In Krav Maga our philosphy is about survival and being able to quickly improvise. This is an integral aspect of Israeli culture born out of the need to fight by any means necessary to survive. This is very well articulated in "Israel: A Nation Of Warriors" written by the founder of IKI Krav Maga, Moshe Katz.
As Krav Maga practitioners we must be used to quickly scanning our environment for objects that can serve us in a self defence situation. Improvised weapons are an effective way to defend against non-human attackers such as dogs and also may used to intimidate an attacker into fleeing. In this blog I will discus the topic of using every day objects for self defence which is also one of the testing criteria for the IKI orange belt grading. Practitioners should be able to understand the different types of objects that can be used and to demonstrate how to use them in self defence.
When using a weapon always think of it as an extension of your own body rather than a limiting accessory which basically means that in terms of body mechanics attacks should flow just like they would if you were using elbow strikes, hammer fist, finger jabs etc.
Here are the different types of object that we can use for self defence in Krav Maga:
Stick-Like Objects (Umbrella, tall vase, poker, baton, baseball bat, rolling pin, branch, pipe, wrench, broom, hammer)
Used to swing and stab. Hold the stick with a few inches protruding behind your hand for better stability and to use for hammer strikes at close range.
Stone-Like Objects (ash tray, heavy tumbler, tin can, bottle, plate, statuette)
Any heavy small object in hand can increase the force of a strike and add to range and impact. Usually used for hammer punches but can also be used for roundhouse punches and straight punches. Can be thrown only if the throw proves effective otherwise you risk having the object used against you.
Small Objects (coins, wrist watch, keys, handkerchief, papers)
Used as a decoy and thrown at an assailant’s face to facilitate an attack such as a groin kick.
Shield-Like Objects (stick, chair, board, saucepan lid, briefcase, shoulder bag, parcel, body of another attacker)
Used to hinder the attacker and create a favourable distance for throwing a kick or punch; can also be thrown to delay an attacker buying some time to flee.
Knife-Like Objects (broken bottle, pencil, pen, scissors, piece of glass or metal, screw driver, crushed beer can)
Used for stabbing and slashing. Duller objects should be only used for stabbing at vulnerable points.
Rope-Like Objects (belt, rope, towel)
Used to entwine, lash out or tie up an attacker. Can be rotated and brandished before lashing out.
Liquids and Sprays (aerosols, hot coffee, bowl of soup, handful of sand, fire extinguisher)
Can be vey devastating if caustic or toxic chemicals used causing serious damage to eyes otherwise will make an assailant close his eyes stunning him and leaving him vulnerable to attack.
Other less common improvised weapon categories could include flaming or heated objects, objects carrying high voltage, power tools and vehicles. Improvised weapons could have combined characteristics for example an aerosol can be used as a stone and a spray, chair can be used as a shield and a stick, thrown knife is a stone and knife.