The Haganah System
The F.I.G.H.T. program uses the most effective self-defense system available today - Haganah. Haganah is a Hebrew word meaning "defense." The Haganah self-defense system is a complete Israeli Combative methodology based on both Israeli martial arts and Israeli military tactics used by Israeli Special Forces operatives in extremely hostile situations.
The Haganah system (and its components) was born out of a need to enable a state (or person) at a disadvantage - such as size or degree of armament - to defeat an adversary with an advantage.
Since it's declaration of statehood in 1948, Israel (which is smaller than most states in the U.S.) has been under constant military and terrorist attack. As a result of its constant engagement in various types of combat, and its ability to defeat much larger opponents, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is considered by many to be one of the best Armies in the world today. Special Forces members of the IDF are regarded around the globe as top of the line, due to their extensive hands on combat experience. The techniques incorporated into the system have been proven in violent hand-to-hand combat situations in Israel and have been carefully adapted to street oriented self-defense.
The Haganah system is far from being an ordinary Martial Art; it is the wave of the future in hand-to-hand combat and street fighting methodologies. It incorporates both unarmed and armed fighting methods. One of the most important features of the Haganah system is that, unlike many traditional martial arts systems, it is continuously enhanced. The IDF periodically updates its hand-to-hand and other combat techniques based upon its daily combat experience. Haganah integrates those updates after adapting them for use by civilians and law enforcement professionals. Additionally, we are constantly evaluating other methodologies such as those used by the various U.S. Special Forces to add in any of their techniques, which would strengthen the system. There is no ego in the Haganah system. It uses the best of the best in self-defense and combat methodologies.
The F.I.G.H.T. program encompasses the hand-to-hand and empty hand weapons defense components of the Haganah system.
1. Avoid getting hit. Techniques will always have an element that minimizes the danger of you being hit, especially in your vulnerable areas.
2. Don't be fancy. Techniques are simple and do not conflict with natural or instinctive body movements.
3. Defend yourself in the quickest, safest and most effective way. Most techniques include both defensive and offensive elements designed to protect you while inflicting maximum possible damage to your opponent to end the conflict quickly.
4. Use the opponent’s vulnerable and weak points. Techniques are designed to exploit the many other not so obvious weak points on the human body.
5. Don't rely on strength. Techniques are designed to minimize your effort, enabling you to work effectively even when at a size, strength or position disadvantage.
6. Use available objects as weapons. The system is designed to teach you to effectively use improvised and ordinary weapons.
7. If forced to fight, no rules, no limits. If diplomacy fails, no hesitation, no holding back - anything goes.
Haganah includes the following components (*some of which are limited access- require active duty or veteran military or law enforcement status or background checks and approval by IDFS):
Techniques of Self-Defense
- Defense against punches and kicks and other strikes
- Escapes and releases from chokes, bear hugs and other grappling techniques
- Defense against cold weapons: knives, clubs, etc.
- Defense against hot weapons; guns, other firearms, automatic weapons* and grenades*
- Defense against multiple attackers
- Various types of arm blows including all hand parts, arms and elbows
- Various types of kicks including all foot parts with/without shoes and various knee strike tactics
- Ground survival techniques including combat neutralizing grappling techniques - pinching, tendon and muscle tearing, hard core submission (breaking) techniques and defenses against weapon deployment
Specialty/Advanced Training (Limited Access)
- Israeli Tactical Knife Fighting
- Israeli Combat Shooting
- Counter-Terrorist Strategies and Techniques
Method of Training
Unlike many other systems which teach according to a belt level curriculum, adding techniques according to the rank level and seniority of the student, Haganah trains it's practitioners in a military version/format. At its core, we have carefully picked two sets of the 18 most common street attack scenarios to work from. The first set of 18 counterattacks consists of empty hand strategies addressing unarmed assailants and the second set of 18 counterattacks consists of armed threat self-defense strategies addressing knife treats and attacks at gunpoint. Training is conducted in parallel in a three-month rotation system.
This method has been proven very effective as a tool to train people quickly to be able to deploy the Haganah system in combative situations upon completing only three months of training. Our practitioners are exposed to the entire core system in that time. They have learned and trained in what would have been reserved as advance material in other more traditionally structured systems. They may then begin training in the armed self-defense components of Haganah.
To support this speed of training we apply the Israeli military KAPAP/LOTAR training system to the two sets of self-defense techniques. KAPAP is the Hebrew acronym for "Face to Face Combat", what is referred in the U.S. as "Hand to Hand Combat". LOTAR is the Hebrew combination of two words Lochama and Terror which translate to anti-terrorism warfare. KAPAP is the teaching system in use in the Israeli military, where ordinary civilians (all Israelis serve in the military for 3 years) are turned into capable fighters ready to confront life and death engagements in a matter of months. LOTAR is the system used to teach advanced tactics to Israeli Special Forces. Haganah uses these training methods and certain tactical components of these two systems.
All techniques in the Haganah system lead practitioners to one of three points of reference (destination points) with three objective options- restraint, incapacitation, or termination. By limiting the variety of combat strategies, learning time is accelerated and depth of understanding and skill levels are increased. Our practitioners become adept at quickly reacting to attacks and if necessary improvising to achieve these few points of reference. Once achieved, our practitioners feel very confident and comfortable that, even though the engagement may not be over, it is theirs to win.
Haganah is the evolution of Israeli Martial Arts.