Krav Maga is our newest program here at Kombat Arts Training Academy! To get our students and future students ready, we have created this article to let them know some things about Krav Maga. From the martial arts’ history, self defense system, and who uses Krav Maga. After reading the details below, we hope to see you in our Krav Maga classes soon.
What is Krav Maga?
Krav Maga is a military self defense and fighting system created in the 1930s. The martial art is a combination of boxing, judo, wrestling, aikido, kickboxing, and karate. It also includes street fighting self defense techniques, as well as defences against weapon attacks and weapon use.
What Does Krav Maga Mean?
Krav Maga is Hebrew and its literal translation means “close combat” or “contact combat.”
Origins of Krav Maga
Krav Maga was created and developed by Jewish martial artist Imre Litchenfeld (also known as Imi Sde-Or). Imre was a lifelong martial artist that was active in a wide range of sports and arts from boxing, wrestling, and gymnastics. He was a champion at all three.
During the late 1930s, Jews were constantly under attack. Anti-semitic riots were common with national socialists (Nazis) raiding Jewish communities attacking and killing innocent people.
Imre was living in Czechoslovakia at the time of these riots and wanted to defend the Jews of his community.
He became the leader of a group of Jewish boxers and wrestlers that would walk the streets. His group would defend the Jewish neighbourhoods against the national socialists that would come terrorize the local Jewish communities.
After getting in a few street fights, Imi quickly realized flaws within his martial arts abilities. The martial arts skills he had were good, but they were more for sport than for actual real life altercations.
It was at this point he would start developing what would be Krav Maga.
After being targeted by the Nazi government, Imre realized he had to leave and fled on boat to Palestine. There, Imi joined the Haganah paramilitary and began teaching the soldiers aspects of Krav Maga he was still developing, as well as physical fitness. This also included knife attacks and defences against knife attacks.
Lichtenfeld would go on to teach Krav Maga to the Haganah’s elite fighting groups, the Palmach and Pal-Yam.
In 1948, the state of Israel created the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and made Imi the head instructor of the soldiers. There he was able to teach it to the Israeli military and did so for 20 years.
Krav Maga has continued to grow as a martial art continuing to evolve over time. It is now considered one of the most realistic self defense systems on the planet and practiced by millions.
The Israeli Military
As spoken about in the origins section of Krav Maga it is the official martial art of the Israeli military. It has been used by the Israeli military and specifically the IDF for over 70 years.
This is the big selling point of this martial art. It allows civilians to learn the same self defence techniques that members of an elite military group are taught.
- Try to Avoid Physical Confrontation: Like in most martial arts, the students are taught to avoid confrontation if possible. Physical violence should be the last option, but be ready if it is unavoidable.
- Finish The Fight Quickly: When physical violence is unavoidable, you must finish the fight quickly. The students are taught to aim for ending a fight as quick as possible. The reason for this is the longer the fight goes, the higher risk you are of being seriously hurt or killed.
- Keep Attacking Until Completely Immobilized: This is an important principle taught within Krav Maga. You must keep attacking an opponent until they are completely immobilized. This is because an opponent that isn’t incapacitated can still attack and injure you.
- Develop Physical Aggression: Physical aggression is much different than fighting with emotional aggression or anger. Physical aggression is the most important component of a fight. You must throw every attack with bad intent or you’re leaving yourself open to be seriously hurt by your opponent.
- Immediate Defense and Counter: In a fight, you have to act fast and only have fractions of a second to do so. Every second counts in a fight. Krav Maga teaches students that they must immediately counter an attack after defending.
- No Hesitation: You can never hesitate in a physical altercation. A fight on the streets is a matter of life or death and hesitation can cost you your life. This is why one of the main principles of Krav is to finish the fight quickly.
- Attack Preemptively: When you know someone wants to do you harm it is okay to strike preemptively. When an altercation is unavoidable, Krav Maga teaches students to subdue attackers before harm is done to them. Generally counter attacks are the preferred attack, but preemptive strikes are okay depending on the situation.
- Use Simple And Repetitive Attacks: The attacks in Krav Maga to be simple movements, because simple movements are the best movements. Students are taught to use simple attacks and repeat the movements until an attacker is subdued.
- Target Vulnerable Parts Of The Body: In a real fight, there are no rules and you must do anything you can to survive. Krav Maga teaches students to aim for the most vulnerable parts of the human body. Eyes, throat, groin, abdomen, fingers, toes, solar plexus, knees, etc.
- Situational Awareness: the students are taught to be aware of their surroundings at all times. You must have situational awareness of where you are and how many attackers you’re up against
- Use Any Near Objects: This principle goes along with situational awareness. Depending on the situation, a student may need a weapon. Be aware of everything around you and if there is something you can use as a weapon use it.
- Respond Under Stress: This may be one of the most important principles taught in Krav Maga. Learning to respond and act under stress is vital to protecting your safety.
Below is a list of every technique that is taught in Krav Maga
- Striking Attacks: A variety of strikes taught in the classes are taken from boxing, karate, and kickboxing. Punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strike, open palm strikes, etc.
- Takedowns: Students are taught to take down their opponents using techniques from Wrestling, Judo, and Aikido.
- Ground Attacks: Techniques taken from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and Wrestling are what is predominantly. Techniques from these martial arts are also taught for escapes in Krav Maga.
- Weapon Defense and Use: Empty handed techniques are taught to defend against weapons such as knives, guns, batons, etc.
A Supplement Mixed Martial Arts / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Skills
Current students will already have knowledge and proficiency with many of the striking and ground techniques taught in Krav Maga. Where Krav will benefit current students is learning how to use your skills in a real life situation.
The flaw with many types of martial arts training is they’re taught within a rule set for a competitive sport. This is where Krav Maga can be beneficial for current students.
In a real life altercation, there are no rules and anything can happen. This martial art can hone the skills you already know and be ready for a real physical altercation.
Our current students will also learn defense against weapon attacks, which is a skill all people need to know.
Our instructors come from various martial arts background and have been certified by International Krav Maga expert Jean-Paul Jauffret.
Come In For A Free Trial
We hope this section on Krav Maga was informative and encourages you to come try our newest program.
At Kombat Arts Training Academy, we offer new students a 10 day free trial period to try out our classes. We hope that you take this opportunity and consider being part of our team and martial arts family.
Thank you and look forward to seeing you on the mats!