Projectile Weapons

Krav Maga Gun Disarm Techniques and Tactics: Control the Weapon

Consider this scenario:

In Lubbock, Texas, police officers responded to calls of an elderly woman in her own home posing a threat to those around her. Unable to contact the woman, the officers identified themselves and entered the home. The woman, unwilling to believe the officers were legitimate, armed herself with a handgun. As one of the officers rounded a corner, she put the gun to his head.

The officer, who had recently gone through krav maga training, responded by redirecting the line of fire and controlling the weapon as he had been taught. Once the officer made the initial redirection, he had control of the weapon

Remember that a gunman will not be passive. The moment you defend yourself, he will fight to put the line of fire back on you, and he may even strike you to accomplish that. You must control the weapon so the line of fire can never be redirected at you. Even though krav maga techniques are effective at preventing more than one round (the one already chambered) from firing, you should always assume the weapon can continue to shoot.

Krav maga techniques assume that once you’ve made an initial redirection, the assailant will pull back on the weapon to put you in front of the muzzle again. (If he doesn’t pull, the techniques are that much easier.) Therefore, you must burst in, putting your weight inward and downward on the gun. If the weapon remains up in a shooting position, he will have more control of it; but once you get the weapon down and in, his control will be limited. You must be prepared to move your feet to keep putting weight on the weapon even if he struggles or collapses from your punch.

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About the Author:

John Whitman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and third-degree black-belt krav maga instructor with more than 10 years of experience in the system. For more information about krav maga, visit kravmaga.com.

The following article is an excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to Reality-Based Self-Defense. This book gives you the keys to unconditional survival. Featuring some of the best self-defense articles from the Black Belt archives, the book explores a wide spectrum of violent situations, delves into the criminal mind, and teaches you how to effectively assess a violent situation and act accordingly.…

Krav Maga Gun Disarm Techniques and Tactics: Redirect the Line of Fire

A good defense against any threat must first address the primary danger, and clearly the most immediate danger from a gun is getting shot. Specifically, the danger is being in the path of the bullet once it leaves the muzzle, which means that to avoid the danger, you must get out of the line of fire. You can accomplish that by redirecting the line of fire or moving the target (body defense).

Krav maga instructors frequently teach a redirection and control technique with one hand.

Any technique that moves your body by stepping, twisting or leaning requires more muscle activity and offers the gunman telltale signs, triggering his response to fire the weapon. Instead, your initial movement must be as undetectable and small as possible, and it must alter the line of fire. In most cases with krav maga, this redirection is made with a hand. Students train to use their hands without making any initial body movements — no leaning, no tensing up, no weight shifting. This makes the defensive technique more difficult for the attacker to detect. Only after the initial hand movement has begun should you initiate a body defense.

Krav maga teaches you to make initial redirections using only one hand. This results in smaller, less detectable movements, and it facilitates a body defense because the one-handed action turns your body slightly sideways. Two-handed defenses create bigger, easier-to-see motions, and they make a body defense impossible unless you drop down, which slows your ability to move in and finish the gunman. In addition, two-handed defenses decrease your length, while one-handed defenses allow you to stretch out, making the technique more effective at greater distances as well as at different angles.

You should redirect the gun off your body along the shortest path possible. In addition, you must redirect the line of fire in such a way that it travels across less vital areas. Krav maga’s techniques move the weapon laterally, parallel to the ground along the shortest, straightest line possible. For example, if the weapon is pointed at the center of your chest, the redirection makes the line of fire travel from vital to nonvital areas whether you move it to the left or the right. This may seem like common sense, but many instructors of other arts prefer to push the gun upward, which means the line of fire travels from their chest to their throat to their mouth to their brain and then off their body.

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About the Author:
John Whitman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and third-degree black-belt krav maga instructor with more than 10 years of experience in the system. For more information about krav maga, visit kravmaga.com.

