Krav Maga: Avoidance and De-Escalation is dangerous, plain and simple. No matter how skilled you are, there are serious risks to fighting; it should be engaged in only as a last resort, even if it is in self-defense. You could be seriously hurt, regardless of your prowess as a fighter, or you could seriously hurt the other person (and probably will, if you are proficient in Krav Maga). That is two BIG reasons to avoid fighting if at all possible.
Consider a couple different scenarios, one involving a male and one involving a female. I will begin with the man, only because male pride makes this principle of avoidance and/or de-escalation sometimes harder to master than it is for our female counterparts.

  1. Imagine this guy walking along a street somewhere, in a moderately populated area, near some restaurants and bars. As he walks along the sidewalk to his destination, he sees a group of 3-4 men walking toward him. As they get closer, they maybe begin to make eye contact and perhaps even seem to be slightly insulting or indignant towards him. As they pass, one of them throws his shoulder into the guy. Right here, this guy has a choice to make. Keep walking ( with a heightened awareness ) or turn and confront the group of guys. Again, male pride, at times, makes this a difficult decision but I will submit to you that swallowing that pride and continuing to move forward is tactically and practically the best response. Let’s think about the ways this could go. One, he turns around abruptly and angrily confronts the group and one thing leads to another and they end up beating him severely. NOT GOOD. Or, he is a well trained and fearless fighter and he beats them severely. STILL NOT GOOD. Why? Well, even if it escalated to the point where he had to defend his self and was within his rights to do so, it doesn’t mean that he may not end up with injuries of his own or legal consequences to his actions. With all this in mind, had he just kept walking and ignored the minor disrespect they showed him, he would have been much better off. The problem could be compounded if our protagonist has other people with him. Suppose he is walking with his girlfriend or wife and kids. Now, the act of responding could place them in danger of being of attacked.
  2. Now, imagine a woman walking alone from here to there sees a group of men up ahead along her path. Maybe the group doesn’t seem completely harmless. She could continue to walk straight past them and take the chance that nothing happens. Or, provided she sees them far enough in advance, she could take a slightly different route by discreetly crossing to the other side of the street and continuing on without even having to pass near them. I would suggest option B. By simply making a slight deviation in her route she decreases even the possibility of a confrontation with the group. Maybe they wouldn’t have engaged her at all but by crossing the street she gave herself more of a buffer, just in case.

These are only two simple scenarios in a universe where anything is possible. They are meant to be examples that make you start to think in advance, “How would I deal with _____?” By running through scenarios like these in your mind, you begin to train yourself to see the situation as it arises and avoid putting yourself in a situation where you have to choose to defend yourself. If you are confronted, try to de-escalate the situation and walk away if at all possible. By keeping cool, not antagonizing, and thinking tactically it will be possible to avoid most physical confrontations. If it is property that the attacker wants give it to them. Nothing material is worth your life.
THAT BEING SAID, if all else fails or if you are attacked without warning/provocation or you feel that an attack is imminent…FIGHT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. The next most important principle of Krav Maga is to eliminate the threat ASAP and with whatever amount of force is necessary. Let me know if you have any questions and we’ll see you in class!
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Austin Self Defense