Integrated Combat Systems – The Future of Combatives
As I have developed in my own training, a lot has become clear about what a modern combatives system should look like. Krav Maga was the first mixed martial art, but it hasn’t developed at the rate of modern Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). This is unfortunate as it has had the opportunity to. However, the leading exponents of Krav Maga have not availed themselves of the cross training now widely available. I don’t mean in exclusively empty hand styles like Judo, Boxing, Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, but also the advancements in combat shooting, edged weapons, stick fighting, trauma medicine, psychology, etc…
For this reason, I do not use the term “Mixed Martial Arts” to describe the kind of Krav Maga I train and teach. I use the term “Integrated Combat Systems”. The first word “integrated” holds the key. Simple proficiency across various disciplines is not enough, there must be an intellectual underpinning of how these integrate to create a combatives system designed to deal with violence in a self defense context, and not a sport context. Modern sport MMA has developed as such (in a sport context). Once a collection of martial arts, it has become a system unto itself. It has grown beyond the constituent parts of boxing, muay thai, wrestling, jiu jitsu, and judo. It now has a form of its own. The cage control has nearly become a martial art unto itself. Questions like how do I shoot a double leg, have passed and now the question is how do I set up a double leg using a high level of boxing, and at which point in the round or fight to take advantage of the scoring system in modern MMA.
This extends beyond what one would consider a traditional martial art. In a confrontation with an attacker armed with an edged weapon, not only will a broad base in martial arts be necessary for survival, but also an understanding of anatomy and physiology (your own) as well as a knowledge of the most updated practices and tools in trauma medicine. If your defense fails, how do you survive a serious wound? This is where the integration comes in; connecting these disparate fields of knowledge. A good instructor isn’t simply teaching technique, he/she is building an ideological underpinning where the student can integrate already existing centers of knowledge. The job of a good Krav Maga instructor is to create a rubric for learning skills, which is a quality that goes well beyond teaching the skills themselves!
Understanding mechanisms of injury, how to both induce such injuries and treat them. What are the most debilitating injuries I can create in a human body when my survival depends on it. How do we avoid these injuries in ourselves, or even in an attacker who we wish to subdue but not injure (use of force considerations). Understanding use of force and the matrix of violence is key, we must train in a way that allows us a variegated set of skills which can meet force with the appropriate amount of force to not unduly expose us to legal consequences.
It would be quite an endeavor to lay out the details of a Modern Krav Maga, but in short it is the rubric by which we integrate all forms of combat and ancillary medical and legal considerations into one training system or methodology to educate people who are not necessarily peak athletes. Teaching a modern and effective Krav Maga is the most difficult endeavor, it requires incessant training and updating, a broad and deep knowledge of combat systems, and above all else, an open mind to constantly question existing assumptions and inherited wisdom.