“The most realistic self defence system in the UK today”
I first became aware of Boyd’s OODA Loop Decision Cycle when I was a student at Staff College. Back then, we studied Boyd’s OODA Loop to give us a greater understanding of decision making in combat and the importance of making decisions even when only limited information was available.
Today the OODA Loop concept is widely used in both military and non-military contexts and is accepted as an excellent methodology for “turning uncertainty into opportunity.”
At its heart, it is about adaption; he who adapts more quickly than his opponent in an uncertain, often ambiguous environment usually wins.
As a concept, it is simple to understand and it works; I apply it every day, we all do, we just might not be aware that is what we are doing.
To recap, OODA is an acronym for:
In my previous article, I discussed how good Situational Awareness is really important for self-defence and how together the first two elements of the OODA Loop; Observe and Orientate create Situational Awareness, which is key to informing our decision making especially in a potentially dangerous situation.
In this article I’m going to explain how the OODA Loop process applies to Krav Maga, or, more precisely, how getting inside your attacker’s decision cycle, his OODA Loop, will overwhelm his ability to react, taking you from a position of disadvantage to a position of advantage and ultimately enabling you to survive the attack.
Earlier I said that:
the OODA Loop is an excellent way for “turning uncertainty into opportunity.” At its heart, it is about adaption; he who adapts more quickly than his opponent in an uncertain, often ambiguous environment usually wins.
An uncertain or ambiguous situation describes perfectly the situation you may find yourself in if attacked whilst going about your daily life. Hopefully you will, through good Situational Awareness, be aware of the threat and at least have been able to prepare yourself for the attack so it doesn’t come as a complete surprise.
However, as any good self-defence training should, Krav drills you to defend yourself from a position of disadvantage so even if you are caught unawares, then at least you will be able to deploy techniques designed to deal with defence from a position of disadvantage.
This is excellent preparation, but
the real advantage Krav provides is how its very principles are designed to get inside your attacker’s OODA Loop to overwhelm their ability to react,
thus taking you from a position of disadvantage to a position of advantage and ultimately enabling you to survive the attack.
The very simplicity and instinctiveness of the system means that it is easy to use, the fact that you are taught to defend and attack simultaneously using a minimum number of combative and defensive techniques which apply equally well to many different threat scenarios means you have fewer options to choose from.
Fewer options mean quicker reactions, which means that you are going through the OODA Loop cycle more quickly relative to your attacker, which means you are getting inside his decision-making cycle.
When you then consider that Krav also teaches the use of multiple strikes, delivered with conviction and aggression to neutralise a threat rather than just single techniques, then you can start to understand how you overwhelm your attacker’s ability to react and defend himself.
Because you are acting more quickly than him you are adapting to the situation more effectively than him. You are already making decisions more quickly relative to him and then, when you start defending and counterattacking at the same time this further exacerbates the situation for your attacker.
But the coup de grace in my opinion, is that Krav trains you to strike back with multiple blows which overwhelm your opponent’s ability to defend themselves effectively because you’re now well and truly inside their OODA Loop. He is unable to react effectively to your strikes because he is in effect, processing how to defend (adapt) to the last strike leaving him vulnerable to your next technique.
Thus, his focus turns from attacking you to defending against your aggressive multi-strike response and because you keep them coming and because they are varied he is very quickly overwhelmed and defeated, or at least neutralised to the extent where you can focus on the next threat or make your escape.
Krav Maga allows you to overwhelm your attacker because it is a self-defence system based on simple easy to learn principles rather than complex techniques that take years to master.
Its simplicity, instinctiveness and aggressive multi-strike response to any attack enables the Kravist to react or adapt to their situation more quickly than their attacker. This is a game changer and one of the many reasons why Krav Maga is so effective.