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Krav Maga, also known as “contact combat” or “close combat” martial art, is a martial art developed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) that incorporates concepts from a variety of other fighting styles. It is one of the most widely-practiced forms of unarmed self-defense in the world today and people all around the world start learning Krav Maga for self-defense instead of tradition martials. With roots in boxing, wrestling, judo and other fighting arts native to Israel and Eastern Europe, Krav Maga was developed for use on the battlefield. In 1972 “Krav Maga: Self Defense Tactics”, authored by Imi Lichtenfeld, was released.
- The History of Krav Maga
- The Principles of Krav Maga
- How to Get Started in Krav Maga
- How To Learn Krav Maga Fast
- What is it that good that MMA adds to krav maga?
- Why choose krav maga?
- How long until I can fight?
- How long does it take to learn martial arts at home?
- Why do some krav maga instructors consider it more of a survival skills than a martial arts technique?
- How long should I practice each day?
- Why does krav maga have a bad name?
- To Sum Up
The History of Krav Maga
During the early 1900s, Imi Lichtenfeld was a member of the Czechoslovakian Army and a champion boxer. His success as a boxer led to his being asked to help train military personnel. Although he had no previous experience in unarmed combat, when he began training soldiers, he employed his own fighting style.
Lichtenfeld’s method was based on instinct and reaction, not on traditional boxing or wrestling. He began to develop a military fighting style with the intent of creating a system that could allow soldiers to make an emergency escape from immediate danger. He wanted his technique to be simple, effective, and quick. He combined techniques from various martial arts including Judo, wrestling and boxing in order to give his soldiers more options when facing an assault.
During World War II, Imi trained the Jewish Brigade in Palestine with this same self-defense training method. After the war, Lichtenfeld continued to train military personnel in his methods while working as a trainer in various countries.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) was the first of the IDF’s services to adopt Krav Maga as part of its military curriculum. In 1968, Imi and his son Yisrael opened a karate school under the name Krav Maga Institute. The school saw immediate success and started growing quickly. By 1973, there were more than 300 students learning from Imi.
The following year, Imi retired from teaching and transferred the gym to his son, Yisrael. Under Yisrael’s direction, the Krav Maga Institute began to attract more civilian students. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he traveled around the world teaching his unique method of self-defense. It was during this time that Krav Maga attracted attention outside Israel thanks in part to his book “Krav Maga: Self Defense Tactics”, which was published in 1972.
During the Yom Kippur War, IDF soldiers reported that Krav Maga was instrumental in their success against the Arab armies. Yisrael continued to develop his father’s art and introduced new methods of training for both civilians and the military.
In 1980, Yisrael moved to Los Angeles and opened a new Krav Maga Institute. The following year, he introduced Krav Maga to the American police force. It was not until 1985 that the American government officially recognized Krav Maga as an official military combat method in the U.S.
In 1990, Yisrael moved the school to Dallas, and renamed it Krav Maga Institute USA. In 1993, a branch of the school opened at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., with then-Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and General Charles de Gaulle as guests of honor. In 1998, a branch opened in Beverly Hills, California. In 2002, the D.C. and Beverly Hills locations merged to form a new Krav Maga USA headquarters and school facility on Heritage Square in Dallas, Texas.
In 2003, as part of the celebrations of Israel’s 70th Independence Day, Yisrael was invited to be part of the Israeli Consul General’s delegation in Los Angeles as he presented Krav Maga to U.S. law enforcement officers at several LAPD Police Academy classrooms on May 5 and 6. This marked the first time that such a delegation from Israel was invited to visit the United States.
In 2013, Krav Maga USA opened its first satellite campus in North Miami Beach, Florida. In 2014, Krav Maga USA was awarded a Gold Medal by the U.S. Department of State as one of the nation’s top 10 percent of U.S.-based martial arts schools that offer a rigorous curriculum recognized by U.S. law enforcement. In July 2016, Krav Maga USA opened a satellite campus in Manhattan Beach, California.
Krav Maga has been endorsed by the international body Krav Maga Global Association (KMG), an organization that represents its teachers and affiliates across the world, who are primarily located outside the United States. The U.S. is not officially represented by KMG, but as of 2016 it is considered to be one of the most senior affiliates in the world along with Israel, Canada and Germany.
The Principles of Krav Maga
The Krav Maga system is based on a set of universal principles stated by the founder, Imi Lichtenfeld. The original Krav Maga was a self-defense system for soldiers, developed during World War II. It is not legally recognized as a martial art in any country, but has been adopted by most law enforcement agencies and military organizations around the world.
