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Sunday fun: Watch Microsoft's Ben Rudolph teach me Krav Maga at CES

CES is both astonishing and exhausting. As such, lots of interesting things happen on and off camera during our coverage and one of them makes good Sunday fodder.

Ben Rudolph (@BenThePCGuy) should be no stranger to Windows Central readers. As director of Worldwide Retail Sales Evangelism at Microsoft, Rudolph plays a significant role in retail for software and hardware company.

Besides being just an overall cool dude, he was also a Krav Maga teacher. So when he volunteered to show me a move or two at CES, how could I refuse? Moreover, a vast majority of you voted to see it happen using Straw, a company he co-founded with some other Microsofties.

Anyway, grab some coffee and watch the hilarity as Ben teaches me how to react when someone goes for a choke.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

106 Comments
  • The things I do for entertainment...so awkward. Although, I suppose, there are a few people out there yearning to see me get my a** kicked on camera, this will have to do for now. Anyway, my thanks to Ben for making this happen...I think.
  • (Y)
  • MS should send Ben to kick those ex-Google employees' ass who stole the surface design
  • Ooh violence lol and all that for a product
  • Very impressive demo and explanation by Ben. Good sport in trying it out, Daniel.
  • I love Krav Maga. Been studying for a few years, just begun instructing recently. Mixed with Kali it's fun and fluid. Also after watching the video I realized, that was literally the first move I learned in my first Krav class!
  • How easy is it to pick up? I'm early 30s not as fit as I was few years ago, free health issues have curtailed high levels of fitness for some time. Would love to start boxing but my wife is totally against it. I was looking at dressing krav maga about 5 years ago, but got heavily distracted.
  • Ps sorry about typos, my L1520 screen ghosts, randomly decides to click links or scroll and seems to autocorrect after I've corrected something. The sensitivity etc is screwed. It's beginning to easily make me dislike the phone, been like it from day one when I bought it in July 14.
  • Yeah its annoying and I can't wait for its successor which hopefully has this fixed
  • Is it just for fitness or self-defence? If it's just for fitness why not do non-sparring boxing? i.e. all pad work, and core workouts. I do boxing just for fitness, so I don't have to worry about blocking punches with my face ;) Or something like crossfit - although you'll have to put up with a lot of douchebags who do it... there's a lot of running jokes about crossfit: "How can you tell if someone does crossfit?" "You'll know because it's all they bloody talk about!". Or "The first rule of crossfit is to to talk non-stop about crossfit". Or "CrossFit, starts in the gym and ends on Facebook" haha :P
  • I practice and use it as a martial art. It is real world self defense. Fitness is just a bonus that comes with the discipline of martial arts.
  • It's a great system to learn, regardless of your fitness levels. It will teach you practical movement to combat real world possibilities. I would definitely recommend you to research/visit some schools in your area and find your fit. I prefer the USKMA associated schools, but KMW is also good. Most students are average people looking for some self defense knowledge and fitness fun. Remember we all were beginners once.
  • I did it for a few years but I never did like krav maga. Never had it mixed with kali but I'm doing kung fu at the moment which i really love and I seem to find it more effective in terms of self defence.
  • You need to go with what is best for you. Whether it's kung fu or Krav or jiu jitsu, etc. I just think it's important to learn martial arts/self defense. I applaud you for trying different things and finding what works for you, cheers brother!
  • Easily the best video thumbnail I've seen on Windows Central... :D
  • Next on the agenda: Dan has a Karate class at MWC.
  • Wouldn't it be amazing if Ben opted to create an active account for Windows Central forums? Just a thought..
  • He used to do all those Windows Phone commercials and challenges. I've been wondering what he has been up to.
  • What happened to this guy?
  • Moved up in the world at Microsoft. Sam Sabri now works in his division.
  • Great ♡.♡
  • Great to know!
  • Daniel you need to correct the info on Windows Central YouTube channel. It still shows Sam there.
  • Find a KM Studio, Dan. My 18 yo, 4'10", 90 lb daughter could take you down... Her favorite part of KM training is when they play with rubber knives and guns. My only concern is that she prefers to be the attacker. Glad that Ben didn't hurt you. We need you here, defending WP and MS.
