People frequently ask me about Krav Maga as my choice of martial discipline and more specifically, self-defense.

I have rank in several arts, including Gung Fu, Jujitsu, Balintawak, and Moo Do Kwon – and dabbled in several more disciplines. Frankly, I love them all, and they all have a place in the martial universe. But, when it comes to self-defense, Krav Maga is my go-to system – primarily because it was developed with “TURD” in mind. TURD is my acronym for:

  • Tense,
  • Uncertain,
  • Rapidly Evolving, and
  • Debilitating – both physically and mentally

In essence, if life has served you up a TURD sandwich, you better know how to respond. And in the self-defense context, operating in an environment that’s best described as “TURD” requires an elegant simplicity that adheres to a simple set of immutable principles:

  1. Address the Danger,
  2. Counterattack (simultaneously if possible),
  3. Control the attacker (once softened), and
  4. Finish the encounter (secure your safety)

In conversations with people over the past 30 years, I have found the disconnect in the default thinking other’s may utilize in considering their approach to self-defense. This can be boiled down to a simple discernment between what is possible and what is probable (in terms of performance and response) in a self-defense situation. Valuable and effective responses can be performed at a probable level (with men and women, big and tall, short and small), and therefore have potential as self-defense techniques. Once tested (using a powerful knowledge management system, much like Imi employed in Israel decades ago), we can verify a defense (and/or a system) as worthy of effort and study as a self-defense paradigm. Finally, there is one other, larger issue to explore (I have previously written on this) about how a system is integrated to enhance the system itself – as opposed to any one defensive response (but I will save that for another day).

So, for now, remember – we don’t care what is possible, only what is probable given the circumstances (TURD) in which we must perform self-defense. In this, we can discover what has the real potential to save lives across a vast landscape of danger. For me, this is Krav Maga.

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