KM Level 1

Knee StrikeSummary
This entry level class is designed for all new Krav Maga students. The goal of the class is to teach the basics of self defense and fighting. Students will learn Krav Maga’s fighting stance and movement, various punches, kicks from standing position as well as from on the ground, elbows and knees, and how to defend against punches, chokes, headlocks and wrist grabs.

Yellow Belt is the first stage in learning our Krav Maga curriculum. If you attend class at one of Krav Maga Worldwide’s certified schools, you will start here at Yellow Belt, or “Level 1.”

The curriculum at this level introduces basic strikes such as straight punches, elbows, front kicks, and knees – the meat and potatoes of a street fight. You’ll also learn how to deal with common chokes and headlocks. In addition, the techniques here offer a clear representation of the principles of Krav Maga – ideas such as explosive movements, instinct-based responses, and simultaneous defense-and-counterattack.

Material introduced at this level includes the following:

Krav Maga defines “combatives” as the ballistic techniques used both in fighting and in self-defense. The bulk of these techniques involves punches, kicks, elbow strikes, and knees, but Krav Maga never excludes other combative actions such as biting and scratching. Think of combatives as tools to help you in a fight. They are an integral part of self-defense. Even if you’re interested in Krav Maga only for self-defense and have no interest in fighting, you must learn basic combatives. While Krav Maga self-defense techniques address the danger, combative techniques are vital in order to eliminate subsequent threats. The combative techniques described here are designed to cause sufficient damage to the attacker in order to remove further threats, while keeping you relatively safe.

Defenses and Self-Defense
Krav Maga defines “self defense” in simpler terms: The attacker has committed himself to an attack, while you are unprepared, forcing you to respond to an immediate threat from a position of disadvantage.

While such defenses as 360″ Defense and Inside Defense could be put into the self-defense category when used as reflex reactions against a surprise punch, in general, the self-defense category covers defenses against chokes, bearhugs, headlocks and other holds. In more advanced phases of training, self-defense will include responses to knife and stick attacks as well as threats with a handgun.

Several main criteria should be used to examine and understand any defense technique in Krav Maga. The technique should:

  • Be based on natural instincts/reactions.
  • Be simple and usable by people of different strengths and body sizes.
  • Work from a position of disadvantage or poor state of readiness.
  • Address the immediate danger.
  • Include a simultaneous (or nearly simultaneous) counterattack to neutralize further attacks.
  • Be comprehensive enough to cover a wide variety of scenarios.

Soft Techniques
At times, a less-damaging technique may be the appropriate response to a situation. Example of such situations include one person simply trying to delay another; a drunken but otherwise harmless acquaintance at a party; and a person holding onto a wrist and unaware of the defender’s urgent need to move away.For these instances, “soft” techniques are designed to remove the defender from any potential danger without harming the other party. These techniques are to be used only if you feel no real threat. If you feel you are in danger, “harder” techniques (especially combatives) should be used.

Krav Maga assumes that, even if the attacker does not try to take you down, you may slip and find yourself down while the attacker is up. This section introduces basic groundfighting positioning and movement. Among the techniques are three basic kicks from the ground: front kick, round kick, and side kick.

This overview courtesy of the book Complete Krav Maga.




  • Stances
    • Passive Neutral Stance
    • Passive Natural Stance
    • Passive Tactical Stance
    • Fighting Stance
    • Moving in Fighting Stance
  • Straight Strikes
    • Straight Punch – Lead Hand (Jab)
    • Straight Punch – Rear Hand (Cross)
    • Straight Punch with Advance
    • Straight Punch with Retreat
    • Straight Punch to the Body
    • Palm Heel Striking (2 Variations)
    • Eye Strike
  • Punch Defenses
    • 360 Degree Defenses (Outside Defenses)
    • Inside Defense against Straight Punch
    • Inside Defense against Straight Punch Low
    • Inside Defense and 360 Degree Defenses against Punches
  • Chop Strikes
    • Inside Chop Strike
    • Outside Chop Strike
  • Hammerfists
    • Hammerfist to the Side
    • Hammerfist to the Back
    • Forward Hammerfist
    • Downward Hammerfist
  • Elbow Strikes
    • Horizontal High Elbow Strike (Elbow #1)
    • Sideways Elbow Strike (Elbow #2)
    • Horizontal Elbow Strike Backward (Elbow #3)
    • Vertical Elbow Strike Backward Low (Elbow #4)
    • Vertical Elbow Strike Backward (Elbow #5)
    • Vertical Elbow Strike Forward and Upward (Elbow #6)
    • Vertical Elbow Strike Forward and Down (Elbow #7)
  • Knees and Kicks
    • Front Kick to the Groin
    • Front Kick with the Ball of the Foot
    • Round Kick
    • Knee Strike
    • Round Knee Strike
  • Kick/Hand Strike Combinations
    • Front Kick/Hammerfist Combination
    • Front Kick/Straight Punch Combination



  • Choke Defenses (Plucking Defenses)
    • Choke from the Front (Two-Handed Pluck)
    • Choke from the Front (One-Handed Pluck)
    • Choke from Behind
    • Choke from the Side
  • Choke with a Push Defenses (Rotational Defenses)
    • Choke from the Front with a Push
    • Choke from Behind with a Push
  • Headlock Defenses
    • Headlock from the Side
    • Headlock from Behind (Bar Arm)
    • Headlock from Behind (Carotid Choke)
    • Headlock from Behind (Rear Naked Choke)
  • Takedown Defenses
    • Basic Tackle Defense (Double Neck Tie Clinch)
    • Basic Tackle Defense (Knee Clinch on the Side)
  • Wrist Grab Releases
    • Wrist Release: Same Side Hand – (Elbow to Elbow)
    • Wrist Release: Opposite Hand (Hitchhike Out)
    • Wrist Release: Two Hands Held Down from the Front (Circle Up)
    • Wrist Release: Two Hands Held High from the Front (Circle Down)
    • Wrist Release: One Wrist Held by Two Hands – Low (2 Variations)
    • Wrist Release: One Wrist Held by Two Hands – High
    • Wrist Release: One Wrist Held from the Side (4 Variations)
  • Arm Pull Defenses
    • Arm Pull from the Front
    • Arm Pull from the Side
    • Arm Pull from Behind



  • Positions and Movement
    • Back Position
    • Back Position: Movement on the Ground
    • Side Position
    • Side Position: Movement on the Ground
  • Kicks from the Ground
    • Front Kick from the Ground
    • Round Kick from the Ground
    • Side Kick from the Ground
  • Getting Up
    • Getting Up with Two Hands (For Beginners)
    • Getting Up with One Hand (For More Advanced Students)
    • Getting Up: Transition Kick



  • The Roots of the System and Imi Lichtenfeld
  • The History of Krav Maga in the United States
  • Krav Maga Philosophy and Principles
  • Important Training Considerations
  • Training Methodology
  • Safety in Training
  • Terminology
  • Successfully Dealing with a Violent Encounter
  • Use of Force:  The Rules of Self Defense
  • Organization of the Krav Maga Worldwide System
  • Important Training Points of Krav Maga
  • Training Mentality
  • Survival Mindset
  • Awareness and Avoidance
  • Boundaries