Krav Maga is a military self-defense system developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli security forces (Shin Bet and Mossad) that consists of a combination of techniques sourced from Boxing, Wrestling, Aikido, Judo, Karate along with realistic fight training.Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and its extreme efficiency and brutal counter-attacks.] It was derived from the street-fighting experience of Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler as a means of defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in the mid-to-late 1930s. In the late 1940s, following his migration to Israel, he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the IDF.
From the outset, the original concept of Krav Maga was to take the most simple and practical techniques of other fighting styles (originally European boxing, wrestling and street fighting) and to make them rapidly teachable to military conscripts. As a result, Krav Maga has built on its original base in Western boxing, wrestling and street fighting.
Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing aggression, and simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers.Krav Maga has been used by the Israel Defense Forces' special forces units, the security apparatus, and by regular infantry units. Closely related variations have been developed and adopted by Israeli law enforcement and intelligence organizations. There are several organizations teaching variations of Krav Maga internationally such as the British SAS and the US Marine Corps.
Krav Maga is a hand to hand combat system developed in the Second World War. Since its creation, it has proved extremely effective in conflicts around the world and in the hands of ordinary people and professionals alike. It’s so successful that it is now required learning in over 500 military and law enforcement agencies globally.
It’s important to understand that Krav Maga is not a martial art. It is a combat system. It is easy to learn and has proven, consistent results in many different operational theaters. Its core teaching is one of simplicity – arming the ordinary person with a series of simple, instinctive movements that will work under the pressure of a real assault. The key strength in Krav Maga is not simply in its techniques – but rather in the methodology and the psychology of learning. A good instructor will give you a set of basic techniques and then build up your training until you’re testing those techniques under safe, but significant pressure, giving you the confidence that you could repeat what you’ve learnt in the real world, when your life was under threat.
Anyone can learn Krav Maga. Most instructors will only teach adults, due to the sometimes pressured nature of training which can involve role play of violent encounters, bad language, etc. There is no upper age limit and most health issues will not prevent you learning provided you are up front with your instructor about these issues and you agree to follow the instructor’s guidance and start gradually, building up fitness and strength in a measured and sustained manner. Any successful Krav school will have a wide range of students training regularly, including men, women, people from all age groups – though the average is usually around 30 – 40 – civilians, police, military and security staff, beginners and experts. As long as you come with the right attitude, the door is open to anyone.
There are no competitive events in Krav Maga. Most competitive events in the martial arts encourage behaviours and practices that are not conducive to real world survival. For example, roughly 80% of all violent encounters see the victim outnumbered at least two to one against, while most competitions are contested one on one. The job of a Krav Maga instructor is to train you to survive on the street, in the heat of real combat, not to bring home trophies and medals.
Physical Training in Krav Maga:
Krav Maga classes involve a lot of physical exercise – it is part of the Instructor’s job to make you fit and physically strong so that you are able to confidently carry out the techniques you learn. Krav will make significant improvements to your fitness and is very successful at bringing people back to fitness and losing weight etc. But this does not mean you need to be fit to start. All you need to do is start slowly, working up to fitness and strength in a measured, gradual fashion. All your classmates have been through the same experience and you’ll find them supportive and helpful both in class and out of it, for advice or useful experience.
Benefits of training
• MUSCLE TONE: Krav Maga strengthens muscles as a whole. The warm up
and general fitness training, movements and partnered exercises tone and strengthen
all of the body’s muscle groups.
• STRETCHING AND GENTLE FITNE SS ROUTINE: Promoting
suppleness and physical recovery, the practise of Krav Maga nurtures bodily
awareness and leads to a better and lasting health.
• BALANCE: Krav Maga strengthens the legs and core through basic positioning
and stance training, which develops greater balance and reduces the fear of
• COORDIN ATION: Mentally picturing movements and practicing punching
and kicking helps the practitioner develop good coordination, bodily awareness and
a relationship with their surroundings..
• CARDIOV ASCUL AR: A Krav Maga session includes regular intense activity
at your own pace. This quickly leads to physical fitness, muscle tone and develops
a balanced athletic build.
• MEMORY: Practising and repeating specific movements, strikes and parries
against visualised attackers, which we call ‘Shadow Boxing’ is an excellent way of
developing memory and reactions.
