Krav Maga

From Academic Kids

Krav Maga (Hebrew קרב מגע: "contact combat") is a martial art, at first developed in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. The developer was Imi Lichtenfeld. When Mr. Lichtenfeld came to Palestine prior to the establishment of the state of Israel, he began teaching hand to hand combat to the Haganah, the Jewish underground army. After the establishment of Israel, Krav Maga was adopted by the Israeli armed forces and police as the martial art of choice. The art reached its current form in Israel shortly after its formation. After Mr. Lichtenfeld retired from a long career as chief instructor of close combat in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), he started teaching Krav Maga to the civilian population. In this way, a civilian version based on the principles of self defense was developed.

In a nutshell, the basic fighting principles are that every self defense response must meet all of the following criteria:
In the given situation, the defense or attack must be

  • the fastest
  • the strongest
  • the shortest
  • the most natural
  • and to the point (for instance, if you mean to escape, escape; if you mean to hit, hit).

The basic idea is to first deal with the immediate threat (e.g. hands around one's neck), prevent the attacker from re-attacking, then neutralize the opponent, proceeding through all the steps in a very straightforward manner. An emphasis is put on taking the initiative from the attacker as soon as possible. Krav Maga generally assumes a no-quarter situation- the attacks and defenses are intended to inflict or divert the most pain possible on the opponent. Groin, eye, and other "unfair" attacks are emphasized, as are a variety of other fairly brutal attacks. It is considered acceptable to run away (tactical withdrawal), if the situation dictates that. Krav Maga can be used against opponents who are armed, and against multiple opponents. It is also good in closed areas, such as airplanes.

It is to be noted that, although many techniques of Krav Maga are shared with either Savate/Kickboxing (for the fist- and kick-fighting techniques) or Ju-Jitsu (for the grappling and disarming techniques), the training is quite different, as it stresses practice of fighting under worst-case circumstances (against several opponents, back to the wall, when protecting someone else, with one arm unusable, when dizzy, against armed opponents...). In addition, the fact that there are no rules leads to different reflex mechanisms (protecting one's groin and one's eyes, for instance). The training emphasizes real-world practicality. There is heavy emphasis placed on stamina and concentration. Training is often undertaken while a speaker system blasts loud music, meant to train the student to ignore extraneous input and focus on causing as much damage as possible.

Prior to 1985, the experts in Krav Maga were in Israel. Few foreigners came to Israel to study Krav Maga and no highly skilled Israelis left Israel to run Krav Maga schools. The first non-Israeli known to have operated a school strictly for teaching Krav Maga is Darren Levine, who teaches Krav Maga in Los Angeles. The first non-Israeli, non-Jew who was certified as an expert and instructor was James Keenan, also from the United States.

Since the death of Mr. Lichtenfeld, a number of different schools and associations of Krav Maga have developed.

The name in Hebrew is usually translated as "close combat". The word maga means "near" or "next to". The word krav means "fight" or "battle". A translation like "contact combat", though, can be miscontrued as something like "kickboxing" or "Full Contact Karate". Krav Maga is not a sport and has no competitive aspect.

As a historical note, the original name of Krav Maga was Kapap (sounds like "ka-PAP") which was an acronym for Krav Panim el Panim, face-to-face combat.

Related articles

External links

cs:Krav Maga da:Krav Maga de:Krav Maga es:Krav Magá fr:Krav maga he:קרב מגע nl:Krav maga no:Krav Maga pl:Krav maga fi:Krav Maga sv:Krav maga

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