What is Krav Maga?

Krav Maga was designed to avoid, deter, prevent and deal with violent confrontations of any kind and it has been described as everything from realistic self defence to the art of making it home alive. The term itself is Hebrew for ‘contact combat’ and it provides a great way for men, women and children of all ages to get fit, stay healthy and be safe. Let’s take a closer look at what Krav Maga is all about.

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Whether your goal is to get in shape, defend yourself or to be ready for anything, Krav Maga’s principal-based learning system has proven highly effective.

The History of Krav Maga – Where does Krav Maga Come from?

While the term Krav Maga wasn’t coined until the late 1940’s its roots pre-date World War 2 and it all started in the city of Bratislava (the capital of modern-day Slovakia) with a man by the name of Imi Lichtenfeld.

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Grand Master Imi Lichtenfeld (left) and Yaron Lichtenstein – CC image via Wikimedia Commons

Born in Hungary in 1910, Imi was a talented Jewish athlete who excelled in boxing, wrestling and gymnastics; however, when fascism emerged in the 1930s and Jewish communities came under attack, Imi’s focus shifted from sport to survival.

He organised with other young men to defend their communities, but while many in their group had backgrounds in boxing, wrestling and martial arts, these sport-based disciplines often proved ineffective in a ‘no rules’ street fight. Imi and his friends did what they could; however, by 1940 the situation had become dire and many Jewish people were forced to flee, including Imi.

Imi made the long trip to Palestine with thousands of others as part of the Zionist Movement and upon arrival it quickly became clear that his fighting skills and experience were needed, because here too the Jewish community was under attack.

He joined a local paramilitary group known as Haganah (Hebrew for ‘The Defence’) and by 1944 he was put in charge of training their elite strike force (the Palmach) and their marine commando unit (the Palyam). When the State of Israel was born in 1948 these groups merged to become the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

Imi was made the IDF’s Chief Instructor for Physical Fitness and tasked with creating a simple, efficient and effective system of physical combat training for IDF recruits – the result was Krav Maga.

Imi worked with the IDF for the next 20 years then following his retirement in 1964 he focused on modifying Krav Maga to suit civilian life. He opened two studios, training thousands of average people, and in 1978 the Krav Maga Association was formed – it was from here that Krav Maga would spread worldwide.

Practical skills for modern times

While Krav Maga was born out of particularly dark times, the need for safety and protection remains just as important today. Unlike sports and martial arts, Krav Maga was designed for real-life situations and because it is based on natural instinct and movement it is far more likely to hold up under pressure. Best of all, Krav Maga will not only help keep you and your loved ones safe, it will also boost your physical and mental health, improving your ability to deal with stressful situations in all aspects of your life.

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Who Can Learn Krav Maga?

Anyone with an interest in fitness or protecting themselves can learn Krav maga. People from all walks of life choose to learn, from teachers and doctors to mothers and children, Krav Maga was designed to empower ordinary people to deal with extraordinary situations.

Krav Maga Basics

While the best way to learn about Krav Maga is under the guidance of a trained instructor, here is a brief look at what to expect.

• Simultaneous defence and attack
• Instinct-based movement
• Targeting soft tissue and pressure points
• Using weapons of opportunity
• Dealing with multiple attackers
• Neutralising armed and unarmed attackers

Whether your goal is to get in shape, defend yourself or to be ready for anything, Krav Maga’s principal-based learning system has proven highly effective. If you have questions, concerns or are ready to get involved, drop by Urban Kombat, give us a call or visit us online. Our wide range of fun and empowering courses are designed to ensure that you reach your full potential.
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