Krav Maga Principle #3 - Common Objects
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
Great significance should be attached to using what’s in your surroundings or on your persons to aid your self-defence and method of safe escape.
Within your training with Saint Fury, you’ll be studying and practising various techniques and scenarios, mainly based around four overlapping disciplines; the self-defence aspect, fighting skills, protecting a third party and the use of common objects and weapons to enhance the above.
The use of common objects varies from weapons training - the latter is different but plays into the understanding of Krav Maga. Understanding weapons such as sticks, guns and knives etc. helps you understand the modes of attacks, the attacker's mindset and willingness to retain their weapon... and of course how to defend against them.'
Common object usage should be approached with the same frame of mind… but slightly differently.
What is a common object?
A common object can be just that - an object that is common. Sounds pretty straightforward so far but within Krav Maga, understanding and being aware of what’s around you, be it a threat or an aid, is crucial.
The object can be anything; sticks and long-ranged objects to create distance to prevent harm and aid escape. Your bag, the belt or heavy jacket with thick zips you’re wearing, the mobile phone that you’re holding or shoving back into your pocket of fear of getting it taken. The chair you're sat on can be used as a barrier or shield. The wall you’ve been pushed up against. The list is only limited by what’s around you and if it’s considered reasonable force.
Ooh that sounds great, where can I get one?
Calm down, see above and note “reasonable force”.
Why do I need one?
The same with any scenario regarding a violent situation; self-preservation. If in a situation where an aggressor has a weapon, the odds are likely against you but if the threat remains, using a common object as a deterrent, to create distance or to stop a threat is wise and balances the odds in your favour.
Situational and spatial awareness are key in all defence modes, the earlier you identify threats and what improvisations must be made, the better.
When and what do I do with it?
Employing reasonable force usage - whatever you must! This doesn’t mean waiting to be attacked, it could mean stopping a threat when you see it or creating distance to help you escape. In addition, the threat can be felt, it can be vocal or visible i.e. someone following you, someone shouting threateningly, or seeing an attacker’s weapon.
A training drill sometimes used is to shadow fight - practising strikes and defences without making contact but visualising and maintaining form. The same drill is then performed with a practise weapon or everyday object. The aim is to maintain similar motions but using the improvised weapon as an extension of yourself to improve your fighting capability against an attack.
Remember, the same Krav Maga rules apply, nullifying the threat. This can be with a threat of your own or striking to vulnerable parts of the body including to the hand holding the weapon. Note: punching and kicking and other fighting techniques are available, don’t let your focus just be on the common object!
Be realistic and resourceful.
As hilarious as you can imagine it being, if your trousers need a belt to stay up, this is not a good mode of defence. Not only will you embarrass yourself in the midst of a threat but also you’ll impede your movement! However, if the contrary is true a long-range weapon like a leather belt is a good, wieldable deterrent.
There are many examples but recently CCTV footage was shown on the BBC where a police officer was confronted with a robber armed with a knife in a store. Dissuasion didn’t work, spray didn’t work, what did was the officer improvising using a common object as a barrier. What did he use? A shopping basket!
The attacker’s mindset.
As above, dissuasion sometimes doesn’t work. Attackers have normally selected you and have pictured their victory – a successful robbery, causing you harm, retaining their weapon. They don’t picture failure.
In the police vs. armed robber case the robber’s intent was first to rob, then to harm. Despite the basket being in front of him, the robber continued trying to ‘complete his planned victory’ by slashing at the basket before being disarmed and restrained.
Be vigilant. Be mindful of your surroundings. Utilise your environment to enhance your skills and ensure your wellbeing.
Saint Fury is based out of Hackney and operates across the Greater London area.
Krav Maga self defence, kickboxing, fitness and mental health coaching for the individual or company are offered.
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