Krav Maga is the official self defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces, and has been taught to hundreds of law enforcement agencies and thousands of civilians in the United States.
The Krav Maga symbol consists of the Hebrew letters K and M surrounded by an open circle because the system is open to improvement by adding techniques, exercises, and training methods.
“Good things can continue to flow into the system and flawed exercises can flow out.” - Imi Lichtenfeld, the Grand Master of Krav Maga
Krav Maga is not a traditional martial art. It was developed in an environment where the Israeli military could not devote many hours to hand to hand combat training. Therefore, the Krav Maga system was created to bring students to a high level of skill in a relatively short period of time. There are no forms (katas) or rules or set combinations as reactions to attacks. Instead, Krav Maga training focuses on teaching simple self-defense techniques which are specifically catered to reality based attack situations. Many techniques originated in Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing and wrestling, with other techniques from Ju-Jitsu and Karate.
The art of Krav Maga is much more of a survival system dealing with personal safety issues. It is considered to be a modern, highly refined, street fighting system, designed to be used against armed and unarmed attackers. Krav Maga addresses a wide variety of aggressive acts which include punches, kicks, chokes, bearhugs, headlocks, grabs, as well as defenses against multiple attackers and assailants armed with a firearm, edged weapon, or blunt object.
In addition to self-defense, Krav Maga teaches hand to hand combat. This is a more advanced and sophisticated phase, and shows how to neutralize an opponent quickly and effectively. It embodies elements related to the actual performance of the fight including tactics, feints, powerful combinations of different attacks, the psychological dimensions of the fight, and learning how to use the environment to your advantage.
Krav Maga includes specialized training methods to not only challenge students physically, but to also instill a special mental discipline meant to strengthen the spirit and to develop the ability to deal with violent confrontations under intense stress. Classes will also incorporate the self-defense techniques that they teach to law enforcement personnel.
Because of the Krav Maga’s combat-orientation, there are no competitions or tournaments. Like other arts, Krav Maga issues colored belts to mark higher levels of expertise.