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Israeli Martial Arts: Avi Nardia and John Machado Demonstrate the Intersection of BJJ Techniques and Kapap Self-Defense Moves

Israeli Martial Arts: Avi Nardia and John Machado Demonstrate the Intersection of BJJ Techniques and Kapap Self-Defense Moves

Kapap expert Avi Nardia and Brazilian jiu-jitsu master John Machado demonstrate the intersection of kapap’s “relative position” concept, Brazilian jiu-jitsu ground movements and close-quarters combat with firearms in this exclusive Israeli martial arts video excerpt from Kapap Combat Concepts — Vol. 4: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Applications. Simply put, the kapap concept of “relative position” is the best position for you to be in at any particular moment and is determined by your environment and the position of your opponents. By taking your situation, condition, state, position, stance and posture into account, you’ll be able to maintain the advantage throughout a fight.

Israeli Martial Arts Training for Maximum Versatility

To prepare their students, kapap instructors such as Avi Nardia throw as many variables at them as possible through realistic and creative exercises. Kapap instructors train their students in potential conflict locations, which can include stairways, elevators, parking lots and cars.

A kapap instructor also might momentarily blind his students with flashbulbs or strobe lights to imitate conflicts in which they can’t see, or he may have them fight in water to overcome a natural human fear.

And in this video featuring kapap expert Avi Nardia and Brazilian jiu-jitsu master John Machado, the focus is on using the ground movements of BJJ techniques for more effective self-defense moves in kapap — in this case, self-defense moves involving a handgun.

Israeli Martial Arts Video
Avi Nardia and John Machado Demonstrate How BJJ Techniques on the Ground Influence Kapap Self-Defense Moves Involving Firearms


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Getting Started in Kapap

Because fights never go completely as planned, kapap instructors like Avi Nardia want their students to be able to make quick decisions to assess their relative position when real conflict requiring decisive self-defense moves breaks outs.

The ground is a good place to start learning about relative position and how it works with self-defense moves because it helps Israeli martial arts beginners overcome their fear of being thrown or hit. Security, law-enforcement and VIP-protection personnel, on the other hand, might find ground-based self-defense moves as taught by BJJ techniques experts like John Machado difficult because they are taught to never fight on the ground unless they have backup.


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Even if you’ve never done any ground work for your self-defense moves such as those found in BJJ techniques, you could still find yourself unarmed and fighting for your life on the ground. And even if you’ve studied Israeli martial arts, knowing how to integrate movements from BJJ techniques into your self-defense moves from the ground can make a huge difference in your response.

Whatever your combat background, however, remember that real safety in conflict depends on simple skills that address every facet of defense.

True Kapap Requires Discipline

Calculating your relative position under stressful circumstances requires practice. Israeli special forces units, for instance, learn how to consider and deal with variables that can affect their relative position and subsequent self-defense moves until such planning becomes second nature.

However, it’s important to understand that the questions, elements and variables a person learns to consider depend entirely on the individual because civilians, police officers and soldiers rarely prepare for the same encounters. Instead, they must all consider their own abilities and experiences to determine which techniques and positions will work best for them during a fight.

In fact, true masters of this principle from the Israeli martial arts will begin considering their relative position from the moment they wake up in the morning — long before any conflict begins. It is simply their second nature to take into account every factor that could affect their safety every time they leave their homes.

Kapap has made relative position an integral part of its current system because the principle is flexible and benefits practitioners of any skill level. Because kapap borrows techniques and principles from many systems — including BJJ techniques — students will always have the necessary tools to gain the best position during a fight. Also, kapap puts a great deal of emphasis on the first move of a fight because it will determine the combat options for the conflict’s duration.


About the Authors of the Source Material:
This post was adapted from the Israeli martial arts book Kapap Combat Concepts: Martial Arts of the Israeli Special Forces by Avi Nardia and Albert Timen with special adviser John Machado. Learn more about Israeli martial arts experts Avi Nardia at avinardia.com and Albert Timen at kapapacademy.com. And be sure to check out BJJ techniques expert John Machado’s homepage at johnmachado.net.

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  1. Dominick says

    Really enjoyed watching Mr. Nardia and Mr. Machado explaining and demonstrating the transition from unarmed BJJ ground-work to armed KP methods with regard to “relative position”. However, please bear in mind that all of their movements are based off of ancient Japanese Samurai combative leg and foot movements. Especially from a specific knee-walking method still practiced today amongst the collective Aiki arts called shikko-sabaki in Japanese. It’s a little older than both BJJ and KP. :) Great demo though!

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