Krav Maga

Krav Maga (/ˌkrɑːv məˈɡɑː/ KRAHV mə-GAH; Hebrew: קרב מגע, IPA: [ˈkʁav maˈɡa]; lit. 'contact combat') is an Israeli martial art. Developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), it is derived from a combination of techniques used in aikido, judo, karate, boxing, and wrestling. It is known for its focus on real-world situations.

Krav Maga was originally developed by Hungarian-born Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld. Having grown up in Bratislava during a time of anti-Semitic unrest, Lichtenfeld used his training as a boxer and wrestler to defend Jewish neighborhoods against attackers in the mid-to-late 1930s, becoming an experienced street fighter. After his immigration to Mandatory Palestine in the late 1940s, he began to provide lessons on combat training to Jewish paramilitary groups that would later form the IDF during the 1948 Palestine war. As an instructor, he compiled his knowledge and experience into the combat system that would later become known as Krav Maga. This system would continue to be taught long after he left the IDF.

From the outset, the original concept of Krav Maga was to take the most effective and practical techniques of other fighting styles (originally European boxing, wrestling, and street fighting) and make them rapidly teachable to conscripted soldiers. It has a philosophy emphasizing aggression and simultaneous defensive and offensive manoeuvres. It has been used by Israeli special forces and regular infantry units alike. Closely related variations have been developed and adopted by Israeli law enforcement and intelligence organizations, and there are several organizations teaching variations of Krav Maga internationally. There are two forms of Krav Maga, with one type adapted for Israeli security forces and the other type adapted for civilian use.

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