The Self Defense Corps, which is the Israeli national self-defense organization, continues to use Krav Maga today as their main method of self defense.
Krav Maga is easy to learn, can be practiced by nearly anyone, and can be learned in a short period of time. The techniques are based on instinctive movements and reactions combined with aggression. Rather than using the hands and feet as weapons to strike, Krav Maga emphasizes defense against weapons through blocking techniques.
How to Get Started in Krav Maga
Getting started in Krav Maga is easy. You can find a local certified Krav Maga school or instructor by searching for one using the keyword ‘Krav Maga’ on Google Maps (google.com). If you need additional information about classes or schools, feel free to contact us using the information on the contact page of this site.
If you’re looking for Krav Maga School in Sydney, you can check out
How To Learn Krav Maga Fast
1. Set a goal for yourself
Not just when learning Krav Maga, you should set a goal for yourself for everything. Whether it’s work, exercise, eating healthier or saving money. If you want to learn Krav Maga, it is essential to set a goal for yourself. And then never deviate from that goal.
2. Keep a journal
Write down your progress every day in a personal journal where you can reflect on how you are doing and where you want to be in the future. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not where you want to be in the future, because that is the goal.
3. Have a schedule
Make sure to make your schedule ahead of time. Although we can get sidetracked very easily, a schedule helps keep us accountable for what we need to do in order to work towards our Krav Maga goals.
4. Be realistic
Don’t set unrealistic goals when learning Krav Maga. You will become more anxious than you need to and may develop a bit of a mental block in terms of not knowing what to do to accomplish your goals. When deciding on your goal, make sure that you set reasonable goals and go one step at a time.
5. Get a good training partner
When learning Krav Maga, it is very important to make sure you have a good training partner. This is because he or she will know what you’re trying to accomplish and help you meet your goals on time. It is also recommended that if you are going to learn Krav Maga for sport, that you have a sparring partner. Although this may not be needed in self-defense situations, it may prove useful when fighting in a match or points kumite.
6. Watch instructional videos online
You can find Krav Maga instructional videos on YouTube, U-Tube, and many other sites. Make sure that you are taking in the information as best you can.
7. Watch a demonstration
If you do not have a training partner or do not want to buy instructional DVDs, it is best to watch a demonstration of Krav Maga on the internet. You will be able to watch live demonstrations of different techniques and how they work in real life situations.
8. Join an academy
It is very important that you join an academy and take advantage of the knowledge, skills, and training they can offer you. You’ll be able to learn more advanced Krav Maga self-defense skills in addition to receiving high intensity training. Joining an academy will help you keep your standards consistent with what is expected in order to continue your progression as an aspiring Krav Maga practitioner from one level to the next.
What is it that good that MMA adds to krav maga?
The main principle that good MMA add to KMG is the ability of MMA to fight out of his or her striking range, giving him or her the ability to attack.
Why choose krav maga?
Krav maga is the most effective street defense system in the world, I will not be stating any false claims.
How long until I can fight?
It depends… Some people can learn krav maga and MMA faster then others. It just depends on your mental and physical capabilities.
How long does it take to learn martial arts at home?
I have found out that it really depends on your dedication, as well as how much you practice. I have had students who have taken up the study of martial arts for many years, only to find out that they were doing nothing but getting beaten up by their self-defense class. They would then go back to their old styles and eventually quit.
My advice to any student is get certified, learn from a reputable instructor, and train with a former or current fighter.
Why do some krav maga instructors consider it more of a survival skills than a martial arts technique?
In most of the training you will see, Krav maga is trained to make you more effective at fighting in close quarters. It is not used only for self defense but can be used as a range for an attacker. This makes it a two way street where the attacker can incorporate skills that will also make his/her life more difficult.
How long should I practice each day?
If you are working on your street defense skills then it would be very beneficial to practice every day.
Why does krav maga have a bad name?
If a person trains in Krav Maga, but is not properly trained, then the outcome can be very bad.
To Sum Up
Learning Krav Maga is very easy. All you have to do is set a goal, keep your schedule, be realistic and have a good training partner. You can find instructional videos for Krav Maga on YouTube. U-Tube, and many other websites. Plus being at an academy will help you keep your standards consistent with what is expected in order to continue progression as an aspiring krav maga practitioner from one level to the next.