The fighting style’s founder, Emmerich “Imi” Lichtenfeld, was born in 1910 in Hungary and raised in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava. Imi’s Father Samual Lichtenfeld was a former circus performer and a senior detective. He also owned the first modern gym in Bratislava where he trained in wrestling, boxing and weightlifting.
As a young man he was a great boxer and encouraged Imi to participate in various athletic activities, including gymnastics, wrestling and boxing. In his youth, Imi won several championships in different sports events and has gained outstanding achievements in boxing and wrestling. Between the years 1929 to 1939 he was one of the most successful wrestlers in Europe. Imi later made use of his training as a means of helping defend the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in the mid 1930s. In the late 1940s, following his immigration to Israel, he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the IDF.
The system was developed to provide a real solution to violent situations that can occur on the street. For this reason there are no rules in Krav Maga, there is no limit to the style of attacks and defences. This is a simple, efficient, and purposeful self defence system adapted according to the reality of the street.
The Krav Maga method is comprised of numerous martial arts and exercises and, unlike many other systems, contains street fighting techniques to provide a solution to all varieties of violent attack – simple situations like hand grabs, shirt grabs, chokes and dealing with an attacker armed with a knife / stick / gun, or possibly two or more attackers. For this reason there are no competitions in Krav Maga as contests are conducted under strict rules. For example, strikes to the groin are banned in almost every martial arts competition.
At the same time as learning self-defence techniques, – students will gradually enhance self-awareness and sense of security that they can defend themselves against a violent attack. The greater the individual’s knowledge suggests that he/she will try to avoid violence at all costs. Quite a few violent incidents are caused by lack of confidence, since violence is the first resort of those who generally don’t know of any alternatives.
Krav Maga improves your physical and mental attributes. Gradual improvement in physical capabilities of the trainee increases rapidly from the various power drills, physical fitness conditioning exercises that form the training syllabus. Another benefit is improved coordination, muscle strengthening in all parts of the body, flexibility, cardio fitness, explosive power, endurance, stamina, speed, and agility. Additional benefits such as self-confidence, self control, discipline, restraint, patience, ability to function correctly under pressure, determination, and the ability to cope with pain will improve considerably.
Large parts of the training in Krav Maga deal with issues relating to complex mental and physical barriers – that require constant development to help overcome them quickly with intense but enjoyable training.
– Expect anything and everything – plan for the worst, there are no rules on the street
– Defend and attack to neutralise the threat in the minimum time
– Utilise the body’s natural reflexes
– Use of the body’s natural weapons as well as everyday objects that may be nearby
– Exploit the human body’s most vulnerable spots
– Avoid getting hurt at all costs