Krav Maga (a Hebrew phrase meaning “contact combat”) is a practical self-defense system developed by Imi Lichtenfeld (1910-1998). Known for its efficient and easy-to-learn techniques, Krav Maga is used by special forces, law enforcement, security, and civilian groups from a variety of countries.
Lichtenfeld (pictured right) first taught self-defense to ordinary people as a means of defending themselves against anti-Jewish pogroms in Czechoslovakia in the days leading up to World War II. After the war, Lichtenfeld emigrated to pre-state Israel where he became the chief physical fitness and hand-to-hand combat instructor of the Israeli military. After he retired from military service in the 1960’s, Lichtenfeld focused on training civilians in Krav Maga.
Eyal Yanilov (pictured left) is the founder and the Head Instructor of Krav Maga Global (KMG). He was Imi Lichtenfeld’s top ranked student and ultimately his professional successor. Eyal has been training and teaching Krav Maga for over 40 years. He has trained some of the world’s top Krav Maga Instructors including the founders and instructors of Impact Krav Maga San Diego.
Although it incorporates elements from sport fighting systems such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, boxing, and karate, Krav Maga was designed to be used in the street against real attacks by people who don’t play by “rules”. Krav Maga assumes there won’t be a referee, that there will be more than one attacker, and that those attackers might have weapons. Therefore, there are no formal rules in Krav Maga. It uses techniques that are generally considered illegal in sport fighting including eye gouges, temple strikes, throat strikes, and groin strikes. In fact, there is only one rule in Krav Maga: Don’t get hurt! Krav Maga treats every attack as though it is a life or death situation. Its techniques emphasize aggressive simultaneous defense and counter attacks. It teaches people who are being attacked to immediately go on the offense, deliver decisive counterattacks, and exit the situation as quickly as possible. This includes techniques to defend against common street weapons, such as knives, guns, chains, bats, etc. Further, Krav Maga is designed so that people of all ages and sizes can learn it. There’s no such thing as “too small” or “too old”; everyone can learn to use Krav Maga effectively.