During a Krav Maga training session, most of the time, students practice in pair with a partner; Alternatively one student is the attacker while the other one is the defender. However, in such exercise students often wrongly believe that only the person playing the defender is training and that the attacker is just doing the attack so the defender can train the defense. Thus the importance of the role of the attacker in often neglected, which sometime leads to unrealistic or sloppy attacks. But actually while practicing in pair both students are training 100% of the time and both roles are important.
So what is the role of the attacker?
To make a realistic attack
A realistic attack doesn't necessary mean a hard and powerful attack that might hurt the defender if ever he/her miss the defense. But it means a correct technic executed with a certain amount of force and speed that will oblige the defender to defend with the appropriate technic. Note that the speed and force of the attack must be increased progressively over the repetitions.
To adapt the attack to the defender
The speed and force of the attack must be adapted to the ability of the defender. If the defender has difficulties to defend then the attacker must adapt the attack to make it easier to the defender. As the defender progresses the attacker will increase the speed and force of the attack.
To experience the effectiveness of the defense
When the defender executes a defense, the attacker can experience its effectiveness and feel the strong and weak points of the defensive technic. According to his/her sensation the attacker can better understand how to apply the defensive technic him/herself.
To practice the attack
Remember that repetition of a technic creates muscle memory and automatisms. Therefore, playing the attacker is the chance to practice your attacking technic. So it is important to execute the technic as correct as possible so that you muscle memory will register it correctly.
To guide the defender
When you play the role of the attacker, you can feel the defensive technic executed on you. According to your feeling you can guide the defender to better apply the technic. However, don't over guide and teach your partner because this can be annoying to him/her. Just give some feedback about how you feel when the technic is being applied on you. Remember that other students also rather want to be taught by the instructor.