Krav Maga is about doing whatever is necessary to get through the day safe. That means you use whatever the hell you need to get the job done. Improvised weapons means using your environment and or any object within reach to defend yourself and ward off an attacker during a violent encounter. Verbal self-defense is using your voice and body language to set boundaries and potentially de-escalate a situation.
Here is one everyday scenario I faced a few years back. One day I was pumping gas in my car at the corner of Roscoe and Sepulveda in the armpit of the San Fernando Valley. It was a windy Santa Ana day, so I chose to sit in my car with the window down while the gas was pumping. From out of nowhere comes this female crackhead asking me for some change. Since I was not in the giving mood, I politely brushed her off. As one would expect, she started to walk away to her next potential patron. While watching her move on, I saw that she suddenly turned about face and stared straight into my eyes, giving the look of death. In that instant, I knew things were about to get really ugly.
Faster than Usain Bolt, she launched herself fists first through my open window. With my cat-like reflexes, I leaned back like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix to dodge her first attack. I kept leaning back into my car to stay out of her reach, but in her drug induced rage, she kept on coming. Luckily my door was ajar, so I decided to use the door to propel her up against the gas pump. Using my foot, I kicked the door into her, throwing her body up against the gas pump repeatedly until she stopped attacking. Suddenly, she snapped out of her psychosis and switched to sweet innocent lady. “I am so sorry,” she said over and over. Adrenaline pumping, I switched to verbal boundary setting and started giving her commands to stop fighting, go away, and leave me alone. Finally she ran away.
Action done and gas fully pumped, I called the police to report the crazy lady in hopes they arrest her. While on the phone with the police dispatcher, they instructed me to meet an officer at the liquor store around the corner. Apparently, there was a similar report earlier and they wanted me to give my statement. When I arrived at the store, I saw the clerk bleeding from his face and shaking like a leaf. The same cracked-out lady who attacked me came to the liquor store first, trying to get some money. When the clerk refused, she jumped over the counter and mauled him with her claws. He was defenseless and paid the price.
The moral of the story: always be aware of your surroundings and never underestimate what a junkie will do when they are looking for their next fix. Car doors and gas pumps are great improvised weapons. Thank God I was in my car, otherwise the story might have read, “young man in business suit beats the living crap out of 90 pound homeless woman.”
Never stop training – J