What is Krav Maga

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

The Krav Maga symbol consists of the Hebrew letters K and M surrounded by an open circle because the system is open to improvement by adding techniques, exercises, and training methods.

Good things can continue to flow into the system and flawed exercises can flow out.” – Imi Lichtenfeld, the Grand Master of Krav Maga

Krav Maga is not a traditional martial art. It was developed in a hostile environment in which combatants could not devote many hours to hand to hand combat training. Therefore, the Krav Maga system was created to bring students to a high level of proficiency in a relatively short period of time. There are no forms (katas) or rules or set combinations as reactions to attacks. Instead, Krav Maga training focuses on teaching simple self-defense techniques which are specifically catered to reality based attack situations.

The art of Krav Maga is much more of a survival system dealing with personal safety issues. It is considered to be a modern, highly refined, street fighting system, designed to be used against armed and unarmed attackers.

Krav Maga addresses a wide variety of aggressive acts which include punches, kicks, chokes, bearhugs, headlocks, grabs, as well as defenses against multiple attackers and assailants armed with a firearm, edged weapon, or blunt object.

Krav Maga training stresses the ability to react when surprised. Techniques and training methods emphasize the ability to function from a poor state of readiness, and to move from a passive to aggressive state immediately in order to fight back and survive.

Training methods teach students to react effectively under stress and to move efficiently from a position of disadvantage to a position of advantage.

Krav Maga Israel

In addition to self-defense, Krav Maga teaches hand to hand combat. This is a more advanced and sophisticated phase, and shows how to neutralize an opponent quickly and effectively. It embodies elements related to the actual performance of the fight including tactics, feints, powerful combinations of different attacks, the psychological dimensions of the fight, and learning how to use the environment to your advantage.

Krav Maga includes specialized training methods to not only challenge students physically, but to also instill a special mental discipline meant to strengthen the spirit and to develop the ability to deal with violent confrontations under intense stress. Classes will also incorporate the self-defense techniques that they teach to law enforcement personnel. Because of the Krav Maga’s combat orientation, there are no competitions or tournaments. Like other arts, Krav Maga issues colored belts to mark higher levels of expertise.

The generic name krav maga is derived from two ancient Hebrew words, krav translated as “combat” and maga translated as “contact” to form the combination “contact combat.” Krav maga is used every day by the men and women of the Israeli defense and security forces. Krav maga’s origins were developed by a Czech, Imi Lichtenfeld, in the late 1930’s to protect his community against anti-Semitic violence. Krav maga is recognized by the Israeli Ministry of Education as the leading method of self-defense.

In developing the self-defense system, survival in any situation was foremost in Imi’s mind. Accordingly, krav maga relies on a person’s natural instincts and reflexes for self-defense. Awareness and mental conditioning are integral to krav maga training. Krav maga’s philosophy is never to do more than necessary, but to react with speed, economy of motion, and the appropriate measure of force. Speed is paramount and one is taught to strike instinctively at the human body’s vulnerable parts. Krav maga is dynamic and constantly evolves as situations require. The system is battle-tested and street-proven.

Most important, krav maga emphasizes that there are no rules on the street. If a situation is dire, the defender must do whatever is necessary to overcome the threat. This may include multiple strikes to the groin, throat, and kidneys, a finger planted into an eye, shouting into an attacker’s ear, or a head butt or a bite to the neck. Because of this philosophy, krav maga is not suited for tournaments and must be practiced under controlled conditions. A student appreciates the simplicity and universal application of krav maga immediately. Krav maga uses the concept of retzef, Hebrew for “continuous motion” to complete a defense.

Krav maga uses the same building blocks from the simplest defenses to the most advanced techniques including empty-handed defenses and disarms against bladed weapons, firearms, hand grenades, and even rocks. Krav maga is world-renowned for its disarming techniques against assailants posing a threat with handguns, rifles, knives and edged weapons, sticks and even rocks. The system also incorporates subduing techniques that can de-escalate or escalate a situation quickly such as the proper way to grab, and – if necessary – break an attacker’s finger to gain control.

Imi designed krav maga for people of all shapes, sizes, and physical abilities regardless of age. While krav maga was designed to teach soldiers to become proficient in hand-to-hand combat tactics in a short time, the same is true of krav maga’s civilian adaptation. Krav maga is well received within law enforcement and military circles. Numerous law enforcement agencies and military branches all over the world train their men and women in krav maga.