Several people have asked about my Krav Maga experience. While I blogged about my first class, more and more writers are hitting me up on Twitter wanting to know about the practical experience. As a writer, really, how soon would you learn something that would apply to a fight scene?

As such, I’ve agreed to periodically share what I’ve learned in my Krav Maga class*. After one month of Level 1 — as in all fitness and experience levels — classes, going twice per week, here are three of the key things I’ve learned that will 100 percent apply to writing a fight scene.

1. Fight dirty. If you’ve read Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, you’ll know Bones teaches Cat to always kick the person when they’re down. He’d fit into the Krav world.

If you’re fighting for your life, there are no rules. Scratch their face. Kick them in the groin (this is practiced frequently). Bite. Whatever it takes to win. If your characters are playing by any fighting rules, then you’re missing the must-win element.

2. If you hit with your back-hand, you can send them to the morgue. The front hand may give you a quick hit and garner space, but it’s when you bring the cross from your power hand that you have the chance to do serious damage. As one of my instructors said: “Left hand, hospital. Right hand, morgue.” Duly noted.

3. Speed will beat strength every time — especially when some jerk is choking you. In the month I’ve been taking Krav Maga classes, I have been choked more times than I count. From the front. From the front with them pushing me backward. From behind. From the side. Really. Lots of choking. And no matter how big your opponent is — I’ve partnered with petite women and linebacker-esque men — you can win. You just need to be fast.

Krav Maga Knee to the Groin

Sometimes all it takes is a well-placed knee

When that ghoul in your book wraps his hands around the heroine’s neck, she just needs to get those thumbs off. If she can breathe, she can fight. A quick pluck — and this one really is about speed, not strength — will yank that thumb away and give her the chance to distract him with a kick to the groin, an elbow to the face or really whatever she wants.

She’ll want to hit him, because I’ve been told: “Any asshole who chokes you deserves at least to be hit in the groin and punched in the face. At a minimum.”

Are you going to argue with that? Me either.


This month I’ve also learned how to deflect and disarm a gunman (in a single situation, lots of practice is needed here), how to block an assailant wielding a knife and defensive and roundhouse kicks (which are so much fun). I’ve also been getting quite the workout. Double win.

Give me another four weeks and I’ll share a few more key lessons for your street fighting heroines.


*I train at Krav Maga DFW, and have been incredibly impressed by its instructors. They take it seriously, and are both kind and patient. My location is part of the Krav Maga Alliance, which has locations all over.

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