Krav Maga is a self-defense and fighting system that was developed for the Israel Defense Forces. It has also become a popular form of martial arts training for self-defense in the civilian population.
The Origins of Krav Maga
Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder of Krav Maga, began to develop his system in the 1930s when the championship wrestler and boxer joined the fight against fascist forces in Czechoslovakia. Applying and adapting the techniques that he learned in combat sports to the practical needs of street fighting, Lichtenfeld created a highly effective self-defense and combat system for military situations. He started teaching these methods to the IDF in the 1940s.
The Influences of Krav Maga
In addition to his boxing and wrestling training, Imi Lichtenfeld also incorporated techniques from Judo and Karate into Krav Maga. When his protege and first black belt, Eli Avikzar, began training in Aikido, the pair also began to incorporate those techniques into their system.
The Principles of Krav Maga
Basic concepts include:
- executing simultaneous offensive attacks and self-defense techniques
- rapid counterattacks
- targeting the body’s most vulnerable spots
- using simple, repeatable strikes
- managing stress and emotions
Krav Maga Today
After retiring from the IDF in the early 1970s, Lichtenfeld adapted a version of his Krav Maga system that was suitable for the civilian population. Its practicality and power soon made Krav Maga a popular choice for anyone looking to improve their self-defense skills. Krav Maga is currently taught in certified schools all over the world.