First, Let's Talk Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves has been playing John Wick for years, and his dedication to the role is unparalleled. All of the John Wick movies, are action-packed with some legit fighting techniques and awesome fight scenes that have people talking about what kind of style Keanu Reeves uses in the movies. But does he use Krav Maga? We'll explore this in depth below!

Watch the video to see some of the training Keanu Reeves has done in preparation for the John Wick movies.

Does John Wick Use Krav Maga?

While it's true that Keanu Reeves hasn't trained in Krav Maga specifically, he has explored other martial arts styles during his stunt training for the John Wick movies. He takes his acting seriously and has trained sambo, judo, fight choreography, and even jiu jitsu to prepare for each movie. The truth is that when it comes to John Wick's fighting style we don't know what kind of training he had before landing his role as ex-hit-man John Wick.

What Is Krav Maga?

Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed for the Israeli Defense Forces. The term "Krav Maga" was taken from the words Krav (contact) and Maga (defense), which literally translates to "contact defense."

The Krav Maga system was developed by Imi Lichtenfeld, a Hungarian-born Jew who served as a trainer in the IDF during World War II. Lichtenfeld began training fighters of all ages and abilities in order to improve their physical fitness, reflexes and agility; he also taught them how to defend themselves against attackers armed with knives or guns. Through his tireless efforts, Lichtenfeld created one of the first official forms of hand-to-hand combat used by modern-day practitioners around the world today: Krav Maga.

Martial Arts Used By John Wick

In John Wick 3, Reeves uses throws to take down an enemy in a way that continues the energy of his enemy's attack away from him. This enables John to immediately turn his focus to the next opponent. This kind of energy redirection is more typical of an Aikido philosophy and technique.

John Wick borrows from other martial arts as well, including Wing Chun, Muay Thai and even Taekwondo (TKD). There are also scenes where he just punches people in the face without any martial-art specific techniques at all!

Fight Scenes With Examples Of The Combat Style

In addition to the blend of martial arts mentioned above, Reeves' character also uses more traditional Krav Maga techniques. If you're paying attention and know what to look for, there are plenty of examples to be found.

In the first fight between John Wick and Cassian, we see many elements of Krav Maga. In the first 30 seconds, Wick uses an arm lock gun disarm on Cassian. A few seconds later, he uses a fireman's carry (wrestling takedown) to flip Cassian over his head.

🎥 Stream John Wick 2 on Netflix

🎥 Stream John Wick 2 on Amazon

The Bowery King's men use a variety of grappling moves when they take down John at the end of Chapter 2. You can see them execute an arm bar, an inside trip and even some ground-and-pound techniques while they are on top of him trying to subdue him!

When two assassins attempt to kill Wick after he has already agreed not to pursue them anymore in Chapter 3 during The Continental Hotel scene, Wick uses mostly punches but also throws in some effective kicks for good measure!

Finally Zero himself utilizes some Krav Maga style techniques while fighting one last time near the end before being killed by Wick. This scene happens after getting stabbed multiple times during their final confrontation which included several takedowns from both parties involved.

🎥 Stream John Wick 3 on Netflix

🎥 Stream John Wick 3 on Amazon

The Takeaway - Is It Krav Maga?

Krav Maga emphasizes simple and brutal strikes that are designed to be used against an aggressive opponent. These (plus the other techniques) make John Wick even more dangerous as an adversary.

Once again, Krav Maga is used by the Israeli military and law enforcement agencies, and also taught in civilian settings including to people who want to learn self-defense techniques. (Google "krav maga gyms near me" if you want to find a local gym to train Krav Maga.)

Wick uses a variety of martial arts techniques to fight his enemies, and sometimes the answer isn't always simple. Hopefully we’ve cleared up any misconceptions about John Wick’s combat style. Next time you watch the movies, try to pick out the different styles and Krav Maga techniques Wick uses to fight armed assassins.

Most of us agree that we're grateful Keanu Reeves takes his role as Wick seriously and takes the time to train in a variety of a different martial arts, since it adds authenticity to the heart-pounding fight choreography we love watching in the movies.