Krav Maga, Hebrew for “contact combat”, is a self-defense system for use in the street – a place where there are no refs, no ring and no rules. Krav Maga is an art that anyone can use regardless of size, strength, fitness ability or gender. Practitioners of the art train with the understanding that in the street in an attack situation, they may be confronted by multiple attackers, including those who may be armed. Students are taught not to use strength against strength, training with the understanding that an attacker will always be larger and stronger than the defender. Techniques taught include attacks to vulnerable targets such as the back of neck, temples, eyes, throat, knees, and groin; areas on the body that cannot be strengthened.
The understanding in the art is that the only way to stop an assailant is with the use of force. Practitioners must move from being passive as a defender to becoming an aggressor as quickly as possible. Defense without immediate offense does not exist in Krav Maga. Unlike other arts such as Karate, Ju Jitsu or MMA, there are no competitive tournaments or katas in Krav Maga.
Additionally, training in Krav Maga increases physical fitness levels by working on strength, coordination, balance and stamina. This is achieved through proper training with the understanding that students progress at their own pace.
THE PRINCIPLES OF KRAV MAGA
• Avoid injury
• Devise drills that take advantage of natural reflexes
• Defend and attack in the least amount of time
• Use of the human body’s vulnerable spots
• Use of the body’s natural weapons as well as ordinary objects that may be close at hand
• No rules
HISTORY OF KRAV MAGA
Krav Maga was created by Imi Lichtenfeld in Israel in 1948. At that time, Israel was under British rule and Israelis were not permitted to bear arms yet individuals needed to defend themselves. When the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were created, Imi Lichtenfeld became the chief instructor of hand to hand combat. Military applications of this art were what he initially taught: defense against weapons by using weapons, training in weapon retention, non lethal use of weapons (i.e. machine guns) and other applications required by soldiers.
When Imi’s military service ended he continued to adapt Krav Maga for civilian use. He utilized the ranking (belted) system whereby material is separated by belt levels, yellow to black. Students must test to show their proficiency in specifically divided material before being taught more and more complex and complicated techniques.
Krav Maga Founder, Imi Lichtenfeld
Grand Master Rhon Mizrachi and EKM Head Instructor Juan Berrios