Krav Maga: How to Disarm a Knife?

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Krav Maga is not just a self-defense system; it is a way of life. Developed for the Israeli military, Krav Maga is now used around the world to teach civilians how to protect themselves from violence. One of the key techniques taught in Krav Maga is how to disarm a knife. In this article, we will discuss the steps you need to take to disarm a knife attacker and stay safe.


What is Krav Maga?

Krav Maga is a self-defense system created by Imi Lichtenfeld, a Hungarian-Israeli martial artist. He developed Krav Maga in the 1930s, and it was later adopted by the Israeli military as their official hand-to-hand combat system. Krav Maga is now used by civilians and law enforcement agencies around the world.


Why is knife defense important?

Knife attacks are some of the most common forms of violent crime. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, there were over 800,000 incidents of knife crime in the United States in 2019. Knowing how to defend yourself against a knife attack is essential for your safety.


What are the steps for disarming a knife?

The first step to disarming a knife attacker is to assess the situation. Is the attacker within arm’s reach, or are they far away? If they are too close, you will need to use your body to defend yourself. If they are farther away, you can use an object to defend yourself.

Next, you will need to move quickly. Use your hands to block the attacker’s knife hand. You can also grab their wrist to control the knife. From there, you can use techniques such as a wrench or a disarm to take the knife away from the attacker.


What are some Krav Maga techniques for disarming a knife?

Krav Maga, a self-defense system developed for the Israeli military, incorporates various techniques for disarming an assailant wielding a knife. It’s important to note that Krav Maga prioritizes practicality and efficiency, focusing on neutralizing threats quickly and effectively. Here are a few Krav Maga techniques commonly used for disarming a knife-wielding attacker:

  1. Redirect and Control:
    • Step to the side and redirect the attacker’s arm away from your body.
    • Use your forearm or hand to control the attacker’s arm, preventing them from retracting the knife or attacking with it.
    • Apply pressure and leverage to keep the attacker off-balance and maintain control of the weapon.
  2. Deflect and Strike:
    • As the attacker attempts a stabbing motion, use your forearm or hand to deflect their arm or redirect the knife away from your body.
    • Simultaneously strike the attacker’s vulnerable areas such as the face, throat, groin, or solar plexus.
    • Continue striking and creating distance to disorient the attacker.
  3. Two-Handed Disarm:
    • If the attacker has a single-handed grip on the knife, you can use a two-handed technique for disarmament.
    • Control the attacker’s wrist and forearm with both hands.
    • Twist and pull the attacker’s wrist while pushing their elbow to create leverage and disarm them.
  4. Arm Bar and Takedown:
    • Step off the line of attack and grab the attacker’s arm holding the knife.
    • Place your forearm against the back of their elbow, creating an arm bar.
    • Apply downward pressure while simultaneously driving your other hand or elbow into their face or chest, forcing them to the ground.
  5. Surprise Techniques:
    • Krav Maga also emphasizes using surprise techniques, such as distracting the attacker momentarily.
    • Employ improvised weapons or objects in the environment to create a distraction or strike the attacker.
    • Take advantage of any opportunity to escape and seek help once you’ve momentarily incapacitated the attacker.


How can you practice knife defense in Krav Maga?

The best way to practice knife defense in Krav Maga is to work with a partner. Start by going through the basic techniques with a training knife. As you become more comfortable, you can increase the speed and intensity of the attacks.

It’s also important to practice in different scenarios. For example, you can practice defending yourself against a knife attack while sitting in a chair or while standing in a crowded space.


What are some tips for staying safe during a knife attack?

– Stay calm: Keeping a level head during a knife attack can help you make better decisions.
– Create distance: If possible, put some distance between you and the attacker.
– Look for objects: If there are objects nearby, use them to defend yourself.
– Use your voice: Yelling “back off” or “stop” can signal to bystanders that you need help and may distract the attacker.
– Strike back: If you have an opportunity to strike the attacker, take it. Aim for vulnerable areas such as the eyes, throat, or groin.



Disarming a knife attacker is a difficult and potentially dangerous task. However, with the right training and techniques, it is possible to protect yourself and stay safe. Krav Maga is an effective self-defense system that teaches individuals how to defend themselves against a variety of threats, including knife attacks. By following the steps outlined in this article and practicing with a partner, you can increase your chances of surviving a knife attack.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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