Krav maga is a brutal hybrid form of martial arts hand-to-hand combat that was founded by Imi Lichtenfeld (1910-1998). It is based on Imi Lichtenfeld’s street fighting, boxing and wrestling skills that he used to defend the Jewish quarter in the city of Bratislava (the modern capital of Slovakia) against fascist groups in the mid- to late-1930s.
After fleeing Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, Imi Lichtenfeld arrived in Israel in 1942 and immediately began teaching close-quarters combat to Israel’s first fighting units. After Israel’s independence in 1948, Imi Lichtenfeld became the chief instructor of physical training for the Israel Defense Forces, and his fighting style was named krav maga, which means “contact combat” in Hebrew.
The following principles define krav maga: Strive for maximum versatility, defend and attack simultaneously, never assume that the fight is over, train from positions of disadvantage, target vulnerable areas, let reality dictate your response, use instinctive movements, train to build sound tactics and strive to get yourself as safe as possible as quickly as possible.
Krav maga’s basic philosophy is aggression and threat neutralization, which are tenets that align well with the IDF Special Forces where krav maga is standard training.
– September 12, 2016