There’s been a fair amount of confusion about one of the Kravology Methods I wrote about months ago. One of my instructors referred to the method in a class. His version was not entirely accurate, and when I asked others about this topic, it became clear to me that I needed to summarize this method again.

To start, I think it’s important to have a paradigm with which to apply your knowledge of Krav Maga. This structure provides a model that allows each person to compare and contrast each technique or movement across a set of criteria. This then supports understanding and allows the student to begin to “own” his/her understanding of the system – seeing both the forest and the trees clearly.

My family tree is not based upon styles of attacks or addressing similar degrees of danger, although that’s a viable alternative best utilized to develop a curriculum – as opposed to developing a powerful knowledge base across a system like Krav Maga. When you build a family tree to assess how “related” techniques are to one another, it’s best to start at the foundation (the things all techniques have in common).

For me, the trunk of the tree is represented by the principles Imi developed for the Krav Maga system. As the trunk gives way to the major limbs of the tree, I’ve found it best to divide and define the limbs by assessing how the major platforms of the body are utilized in techniques. That is, how are the feet (ankles), hips, and shoulders being utilized – typically two or all three limbs will “cooperate” and move together, and this exercise defines how they move together.

Think of rotation, all the platforms rotate forward, while a defensive front kick drives the hips forward and leaves the shoulders and feet stacked (cooperating). Once you’ve defined the major limbs using the platform movements, you can begin to look at what limbs are operating in each technique. If you assess a technical movement, there is often a limb providing a major operative movement and another providing a minor operative movement. Sometimes, two limbs operate in the same way (think of a pluck).

Finally, the tiny limbs that hold several leaves represent where some parts of a technique “crossover” – both using the same movement at some point (making these techniques highly related on the family tree). Note that difficulty and/or levels of danger are not considered. In fact, a level one technique may be closely related to a level six technique – compare inside defense with straight stab defense and handgun from the front defense (see Inside Defense for Handgun?). The danger is quite different, but the movements to make the defenses share several attributes.

Finally, each leaf represents a single distinct technique.

This process, once structured, provides a means of better understanding new techniques as they are introduced and offers a method for immediate categorization and understanding.

You don’t need to use my method. But I recommend you create a method that accurately and systematically allows you to understand and compare Krav Maga techniques across the entire system. You’ll be better for it…I promise.

…walk in peace.

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