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About Krav Maga

The history of this fighting system begins with Nazi suppression. Developed by Imi Lichtenfeld in Hungary and Czechoslovaki. He first taught his fighting system in Bratislava in order to help protect the Jewish community from Nazi militias in the 1930's. When he arrived in Palestine before the establishment of the Jewish state, Imi began teaching hand-to-hand combat to the Haganah, the Jewish underground army.

In 1948, the State of Israel was established and Imi was made the Chief Instructor of Physical Fitness and Krav Maga for the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) School of Combat Fitness. During this time, he continued to develop the fighting system.

The fighting style continued to spread when a group of six instructors traveled to the US in 1981 to teach at demonstrations. This, in turn, led to Kravmaga demonstrations at the New York Field Office of the FBI and the FBI's Main Training Center at Quantico, Virginia. The result sparked interest in government defense circles and a visit by 22 people from the US to Israel in the summer of 1981 ensued. The purpose of their visit was to attend basic Krav Maga instructor courses. After graduating, they returned to the US and established training facilities in their local areas. Additional students traveled to Israel in 1984 and again in 1986 to become instructors. And this is how this staple of Israel self-defence spread to the United States and began its surge towards popularity.

Krav Maga

Founder: Imi Lichtenfeld

Born in Budapest and raised in Bratislava, Lichtenfeld was a successful boxer and wrestler in his early years. In the late 1930's, he helped defend his people in during anti-semetic riots. This new type of fighting persuaded him to develop a new type of fighting style which eventually became what is now known as Krav Maga.

Ima Lichtenfeld continued to develop the fighting style as it grew in popularity. It's effectiveness was realized and he was made the instructor at the School of Combat Fitness following Israel's creation in 1948. The style continued to develop and is now used to train police and military forces. Krav Maga self defense courses are described as eclectic. Void of traditional martial art forms, katas, ranking systems, and traditions it is known as a practial "no nonsense"self defense system. It's design is to teach close quater combat techniques in a systematic way that doesn't take years to learn, and is very effective in everyday situations.

Krav Maga training is very unique from other martial arts, despite sharing many of the same techniques. Worst-case scenarios, surprise attacks, and disadvantaged situations are stressed in the training environment. Effectiveness is a staple of the art for both attack and defensive situations.

Pads are used extensively when learning Krav Maga. The simple reason is that it allows Kravmaga practioners to apply techniques and apply more or maximum power to replicate real life scenarios. Students often wear shin protectors, groin protectors, mouth guards, forearm guards, and other devices to protect themselves during training.

To develop a human weapon, Kravmaga trainers employ a technique referred to as "Strike and Fight", which is basically full contact sparring. The intent of Strike and Fight is to familiarize students with the practical reality of the potentially violent situations they will be encounter, should they ever be in a physical confrontation.

Typical Kravmaga classes begin with stretching. After which the instructor will teach two or three self-defense techniques. Techniques will either start off as combatives moves such as hammer-fists, punches, knees, or elbows. Grappling which usually consist of breaking out of chokes and wrist-grabs, getting out from under an opponent while on one's back. Next, classes move to a drills that combine techniques just taught with an aerobic technique. Towards the end of the class there is often a final drill intended to exasperate the students.

Krav Maga Benefits

  • Very Excellent form of self-defense
  • Women's self-defense
  • Rape Prevention
  • Confidence
  • Discipline
  • Street fighting system
  • Increased exercise and stamina
  • Great for Police and Military training

Krav Maga Videos