Manly Skills, Tactical Skills

Krav Maga Technique of the Month: Defending a Two-Handed Overhead Chair or Stool-Type Attack

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Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from krav maga expert David Kahn’s book Krav Maga Weapon Defenses.

Welcome back to another installment of the Krav Maga Technique of the Month. If you haven’t already, please read our Primer on Krav Maga for the basics and background of this highly effective Israeli combat and self-defense system. Also, read our previous month’s installment on the overhand direct one-handed strike defense. Today we’re tackling how to defend against an assailant who is using a chair, stool, or similar object to come at you with an overhead swing attack.

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Close the distance between you and your assailant by aligning your deflecting-stabbing hand with a forward body lean, burying your chin into your shoulder. Burst towards the assailant with the opposite leg as your deflecting-stabbing arm. Your slightly bent hand will intersect just above the assailant’s nearside hand holding the chair or stool.

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While the chair attack glides harmlessly overhead, take a forward step with your rear leg without breaking your deflecting-stabbing arm’s contact with the assailant’s arm. The attack will again glide harmlessly along your arm past your shoulder and glance off your back.

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Turn your deflecting-stabbing arm’s palm in and snake it around the assailant’s arm(s). Use this arm to gain control of the chair.

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Simultaneously counterattack with strong punches or over-the-top elbow strikes with your free arm. Combine with knee strikes.

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If you are not able to ensnare both of the assailant’s arms, you must control his far-side arm by grabbing it in a tight overhand grip. Note: Be careful that the assailant does not release his near-side arm to control the chair with his far-side arm, which could then be used to attack you with a “hook” or “whip” type of attack or a backhanded attack. Don’t forget to practice retzev by continuously attacking your assailant. Above, a foot stomp is being used.

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If you’ve successfully gained control of the chair, follow krav maga’s principle of using weapons of opportunity by using the chair as an improvised weapon.

If both you and the assailant lose control of the stool or chair, kick the chair away. Note that kicking the chair away does not necessarily violate krav maga’s cardinal principle of always controlling the weapon. By kicking the chair away, you are controlling the weapon by the only means at your disposal. If another assailant picks up the chair to resume an attack on you, krav maga uses control techniques to put your first assailant in the line of fire. In a worst case scenario, you’ll have to defend against a second attack. Of course, you can disable the assailant who may drop the chair, allowing you to pick it up, and if necessary, use it as a cold weapon.

Until next time, train hard and always remember retzev.


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