Krav Maga Techniques Step By Step

Hyperbolic Stretching

Athletic Stretching Exercises

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Figure 2-2. Example of nine-lane, 300-meter bayonet assault course.

Fencing Dummy Target



Figure 2-3. Types of targets.

Head Target
Figure 2-4. Log wall.
Double Apron FenceKrav Maga Techniques
Figure 2-6. Ditch Jump.
Krav Maga Techniques
Figure 2-7. Log balance and horizontal ladder.
Krav Maga Head Butt
Figure 2-8. Tunnel crawl.
Heading Tunnel Techique
Figure 2-9. Fence vault.
Japanese Self Defense Step Step
Figure 2-10. Double-apron barbwire fence,

(3) Standards. The course must be successfully negotiated by all soldiers in the class with each soldier obtaining kills on 75 percent of the total targets in his lane. The course must be negotiated in 5 minutes or less (about 30 seconds for each 50 meters and time to attack and negotiate obstacles).




This section discusses a variety of effective teaching techniques to use while conducting combative training.


Before combative training, the soldier must be prepared for the upcoming physical stress. A warm-up period gradually increases the internal temperature of the body and the heart rate. Stretching prepares the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and heart for a workout, decreasing the chances of injury.

a. Warm-up Exercises. To begin warm-up exercises, rotate the major joints—neck, shoulders, hips, and knees. The warm-up should at least include 7 to 10 minutes of stretching, running in place or jogging around the training area, and calisthenics. Grass drills and guerrilla exercises are a good approach as a warm-up for combative training. They condition the body through motion in all ranges, accustom the soldiers to contact with the ground, and promote aggressiveness.

b. Stretching Exercises. Any of the stretching exercises in FM 21-20 are recommended for hand-to-hand combat training. Five other exercises that increase flexibility in areas of the body that benefit hand-to-hand combat movements are as follows:

(1) Backroll stretch.

(a) Position: Lay on ground on back with legs extended and arms by sides, palms down.

(b) Action: Raise legs over head and roll back as far as possible, trying to place toes on the ground behind head. Keep knees locked and feet and knees together; hold for 20 seconds (Figure 2-11). Gradually, return to starting position. Repeat two or three times.

Krav Maga Warm Exercises
Figure 2-11. Backroll stretch,

(2) Buddy-assisted splits (leg spreader).

(a) Position: Sit on ground facing buddy with legs extended and spread as far as possible. Position feet inside ankles.

(b) Action: Interlock hands with buddy and alternate pulling one toward the other, causing the buddy to bend forward over the hips until a stretch is felt (Figure 2-12). Hold this position for 20 seconds, then alternate and have him pull you into a stretch. Do sequence two or three times each.

Split Stretch
Figure 2-12. Buddy-assisted splits (leg spreader)

(3) Buddy-assisted hamstring stretch.

(a) Position: Sit on ground with right leg extended to front and foot pointing up. Bend left leg with sole touching to inside of right thigh. Have buddy kneel behind you with his hands on your shoulders (Figure 2-13).

(b) Action: Slowly bend forward from hips over the right leg and reach your hands toward ankles until stretch is felt (Figure 2-l3). Hold this for 10 to 15 seconds. The buddy then applies downward pressure and allows you to adjust your stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat. Alternate legs and positions after two or three sequences.

Straddle Stretch Hamstring
Figure 2-13. Buddy-assisted hamstring stretch.

(4) Buddy-assisted groin (butterfly) stretch.

(a) Position: Sit on ground with the soles of your feet together, close to the torso. Hold ankles with hands. Have buddy kneel behind you with his hands on your knees.

(b) Action: The buddy places his hands on top of your thighs at the knees. The buddy's weight is supported by your shoulders while little weight is placed on the thighs. Then, the buddy increases downward pressure on your thighs until stretch is felt (Figure 2-14). Hold for 20 seconds, then alternate positions.

Butterfly Stretch Assisted
Figure 2-14. Buddy-assisted groin (butterfly) stretch.

(5) Buddy-assisted back stretch.

(a) Position: Stand back-to-back with buddy and interlock arms at your sides.

(b) Action: Bend forward at the waist and pull buddy up on your back over your hips. The buddy allows his back to arch and tells you when an adequate stretch is felt (Figure 2- 15). Hold this position for 20 seconds, then, change places.

Assisted Stretches
Figure 2-15. Buddy-assisted back stretch.