  • lol, good to know. I have been toying with doing some Muay Thai and I do have a bit of background in wrestling. Need to find time and a proper sparring partner.
  • Spend one afternoon in Miami traffic. You'll have the motivation, inspiration, and capacity to choose form several potentially worthy candidates in need of a "sparring"
  • LOL, Surmisation. If I recall, Rubino is based in Boston. The only place I've been that can make infamous Los Angeles traffic look like a Sunday drive in the country. @Dan Rubino: You don't need a sparring partner. Head to a studio. There are people of all sizes and abilities. Like the real world. In KM, there are no rules. Just survive.
  • Muay Thai is one of Krav Maga's main influences. Combined with wrestling and jiu jitsu, among others.
  • Althought boxing is MY thing (Golden Gloves), I started through Jeet Kune Do concepts in the early 1990s.  We pulled stuff from many arts including was muay thai (thaiboxing).  I LOVED it.  Miss it.  I definitely recommend it.  Get some thai pads and have fun.  Great martial art, sport and exercise.
  • Sweet moves.
  • Good move
  • Lol, The video is fun, and some movements seem quite useful!
  • I really want to and would love to see Ben doing/starting again Smoked by WP challenges
  • That was satisfying to see on so many levels.
  • What's krav maga?. I remember seeing some French dude on trace singing krav maga krav maga a couple of years ago. Was a good song though
  • Follow the links in the article, it'll explain more/show you locations where it is taught. Basically, it's a martial art started by the Israeli Defense Force, now taught to a lot of LEA.
  • Well you learn something new everyday, like I didn't know that he cofounded Straw. No wonder he incessantly promotes it on his Twitter.
  • Well starting from an unrealistic attack it works
  • Haha, nice one Daniel. I do have black belt in Karate and I would like to face someone from Krav Maga but there's no such thing in my country..
  • Ben's technique is *not* going to work against a comparatively really strong opponent! To get rid of that kind of hold/choke, you better use your fists to hit the inside of your opponent's biceps: your aggressor will immediately cease squeezing your neck or even grasping you. The rest is indeed good: hit him hard along on the genitals, liver, plexus, neck axis. And remember: the thing that makes the difference is to quickly hit your attacker multiple times.
  • Yup when someone chokes you all is game. Although I might get banned from my studio for doing that hehe
  • Alternatively, you could put your hands on the inside of his elbows, bend them to pull him close and head-butt him in the nose. Or maybe not
  • My dad always says eyes and ears are game heehe
  • Having practiced Krav for several years now, I can tell you Ben's technique IS very effective against an opponent of any strength, no matter how much bigger.  The pluck has nothing to do with strength.  It's the release point at the bottom of the thumbs and the sweep from the inside, not just a grab.  I've watched lots of 225 pounders with a choke on a 150 pounder that can't hold it.  We've tried and you simply cannot come anywhere close to holding the choke when the pluck is done properly. Two problems with hitting their biceps:  number 1, it doesn't address the choke.  You must get that choke off immediately.  You can go out in 7 seconds.  Number 2, strikes and pain infliction aren't always effective as in cases when someone high on meth grabs you.  They're impervious to pain.  You could break their arm and the wouldn't know it.  You must get that choke of ASAP. And, you are correct, quickly hit multiple times.  When it's go time, you must be fast and unrelenting on strikes until you can either get a hole to run away or disable your assailant.  
  • Don't hit the biceps, punch them in the throat. And with this video remember everything works in a demo. The "attacker" isn't attacking.
  • Exactly, my daughters are tiny and have no problem using these tactics.
  • Do the tactics work when caught by surprised against a determined atatcker that knows what he is doing? As a self-defense instructor I can see several areas where things could go bad with these techniques.  
  • Well, things have already gone bad if you're in a front choke, wouldn't you say?  At that point, it doesn't matter if the attacker is determined or knows what he's doing, you better do something to get your butt out of there.  And so, it's not a "tactic."  It's not a competition or a match where there's some fight strategy you're working on, and you're not competing for trophies. There aren't any rules in a back alley attack.  There aren't tactics, and you're just trying to get home alive. I'm not belittling competition, either, with my above statements.  All my boys are wrestlers, and BJJ, Kickboxing, Karate, etc. competition are great.  The purpose of Krav is different, that's all.    
