Krav Maga Techniques [with animated instructions!]

One of the main principles in Krav Maga is to strike at weak points in the human body: the nose, eyes, ears,  throat, sternum, floating ribs, solar plexus, and groin,  

These are areas of the body that are vulnerable and exposed  for everyone.

Krav Maga Punching and Arm Strike Techniques

Open Hand Strike ~ Krav Maga

Uses the palm heel of the hand and can be much stronger than the fist.  It’s often directed to the nose and on impact, the fingers can then jab the eyes or to scratch the face or to rip the ears.

Open Hand Strike ~ Krav Maga

Straight Punch ~ Krav Maga

The is a basic punch that strikes using the first two knuckles of the fist.  Again, it’s directed to the nose, but can also attack the throat and solar plexus.

Straight Punch ~ Krav Maga

Hammer Fist ~ Krav Maga

This strike use the side of the clenched fist and is directed towards the side of the head, ear and neck.  This is particularly powerful strike if the use the hips to add power rather than throwing the arm out.

Hammer Fist ~ Krav Maga

Double Palm Strike ~ Krav Maga

This attacks the attacker’s ears by using the palm of hands to simultaneously strike each ear.  The will disorientate the assailant, make them lose their balance and cause their ears to ring, giving you time to make your escape.

Double Palm Strike ~ Krav Maga

Elbow Strike ~ Krav Maga

This strike uses the hard bone of the elbow to attack the sides of the head.  It’s a short range technique capable of delivering an extremely powerful strike.

Elbow Strike ~ Krav Maga

Krav Maga Kicking Techniques

Knee Kick ~ Krav Maga

This is a straight rising knee strike delivered into the opponent’s groin or mid section.  The technique can incorporate a Muay Thai move where the back of the attacker’s neck is grabbed and pulled down at the same time as the knee drives forward.

Knee Kick ~ Krav Maga

Front Kick to the Groin ~ Krava Maga

This is a powerful snapping front kick to a very vulnerable part of the opponent’s body.  The knee is raised first before the lower leg is whipped forward.  The top of the pointed foot is driven quickly forward into the attacker’s groin. 

Front Kick to the Groin ~ Krava Maga

Front Kick to the Belly ~ Krav Maga

In some ways this is similar to the above kick above except this time the flexed upward and the kick drives forward with the hips.  When it makes contact it has the effect of driving the opponent backwards.

Front Kick to the Belly ~ Krav Maga

Side Kick ~ Krav Maga

This is a side thrusting kick that starts with your knee raised to the front of the body.  The foot is then forcefully thrust out to the side aiming at the attacker’s stomach.  You can actually add a side step into this movement to close the distance and add power to the technique.

Side Kick ~ Krav Maga

Back Kick ~ Krav Maga

In the same as many of the kicks in Krav Maga, this kick starts with the knee raised in front of the body.  It’s then driven backwards behind the body to strike at the opponent’s mid-section.   Like the side kick, an extra step can be taken to add power.

Back Kick ~ Krav Maga

Krav Maga Blocks

Block Against a Straight Punch ~ Krav Maga

As the straight punch is delivered, the defender’s lead hand will shoot forward with a straight arm toward the attacker’s head.  This blocks the incoming punch with the forearm.

Block Against a Straight Punch ~ Krav Maga

Block Against an Upper Cut ~ Krav Maga

This block starts with your hands in the ready defensive position and involves blocking the incoming punch with the inside of your forearm in a scooping motion.  You’re blocking with the forearm side below your little finger.

Block Against an Upper Cut ~ Krav Maga

Block Against an Elbow Strike ~ Krav Maga

The is a very quick block that cuts the incoming block down before it gains momentum.  It’s a quick hand movement that checks the incoming strike and allows a quick counter of your own.

Block Against an Elbow Strike ~ Krav Maga

Block Against a Kick ~ Krav Maga

This is a downward scooping block that redirects the direction of the incoming kick.  It’s effective against round house kicks and straight kicks.   The lead hand scoop across the lower body and twist so that the muscle of the forearm absorbs the impact of the strike.  The other arm crosses across the face so that the hand can defend the side of the head in case the attacker’s veers in this direction.

Block Against a Kick ~ Krav Maga

Krav Maga Defenses

Defense Against A Bear Hug ~ Krav Maga

The first action is to drop down and lean forward to try and prevent being pulled backwards.  The hips are moved to the side, giving space for the arm to strike backwards to the groin.  The elbows then fire to loosen the grip, before turning to launch counter strikes.

Defense Against A Bear Hug ~ Krav Maga

Defense Against A Rear Naked Choke ~ Krav Maga

Again the idea is to crouch down, lean forward and tuck the chin in as soon as possible after the choke is initiated. The hips move to the side and a groin strike is initiated, quickly followed by a strike to the eyes. With the assailant disorientated, you then twist out of the loosened hold and throw them to the floor.

Defense Against A Rear Naked Choke ~ Krav Maga

Defense Against A Guillotine Headlock ~ Krav Maga

One of the first things to do if caught in this headlock is to turn the head towards the assailant’s body to relieve the choking pressure on your wind pipe.  You then launch a series of groin strikes before ripping the attackers choke apart before making your escape.

Defense Against A Guillotine Headlock ~ Krav Maga

Krav Maga Defenses Against Weapons

Defense Against A Knife ~ Krav Maga

As the attacker strikes down in a stabbing motion, you block the assailant’s arm with your own forearm.  Immediately, you do a palm heel strike to the opponent’s nose or chin, followed by a kick or knee to the groin, before turning to make your escape.

Defense Against A Knife ~ Krav Maga

Defense Against A Stick ~ Krav Maga

As the attacker swings the stick towards you, the idea is that you dive towards the shoulder of the arm that is holding the stick with your outstretched hands.  This puts you inside the range of the stick and in a position to be able to pull down the opponent and deliver a series of knee strikes before making an escape.

Defense Against A Stick ~ Krav Maga

Defense Against A Gun ~ Krav Maga

The idea here is that you grab the gun tightly, as it’s pointing towards you,  and quickly twist it away.  With your other hand you punch to the attacker’s throat before grabbing the gun with both hands.  You then throw a series of kicks to the groin before ripping the gun from the aggressor.

Defense Against A Gun ~ Krav Maga

Related Articles:

Jeet Kune Do vs Krav Maga

Silat v Krav Maga for Self-Defense

What Martial Arts are in Krav Maga?

Best groin guard for Krav Maga