A fighter's stance (Figure 2-16) is the position he takes in readiness for an unarmed fight. He may launch an attack or defend from this stance.

a. A fighter's stance not only places his body in a good position from which to attack or defend, but it influences his mental attitude and aggressiveness.

b. He holds his hands high to protect his head and face. His fists are clenched, but relaxed. His elbows are close to his body and his weight is evenly distributed on both feet, creating a stable base. He is light on his feet with his knees slightly flexed to allow quick movement in any direction.

2-10. FALLS

A soldier must learn how to fall to the ground without getting hurt, both during training and during combat. If he loses his balance or is thrown during a fight, his use of basic fall techniques enables him to escape injury or to quickly recover to protect himself.



a. Laying Side Fall. The laying side fall is a training exercise that teaches the basic movements for executing a side fall. To be safe, the fall is learned from the squatting position until soldiers can fall properly. From the

Marine Soldier

squatting position (Figure 2-17, Step 1), the soldier extends one leg across the front of the body and raises his arm on the same side across his face (Figure 2-17, Step 2).

Then he rolls onto the exposed side, allowing the extended leg and side to absorb the shock of the fall. He slowly lowers his arm to stabilize his body. He raises his other hand to guard against future strikes (Figure 2-17, Step 3).

Spinning Back Kick Technique
Figure 2-17. Laying side fall.

b. Standing Side Fall. The soldier starts the fall from the standing position (Figure 2-18, Step 1).

He lowers his weight on the supporting leg and extends the other leg across the body (Figure 2-18, Step 2).

He then distributes his body weight by rolling along the exposed side from the ankle of the extended leg to the back muscle. The arm on the ground is used to stabilize himself; the other hand is used to guard the body (Figure 2-l8, Step 3).



Wing Chun Techniques
Figure 2-18. Standing side fail,

c. Forward Rolling Fall. The soldier starts the fall from the standing position (Figure 2-19, Step 1). He raises one arm to expose his entire side, places both hands on the ground, and bends both knees.

He rolls forward across the body along the hand, arm, and back to the opposite hip (Figure 2-19, Step 2) and ends in a good side fall position (Figure 2-19, Step 3).

He keeps his left leg flat on the ground, knee slightly bent. His right knee points upward and bends inward to help protect the groin. He keeps his right heel and sole flat on the ground behind the left leg.

Rolling Fall Image
Figure 2-19. Forward rolling fall,

d. Rear Fall. The soldier starts the fall from the standing position and keeps his head fonward to reduce the chance of head and neck injuries (Figure 2-20, Step 1).

He then falls backward and lowers his center of gravity by bending both knees. As his buttocks touch the ground, he rolls backward to absorb the momentum of the fall (Figure 2-20, Step 2).

He keeps his hands cupped and slaps his hands and arms down to help absorb the shock of impact and to stabilize his body (Figure 2-20, Step 3). He keeps his chin tucked on his chest.

Then, his legs come down slowly with knees bent and make contact with the ground (Figure 2-20, Step 4). He raises his hand to protect his face from kicks or blows. The soldier can kick his opponent from this position.

Then, his legs come down slowly with knees bent and make contact with the ground (Figure 2-20, Step 4). He raises his hand to protect his face from kicks or blows. The soldier can kick his opponent from this position.

Position Krav Maga
Figure 2-20. Rear fall,

Training can be conducted using the crawl, walk, and run techniques, which may be applied on two levels.

a. First Level. The instructors use these techniques during each initial training session.

(1) Crawl phase. New techniques should be introduced, taught, demonstrated, and executed by the numbers.

(2) Walk phase. During this phase, soldiers practice the new techniques by the numbers, but with more fluid movement and less instructor guidance.

(3) Run phase. Soldiers execute the techniques at combat speed with no guidance.

b. Second Level. The instructors use these techniques when developing unit combatives programs. Before conducting combatives training, the instructor considers the abilities and experience level of the soldiers to be trained. During training, those soldiers with prior martial arts experience can be a great asset; they may be used as demonstrators or as assistant instructors. The crawl, walk, run approach to unit training ensures a high skill level throughout the unit and minimizes the risk of training injuries.

(1) Crawl phase. During the crawl phase, the instructor introduces combatives to the unit. Here, the basic skills that set the standards for advancement to other levels are mastered. Emphasis is placed on proper technique when executing stances, falls, and hand-and-foot strikes. Studying the new techniques in this method ensures that the movements are correctly programmed into the soldiers' subconscious after a few repetitions. It also develops the flexibility of soldiers.

(2) Walk phase. Once a unit has developed a sufficient proficiency level in basic skills, begin the walk phase. Instructors introduce soldiers to throws, combination strikes with body weapons, reaction drills, knife/bayonet fighting, grappling, and expedient-weapons training.

(3) Run phase. In the run phase, unit soldiers engage in full sparring, advanced-weapons fighting, and sentry removal.


