What is Krav Maga?
Krav Maga, meaning in Hebrew “contact combat”, is the official system of self defence and hand-to-hand combat of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Israeli National Police and other security services. Krav Maga is also taught extensively in public schools and educational centres affiliated with the Israeli Ministry of Education. It is now also widely practiced throughout the world, being particularly strong in Europe and North America. In those regions, Krav Maga is part of the official defensive tactics syllabus for many military, police and security units. Krav Maga is also now practiced by many thousands of civilians in more than 30 countries throughout the world, including in Australia.
Krav Maga is a modern, practical and proven system of self defense, carefully conceived for today’s volatile world. It is not a martial art or combat sport. Instead, it is a highly refined survival system designed for the personal safety of ordinary people. It is characterised by a logical and coherent approach to self defence and fighting confrontations that enables one to achieve a relatively high level of proficiency within a short period of instruction.
The system has consistently earned the praise of experienced fighters, martial arts experts, and military and police officers for its highly practical applications, but in essence it also appeals to beginners because of its simple, no-nonsense and realistic approach to personal safety.
It is important to note that all the Krav Maga techniques have been thoroughly tested in real-life situations, improved upon and refined accordingly. With training methods that have been proven effective under the harshest conditions on the battlefield and on the street, Krav Maga is widely regarded as one of the most credible self defence systems available in the world today.
What problems does Krav Maga train to solve?
The emphasis of Krav Maga is on pragmatic self-defence for the civilian and efficient defensive tactics for security and military professionals. Apart from a core of empty-hand striking, grappling and ground-work, training places heavy emphasis on defending against the full range of real-world threats and attacks: from common strikes, grabs, chokes, headlocks and other holds through to high risk situations involving weapons including knives, sticks and firearms. Training is conducted where the danger is against oneself or a third party (eg VIP Protection or hostage situations). These problems are trained in any position – front, side and rear – as well as standing, seated, grounded and moving, and in all those contexts against multiple opponents. Just as important, Krav Maga training teaches people to respond and function correctly during the enormous stress and shock of a sudden, real-life violent encounter.
Krav Maga students train in using common, everyday objects as weapons, such as chairs, backpacks, pens, coffee mugs, etc. Krav Maga teaches multiple-opponent defence as part of its syllabus emphasises environmental training (field training – eg. in open and confined spaces, in and around cars, in water, etc) and contains many exercises and drills to put students under physical and psychological stress in order to acclimatise the student to the stressors of real self defence. However, our objective is for all trainees to participate in all types of training without getting hurt – and so we place a premium on safety-in-training.
The Head Coach has been training in Krav Maga since 2002 and achieved Expert Level 1 (11th Level) civilian instructor whilst completing the Expert Level Camp in Israel in 2012. Unlike other “Reality Based” instructor programs that can take up to only 5 days to complete and with no prior experience, all Krav Maga instructors have had a minimum of 5 years experience training in other systems and undertake a grueling 4 week full time instructor course split into two, two week blocks over a 12 month time frame. Unlike many other defensive tactics systems all instructors must maintain their instructor status by attending regular instructor updates with the Israeli’s every year.
Where does Krav Maga come from?
Krav Maga was founded by Imi Lichtenfeld, a fighter and a gentleman, who was born in 1910 and raised in Bratislava, Slovakia. Imi won numerous championships in wrestling, boxing and gymnastics and gained vast experience of real-life violent confrontations during the Nazi uprising in the 1930’s. With the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Israel Defence Forces were formed and Imi was appointed Chief Instructor for physical fitness and Krav Maga at the School of Combat Fitness. He served in the IDF for about 20 years, during which time he developed and refined the Krav Maga system, training many members of Israel’s special units. After retiring from active duty in the 1960’s he continued to supervise the instruction of Krav Maga in both military and law enforcement contexts and, in addition, worked indefatigably to refine, improve and adapt Krav Maga to meet civilian needs.
Today the Krav Maga system is governed worldwide by the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), based in Netanya, Israel. The IKMF was formed in 1996, and now has certified instructors working in over 30 countries, including in Israel and throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania. The Chief Instructor is Eyal Yanilov, who was Imi’s closest assistant since the early 1980’s. Eyal is the only individual who carries the highest grade ever given by Imi (Master Level 3/Expert Level 8) and holds the unique ‘Founders Diploma of Excellence’. As well as serving as Chairman and Chief Instructor of the IKMF, Eyal heads the International School of Krav Maga. In this capacity, he is in charge of the development, definition and dissemination of the system world-wide. The spread of Krav Maga under Eyal has been ongoing for 25 years.
The Head Coach looking receiving his Graduate Level 5 Certification in 2007 from Worldwide Chief instructor of the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF)-Eyal Yanilov.