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

by A Manly Guest Contributor on September 27, 2013 · 10 comments

in Manly Skills, Tactical Skills

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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.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 pete September 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I bought the video series after reading earlier related posts on this site. Most practical thing I’ve ever seen on street fighting.

2 Brian September 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I train with David and Rinaldo in Bordentown, NJ and this really is the best self-defense system I have ever seen. I totally recommend this!

3 Jason Cook September 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Sadly, the last picture now shows the original person being assaulted now committing aggravated assault with the chair.

4 Jake September 28, 2013 at 1:36 am

Not enough people whining about “street vs sport” in these comments yet.

5 David September 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

At least in most places in the US you are allowed to defend yourself with a weapon if you attacker uses lethal force. In that case, the last picture would most likely not be aggravated assault. However, if the fight were over (e.g. if you knocked the attacker out or he was running away) then hitting him with the chair would likely not be justified.

6 Mr. Weston September 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Thanks for this. I’m a big fan of Krav Maga, still trying to develop my skills, but I’m getting there!

7 Daniel September 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

I’m in my second month of Krav Maga lessons and loving it!

8 Big Bad Moose September 30, 2013 at 9:49 am

Long live Krav Maga and the ass(hole)ailants who give it purpose!



9 Kammes October 1, 2013 at 11:52 am

“…gain control of the chair”

This sounds hilarious but I like the philosophy of always controlling the weapon. I would assume that if there was one chair in an area, there would be another or maybe a table.

After reviewing the steps, I want to know how a person can best attack with a chair without succumbing to a counterattack?

10 P Rodgan October 16, 2013 at 3:36 am

I agree with Jason here – Having worked in security I know how difficult it can be to claim self-defence, using a weapon will land you in court and potentially in prison.
If you disarm your opponent, don’t be tempted to use the weapon, just get it as far out of the fight as possible

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