The Israeli Defense Forces’ self-defense system, known as “Krav Maga,” is a no-holds-barred style of martial arts that uses natural movements to attack and counter-attack. Unlike other martial arts, it doesn’t utilize traditional fighting elements.
Through this system, students learn to use various techniques such as kicks, elbows, knees and punches to defend themselves. It’s a practical and unique system that was designed to help people improve their hand-to-hand combat skills in a short time.
The design philosophy of “Krav Maga” emphasizes efficiency, aggression, and survival. This means that traditional elements of martial arts, such as katas, forms, and rules for the competition, are not included in the system’s training. In addition to grappling and striking techniques, the system teaches various other striking and groin strikes considered illegal in competitions.
Before we dive into more details about what “Krav Maga” is, it’s vital to first learn about its creator, Imi Lichtenfeld. He was able to create this unique system by blending the concepts of modern martial arts with traditional forms.
Imi was born in 1910 in Hungary. Like many other martial arts practitioners in the country, he learned boxing and grappling from his father, Samuel. When the Nazis invaded Europe during World War II, he joined various resistance groups and fought against the Nazis. His skills eventually became the foundation of the IDF’s training system known as “Krav Maga.”
Due to his extensive experience fighting against the Nazis, Imi created a unique system to help people quickly improve their hand-to-hand combat skills. This also led to the development of the system’s no-holds-barred mentality. Unlike other martial arts, “Krav Maga” doesn’t follow any rules. Instead, it focuses on winning.
He wanted to ensure that the training of IDF recruits was conducted according to martial arts principles. This was because he believed people would improve their skills faster and retain them more quickly if they were taught the correct techniques.
Krav Maga Principles
One of the main principles of “Krav Maga” is identifying the immediate danger. It teaches the importance of simultaneously using one’s body’s natural reaction to defend and counter-attack. Also, the techniques should be effective regardless of size and strength.
The various aspects of “Krav Maga” are based on these principles. Doing so makes the system easy to follow and retain. It also helps students learn how to defend against multiple attacks. Although the system doesn’t teach complicated techniques, it allows students to apply systemic actions to win whenever they are attacked.
This discipline is essential in dealing with people armed with various weapons, such as knives, guns, and blunt weapons. Due to its military background, “Krav Maga” can train people in handling these types of attacks. Unlike other martial arts systems, it does not require people to follow the rules.
The various aspects of “Krav Maga” constantly adapt to keep up with the changes in the martial arts world. If a new technique is discovered that complements the system’s principles, it is immediately incorporated into the training.
The concept of “Krav Maga” was initially developed for soldiers in the IDF. It was then brought to civilians by Imi and Daren. Today, thousands of people are trained in “Krav Maga” through its various programs. Its instructors are also highly regarded by military units and law enforcement agencies.
Getting the most out of “Krav Maga” is taking a class at a certified training center operated by “Krav Maga Worldwide.” This facility can provide the necessary information and guidance to make an informed decision regarding the discipline.