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16.24) Krav Maga


This article is from the Martial Arts FAQ, by Matthew Weigel faq@idempot.net with numerous contributions by others.

16.24) Krav Maga

(Contributor: Peter Muldoon - muldoon@bway.net)

Intro: The Israeli official Martial Art

Origin: Israel


The Krav Maga was developed in Israel in the early forties when the
underground liberation organizations were fighting for the
independence of the State of Israel. At that time, it was illegal to
possess weapons. The inventor and developer of the Krav Maga was a
champion heavy weight boxer, a judo champion, and an expert in
jiu-jutsu. In addition, he was as a trapeze acrobat and a well known
dancer. The knowledge he thus obtained, contributed to the
development of the Israeli martial art of self defense. There is no
hidden meaning behind the name Krav Maga, and literarily means
"contact fight / battle".

The Krav Maga was put into practice originally by the fighters of the
liberation organizations that often went to battle armed with knives
or sticks and with the knowledge of Krav Maga, and they were very
successful. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Krav Maga
was adopted as the official martial art taught in the defense forces,
and especially in the elite police and army units. Krav Maga was
integrated into army training by Imi Lichenfield, a career IDF officer
and chief instructor at the armys physical training facility at the
Wingate Institute. Imi is still active involved in the Krav Maga
Association and maintains the role of president.

Over the years, the Krav Maga has turned into an integrated part of
training in many disciplines such as educational institutes. Krav
Maga is taught in many public schools in Isreal.


The Krav Maga is not an ecletic martial art system, rather, it was
developed with the perception that the classic martial arts were
lacking various elements. The defense needs in the eras that the
classic martial arts were developed were different than those of
today. New unique techniques for defense against pistols, guns and
hand grenades were considered needed, and therefore developed.

Krav Maga has no katas or specific sequences that must be followed.
Students use the basic moves in conjunction with any one of a number
of other moves to fend off an attack, the key idea being adaptability
to new situations through improvisation. Emphasis is put on speed,
endurance, strength, accuracy and co-ordination especially for
intensive Krav Maga training.


Since the Krav Maga by definition is for self defense, it does not
have any constitution and judicial rules and therefore there are no
contests and exhibitions. The training is for practical usage in the
every day reality. There is a colored belt system with a Black Belt
typically granted after 8 to 10 years of practice. Spiritual and
philosophical aspects are studied only at the Black Belt level.

Get information from this website:
http://www.bway.net/~muldoon/km.html and/or write to:

Krav Maga Academy
57 West 84 st.
New york, NY 10024
(212) 580-5335

Another website:
Brazilian Association of Krav Maga: http://www.kravmaga.com.br

Sub-Styles: None.


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