• STRE SS: The physical activity expended during Krav Maga is a proven
method of healthy stress relief, providing the practitioner with better control over their
emotions and behaviour during tense personal or work situations.
Typical Krav Maga Training Session:
Most people make the same comment about coming to Krav Maga, especially those who’ve come from other systems. It’s a really great atmosphere, full of supportive people, a truly ego free environment. If you ask a Krav instructor why this is, the consensus is that because we all exercise hard and classes are hard work, people after an ego trip and an easy ride are selected against naturally. A good class will demand sweat and effort from you, and in return you will find Krav groups to be really great training environments and you’ll find the experienced folks really happy to train with you and offer you their training wisdom, helping you to reach your own potential. Frankly, if you don’t find this in your club, find another club!
All combative training carries a level of risk, but the risk in a Krav Maga class is carefully controlled and managed to ensure that you have an authentic but injury free experience. Your instructor is a professional, trained and experienced in coaching many hundreds of people of all abilities. They will be first aid trained and will have extensive understanding of the physiology of physical training. It is their job to make sure you receive the best instruction without coming to harm. There is frequently sparring involved in Krav Maga lessons, but it is nearly always at a low level of contact which will not cause injury to you. Of course, during the course of training, the odd bruise is expected and your body will ache after training, particularly for the first month or so. But serious injuries are very rare – Krav practice is statistically much safer than Squash, Football, Rugby and many other popular sports.
Wa rm-up (20-25’)
Technical Subj ect (20-25’)
(2 or 3 diff erent techniques, depending on session
Explanation of the technique
Static training with a partner
Technical revision (15’)
A reminder of the techniques practised
Static training and development of the technique towards the required level
Dynamic training and practical, ‘real world’ application
Stretch and warm down (10’)
Important in order to avoid post training injury and stiffness
Equipment for training in Krav Maga:
For a beginner’s session, all you need are loose fitting clothes – tracksuit bottoms, t-shirt and trainers are best – and a bottle of water to drink while you train.
Experienced Kravists progressing from beginner’s training will need 16oz boxing gloves, a gumshield, shin protectors and a groin guard. All these things can be purchased cheaply from major sports or online retailers. For more information, ask your instructor.
Ranking System in Krav Maga:
Different associations have different systems of ranking, but all have some system of grading assessment. It is, however, a very different ballgame than traditional martial arts. Most arts run on a time-served basis where students will typically grade every 3 months to black belt. Often grading assessments in the arts are short, simple affairs requiring a little pad work, light no-contact sparring and patterns. In contrast, your first grading with the British Krav Maga Association (BKM) will take around 4-5 hours and for many will be the hardest physical undertaking they have ever attempted. Gradings are not compulsory – some students do not choose to do them – and if you decide not to grade it won’t affect what or how you are taught. If you do grade and pass, you will not be awarded a belt. All students in the class are the same and the only way of telling who is who is to train with them. This fosters an equal, supportive and ego-free environment. The gradings are very much for you to test yourself. Passing one will be an achievement you will hold for the rest of your life and it will stand you in good stead if you ever need to use your techniques in the real world.
• Guard position
• Breakfalls and Rolls
• Base striking techniques (Feet, fists, elbows,
knees) and defence against direct hits.
• Defence against basic grabs and strangles
• Defence against simple knife attacks.
• Intermediate striking techniques (hook,
• Defence and strike combinations
• Avoiding being hit
• Various kicks while static and while moving
• Defence against more active grabs and
• Parry/counter against direct punches or kicks
• Shadow boxing (test boxing in Hebrew)
• Light sparring
• Roundhouse kick
• Additional grab defences – hair, wrist, etc
• Basic ground fighting defences against
strangulation and grabs
• Parries and counters against various strike
• Combat readiness
• Additional more advanced striking techniques
• Parries and counters against various kicks and
• Defences against various knife attacks
• Defences against various stick or baton attacks
• Sweeping techniques
• Basic throwing techniques
• Defences against elaborate grabs and strangles
• Dynamic throws
• Defences against knife, staff or baton attacks
from any angle.
• Defences against pistol and extreme knife threats
• Parries and counters from a sitting or lying
BLACK BELT 1ST DARG A AND UP
(Fifth Year Bas is)
• Perfection of all the techniques from the yellow belt on
• Implementation through specific exercises with or
without a partner
• Demonstrating competence from both static and
• Combat against multiple armed opponents, and so on…