Avital Zeisler – Israeli Krav Maga Association


Ground “Game” in Real-World Fighting

I had been chewing on some ideas for some time regarding a blog post on ground fighting.  I read this article on the American Combato site recently and it pretty much covers what I would have said in my own post; no need to reinvent the wheel.  It is well-written and illustrates the important points about how critical it is to stay on your feet in a lethal encounter.  It also talks about what to do if, in the struggle, you unfortunately get knocked off your feet.  These are the kinds of strategies we employ at the training center.  Some people may still vehemently disagree with this perspective, but that’s okay.  Check it out:


Critical Eye on Reality Based Self-Defense

Here is a very interesting post on Clubb Chimera’s site.  It is a critical assessment of the new wave of RBSD, or Reality Based Self Defense, and how a lot of camps tend to fall into traps of their own making with their sometimes misguided approaches to self-protection training.  Whatever discipline each one of us trains, whether it falls into the RBSD category or is a more traditional art, and we have notions of using it out in the world to defend ourselves and our loved ones, we should evaluate the efficacy of our training techniques and practices with a critical eye to see if it is appropriate.  If we follow any one path blindly, we are doing ourselves a tremendous disservice.  So, with an open, beginner’s mind, take a look at this article.  It brings up some very interesting points as food for thought!


Questions Regarding Use of Force

Questions about use of force come up so often, which is why I find myself talking about it so much.  Last night, we were drilling some knife disarms in the Kali class and I made a short point about stabbing someone after a disarm.  I see a lot of students immediately following up with a deadly force maneuver using the weapon as soon as they acquire it.  The response to my cautionary comment was a common one: this guy just threatened me with a weapon and I am going to stab him.  I’ll grant you that your attacker does not give one hoot in Hell about your rights when he pulls a weapon on you.  I’ll grant you that the art often includes a very aggressive follow-up that would be appropriate for war.  Nevertheless, I must ask some serious questions that must be framed within the proper context: outside of a war zone or hostile territory.  I ask them because I want you to think about them from the vantage point of those whose duty it is to enforce the law of the land.


What would a reasonable person do? 

What does your local law say about self-defense?  Better yet, how is it interpreted—have you spoken with an attorney?  What force are you authorized to use after you have disarmed an assailant and/or gained the advantage?

What is the thought process for any follow-up?  Have you considered your options with the acquisition of an assailant’s edged weapon: stab him, slash him, throw down the weapon, run, strike him, hold him at knifepoint and call the authorities, etc.   

If you choose to use force after a disarm, shouldn’t you be able to articulate why?  Are the powers that be going to be interested in those kinds of details?

When might it be appropriate to stab him, i.e. use deadly force?

John Whitman Video Clip

Here is a fun video clip of the John Whitman gun and knife seminar we attended a few weeks ago.  We all particularly enjoyed him doing the first maneuver you will see in the clip.  It’s probably a good thing he did not tell Richard exactly what he was going to do. . .

Blood Loss

I was digging around in a stack of articles I intended to read and I ran across one written by Michael Janich entitled Blood Loss: Facts and Fiction, in Tactical Knives (Jan 2010).  Since we do a lot of knife training, I found the information very interesting because I have heard so many competing stories over the years about how long it actually takes for people to lose consciousness and/or die from a stab wound.  Apparently, many practitioners and instructors (including LEOs) over the years relied upon and referenced the “Timetable of Death” laid out by W.E. Fairbairn in his classic text Get Tough.  Fairbairn never revealed how he came to his conclusions, and though he is well-respected (rightly so!) for his contributions in combatives, a lot of folks have wondered about the accuracy of the table.  An LEO and defensive tactics instructor, Christopher Grosz, decided to put Fairbairn’s assertions to the test based on modern medical data. 

Based on a ton of research, and the aid of Medical Examiner, Dr. Michael Doberson, in Arapahoe County, Colorado as well as other edged weapons instructors, the data Fairbairn provided did not really stack up with Grosz’ findings, nor did Fairbairn take into account the effects of increased heart rate.  Janich illustrates a comparison: 

Well, according to Fairbairn, a severed carotid artery would produce unconsciousness in 5 seconds and death in 12.  In reality, even at maximum heart rate of 220 beats per minute, Grosz’ calculations indicated that unconsciousness occurs after 68 seconds and death 91 seconds—a huge difference that could drastically affect the outcome of a defensive encounter. 

Well, that’s very interesting, indeed!  Janich suggests that we need to re-think our tactics as it relates to stopping the threat in a lethal encounter.  What does this mean?  It means that even if you stab someone in a vital target area to save your own hide, this assailant still has plenty of time to try and kill YOU, even if he does die from his wounds later on.  Sobering thought! 

Christopher Grosz’ findings have been posthumously published, by Paladin Press, in the book entitled Contemporary Knife Targeting.  Michael Janich, an exemplary human being, completed the book for Grosz and signed over royalties to his wife and family!

Hitting During a Gun Disarm

Here is an interesting article about hitting an assailant during a gun disarm, the concept of pain compliance, and one hand versus two-handed grabs (for the weapon). 


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