what is krav maga

Krav Maga is an israeli martial art that means close combat. Imi Lichtenfeld originally developed this self-defense system in Israel for military purpose. Many special forces now use Krav Maga. A more adapted form has since been created for civilians. It is best known for its unconventional methods of defense and focus on real-world situation. That’s why its popularity continues to grow around the world.

Okay, but what is Krav Maga exactly ?

The program generally consists of :

  • Boxing
  • Kicks
  • Ground fighting
  • Defense against an armed opponent (knifes, sticks, guns)
  • Fighting against two or more opponents
  • Various situations (carjacking, from the seating position …)
  • and more …
krav maga defense

Krav Maga trainings uses methods to simulate the anxiety experienced during a real aggression in order to prepare you for the brutality and reality of a real struggle for your life. It was created in a context where violence, especially of a political nature, was omnipresent. There is no such things as honor nor rules in Krav Maga, it’s only about survival.

Effectiveness and efficiency are the most important aspects of Krav Maga

Although Krav Maga can appear very violent as first sight, the first teaching is always to avoid the conflict and flee if possible. If not, then you have no other choice but to engage hostilities. To do that, this fighting sport teaches you to aim for the weak points like the groin, throat, eyes. The techniques and movements are based on the human reflexes as much as possible. Other martial arts such as boxing, muay-thai, jiu-jitsu and judo are also a direct inspiration. Since Krav Maga tries to prepare its practitioners to all the situations that could be encountered on the street, it doesn’t teach to be the best in any particular domain such as boxing or ground fighting but to be good at everything.

People respect power, and it comes in many forms, Krav Maga is power, and people will respect you for knowing it – Imi Lichtenfeld

This sport is divided in many Krav Maga federations that differs in their teachings and philosophy. Some are more interested in teaching about the survival and others are more technical but all of them are loyal to the main spirit.

Krav Maga in everyday life

With Krav Maga, you become your own weapon of self-defense. But as some would say “With great power comes great responsibility”. Krav Maga philosophy wants to create a more secure world for yourself and the others. The greatest instructors of Krav Maga will teach more than just fighting. Small habits, that could mean nothing to you, can change a lot for the others. For example, imagine you are walking behind someone in the street at late hours. Don’t just continue as so. Either change sidewalk or pass them, especially from persons who have reasons to be afraid to be followed. Same for you, if you find someone coming toward a bit worrying, look at his hand. Visible hands usually mean nothing harmful, but if the person put his hand behind his back, he may have something to hide.

About legitimate self-defense and Krav Maga

If Krav Maga gives the capacity to defend ourselves, it also gives the opportunity to harm people. This power must not be taken lightly. Krav Maga can be dangerous, even lethal. In this sense, it is important to understand the law about this matter.

Each government dictates its own laws about aggression and the right for a legitimate defense. The Legal Information Institute defines self-defense as :

The use of force to protect oneself from an attempted injury by another. If justified, self-defense is a defense to a number of crimes and torts involving force, including murder, assault and battery.

Although it is different from one country to another, there are general ideas that are common to all.

  • A response to a direct threat : your actions are only considered as legitimate if they respond to a threat to you
  • The necessity of the riposte : you don’t have any other choice but to use violence, the situation doesn’t allow you to call the police or any authority
  • The proportionality to the attack : a violent response is only justified as immediate defense of the same type of the attacks, meaning you can’t use an arm against an unarmed aggressor. Also, there should be no such thing as “preventing any further attack or threat”.