Road-Testing Commando Krav Maga
© Marc Wickert, www.knucklepit.com
It’s a perfect spring morning here on the Tweed Heads/Coolangatta border, and from the café where I’m sitting with Ken Twaddell, the view is stunning: There’s a humpback whale mother-and-calf team heading back down the coast to Antarctica, and a delightful young waitress is brewing our coffees. La dolce vita!
Now back to the interview. Ken has been training with Lui Pirrone Cook for the past year in Commando Krav Maga (CKM). “Lui was qualified to teach CKM by its chief instructor, Moni Aizik, and I have been Lui’s guinea pig,” says Twaddell.
Combat Krav Maga is an Israeli elite forces defense system that is reality based and utilizes both simple techniques and quick disengagements. “The one-to-three-move responses are drilled over and over in all different scenarios whilst under pressure to simulate the real thing. The way you train is the way you fight. And the less complicated the techniques or methods used the more efficient and practical they will be under stress.” Twaddell says it’s the repetitive drills that make CKM work in an adrenaline-fueled atmosphere.
The drills are designed to use as many scenarios as possible: surprise attacks, multiple adversaries, inside and outside attacks, various terrains, defense against weapons… “The intensity of these high-pressure drills is designed to strengthen you physically, mentally and emotionally. You are trained to disengage and escape your attacker(s), and not to stay around because the longer you engage, the longer you are at risk.
“Another practical concept I like is that you can use a certain method to disengage for many different situations. This helps keep the learning and response simple because you don’t have to learn hundreds of techniques to deal with different situations. The result is that you are able to quickly control, disengage or take out any attacker(s), armed or unarmed, with less chance of injury to yourself. “Your expertise comes from mastering the concepts and continually pressure-testing your responses.”
The waitress brings over our coffees. And we thought caffeine was a stimulant!
Ken, what about if the action does go to the ground?
Well, I like the five-second ground-fighting rule because it teaches you to get to your feet quickly and escape, rather than to wrestle on the pavement, which takes time and effort. And remember: If you lock him up, you eventually have to let him go – unless you cause lots of damage, and the longer you are on the ground the more chance his friends will join in.
Can a martial artist from another style adopt Commando Krav Maga techniques?
CKM is designed to fit and blend with any system and techniques, so as to flow from one to another. It can be added to any other self-defense system and allows you to utilize your own combative skills with Commando Krav Maga’s disengaging concepts. CKM also emphasizes strong physical fitness and mental abilities, creating an attitude of never giving up and doing whatever it takes to survive.
There are no rules on the street or in CKM – hence the importance to be aware of your surroundings and the need to be conditioned to expect anything, anywhere, and from anyone.
What separates Commando Krav Maga from ‘traditional’ Krav Maga?
The key to CKM is to defend and then get out of there. Another variant is that the techniques have been simplified, thus making them easier to learn and implement. Constantly drilling methods under pressure ensures they are gross motor skills, so they instill automatic reactions to attacks.
Moni Aizik was instructed by the Israeli Army to work with Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder of Krav Maga, to make the system more effective and efficient. Commando Krav Maga was the result.