In Hebrew, “Retzev” means continuous attack…in other words, fighting until you are safe.  “Safe” is a relative concept; on one hand it can mean stun and then run; on another, disable your attacker, because flight is not an option; and, in many military operations it can mean kill.

One thing that I make very clear to all of my Krav Maga students is that people are dangerous, and ANYONE can take you out.  The more you train in this art, the more you realize all of this and that avoiding fights is usually the best alternative; still, sometimes you gotta fight, and if so, do it effectively, with the least chance of personal injury.

Inflicting pain on your attacker is of utmost importance, as his brain is momentarily confused.  What happens when you stub your big toe?  Your entire focus is that particular pain center, and for a brief instant you are thinking of nothing else.  This concept is paramount to one’s effectiveness of fighting back, intelligently, quickly and deadly, if necessary.  Further, if you stop after your first counter technique, all you’re going to do is enrage your assailant, he’ll then recover and try to inflict potentially even greater damage; hence, RETZEV…once you begin your defense, you must continue to further inflict pain, causing your attacker to constantly reset his brain, imbalancing him, controlling the space between the two of you and then taking him out.

It’s always hard tissue versus soft, and for example: kick to groin, eye-strike, throat punch, followed by knees to sternum and face, then rear-naked choke.  Sounds like a lot, however, not if you train all the time, as the flow of these several strikes is a rather continuous “thing of beauty”.

Nir Maman, a renown Krav Maga expert, teaches, “the second my two hands clamp onto his head, he’s finished.”  I agree!