  • Yeah its a really useful art. And rules don't apply to a fight. And crossface is right about the dope heads. Seen xtc user's take on hits that would put them down normally 5 man cop team was needed
  • It works, we also teach how to deal with chokes with different reactions from the attacker. So it really becomes more and more useful as you progress. Just apply it to your life and how your body chooses to react and you'll find what works best for you. Would love to help any WC readers who are curious about self defense/martial arts. Just find me on the forums, same name, and pm me. I'll help how I can!
  • Krav maga self taught discipline how to put finger in someones eyeball how to grab someones nutts how to kill dozens unarmed palestinians. That aint no martial arts!
  • If you hit the inside of the biceps properly (or, worse, the tendon below the arm!), your opponent will instantly release his hold and will feel a terrible pain even if not a lasting one! Whether it is a hold or a choke is not important at that point: your agressor will stop right away. You'll see a (very) friendly use of this self defense demoed by this Penchat Silat's master in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjaX9JC1rMc Just test it by using it on yourself hitting with the top your fist's sharp bones at that junction spot between the biceps and the triceps on the inside of the arm and you'll (very quickly) realize that's the thing to do for a 100-pound lady against a 250-pound thug! Even a child can really hurt someone with this simple technique... Not with Ben's which is only efficient when the opponents aren't disproportionate.
  • Ben is not just a Krav Maga expert. As he mentions in the video, he's also a black belt at Jiu Jitsu. He has also studied several other martial arts and has experience with other, uh... less refined forms of combat (going back to his Rugby-playing days). He had even designed and taught his own style specifically for self defense for a while, which was probably most like Krav Maga, but drew on aspects of other forms too. He taught everything from breaking holds, to putting someone down, to specific styles against guns and knives. All this while doing great high tech press and marketing work. Ben's an amazing multi-talented guy and Microsoft is lucky to have him. I'm no expect at Krav Maga, but I believe it is particularly effective at self defense, and is particularly good for women or smaller people, because it inlvolves breaking holds and temporarily incapacitating someone so you can then get away without their being able to retake you.
  • Thank god Balmer didn't know Krav Maga...
  • Krav Maga, Krav Maga, Krav Maga, Krav Maga, Krav Maga, Krav Maga...
  • Feels like chants from a fight in Shadow of Mordor, I am loving that game.
  • Ikr the temper and the rage haha
  • This type of articles should be headed to forums instead of making an useless article on front.
  • Why? Nothing wrong with a little fun, and the only thing wasted was your time - Of which you wasted more by commenting.
  • Haha yes but to some it's flagship or updates only
  • You could of course start your own site and post what you feel is worthy of not being in a forum. If you haven't noticed, you are the ONLY ONE that complained about where this was posted. Don't like it, then don't read it. Noone forced you.
  • Not being rude, but it makes one wonder the reason behind your presence on this page itself.
  • I never said I didn't like the article but I think fun stuffs should be in place where it should be. I commented here because I like this community & I'm party of it. Being part of the community I'm interested in every people and thier happenings they share.
    What I want is more subject related contents in front page and for other stuffs I do regularly look at forums.
    It was just a gentle opinion; I hope people don't find that as offensive.
  • Daniel said that this was posted only when a lotta folks asked it to be posted on WC..!! You said you read the whole articles then how could you miss the 3rd para..
  • And FYI I do read articles and then respond not like other few trolls.
  • Trolll Vinni babes you have a fight against many here..If that's not enough then hear that you are fighting a lone fight and completely off-topic..!!
  • That's what am asking..If ye read it then why the anger..?
  • Sorry brothers, internet is full of hatred more than I can think. :)
  • And you proved that earlier when you posted that this article is useless..!!
  • I learn this in Aikido e BJJ
  • Pretty cool video and I love these setups for demonstrations.  "Here, put both hands on my neck and squeeze." Like you're out and about, and the local thug out to rob you will begin by squeezing your neck so you can break out your Ben Rudolph techniques. lol. Might have better results getting in your Ralph Macchio Karate Kid praying mantis pose.  Then at least you could haul ass when the guy tears up so bad while laughing and never see you've run off.  lol.  
