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Defensive Combat System

History of Krav Maga

Krav Maga is a defensive combat system developed by Imi Lichtenfeld for the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF)

'Krav Maga' can be translated from Hebrew into English as 'Contact Combat'

Emrich "Imi" Lichtenfeld (also known as Imi Sde-Or), the founder of Krav Maga, was born in 1910 to a Hungarian Jewish family in Budapest.
He grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia,
Where his father was a Chief Inspector in the Bratislava Police Force.

In his youth Imi trained in boxing, wrestling and gymnastics.
During the 1930's, The Jewish population in Bratislava was being threatened by racist and fascist gangs so Imi helped form a group made up of boxers and wrestlers to defend the Jewish neighbourhood.
Through this experience of violent street fights and life threatening situations, Imi realised that sport had little in common with real combat so later he began developing his own form of self defence based around natural movements, natural reactions and simultaneous defence and attacks.

In 1940 Lichtenfeld fled the Nazi occupation of his homeland and served in the Czech legion of the British Army.
Imi was recognised for his fighting skills and abilities and by 1944 he was training fighters in the Military.

In 1948, when Israel was founded and the IDF was formed, Imi became Chief Instructor for Physical Fitness and Krav Maga at the IDF School of Combat Fitness.

The idea behind the system was that it could be taught to soldiers in a short space of time, be easily retained, be practical under stressful conditions and require minimal updating.
Because of this Krav Maga is simple, logical, instinctive and applies the same techniques to various different situations.

Later, with the help of top Krav Maga instructors like Eyal Yanilov and Darren Levine, Imi adapted Krav Maga to be taught to civilians as a practical and realistic method of self defence.

Krav Maga is currently taught to military units, police units and millions of ordinary civilians around the world.

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