A well-coordinated demonstration and professional demonstrators are crucial for successful learning by soldiers. Unrehearsed presentations or inadequately trained demonstrators can immediately destroy the credibility of the training. There are two methods appropriate for the demonstration of combative techniques to soldiers. These are based on the size of the group to be taught.

a. Company-Size Formation or Larger. The instructor or demonstrator uses the talk-through method. The primary instructor talks the demonstrators through the techniques by the numbers, and then the demonstrators execute at combat speed. The soldiers can see how to apply the move being taught in relation to the instructor or demonstrator. The primary instructor is free to control the rate of the demonstration and to stress key teaching points. The demonstrators must be skilled in properly applying the techniques so soldiers can adequately grasp the intended concepts.

b. Platoon-Size Formation or Smaller. A good method for demonstrating to a smaller formation is for the primary instructor to apply the technique being taught to an assistant instructor. The primary instructor talks himself through the demonstration. He stresses correct body movement and key teaching points as he does them.


Instructors use execution by the numbers to break down techniques into step-by-step phases so soldiers can see clearly how the movements are developed from start to finish. Execution by the numbers also provides soldiers away to see the mechanics of each technique. This teaching method allows the instructor to explain in detail the sequence of each movement. For example: on the command PHASE ONE, MOVE, the attacker throws a right-hand punch to the defender's face. At the same time, the defender steps to the inside of the attacker off the line of attack and moves into position for the right-hip throw. Assistant instructors are able to move freely throughout the training formation and make on-the-spot corrections.


When the instructor is confident that the soldiers being trained are skilled at executing a technique by the numbers, he is ready to have them execute it at combat speed. Executing movements at combat speed enables soldiers to see how effective a technique is. This builds the soldier's confidence in the techniques, allows him to develop a clear mental picture of the principles behind the technique, and gives him confidence in his ability to perform the technique during an actual attack. The command is, THE RIGHT-HIP THROW AT COMBAT SPEED, MOVE. The soldiers then execute this technique from start to finish.

2-15. DRILLS

Drills are used to maintain soldiers' skills in executing techniques through repetition. During these drills, techniques or phases of techniques are repeated as often as necessary to ensure programmed learning by the soldiers. Subconscious programming usually occurs after 25 repetitions of movement.

Technique drills help soldiers retain their skills, and they are a good tool for reviewing techniques already learned.


Foam pads (Figure 2-21) are highly recommended to enhance training. The pads allow full-forced strikes by soldiers and protect their training partners. The pads enable soldiers to feel the effectiveness of striking techniques and to develop power in their striking. Instructors should encourage spirited aggressiveness. Pads can be tackle dummy pads or martial arts striking pads.

a. The use of pads is especially recommended for knee-strike practice drills, kicking drills, and 3-foot-stick striking drills. The pad is ideally placed on the outside of the training partner's thigh, protecting the common peroneal nerve. Pads can also be held against the forearms in front of the head and face to allow practice knee/elbow strikes to this area.

b. Training pads can be requisitioned through supply channels or purchased locally.

Krav Maga Control Techniques
Figure 2-21. Training pads.



In close-range combatives, two opponents have closed the gap between them so they can grab one another in hand-to-hand combat. The principles of balance, leverage, timing, and body positioning are applied. Throws and takedown techniques are used to upset the opponent's balance and to gain control of the fight by forcing him to the ground. Chokes can be applied to quickly render an opponent unconscious. The soldier should also know counters to choking techniques to protect himself. Grappling involves skillful fighting against an opponent in close-range combat so that a soldier can win through superior body movement or grappling skills. Pain can be used to disable an opponent. A soldier can use painful eye gouges and strikes to soft, vital areas to gain an advantage over his opponent.


Throws and takedowns enable a hand-to-hand fighter to take an opponent to the ground where he can be controlled or disabled with further techniques. Throws and takedowns make use of the principles involved in taking the opponent's balance. The fighter uses his momentum against the attacker; he also uses leverage or body position to gain an opportunity to throw the attacker.

a. It is important for a fighter to control his opponent throughout a throw to the ground to keep the opponent from countering the throw or escaping after he is thrown to the ground. One way to do this is to control the opponent's fall so that he lands on his head. It is also imperative that a fighter maintain control of his own balance when executing throws and takedowns.

b. After executing a throw or takedown and while the opponent is on the ground, the fighter must control the opponent by any means available. He can drop his weight onto exposed areas of the opponent's body, using his elbows and knees. He can control the downed opponent's limbs by stepping on them or by placing his knees and body weight on them. Joint locks, chokes, and kicks to vital areas are also good control measures. Without endangering himself, the fighter must maintain the advantage and disable his opponent after throwing him (Figures 3-1 through 3-5).

