Consider What is Being Communicated by the Choices Being Made.
I was teaching inside defense when the question came. I was encouraging each student to make a large box with the arms to invite the attack into the centerline.
The question – “is it the case, then, that Krav Maga prefers to defend a straight punch rather than other punches” – was a well thought out query. I asked the students to answer the question, and after some guessing, I talked them through the answer.
Consider the right straight punch delivered by a right-handed attacker. By way of development, it’s clear that the Krav Maga fighting stance prefers and invites the straight punch as a preference in defending an attack. There are a number of reasons for this:
- Redirecting a punch, especially a powerful punch from a powerful body, is more likely to be redirected successfully than is an alternative punch that would require the defender to meet and stop the full weight and power of a larger attacker (when considering large size differences),
- The inside defense to a powerful right straight punch leads the defender naturally to what some would call the dead side of the attack (or attacker), providing an extra measure of relative safety and advantage in the counterattack,
- While the counterattack in this scenario is not simultaneous, when quickly delivered, the inside defense offers a strong natural counterattack by arranging the platforms and body structure for near optimal power,
- In creating the box with the defenders arms and drawing the attack into the centerline, the Krav Maga fighting stance also limits the type and style of attack that can be reasonably delivered in the space the box provides,
- The straight punch, delivered into the box provided by the proper Krav Maga fighting stance, also invites an attack (the straight punch) that has fewer angles and variations than punches delivered around the outside of a narrow guard (where the defender sets up directly in front of his/her centerline with the guard, that is, with arms and hands in the centerline), and
While there are other reasons, Krav Maga (or–more precisely, Imi) may have developed this fighting stance, they fall outside the focus of this article. There are also other reasons Krav Maga may prefer to defend the straight punch, but these reasons fall at the margins of the conversation focused on the inside defense and/or become comingled with other tactical concepts.
For now, let’s focus on the reasons enumerated above and allow this understanding to better inform our training and our results.
Check out the video below, where I walk you through this analysis.
And, as you train, be intentional about developing a keen analytical sense as to why you are taking the actions you ultimately decide to pursue. Remember, there’s a reason for everything you’re doing. If there’s not, why do it?
…walk in peace