Krav Maga Newcastle

Takedowns in Krav Maga

The Pros and Cons of Takedowns in Krav Maga and Self-Protection


Krav Maga, a self-defence system developed for the Israeli military, emphasises practical techniques for real-life situations. One crucial aspect is takedowns, which involve immobilising an attacker quickly. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and disadvantages of incorporating takedowns in Krav Maga and self-protection scenarios. Understanding both sides will help practitioners and enthusiasts make informed choices when it comes to employing these techniques effectively.


1. Rapidly Neutralize Threats: Takedowns allow Krav Maga practitioners to swiftly and decisively immobilise their attackers, granting them immediate control over the situation. This speed can be crucial in preventing further harm to oneself or others in an emergency.
2. Level the Playing Field: Takedowns provide individuals, regardless of their physical size or strength, with an effective means of neutralising a threat. By leveraging technique and momentum rather than relying solely on brute force, smaller individuals can successfully defend themselves against larger assailants.
3. Psychological Advantage: Successfully executing a takedown can demoralise an attacker, leading to a reduced will to continue the assault. The psychological impact of being physically dominated can often deter further aggression, potentially leading to a swift resolution of the confrontation.
4. Crowd Control: In self-protection scenarios involving multiple attackers, takedowns can help manage the situation by quickly removing one or more adversaries from the equation, allowing the focus to shift to others or providing an opportunity to escape.

Takedowns in Krav Maga


1. Complexity and Skill Requirement: Performing takedowns effectively requires considerable skill, timing, and coordination. Novice practitioners may struggle to execute them successfully without adequate training, which could result in unintended consequences or escalation of violence.
2. Potential for Injury: Takedowns involve physical force and impact, which can lead to injury, not only for the attacker but also for the defender. Failure to execute a takedown correctly can result in falls, joint hyperextension, or other unintended injuries, risking a legal backlash or further compromising personal safety.
3. Unpredictability of Real-Life Situations: While takedowns can be effective in controlled training environments, real-life self-protection scenarios are seldom predictable. Variables such as confined spaces, slippery surfaces, or the presence of weapons may limit or render certain takedown techniques ineffective or dangerous.
4. Legal and Ethical Considerations: In some jurisdictions, the use of takedowns or any other forceful techniques may be subject to legal scrutiny. Understanding local laws and regulations surrounding self-defence is crucial to avoid legal consequences when using takedowns.

do or don’t

Takedowns have their advantages and disadvantages in the context of Krav Maga and self-protection scenarios. While they can provide rapid neutralisation of threats, leveling the playing field against larger assailants, and establishing psychological advantages, they also come with challenges such as complexity, potential for injury, situational unpredictability, and legal considerations. As responsible practitioners, it is essential to consider individual skill levels, situational factors, and legal obligations when deciding to include takedowns in one’s self-defence arsenal, seeking professional guidance and regular training to mitigate risks and maximise effectiveness.

Lets sum it up

In conclusion, despite the potential challenges associated with takedowns, they remain an essential part of the Krav Maga toolbox. When properly executed, takedowns can help neutralise threats quickly, provide a psychological advantage, and level the playing field against larger assailants. Krav Maga practitioners who have honed their skills can use takedowns efficiently and effectively to avoid harm and escape dangerous situations.



It is important to note that the use of takedowns requires proper training and knowledge, and are not suitable for every situation. Practitioners must always consider situational factors, the level of threat, and available alternatives before choosing to employ takedowns.

Krav Maga training emphasises continuous practice and improvement of techniques to prepare practitioners for the challenges of self-protection. Through regular training and professional guidance, practitioners can develop the necessary skills, reflexes, and judgement to incorporate takedowns safely and confidently in their self-protection arsenal.

Overall, takedowns are an essential tool for Krav Maga practitioners seeking to defend themselves and others against violence and aggression.

Jeff Hollows is the Chief Instructor of Krav Maga Newcastle and Founder of Krav Maga X – He runs Krav Maga classes in the North East of England and offers specialist training and seminars across the UK. 

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