It’s called Krav Maga. ( It’s pronounced Krav Ma-gah, not Krav Macgraw ( that’s Tim McGraw’s cousin)
Why Krav Maga Not Krav? I’m glad you asked. When Imi Lichtenfeld the man who created this system, was looking for what to call the system he created he looked in the Hebrew dictionary and came up with two words “Contact” and “Combat”
Krav means contact, and Maga means Combat. So you can see my frustration when people just call it contact instead of contact Combat. It’s like you saying Kung instead of kung fu or Tae instead of taekwondo or Kar instead of karate you get my point right? Good, let’s move on.
You cannot have Krav Maga. Without inserting the name Imi Lichtenfeld, we’ll get to him in the next little bit.
Krav Maga Is the simplest, self-defense system that has ever been created. Its only purpose is to prepare the student for real-life violence and give the student practical effective and easy-to-learn solutions to escape. (This system has no rules, the old Simpson’s cartoon phrased it best “no groin, no Krav Maga “ Krav Maga has many sub-sections for example you have the civilian, law enforcement, kids, and women, Adaptive Krav Maga is my personal favorite, VIP or personal security and last but not least the Military section from which Krav Maga Was originally born.
Krav Maga became well known n the late 90s in America and became wildly popular in a variety of movies. It became most famous when Jennifer Lopez was taught Krav Maga in the movie “Enough”. Krav Maga has been in a variety of different movies like The Debt, and the TV show Alias, even Sean Penn used a little bit of Krav Maga in the ironically named movie “The Gunman”
Krav Maga would be best described with the acronym K.I.S.S which means keep it simple stupid. You see what makes Krav Maga so effective is the ability to learn it quickly and retain the knowledge you learn efficiently.
This is why the military was so enamored with what Imi created in Israel for the IDF. We’ll get to that in a minute. The bottom line is learning Krav Maga is great because there is no man, woman, or child on planet earth that cannot learn Krav Maga.Period.
So before we get into the nuts and bolts of Krav Maga let’s look into the past at who created Krav Maga. Most importantly why he created it, and who he created it for.
Krav Maga was created and founded by a man named Imi Lichtenfeld (Sde – Or). Imi was born in Bratislava (Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is set along the Danube River by the border with Austria and Hungary ) to a renowned police officer and circus acrobat whose name was Samuel Lichtenfeld. His father became a humongous influence on him. He taught Imi police control techniques and tactics that his father had learned from a very eclectic past. From a very young age, Imi excelled in various sports such as wrestling and boxing as well as gymnastics. You can Google Imi and get all sorts of information, let me just say that he was a street fighter. His background in the above-mentioned sports and a large amount of street fights especially against anti-Semite gangs greatly influenced why Krav Maga is so effective against real-world violence.
The next major moment regarding Imi and Krav Maga is In 1948. It was this year that Israel had declared its independence. IDF officials approached Imi and requested to create and develop defensive tactics hand-to-hand fighting system. This would be based upon his experience and his work with special forces units such as the Haganah, Palmach, and Palyam. The techniques had to be very simple and effective to deploy, easy to learn, and be combat effective.
During his 20-plus years of service as the chief instructor, Imi carefully refined the methodology of Krav Maga. Due to the results of its effectiveness, the I.D.F made Krav Maga the official combative training system for all military personnel, Israeli police, and security forces.
In 1964 Imi finally retired from the IDF and continued teaching Krav Maga to civilians. As a Krav Maga practitioner for over 16 years I can say proudly I’m very thankful Imi decided to open Krav Maga to civilians and to all of us outside of Israel.
I’ll end this part with Imi’s famous quote.
“ So one May walk in peace”
Krav Maga has four rules that apply to all techniques you learn in Krav Maga.
Rule number one deals with a threat or attack. (best option is to avoid when possible aka awareness)
Rule number two counter-attack as soon as possible. (hands/feet or common objects)
Rule number three disengage or if there’s a weapon and you have the tactical knowledge disarm.
Rule number four which is the most important rule RUN.
I highly recommend that you, the reader, go and check out your local Krav Maga school. Go and watch a class, and see if the training environment matches what you want out of a Krav Maga school.
When it comes to dealing with street violence, Learning Krav Maga will not let you down.