offensive scenarios. Most common attacks employed by a potentially hostile subject, regardless of motive, will be simple and gross-motor in nature fuelled with intent. The most favoured way in which such an assault would be used would be via an AMBUSH - and if you get ambushed without even the slightest inclination, then you're getting attacked.



What happens now depends how bad you've been hurt and how fast you can deal with it mentally. In short, you will be stunned and shocked. Unless you train for that dynamic you will freeze up, leaving time and opportunity for the initiator to finish what he/she started. In the best world you'd have had your radar on, seen it coming, and been proactive enough to avoid and escape - or at least control space and maybe take initiative first.





It's obviously a given that if you see absolutely nothing and get cold-cocked then you're getting knocked out. It doesn't matter about your skill level - you got no chance to use it. BUT, if you do catch even the slightest inclination literally half a second before, or mid-attack, then a simple principle-based response of covering your head in a forwardly offensive way can, has, and will offer you momentary limitation from damage, and a split second to explode with your Counter Offensive assault in order to bring the fight back to you.





The ideal would be to NEVER leave it this late, but if you did for whatever reason and the final pre-assault cue leaves you with a split second to react (be it something moving fast towards your head, just caught out the corner of your eye, or a shadow thrown across the ground, or the sudden tactile stimulus of getting grabbed or shoved just before the shot), then you have a chance. Here we specifically looked at the dynamic of getting suddenly grabbed with one hand and repeatedly hit with the other.





Here I took the guys through a series of progressive drills starting with some impact inoculation to getting hit, then on into our specific response which in the main is non-diagnostic, by simply covering the head and crashing in. From here, explode into your counter assault employing the closest weapon to the most available target. Once again, it was taken into the realms of non-compliance; some pretty good counter offensive dynamics were coming out from some very game students.



Next up was Brani continuing with more of his principle-based, tactical drills in preparation for his final stress drill for twelve volunteers which was to take place at the end of the seminar. A couple of excellent drills preceding that saw all the guys taking off their T-shirts and using them to whip at the body and legs of any student near to them. The objective was to have them experience the chaos of everyone moving dynamically through space, whilst looking to hit the target and avoid getting hit.





The last drill at that point called for boxing gloves and a gum shield for full on body only shots - again just a mass brawl of everyone looking to hit everyone. Great stuff; very useful way of getting inoculation to impact while developing spatial awareness, use of peripheral vision, and getting used to the chaos of such a mass of dynamic movement similar to a mass brawl, but without the damage.





My final module for the day was a continuation of the anti-ambush theme. This time, it was focused on looking at ways in which we can cultivate spontaneity and unpredictability into our Combatives training in order to build an efficient counter-offensive response when caught slightly off guard, within the realms of lost initiative. This element of practice is designed to specifically enhance your Counter Offensive options by providing an acid-testing format that offers immediate demonstrable feedback as to whether or not your current skill set is functional under non-compliant conditions. It should be applied to all of your current contingency plans, including counter-grapplingcounter-weapons, and any unarmed striking or punching assault such as those we looked at in the previous module earlier in the day.



First we looked a few principle-based counter response options to several common attacks. Then, we took them into the realms of Spontaneity by placing the trainee under some pre-stress before throwing any non-compliant, unpredictable attack into the mix and seeing 'what comes out' in terms of effective response. Needless to say, this provided a good learning curve for most - offering a simple format for taking into the student's own training later.









Next was the Grand Finale for the twelve guys who had volunteered to take part in the 'stress test' - which to be fair was pretty fucking stressful. A good 'character X-ray' as the great Geoff Thompson used to call such things... What was interesting was how Brani used the same blue-print for the drill, but made it different for each and every one of the participants taking part - so although everyone was present and observing everyone else, every one's drill was unpredictable. All you really knew was that it was going to be fucking hard!





I know from experience of employing such drills within our own UC training that this is no small task. There are many dynamics that you need to set up and control, particularly within a seminar format. First and foremost is safety, then equipment, theme, and role-players to name just a few. Everyone was on hand to help out.







Without giving too much away, as the pictures will speak for themselves, the basic format called for a group of guys in a tight circle wearing body armour and head gear all with a role to play.





The trainee had to enter the circle any way he could, over the top or through a gap that he'd have to fight to create.







Then once inside you had to retrieve a medicine ball and get out of the circle with it intact, literally any way you can. Needless to say you were restricted in terms of what you could do to get out and each of these guys made it as hard as possible.



















Then once you struggle and get outside of the circle, an array of different stress stimuli is waiting for you. In the main it was important that you sustain the ability to keep on striking even though by now, you are extremely fatigued, so impact work was first.





This was followed by some kind of Counter Offensive option such as dealing with a knife attack, going to the ground after getting tackled or simply getting set upon with some kind of punching assault. Needless to say this was a good acid test - one: to see what you're made of, and two: to see if you are actually functional under such duress.



This final event bought the day to a close. We ended with a debrief of what was covered over the entire weekend along with a Q & A and a photo opportunity (: A special thanks to all who took part and to all the guys that travelled as a group with their relative clubs. A big thanks also to Doug for all his efforts with the filming; not just of the seminar, but also for the full day spent on the Friday outside for a DVD that myself and Branimir are putting together called 'Street Safe'. More details on that to follow shortly.