Krav Maga, which literally translates as “contact combat” is a hand-to-hand street self defense training system developed in Israel that involves striking techniques, wrestling and grappling, mostly known for its counter-attacks, and was derived from street-fighting skills developed by Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler, as a means of defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava in the mid-to late-1930s. In the late-1940s, following his immigration to Israel, he began to provide hand-to-hand combat training to develop the system that became known as Krav Maga. It has since been refined for various applications.
Features of Krav Maga
Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing threat neutralisation, simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers, and aggression. There are several organizations teaching variations of Krav Maga internationally. Generally, there are no rules in Krav Maga, as it is a street self defense training technique which is not regulated, but utilized to keep the user safe and incapacitate the opponent by any means necessary. Men and women generally undergo the same drills. It has no sporting federation, and there are no official uniforms or attire, although some organizations do recognize progress through training with rank badges, different levels, and belts.
Principles of Krav Maga
- Counter attacking as soon as possible (or attacking preemptively)
- Targeting attacks to the body’s most vulnerable points such as the eyes, jaw, throat, groin, knee etc.
- Neutralizing the opponent as quickly as possible by responding with an unbroken stream of counter attacks and if necessary a take down/joint break.
- Maintaining awareness of surroundings while dealing with the threat in order to look for escape routes, further attackers, objects that could be used to defend or help attack and so on.
Street Self Defense Training
Basic street self defense training is a mixed aerobic and anaerobic workout. Protective pads and other personal protection equipment may be used during initial training. Street self defense scenarios are used to train personnel for situations typically encountered in street situations. Training scenarios teach students to ignore distractions. Training covers potentially threatening circumstances and ways to deal with potentially violent situations, and physical and verbal methods to avoid violence whenever possible.