Krav Maga is powerful, efficient, practical self-defense. Krav Maga deals with preventing and neutralizing incoming violent attacks and dealing with the aftermath. In this way it is an intensely practical means of self-protection. It is not a martial art in the classical sense – there are no katas, ritualistic displays, or forms.
Rather it is one of the most efficient systems for fighting and self-protection . Many of its techniques come from other more classical disciplines such as jujitsu. It contains striking, wrestling and grappling methods. There is also no sporting element unlike other well established arts
Krav Maga history
Krav Maga means “close combat” or “contact combat” in Hebrew. This powerful and simple to learn from hand to hand combat originates with a man called ‘Imre “Imi” Lichtenfeld (Imi sde-Or’) who developed his own efficient self-defense techniques in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in the 1930′s.
When Lichtenfeld moved from Czechoslovakia to Israel in the 1940′s he began to train the Israeli defense forces in close combat. Lichtenfeld’s self-defense system developed here into what is now known as Krav Maga.
It is still the official hand to hand combat training for the Israeli armed forces and it has also gained increasing popularity with various military and police organizations across the world including the British S.A.S. and the United States F.B.I.
Krav Maga Training
Krav Maga training has an emphasis is on learning how to defend oneself in ‘real world’ situations. You learn techniques for the most common attacks you are likely to face, like grabs around the neck, choke holds, body-clinches and so on. Training includes preparation and practice for scenarios where one, two or more attackers come at you simultaneously.
Being attacked is one of the most stressful situations a human being can meet. There are a range of physiological reactions to this kind of event. As you would expect from a system tested on the battlefield and in assault operations, Krav Maga training will prepare you for this physiological states.
Krav Maga training under pressure
Krav Maga deliberately uses stress inducing tactics such as several assailants, shouting, noise etc, to simulate this ‘shock to the system’. This isn’t done to put you off coming to class but to prepare your ‘nervous system’ for that violent reality, but to do it in a safe environment.
When you find yourself in dangerous circumstances/life threatening fights, you will have valuable ‘combat’ experience. As a consequence of training under stress you’re body and mind are capable of dealing with whatever comes next.
Krav Maga offense and defense
Krav Maga defense consists of protecting oneself from kicks, punches and strikes that may come from any angle using blocking techniques. There are no linear forms or set patterns to learn by rote. Reality is unpredictable so are attacks.
Once defended, practitioners learn to turn that defense into attack immediately. Aggressive offense gives you both a tactical and psychological advantage over your opponent.
Krav Maga Striking, Punching and kicking
Striking and punching is given great emphasis in Krav Maga. Included in the training curriculum would be a variety of arm techniques such as the straight punch, the palm heel strike, low punches, the hammer fist, hooks, upper cuts, chops and overhand strikes. The elbow is also a valuable part of the body for striking being less prone to breaking or damage than the the hands.
There are a number of kick techniques which are seen as practical and low risk although it is not a high kicking style. There are front, side and back kicks, a round kick, a kick with the heel, axe kicks and leg swipes. Like the arm and elbow, there are also powerful knee strikes.
Krav Maga ground fighting and throwing
Throwing techniques are not emphasized in Krav Maga. There are wrist locks, a hip throw, an over the shoulder throw as well as couple of leg take downs. Ideally the Krav Maga student should not end up on the floor as this is dangerous place to be.
However there are methods for fighting whilst on the ground as well as techniques to deal with being trapped on the floor, being sat on etc. From the ground you can do certain kicks, arm locks, choke holds and guillotine moves as well as defend punches coming you way, get out of headlocks and pins.
No form of self-defense would be complete today without giving you techniques to cope with modern weapons. Handgun and knife defense as well as other common ‘weapons of opportunity’ defense techniques are learnt..
Learning Krav Maga
If you are interested in an effective combat style and useful self-defense techniques Krav Maga is for you. It is practical, easy to learn and uses simple natural movements. It is arguably the best self-defense system being taught today.
The cornerstones of Krav Maga philosophy are neutralizing threats through aggressive often simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers. Using natural movements and instinctive reactions the vulnerable areas of the body are targeted for greatest impact.
An Introduction to Krav Maga Techniques
Brutal effectiveness and easy to learn techniques combine to ensure the fast growth of the Krav Maga self-defensesystem across the world. Originating within the hand to hand combat training of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and now taught to civilians, Krav Maga training aims to end fights quickly with minimum damage to the victim. Using your body’s instincts and the natural leverage points of your opponents body, a Krav Maga practitioner will take control of the situation and end it fast.
A basic stance is used whilst training for launching and defense techniques. In a self-defense situation you are unlikely to be able to get into the perfect stance. Krav Maga relies on principles to succeed in the three basic positions: standing, lying and and sitting. Krav Maga principles prioritize the most dangerous threats first and seek to neutralize them before moving to dealing with the secondary threat. If an attacker is attempting to gouge out your eyes while simultaneously pressing against the back of your knee your eyes would take priority.
Once the first threat is with, any opening gained is exploited for greatest advantage. The aim is to launch a ruthless counter attack to put an opponent out of action. Strikes are aimed at the body’s vulnerable areas. These positions have the most impact, do the most damage and are likely to stop your attacker quickly. It makes no sense to bother with other targets that won’t be as effective. For example, Kicks are aimed at the groin. This is both a low target and easy to reach as well as being extremely debilitating for a male attacker if kicked here. Again the aim of Krav Maga is to finish the encounter fast and get away safely.
Putting aside legal arguments about what constitutes self-defense, Krav Maga less concerned with rules and fair play than other styles. It is also less showy. There is no sporting element. You don’t move your attacker about gradually wearing them down or throw them here and there. Krav Maga training is solely focused on self-protection – you fight any way you can to save yourself from danger