Krav Maga Overview

The Krav Maga | What is Krav Maga | History | Description | The Founder of Krav Maga | Krav Maga Overview | Krav Maga Philosophy | Krav Maga and Others | Current Usage | Krav Maga Levels | The Close Combat | Krav Maga Training

Krav Maga is fairly a new martial arts style that was developed in Israel. The style was created by Imi Lichtenfeld who was born in 1910 and passed away in 1998.

It’s what you call a hybrid or mixed-martial arts style because the techniques from Krav Maga come from a group of different styles. This style has been adopted by the Israeli Military, MOSAD, and other Israeli security forces.

The term of Krav Maga stems from the Hebrew meaning of “close combat” as the style emphasizes a lot of close quarters combat or CQC not to be confused with the fictitious “CQC” that Snake/Big Boss used in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

The CQC in MGS resembled a mix of Judo and Special Forces whereas Krav Maga is something completely different in its own right.

This martial arts style though adopted by the Israelis wasn’t created in Isreal. Lichtenfeld created the style in Hungary and Czechoslovakia in the 1930s before bringing it over to Israel in the 1940s.

This was a very good time to create such an effective style due to the Jewish community being persecuted day in and day out by the Nazis of Hitler’s Third Reich. The Jewish community needed to protect themselves from the Nazis.

The first place Krav Maga was taught was Bratislava as a way to protect the community of Jewish from the Nazi militias. This was even taught in Israel before the Jewish state was created.

Before the State of Israel was established in 1948, he would be teach Krav Maga to the Jewish undeground army known as the Haganah.

As a result, there is a Haganah style of Krav Maga which seems to be the style used by military and law enforcement which is pretty different from the civilian version.

After the state was established, Lichtenfeld would take the position of “Chief Instructor of Physical Fitness and Krav Maga” at the IDF School of Combat Fitness. Now, his style of Krav Maga would be an important and required part of the curriculum for all military, government, and law enforcement personel.

The only reason Krav Maga is known outside Israel is that all experts lived in Israel and trained under the Israeli Krav Maga Association before 1980. Six instructors would leave in 1981 and teach at local Jewish Community Centers such as the one in Washington DC. Soon, they would get the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) who had become interested in learning the style. Now the instructors would teach FBI agents this style.

Students left the United States to go to Israel and learn this very effective style. To be a certified instructor, you have to take courses that are offered once a year in Netanya, Israel.

Keep in mind when learning Krav Maga, this is not a sport. There have been no professional competitions regarding the style of Krav Maga. It’s a no nonsense martial arts style and you have to be extremely careful with these techniques. You are trained to adapt to any possible combat situation such as a street fight, a fight with little to no light, or a fight where there’s loud sound that affects your ability to hear.

This style is to train people to be able to fight in a possibly close or no quarters situation. It focuses on the fundamentals of defending yourself.

1. You’re not going to care how much damage you’re going to cause.

2. Cause as much damage as possible and run.

3. Do not try and prolong a fight. Do what needs to be done and escape.

The use of dirty tactics are highly encouraged in Krav Maga. In a real fight, those who fight “fair” do not get to stand afterwards. Fighting fair and defending yourself are two different things. Fighting for honor and fighting for survival are two different things. When having to defend yourself, honor does not play a role. Save that for your samurai and martial arts flicks.

Brutal and painful attacks such as headbutts, groin strikes, elbow strikes, knee strikes, and so forth are emphasized. Which is consistant of not caring how much damage you cause when having to defend yourself. But, don’t be using that stuff to get into a street fight. Defending yourself and getting into a street fight are two different things as well.

Krav Maga teaches the practitioners to take out the threat in a non-fatal way while avoiding injury to the self.

They hone your reaction time from defending to attacking in the shortest amount time possible, in short work on your combat speed. If your combat speed is slow, you’re putting yourself in danger. The style is also designed to work on your natural reflexes and improve them for when you’re in a possible dangerous situation.

For attacking they teach you to strike at any vulnerable point and use anything nearby as a potential weapon. You have to learn to hit at any open vulnerable spots as necessary. It also shows how using the environment is crucial in escaping a dangerous situation unscathed.

Though the training for Krav Maga is very vigorous and teaches you to fight under worst-case scenarios such as being at a disadvantage, the style has techniques from many styles. When you take up Krav Maga, you’re learning a mix of Western Boxing, Shotokan Karate, Savate, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, and Submission Wrestling all compacted in one style.

In a sense Krav Maga is a complete martial arts system due to covering all aspects of fighting hand-to-hand and with weapons. Though the techniques stem from the various styles, the training is way different. If you’re proficient in Muay Thai, think about Krav Maga as an extension. In a sense, you’re learning to use Muay Thai in unsavory conditions which is important to yourself.

All conditions you tend to find yourself in are usually unsavory. If the situation seems to be in your favor, then it’s a trap. That’s one of Murphy’s Combat Laws. If your attack is going accordingly to plan, then it’s a trap. Murphy’s Law says that nothing ever goes as planned and nothing is ever easy. In short, it teaches you how to “survive” in the worst situations of combat.

For example, you could be walking into the wrong neighborhood. A lot can happen just by walking into that side of the neighborhood. You’ve already put yourself into a situation where the odds are against you. Krav Maga training helps you fight against those odds.

This is why Krav Maga is a superior style. As a result, more women are taking Krav Maga as a means of self-defense. Actress Shannon Elizabeth practices Krav Maga regularly. Jennifer Lopez’s character in the movie “Enough” trains in Krav Maga to take on her abusive husband.

A Krav Maga instructor teaches you how to focus on knife attacks, hostage situations, and defense under extreme duress. In the case of a female having to defend herself from a mugger and/or possible rapist, it falls under all three of those categories. You could get mugged at knife point and taken as a hostage. You’re also brought under extreme duress where you have to defend yourself in that mental state.

Due to its simplicity and brutality along with adapting in worse-case scenarios, Krav Maga is a most sought out style. If you want a good self-defense style, take up Krav Maga. Defending yourself means dealing as much possible damage to your attacker(s) as necessary.  ~ By Can Tran