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Does Size Matter?

Jon BullockThursday, 16th May 2019

Does size matter? ...In Self Defence

This is a question I get asked all the time when speaking to people who'd like to start training krav maga...

'Does your physical size matter when defending yourself?

Well, here's a little swashbuckling story for you ( I am known for these)...

A couple of years back, I was in Israel on the second day of my regular ‘end of year, week long trips’ to train Krav Maga, when our Chief Instructor said, “Let’s warm up with some slow, light fighting...”

When you’ve got the most senior instructors from around the world all training together, “slow and light” just isn't going to happen!

I turned around looking for a sparring partner... suddenly blocking out the light was Jac - a 6 feet 7 inch Czech instructor!

As we were in Israel, I started looking for my sling shot, a local river, and a handy pebble! 😉

It began.

Giving up almost a full foot in height, I thought to myself, "This is going to HURT! Jac’s reach was enormous, way too long for comfort, and I couldn’t stay out and let him dictate the training. So I closed the distance to engage at close range. Before I had chance to see the results, the Chief Instructor shouted out, "continue fighting but on the ground"

This was a game changer.

Jac's enormous reach was no longer an advantage and I could immediately tell that he felt vulnerable and less confident.

Adapting quickly to the changed circumstances, I kept maintaining good position, whilst limiting his ability to hit me. I increased the pressure. Slowly his breathing laboured and his technique and tactics slowed down.

Then he quit!

Does size and strength matter in self-defence?

YES! Absolutely!

If all things are equal then physical attributes like fitness are the deciding factors. If you are bigger and stronger, that is without doubt an advantage.


Every person, every environment and every situation is different. You must adapt to the person, the environment and the situation and learn to do it fast... before things get out of control.

Be adaptable, acquire the ability to make quick decisions and use tactics faster than the other person, so they are unable or unwilling to continue with what they planned.

Then escape or, if that’s not possible, improve your position, and re-think from there!

It might be easier to do that in a gym, but the harder you work on these skills, the more chance you’ll have in a real-life situation.

Speak soon



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