What Reality-Based Self-Defence Is and Is Not

According to Christopher Allen of Tring Krav Maga, “reality-based” is defined as training and survival skills based on modern conflict situations that practitioners are likely to encounter in their environments (their “reality”).

Reality-based self-defence eliminates the unnecessary from martial arts, such as tradition, ceremony, formality, and forms/kata. Techniques are not fancy or impractical such as spinning kicks, high kicks to the head, complicated joint locks. It does not and should not take years of training to be proficient.

Reality-based self-defence is also not mixed martial arts (MMA), which is a sport with defined rules and controlled environments.

This system is based on a few simple techniques based on gross motor skills, practiced in a realistic environment with actors and props. Adrenal stress is introduced. The focus is on the few skills that you are most likely to use in a conflict.

Reality-based is now very popular, as more people learn the difference between martial arts and self-defence. Jim Wagner coined the term, developed his system for law enforcement, military, and civilians. He popularized it through his monthly column in Black Belt magazine. Reality based Self Defence systems are now very popular in the UK, with many types and alternatives available.  If you are considering joining a class, judge it not on the illustrious career of the lead instructor but on the content and quality of the club, its students and how they practice.

Clubs affiliated with a governing body are okay, but remember that just because a club is affliated doesn’t mean they are any better than an independant club, more likely they will be paying ££££’s of pounds to remain affiliated and this in turn will be passed to the student to pay.

Tring Krav Maga is an independant Krav Maga club teaching a modified syllabus called Krav Concepts – its Krav Maga but as we’re independant, we’re not allowed to call it such – crazy eh?!


Some common aspects of reality-based self-defence training available at Tring Krav Maga are:

  • Realistic Scenario-Based Training. Scenarios include attackers shouting or threatening you, confined spaces, uneven terrain, objects and debris on the ground, clothing you normally would wear, weapon props, and adrenal stress.
  • 3 Stages of Conflict – Pre-Conflict, Conflict, Post-Conflict.
    • Pre-conflict includes training, conflict cues, and indicators of danger.
    • Conflict includes the confrontation and response to attack.
    • Post-conflict includes escape, first aid, police contact, litigation, and learning from the experiences.
  • Graduated Response. Different levels of threat demand different levels of response. Do not use excessive force from a legal standpoint.
  • Techniques. Hybrid of techniques from martial arts and other fighting disciplines. They are instinct based and simple, and can include striking, blocks, takedowns and throws, ground fighting, defending against holds, knives, guns, multiple assailants, and terrorism.

Tring Krav Maga meets on a Tuesday (7pm) and Thursday (8pm) see our website for more info – http://www.tringkravmaga.co.uk

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