WHAT IS KRAV MAGA
KRAV MAGA is a military self defence and fighting system that is effective, modern and dynamic. A translation of 'KRAV MAGA' from Hebrew to English is "contact combat" or "close combat", and it is pronounced as "krahv mahGAH". KRAV MAGA is used in Israeli military and security forces, special and police forces around the world, as well as in civilian protection.
Originally developed for Israeli Defence and Security Forces (IDF, Shin Bet and Mossad), KRAV MAGA became popular in the civilian self defence and protection because of its extremely efficient, easy-to-learn techniques that are focusing on real world situations, and have been battle-tested in real, life threatening confrontations. Everything in KRAV MAGA is just as applicable to the civilian world as it is to the military or law enforcement world because it is designed to be practical and intuitive for people of any age, shape, or size with techniques building upon human natural instincts to build skills much quicker than it would be possible by training in a traditional martial art or combat sport. Additionally, most violent attacks in the civilian world catch their victims off guard, so brutal counter-attacks that KRAV MAGA is known by are essential in minimising damage and increasing the chance of SURVIVAL.
While KRAV MAGA techniques originate from various martial arts, combat sports, and fighting experience in the field, it is being trained quite differently from martial arts or combat sports. In addition to the technical side, the emphasis of authentic KRAV MAGA training is on mental toughness, emotional stability, determination to prevail, ability to turn on physical agression when required to SURVIVE and save your or someone else's life.
KRAV MAGA PRINCIPLES
While the primary goal in KRAV MAGA is to neutralise your threat as quickly as possible, conflict avoidance and de-escalation tactics are fundamental in keeping you safe on the streets. It can be said that the most effective threat neutralisation is one you achieve by avoiding the conflict and/or de-escalating the situation that would otherwise result in a conflict. This is why learning to understand the psychology of a street confrontation, and identifying potential threats before an attack occurs is one of the important principles of KRAV MAGA.
If conflict avoidance and de-escalation do not neutralise a threat, then dominating and incapacitating your attacker as soon as possible is the only way to increase your chance of SURVIVAL. In the situation where your life is on the line, you have to do whatever is necessary to finish the fight as fast and as efficiently as possible by applying other important principles of KRAV MAGA:
- Turning on physical aggression when required as this aggression is what wins over clean technique every time
- Retzev, or continuous motion where the goal is to blend into your attacker's movement and neutralise them with a continuous series of aggressive defensive and offensive movements
- Improvisation and use of any object at your disposal as a weapon. Keys, pens, belts, household items, chairs etc. can all be incorporated into KRAV MAGA techniques to overcome the attacker as quickly as possible
- Attacking vulnerable soft tissue and pressure points, such as eye gouging, strikes to the neck/throat or face, attacking groin, ribs, knees, liver, fingers etc.
- Submission techniques to de-escalate a violent confrontation and gain physical and psychological control of the attacker
- Study and development of situational awareness while dealing with the attacker to look for escape routes, and to be aware of other/multiple attackers and also objects that could be used to strike an aggressor
- Defence against weapons - edged and bladed weapon threats and attacks, pistol and rifle threats, attacks with blunt instruments such as baseball bats, batons, planks of wood, pipes etc.
- Ground combat - while in KRAV MAGA we avoid going to the ground, often we don't have a choice as attacker dictates initial dynamic of the confrontation and fights do often end up on the ground, so it is necessary to know how to finish the ground fight quickly and remove yourself from the danger
- Developing mental toughness and determination as it is only with the proper mindset that an individual can survive the most complicated situations, or be able to continue fighting even while severely injured
- Strengthening mental fortitude to control impulsive actions and avoid rushing into the fight, or rushing without control while fighting
- Ability to adapt to the situation we're in while fighting for our life. Often this means improvising on the spot while applying the biomechanical principles learnt during training
KRAV MAGA HISTORY
KRAV MAGA principles were developed by Imi Lichtenfeild, a Hungarian-Jewish athlete trained in gymnastics, boxing and wrestling who honed his street fighting skills by defending his Jewish community from local fascists in Czechoslovakia in the mid 1930s. Following his immigration to the British Mandate of Palestine in the late 1940s, while fighting for the creation of independent state of Israel in the units of the paramilitary group Haganah, he began providing lessons on combat training to his fellow soldiers. With the creation of Israel, his combat group was incorporated into Israeli Defence Force (IDF), and the Israeli government asked Imi to develop an effective system of self defence and fighting, now known as traditional KRAV MAGA.
Since then, KRAV MAGA has been refined for civilian, police, security and military personnel and became recognized around the world for its focus on real-world situations and its extreme efficiency. KRAV MAGA is taught in various forms and intensity by larger associations, organisations and independent clubs alike. While some KRAV MAGA organisations continue to teach original techniques of traditional KRAV MAGA as originally developed by Imi Lichtenfeild, others have studied and improved their techniques and tactics in order to address the SELF DEFENCE needs of a modern society where levels of violence and aggression are constantly changing.