NOTE: Although the five techniques shown in Figures 3-1 through 3-5 may be done while wearing LCE—for training purposes, it is safer to conduct all throws and takedowns without any equipment.

(1) Hip throw. The opponent throws a right punch. The defender steps in with his left foot; at the same time, he blocks the punch with his left forearm and delivers a reverse punch to the face, throat, or other vulnerable area (Figure 3-1, Step 1). (For training, deliver punches to the solar plexus.)

The defender pivots 180 degrees on the ball of his lead foot, wraps his right arm around his opponent's waist, and grasps his belt or pants (Figure 3-1, Step 2). (If opponent is wearing LCE, grasp by the pistol belt or webbing.)

The defender thrusts his hips into his opponent and maintains a grip on his opponent's right elbow. He keeps his knees shoulder-width apart and slightly bent (Figure 3-1, Step 3). He locks his knees, pulls his opponent well over his right hip, and slams him to the ground. (For training, soldier being thrown should land in a good side fall.)

By maintaining control of his opponent's arm, the defender now has the option of kicking or stomping him in the neck, face, or ribs (Figure 3-1, Step 4).

Krav Maga Throws Step Step

(2) Over-the-shoulder throw. The opponent lunges at the defender with a straight punch (Figure 3-2, Step 1).

The defender blocks the punch with his left forearm, pivots 180 degrees on the ball of his lead foot (Figure 3-2, Step 2), and gets well inside his opponent's right armpit with his right shoulder.

He reaches well back under his opponent's right armpit and grasps him by the collar or hair (Figure 3-2, Step 3).

The defender maintains good back-to-chest, buttock-to-groin contact, keeping his knees slightly bent and shoulder-width apart. He maintains control of his opponent's right arm by grasping the wrist or sleeve (Figure 3-2, Step 4).

The defender bends forward at the waist and holds his opponent tightly against his body. He locks his knees, thrusts his opponent over his shoulder, and slams him to the ground (Figure 3-2, Step 5). He then has the option of disabling his opponent with kicks or stomps to vital areas.

Krav Maga Attack
Figure 3-2. Over-the-shoulder throw.

(3) Throw from rear choke. The opponent attacks the defender with a rear strangle choke. The defender quickly bends his knees and spreads his feet shoulder-width apart (Figure 3-3, Step 1). (Knees are bent quickly to put distance between you and your opponent.)

The defender reaches as far back as possible and uses his right hand to grab his opponent by the collar or hair. He then forces his chin into the vee of the opponent's arm that is around his neck. With his left hand, he grasps the opponent's clothing at the tricep and bends forward at the waist (Figure 3-3, Step 2).

The defender locks his knees and, at the same time, pulls his opponent over his shoulder and slams him to the ground (Figure 3-3, Step 3).

He then has the option of spinning around and straddling his opponent or disabling him with punches to vital areas (Figure 3-3, Step 4). (It is important to grip the opponent tightly when executing this move.)

Rear Bear Hug Defense
Figure 3-3. Throw from rear choke.

(4) Head butt. The head butt can be applied from the front or the rear. It is repeated until the opponent either releases his grip or becomes unconscious.

(a) The opponent grabs the defender in a bear hug from the front (A,Figure 3-4, Step 1).

The defender uses his forehead to smash into his opponent's nose or cheek (A,Figure 3-4, Step 2) and stuns him.

The opponent releases the defender who then follows up with a kick or knee strike to the groin (A, Figure 3-4, Step 3).

(b) The opponent grabs the defender in a bear hug from the rear (B, Figure 3-4, Step 1).

The defender cocks his head forward and smashes the back of his head into the opponent's nose or cheek area (B, Figure 3-4, Step 2).

The defender turns to face his opponent and follows up with a spinning elbow strike to the head (B, Figure 3-4, Step 3).

Krav Maga Throat Strike
Figure 3-4. Head butt.

(5) Rear strangle takedown. The defender strikes the opponent from the rear with a forearm strike to the neck (carotid artery) (Figure 3-5, Step 1).

The defender wraps his right arm around his opponent's neck, making sure he locks the throat and windpipe in the vee formed by the his elbow. He grasps his left bicep and wraps his left hand around the back of the opponent's head. He pulls his right arm in and flexes it, pushing his opponent's head forward (Figure 3-5, Step 2).

The defender kicks his legs out and back, maintains a choke on his opponent's neck, and pulls his opponent backward until his neck breaks (Figure 3-5, Step 3).

Krav Maga Neck Break

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