The following article is an excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to Reality-Based Self-Defense. This book gives you the keys to unconditional survival. Featuring some of the best self-defense articles from the Black Belt archives, the book explores a wide spectrum of violent situations, delves into the criminal mind, and teaches you how to effectively assess a violent situation and act accordingly.…

Krav Maga Gun Disarm Techniques and Tactics

Consider these two scenarios:

Scenario No. 1

It’s late at night. You’re walking to your car in a parking structure. Your mind is occupied, and you’re obviously not as aware of your surroundings. Without warning, a man steps out of the shadows. You can’t see his face, but you can see the semi-automatic pistol in his hand. It hovers a few feet away, pointing at your chest.

“Give me your car keys now!” he orders.

Startled out of your thoughts and frightened by the gun, you dig into your pocket and pull out the keys.

“Give them to me!” he commands, and you obey.

“Back up. Get back!” Again, you do as you’re told.

The gunman snatches the keys, gets in your car and drives away.

Scenario No. 2

It’s late at night. You’re walking to your car in a parking structure lit by a few dim bulbs spaced too far apart. Your mind is occupied, and you’re obviously not as aware of your surroundings as you ought to be. Without warning, a man steps out of the shadows. You can’t see his face, but you can see the semi-automatic pistol in his hand. It hovers a few feet away, pointing at your chest.

“Give me your car keys now!” he orders.

Startled out of your thoughts and frightened by the gun, you dig into your pocket and pull out the keys.

“Give them to me!” he commands, and you obey.

“Back up. Get back!” Again, you do as you’re told.

The gunman snatches the keys, then backs away and shouts, “Now get in the trunk!”

The first scenario is a clear argument for complying with a gunman’s demands. A handgun represents a significant threat to your life. If you can maintain your safety by giving him what he wants, do it. Your car, your wallet and your jewelry are meaningless. Going home to your family is everything. The actions described in scenario No. 1 are replayed on the streets of America every day. Unfortunately, so are those described in scenario No. 2. You can cooperate with an armed assailant and give him everything he asks for — and still end up in mortal danger. The worst part is that you may never know which scenario you’re facing until it is too late. This simple, unnerving fact is the clearest reason for including realistic gun defenses in your defensive-tactics system.

Krav maga, the official hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defense Forces, includes some of the most practical and effective techniques in existence — techniques that are relied on by soldiers and police officers who face armed threats day in and day out. The methods krav maga teaches for gun defense allow you to create responses that work in a wide variety of circumstances. That reduces the number of techniques you must learn and remember, which results in a shorter training time and faster application under stress. For instance, krav maga uses the same technique when a gun is placed anywhere in front of you, whether it is touching you or not. The same technique, with very minor adjustments in body defense, works when the gun is pointed at your forehead, under your chin or at the side of your head. All krav maga gun techniques employ four basic principles:

Often these four principles will overlap. For instance, controlling the weapon and counterattacking frequently take place at the same time. For you to successfully use a gun defense in the gravest extreme, you must understand and be able to implement all four principles.

In the following weeks, each of these principles will be discussing in further detail.

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Use of the Gun

Students often ask whether they are allowed to shoot the gunman once they have taken away his weapon. The answer depends on the context. This article cannot define and explain the legal ramifications of self-defense and the use of force in every part of the United States. Furthermore, such decisions must be made by you in the heat of the moment, not by a magazine article.

However, sound tactics must at least include the possibility of using the weapon if you believe your life is still in danger. If the gunman charges after you once you’ve taken his weapon, the assault clearly is not over. Consider his mental state in that situation: He threatened you with deadly force, you defended yourself and disarmed him, you are now armed, and he still attacks you. In this scenario, it makes tactical sense to retain the weapon and hold it in a position where it may be used. It will then be up to you to determine your own course of action.

About the Author:…

Free Jujitsu Techniques E-Book From George Kirby

Can empty-hand jujitsu techniques improve your weapon skills? We asked our friend George Kirby this question, and the result is our latest free ebook—Basic Jujitsu Techniques: 4 Budoshin Moves to Improve Your Jujitsu Weapons Training.

