When it comes to self defense, there are many different options to choose from. Two of the most popular choices are Krav Maga and MMA. But which one is better? In this article, we will explore the differences between these two styles and discuss which one is better for self defense.
When it comes to self defense, Krav Maga has the advantage over MMA due to its simplicity and focus on real-world scenarios. While MMA fighters hone their skills for competition, many lack knowledge in responding to unexpected attacks which can occur in real-life. Krav Maga however is designed for such situations and teaches the skills necessary for defense on the street, even against armed attackers.
Krav Maga is a form of martial arts developed in Israel and designed specifically for real-life self defense situations. It emphasizes simple, instinctive movements that are easy to learn and quickly put into practice. Krav Maga focuses on taking control of a situation before it escalates by using techniques such as strikes, throws, joint locks, and other methods to neutralize an attacker.
MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts, is a full-contact combat sport that combines techniques from various martial arts disciplines such as Judo, Karate, Muay Thai, Boxing and more. In MMA fights, competitors grapple on the ground and use strikes to knock out their opponents. Unlike Krav Maga, MMA is a much more structured combat system focused on competition.
Best Krav Maga Techniques for Self Defense
Krav Maga is an effective self-defense system that emphasizes natural, instinctive movements and simple techniques for combat. Here are some of the best techniques it has to offer:
1. Strikes: Krav Maga’s striking techniques teach practitioners how to deliver quick and powerful punches, elbows, knees and kicks in order to take control of a situation.
Example: The Hammer Fist – This strike is delivered with the side of the fist and designed to target vulnerable areas such as the back of the head, temple or jaw.
2. Grappling: Krav Maga teaches effective grappling techniques that can be used to control an aggressor when a physical confrontation ensues. These techniques include throws, joint locks and choke holds.
Example: The Guillotine Choke – This technique is used to quickly take down an attacker by trapping them in a headlock.
3. Disarming Techniques: Krav Maga teaches practitioners how to defend themselves when an assailant is armed with a weapon such as a gun, knife or stick. These techniques involve redirecting the weapon away from the defender and using strikes to neutralize the attacker.
Example: The 360 Deflection – This technique involves turning away from an assailant’s swing while simultaneously pushing their arm away.
4. Blocks and Deflections: Krav Maga teaches practitioners how to protect themselves from incoming strikes through techniques such as parries and blocks. These techniques are vital for defending against powerful strikes or multiple attackers.
Example: The Parry – This technique uses a swift, circular movement of the arm to redirect an incoming strike away from the body.
5. Throws: This martial art also teaches practitioners how to use an attacker’s momentum against them in order to throw them off balance and take them down. Throws can be used to both neutralize an attacker and create distance for escape.
Example: The Hip Toss – This throw uses the defender’s hip to turn the aggressor sideways and throw them off balance.
6. Ground fighting: Krav Maga also teaches practitioners how to defend themselves if they find themselves in a ground-fighting situation with an attacker. This includes techniques such as chokes, joint locks and more.
Example: The Triangle Choke – This technique involves trapping an assailant’s neck and arm in a triangle of the defender’s legs to strangle them.
Best MMA Techniques for Self Defense
MMA is a full-contact combat sport comprised of techniques from many different martial arts styles. Here are some of the best self-defense techniques it has to offer:
1. Strikes: MMA fighters learn powerful striking techniques such as boxing punches, Muay Thai kicks, and Judo throws. These techniques are designed to take an attacker out quickly and with minimal effort.
Example: The Spinning Back Fist – This strike is delivered with the rear of the fist and designed to catch opponents off guard by taking advantage of their blind spot.
2. Grappling: MMA fighters learn a variety of ground-fighting techniques such as submissions, chokes, arm locks, and more. These techniques can quickly incapacitate an attacker and allow for a safe escape.
3. Disarming Techniques: MMA fighters aren’t taught directly how to defend themselves against armed attackers. But they can utilize a variety of techniques from different martial arts. These include joint locks, throws, and other defensive tactics.
Example: The Hook Sweep – This technique involves catching an attacker’s arm with one hand and sweeping the leg out from under them to take control of the situation.
4. Clinching: MMA fighters also learn how to use the clinch to gain an advantage over their opponent in a fight. This involves controlling the head and neck area until an opening presents itself for a strike or takedown.
Example: The Thai Plum – This technique uses the same principles of the clinch but adds in strikes to create openings for submission holds or throws.
