LEVEL 2 OVERVIEW
Upon completing KM Level 1, students will participate in a Yellow Belt workshop and test into KM Level 2. In this intermediate level class, students will continue to review and hone the skills learned in KM Level 1, as well as learn additional punches and kicks, punch defenses with counterattacks, kick defenses, and defenses against various chokes, headlocks, and bearhugs. Students who train an average of two times per week should expect to complete the curriculum for this level in six to nine months before testing into KM Level 3.
Orange Belt (sometimes termed “Level 2” at a Krav Maga Worldwide school) is the second stage of our curriculum. Here you’ll learn basic strikes such as hook punches and uppercut punches, side kicks, and back kicks. You’ll also learn how to deal with more common attacks such as bearhugs.
The average training time for this level is six months, assuming you train at least twice a week. At this level, you will see the continuation of the Krav Maga principles. For instance, in Yellow Belt you learned the plucking principle to defend against an attacker’s hands on your throat. In Orange Belt, you will apply that same plucking principle to a headlock from behind.
In Yellow Belt, we touched on groundfighting positions, movement, and kicks. In Orange Belt, you will learn how to handle an attacker who is actually on top of you. This is vital because, although we never recommend going to the ground, sometimes in a fight you have no choice and must deal with the situation that is imposed upon you.
The following material is covered at this level.
Once you have mastered basic combatives, you will begin to practice combinations. Any combination that develops your skill in delivering multiple attacks at various angles and heights is beneficial. However, the best combinations are those with practical applications in a fight. Only a few basic combinations are listed in the Level 2 curriculum. You should feel free to develop your own. As a beginner, it’s important to keep focusing as much on the individual techniques as on the combination. Begin with simple combinations and add to them as you become more confident. In all combinations, the strikes should overlap. As you finish one punch, the next should already be traveling toward the target.
Defenses and Self-Defense
Whenever possible, Krav Maga prefers to defend kicks with the legs. However, in certain instances it may be necessary to make hand defenses instead. You will learn both leg and hand defenses against low kicks. It also touches on several common self-defense scenarios.
Choke Defense against Wall
These defenses are directly related to Choke with a Push taught in Level 1. However, some points of emphasis are important enough to warrant a separate lesson. Basic knowledge of this type of choke must include the understanding that you may be driven both back into the wall and upward.
Headlock from Behind (*now moved to Level 1)
Headlocks from behind represent the most dangerous and immediate threats. All training should consider this danger and the need to respond quickly as possible. The bar-arm version of the headlock presents a more immediate attack, quickly crushing the windpipe. However, it is moderately easier to defend. The carotid choke takes slightly longer before it is effective, but is more difficult to deal with.
Bearhugs represent a common type of attack, especially (but not exclusively) against women. You should be aware of the following: Assuming you are surprised, if the attacker’s intention is to take you to the ground, you are going to the ground, and you fight from there. None of these techniques (in fact, no technique) will work if you are totally surprised by a “dumping” motion. That’s where groundfighting comes in.
These techniques assume that either there is some delay in the dumping technique (caused by you or the attacker’s method) or that his intention is to hold you, or take you somewhere, rather that put you on the ground immediately.
Bearhugs are a part of many dangerous scenarios, including being carried into a secluded area or being dumped on the ground. However, while all these situations are problematic, there is no immediate danger presented by the bearhug itself. Unlike chokes, bearhugs themselves do not cause immediate damage. This is important because with no immediate danger to address, Krav Maga’s response is to counterattack immediately. If there is even minimal space to operate, Krav Maga simply counterattacks. If the attacker is hugging you close enough to limit even short knees and foot stomps, you must create at least minimal space to operate.
All these techniques will begin with a “space and base” reaction; shift your hips back, body slightly forward, feet in a fighting stance, and center of gravity low.
The fight is unpredictable, and you may end up on the ground for a variety of reasons (slipping, being swept, or tripping over an obstacle, for example). It is important to learn how to fall safely.
In Level 1, we introduced very basic issues on the ground – movement and kicking. In Level 2, we include basic grappling skills applied in self-defense situations. These techniques are still basic, and are applied in self-defense situations only. While these techniques do assume very strong attacks, they do not address all aspects of a ground fight. They are explosive responses to immediate threats, rather than the “chess match” response and counterresponse moves of a larger groundfighting program. As you train in these techniques, be aware that there is a much larger world of groundfighting, and that these techniques are only a small portion related to self-defense.
A Note on Krav Maga’s Approach to Groundfighting: Whether you are proficient on the ground or not, our main objective during a groundfight always remains the same: to get up as quickly as possible! During groundfights, you are extremely vulnerable to a second attacker, or to stabs if the opponent produces an edged/pointed weapon.
There are a few basic terms and positions you should know for Level 2 training:
Mount: one person on top, straddling the bottom person.
Guard: the person on the bottom has his legs wrapped around the top person, giving the bottom person some measure of control.