Self Defence Training and the Law

Krav Maga Global Training and the law of Self Defence

​Avoid and Descalate Trouble Where Possible

A key part of the Krav Maga Global syllabus is techniques and tactics that can be used to avoid trouble or to deescalate trouble without fighting, along with scenario training to practice techniques and tactics within the law.

“So One May Walk in Peace”

The founder of Krav Maga was associated with this saying.  What it means is that we learn Krav Maga so we don’t have to use is.  The training gives us the confidence and presence to act in a way that makes us less likely to be attacked, as well as the skills to avoid physical escalation.

Most martial arts, (and branches of Krav Maga that are combat orientated) only  focus on the physical part of a fight.  This means if you get in a self defence situation you are only prepared for a physical response (and generally only against one person of similar size / skill).  This can escalate a situation and easily turn you from the “defender” to an “aggressor” and get you in trouble with the law.  

In Krav Maga Global classes you will also learn a comprehensive set of self defence (rather than sport) techniques that will protect you against physical attacks.  However, we teach you how to used these appropriately in order to stay within the bounds of the law.

​Self ​Defence Law in New Zealand

The New Zealand law of self defence says “…your actions should be reasonable”.  So there are many variables that come into play.  For example if woman is attacked in a remote place by a large armed man, then a reasonable response will allow a much higher level of force than if the same woman was grabbed by the wrist in a bar.  

Questions also arise about whether it is legal to use a weapon to defend yourself.  Where you are faced with armed attacks it can be “reasonable” you may use a weapon to defend yourself (and in Krav Maga we also teach how to use common objects to defend against weapons).  However, you must be careful not to go too far or you will lose your claim of self defence.  

The Law of Self Defence in Practice

Here are real NZ examples: ​

Setember 2008:

Otara liquor store owner Virender Singh was charged with injuring with intent to injure after he defended himself with a hockey stick against five drunken teenagers, one of whom had stabbed him in the thigh. A justice of the peace dismissed charges.

Comment…

Most people would agree that it would be perfectly reasonable to defend yourself with a weapon in this situation.  However, while the shop keeper avoided prosecution in these example, you must be careful not to go too far or you will lose your claim to self defence.  Once you have defended yourself to the point the the attacker is unable to attack you further (e.g., they are injured, incapacitated or unable to physically reach you) or you have made them unwilling to attack you further, then you should escape the situation if possible and report to the police.  If you proceed to “beat the crap out of them” as an act of revenge, this is no longer self defence.

​April 2009 in NZ (source NZ Herald):

The owner of Tokoroa’s Aotea Chinese Restaurant and Takeaways, Zhuo Feng Jiang, wrestled a semi-automatic .22 rifle off a masked robber and shot him in the leg. Police decided against charging Mr Jiang.

Comment…

In this case it may have been argued that while the attacker’s weapon have been disarmed he was still willing, able to attack the restauranteur and highly dangerous, so it was reasonable to use the weapon in self defence.  

Krav Maga Principles

Real self defence situations are are fast and confusing so in classes you will practice different scenarios from end-to-end on a regular basis so the correct response is more natural.  At Krav Maga Gobal we use the following principles:

  • Avoid trouble if possible:
  • Use techniques and tactics to deescalate a situation before it gets physical;
  • When attacked use appropriate krav maga techniques to defend ourselves, but stop as soon as the attacker is unable or unwilling to attack us further;

We also have to add other considerations into the scenarios we practice to account for specific situations.  For example we have many students that need to defend themselves in the workplace and additional guidelines apply, such as for:

  • Health workers:  Medics / Doctors / Nurses
  • Police
  • Teachers

Moreover, Krav Maga is also designed for kids and in a school setting self defence must emphasise non-physical solutions where possible.

Therefore we incorporate these into our training scenarios and modify the range of techniques we so they are appropriate for the situation.

Aaron Moore

Head Instructor

​Krav Maga Global, NZ

The Krav Maga Global Difference

Krav Maga Global teaches authentic Krav Maga (passed down directly from the founder Imi Lechtenfeld to our head international instructor Eyal Yanilov) which is designed specifically for self defence of ordinary people.

All our instructors are internationally trained and you will learn top quality Krav Maga in a safe and friendly environment.

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About The Author

Aaron Moore is the Head Instructor of Krav Maga Global in NZ.

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