5. Take-downs: MMA fighters also learn how to take down an opponent and maintain control of them on the ground. This can be used to both incapacitate an attacker and gain the upper hand in a fight.
Example: The Single Leg Takedown – This takedown, which is also known as the “fireman’s carry”, involves taking down an opponent by catching one of their legs with your arm and shooting in for the takedown.
Krav Maga vs MMA: Weapons Training and Defense
When it comes to weapons training and defense, Krav Maga has the clear advantage over MMA. Krav Maga was designed for real-world self defense scenarios and teaches practitioners how to survive an attack from someone wielding a weapon such as a knife or gun.
MMA fighters on the other hand are trained primarily in competitive martial arts and may lack the knowledge necessary to effectively defend themselves against an armed attacker.
Krav Maga vs MMA: Who would win in a street fight?
It is impossible to say who would win in a street fight between an MMA fighter and Krav Maga practitioner as it depends on too many variables such as the individual fighters’ skill level, experience, size, and strength. That being said, if we were to look at the two martial arts systems themselves then Krav Maga comes out on top in terms of self-defense.
Krav Maga focuses more on real life situations and was designed to prepare practitioners for the chaos that can occur during a street fight or other unexpected attack. MMA fighters train many techniques which are effective in a street fight but overall, due to their focus on competition, they may lack the necessary knowledge for a real-life situation.
The advantage of MMA however is the frequent sparring which is lacking in most Krav Maga classes. So this can make a difference. Overall, it’s impossible to say, but with everything else being equal, I would bet my money on the Krav Maga practitioner.
Krav Maga vs MMA: Limiting Rules for Self-Defense
When it comes to self-defense, Krav Maga has the clear advantage over MMA as there are no rules that govern how practitioners can act and defend themselves in a fight.
This is not the case with MMA fighters who must abide by specific rules, like no eye gouging or groin kicks. These rules can limit an MMA fighter’s ability to defend themselves against a real-world attacker who has no such restrictions.
Krav Maga vs MMA: Grappling and Ground Fighting
In terms of grappling and ground fighting, MMA has the advantage over Krav Maga. This is due to the fact that MMA fighters are extensively trained in a variety of ground-fighting techniques such as submissions, chokes, and arm locks which can give them an edge over an attacker.
While Krav Maga practitioners do learn some ground fighting techniques, mostly from BJJ, the focus is more on quickly getting back to a standing position.
Krav Maga vs MMA: Striking
When it comes to striking, MMA has the advantage over Krav Maga. This is due to the fact that MMA fighters learn powerful striking techniques such as boxing punches, Muay Thai kicks, and judo throws which can be devastating in a fight.
While Krav Maga practitioners do learn some striking techniques, they are mostly focused on quickly incapacitating an attacker so they can escape or protect themselves. This can be a double edged sword. If it works, it works amazingly well. Eye gouging and groin kicks can quickly stop an attacker. But if the attacker is able to defend against these dirty tactics and is trained in a strong martial art, then things could get ugly pretty quickly.
Krav Maga vs MMA: Blocking & Deflections
When it comes to blocking weapons or deflecting strikes, Krav Maga has the advantage over MMA. This is due to the fact that Krav Maga was specifically designed for self-defense, and as such it focuses heavily on teaching practitioners how to block knife and other weapon attacks and to quickly counter them.
However, MMA fighters do have the advantage of being trained in a variety of defensive techniques such as sprawling (escaping takedowns) and parrying which can help them protect themselves against non-weapon attacks more effectively.
Krav Maga vs MMA: Sparring
When it comes to sparring, MMA has the advantage over Krav Maga. This is due to the fact that MMA fighters spar regularly, delivering and taking real punches.
On the other hand, Krav Maga sparring sessions are often non-competitive and most of the time are geared towards developing self-defense skills by rehearsing real-life situations.
Krav Maga vs MMA: How Long to Get Good Enough for Self Defense?
When it comes to how long it takes to become effective in self-defense, Krav Maga has the advantage over MMA. This is due to the fact that Krav Maga was specifically designed as a self-defense system, and as such practitioners can develop useful skills relatively quickly compared to MMA fighters who need more time and experience before they can effectively compete in a fight.
On average it would take a Krav Maga practitioner anywhere between 6 months to 2 years to become efficient in Krav Maga, while an MMA fighter may need up to 4 years of training and experience to get good at his fighting style.