  • That's just one technique, not the be all end all. But if you did find yourself in that situation wouldn't you like to know the most effective way of getting out?
  • My method is to use my buck knife to field dress em right there on the street but don't take my comment as anything but humor. Thats what this video was about. I don't look any deeper than that. Its not that heavy.
     
  • Lol I love this kind of videos, keep updating them haha, Daniel I think that you're not for martial arts, just continue writing for wpc lol
  • So ben was training Israelian army to kill innocent Palestinian's
  • You, sir, are a dumbass. Please don't comment here anymore, I have zero respect for you.
  • Haha WIN
  • +One
  • For over half the world's population, Amine's words aren't lies. Granted, she shouldn't have posted something like that on here. Dan, you didn't need call her a dumbass, now I have zero respect for you. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Over half the world, lol. /s What does it matter if the poster is male or female, lol, hahaha, lol lolz, lulz. Funny stuff.
  • @ zizu101   zero respect for you too
  • Not so innocent suicide bombers and coward's shielding themselves with children.
  • For over half the world's population, Amine's words are not lies. Granted, she shouldn't have posted this on here. Dan, you didn't need to call her a dumbass. Now I have zero respect for you. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • And Damn, the app on android is so buggy. I thought Amine was a girl's name. Lol, my apologies. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • And if you knew about it then why didn't you inform the concerned authorities..?? Cause you wanted to promote it..?? So in that case you are a fucking terrorist..!!
    May Day May Day
    Weapons Free
  • No, Amine Nourani, Ben trained US personnel, not Israeli, and at least as many private citizens to learn self-defense against muggers and rapists as members of the military and police. Krav Maga may have been developed (or made famous by, not sure which) the Israeli military, but it is just one form of martial arts that Ben knows and used. I'm intentionally avoiding saying anything political here, though I do have an opinion, but just trying to be clear on the facts as someone who knows him. Ben's one of the smartest, nicest, and easiest going guys you'd ever meet. Sure he could kick pretty much anyone's ass, but that's not his preference.
  • This was pretty awesome. Good short, Daniel.
  • That gave me much happiness
  • So the mac commercial guy is portrayed to be a college student hipster and we know now that the PC guy is a defense instructor... Yup Imma PC
  • You should have fought for Sam
  • This. Thanks for the laugh!
  • Ben was much stronger so..We lost him....
  • Lol, you guys are great! I wanted to keep doing Krav Maga while in college, but sadly it was getting too expensive outside of school, so I chose to keep paying for hockey instead.
  • Get back into it, it's never too late! Also ask the gym if you can train for cleaning the gym, helping teach class, or something of that equivalent. That's what I did at first, as a struggling, near broke guy and it kept me going!
  • I don't know Daniel's position on firearms but my Heckler & Koch USP compact in 9mm with Montana Gold jacketed hollow points is where it's at ;-) The great state of Massachusetts will issue him a CCW permit.
  • Unfortunately it can depend on the local chief in the commonwealth.
  • Ben is my hero
  • Krav maga is for pussies that aint martial art at least not an art cuz that works only on fools. Go train real martial art like taekwoon, bjj, karate, judo, wrestling
  • Ben knows most of those to some degree or other and is a black belt at least in Jiu Jitsu in addition. But I think if he were here, he would say that for quickly causing pain and weakness in an attacker, Krav Maga is about the best single system there is. Back when I was young and stupid, the only one of those in your list that ever led to me getting my ass kicked was a wrestler -- he kept pinning me and it was humiliating. He couldn't hurt me, but I couldn't even get a good punch in. I clearly and decisvely lost that one. :-) But even black belts at the others seemed like pretty feeble competition and fell quickly to straight punches and knee or jaw kicks or, if they got in close, to head butts to the nose, neck punches, eye-pokes, finger bends, etc.
  • Mr.jonnageddala.. Are u at ces2015??
  • Nopes
  • Nice!
  • Well that happened.
  • Ha ha awesomeness!
  • That was so funny. You looked so uncomfortable. I love it :)
  • Meh