The history of this unique system goes back to its founder, the Hungarian (Ime Lichtenfeld) who was born in 1910. He was practicing a wide range of sports, including Boxing, wrestling, and gymnastics … and he won many championships in each field. Lichtenfeld was also a street fighter who leaded a group of fighters to protect the Jewish neighborhoods from the anti-Semitic thugs.
Through his journey, Lichtenfeld discovered that street fighting widely differs from competition fighting because of the brutal nature of streets, so he began to develop his concepts about reality fighting using all the skills and experience that he acquired along the years. Finally he came out with the unique self defence system known today as krav maga.
In 1940, he made his way to the middle-east and joined the (Haganah) paramilitary Israeli forces to protect Jewish community from local residents. And when the state of Israel was established in 1948, he became chief instructor for hand-to-hand combat and fitness in (IDF) combat school. He served the military for 20 years and during that time he developed the principles of his unique self defense and hand-to-hand system upon the scientific and dynamic principles of the human body.
Before his retirement, he elected (Eli Avikzar) to be his successor and Avikzar added some new techniques to krav maga to maintain its effectiveness in combat.
So, it’s not surprising that this vicious self defense system comes to us from one of the hottest spots on planet Earth,Israel, where there are lots and lots of hostilities and fights which occur every day.
Combat krav maga:
Lichtenfeld held the very first civilian krav maga seminar at the Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel, in 1971. He tried to introduce a modified version of the art that can be suitable for civilians who needed to feel safe at the streets of Israel, yet keeping most of the system’s secrets only to the military.
Some of the very first students to receive a 1st Dan black belt in civilian Krav Maga were: Haim Gidon, Raphy Elgrissy, Haim Hakani, Meni Ganis, Eyal Yanilov, Eli Avikzar, Haim Zut, Shlomo Avisira, Vicktor Bracha,Yaron Lichtenstein, Miki Asulin, Avner Hazan and Yaron Lichtenstein.
Lichtenfeld established the (IKMA) Israeli Krav Maga Association In 1978, with many senior instructors. And started running some self defense classes, teaching hand-to-hand techniques as well as the use of self defense weapons. Before his retirement, Lichtenfeld nominated Haim Gidon to be his successor, Grand Master and the president of the IKMA. The life journey of Lichtenfeld ended in January 1998 in Netanya, Israel.
When Krav Maga began to spread across the globe, An international civilian organization was founded. And some of Lichtenfeld’s first and second generation students like: Asaf Halevi, Dan Levy, and Arviat Zagal, formed a civilian, international Krav Maga federation.
Krav maga was first developed for the (IDF) Israeli defense forces and then turned to be one of the Most Effective martial arts in today’s world because of its philosophy which concentrates on eliminating the danger once and for ever, it’s about being protected all the way with applying as much damage as possible to your attacker using some simple, but effective, defensive and offensive maneuvers with the greatest aggression possible.
Krav Maga students are usually told to avoid confrontation, but if this was not possible, They get to learn how to end up a fight as fast as they can with some combinations of attacks to the most vulnerable points of the human body, these attacks can result some severe injuries or even cause death.
To be continued…