Long before the Brazilian jiu-jitsu tidal wave washed over the world, George Kirby was diligently spreading the gospel of traditional jujitsu across the Western Hemisphere. Now a 10th-degree black belt, George Kirby is our go-to guy for jujitsu techniques and principles, which is why we inducted him into our Hall of Fame as our 2007 Instructor of the Year.

Despite its reputation as “the gentle art,” jujitsu provides a solid foundation for weapons training. In our free ebook, George Kirby will teach you how to make your weapon an extension of your body. As an added bonus, George Kirby also will show you four empty-hand jujitsu techniques. Here’s just a taste of what you’ll learn.

George Kirby Jujitsu Technique: Inner-Sweeping Hip Throw

Jujitsu Master George Kirby performs an inner-sweeping hip throw

1) Assume a ready position facing your attacker.
2) Block his right punch with your left forearm.
3) Step in close with your right foot, pivoting on your left foot. Your right arm should go underneath his left arm around his body. (This is just one method of grabbing your opponent for a hip throw. Usually, the height and weight of your opponent will determine how you grab him with your right hand.)
4) Hold the attacker tight against you. Your right foot should be just inside and in front of his right foot. Your right hip does not block his right hip as much as in the basic hip throw.
5) Push your right foot and leg outward against his to sweep his leg out and up. Continue to move like with a basic hip throw, balancing on your left leg.
6) Once your opponent is thrown, drop your right knee into his armpit for a submission.

We hope you enjoy George Kirby’s Basic Jujitsu Techniques. Are there any other topics that you’d like us to explore? Let us know what you think in the comments field.

(George Kirby is a 10th-degree black belt in jujitsu as well as an internationally recognized martial arts instructor and author of five books, jujitsu DVDS and magazine articles. George Kirby is also the co-founder of the American Ju-Jitsu Association. To learn more about these and other basic jujitsu techniques, check out Jujitsu: Basic Techniques of the Gentle Art Expanded Edition by George Kirby.)

Using Pankration Techniques Against Modern Weapons

If you’re a student of self-defense, learning how to wield ancient weapons and defend against them is impractical. Why? Because it’s unlikely you’ll face a Greek spear or a Japanese katana outside the dojo. It’s much more practical to acquire a working knowledge of edged weapons and firearms and concentrate on how to neutralize them.

The pankration approach to weapons defense teaches you to always assume your assailant is armed while you look for subtle clues about what he’s actually carrying. If he’s wearing a coat in hot weather or has one hand behind his back or in a pocket, he might be concealing a handgun. Regardless of how good you are at gun disarms, you should resort to using such a technique only if you think all other alternatives—avoidance, de-escalation and escape—are futile.


To learn more about Jim Arvanitis’ take on empty-hand self-defense, pick up a copy of the September 2011 issue of Black Belt magazine.


Knife defense is just as serious, sometimes even more so. Your chances of not getting cut are slim. Therefore, your goal should be to keep from being stabbed and to prevent your attacker from slicing a major artery.

Empty-hand techniques against weapons are clearly the last resort.

When you practice defense, similar principles apply to both endeavors. You must move off the line of attack and simultaneously perform a hand defense. If your opponent’s weapon is a handgun and you’re close enough to touch it, you can take it. That often entails gripping the end of the barrel and twisting it away from you, then applying a joint manipulation to make it easier to remove it from his grasp. Once it’s in your possession, you can strike him or move into a safety zone while holding him at gunpoint.

The First Mixed Martial Art: Pankration From Myths to Modern Times

Knife assaults can be static—such as when the blade is held against a part of your body—or in motion—such as when he’s slashing at you from various angles. You must strive to immobilize the weapon hand (without gripping the blade) or disarm the assailant. Either way, once the immediate threat is neutralized, strike with speed and ferocity until he’s incapacitated. Pankration teaches a multitude of techniques for finishing the fight at this point, whether it’s standing or on the ground.…

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