The Israeli Krav Maga system is one of the most effective, practical, and holistic fighting systems in the world. It is based on utilitarian movement, natural instinct and constant adaptation. Krav Maga will not only enhance your body’s physical abilities but will build your mind and soul in the process. It is designed to benefit people of all shapes, sizes, and physical abilities regardless of age.
Battle-tested and street-proven, Israeli Krav Maga is the Israel Defence Force's official self-defence and close-quarters-combat system.
Adapted by the Israeli government for military & law enforcement self-defense and close-quarters-combat training regimen, Krav Maga quickly spread to private security institutions around the world reaching global prominence.
Krav Maga’s philosophy is never to do more than necessary, but to react with speed, economy of motion, and the appropriate measure of force. You may be your first and last line of defense in an increasingly violent world so Krav Maga techniques are dynamic and constantly evolve as situations require. If a situation is dire, the defender must do whatever is necessary to overcome the threat. This may include multiple strikes to the groin, throat, kidneys, a finger planted into an eye, shouting into an attacker’s ear, a head butt, breaking an attacker’s elbow using an armbar variation, severing an attacker’s Achilles tendon using an ankle lock, a bite to the neck, or choking an assailant into unconsciousness. Speed is paramount and one is taught to strike instinctively at the human body’s vulnerable parts. There are no rules on the street or in open combat. You must be prepared to whatever it takes to survive.
Krav Maga uses building blocks from the most simple defenses to world-renowned advanced disarming techniques including empty-handed defenses and disarms against bladed weapons, firearms, hand grenades and even rocks.
Founder Imi (Emerich) Lichtenfeld (1910-1998)
Imi Lichtenfeld was born in Budapest, Hungary and later resided in Bratislava, Slovakia. Imi’s father, Samuel Lichtenfeld, joined a professional circus where he excelled at wrestling and boxing. After developing extensive knowledge in fitness training along with wrestling, boxing, and mixed-skill fighting, Samuel joined the police as a detective and had the leading arrest record. Samuel also opened the gym “Hercules” where Imi began his training. Imi rapidly distinguished himself as a champion in judo, boxing, wrestling, gymnastics and ball room dancing among other athletic pursuits.
In 1935 Imi visited Palestine with a team of Jewish wrestlers to participate in the Maccabi games but could not participate because of a broken rib that resulted from his training while on route. This led the fundamental Krav Maga precept, “do not get hurt” while training. Imi returned to Czechoslovakia to face increasing anti-Semitic violence. Imi organized a group of young Jews to protect his community. On the streets, Imi acquired hard won experience and the crucial understanding of the differences between sport fighting and street fighting. He developed his fundamental self-defense principle: “Use natural movements and reactions” for a defense combined with an immediate and decisive counterattack. From this evolved the refined theory of “simultaneous defense and attack” while “never occupying two hands in the same defensive movement.”
Imi arrived in Israel after serving with great notoriety in the Czech Legion. Israel’s early leaders immediately recognized Imi’s fighting prowess and innovativeness. Imi began to train Israel’s first fighting units the Palmach, Palyam, and Haganah in military close quarters combat. This training included fighting fitness, bayonet tactics, sentry removal, knife fighting, stave/stick fighting and any other military oriented problems that required a creative solution. After retiring from the Israeli Defense Forces in 1964 as chief instructor for physical fitness and hand-to-hand combat (which became recognized as the system “Krav Maga”), Imi established the Israeli Krav Maga Association (IKMA) in 1978 to promote Krav Maga throughout the world for both civilians and law enforcement. Imi focused both on teaching professionals and adapting his system to provide ordinary civilians – men, women, and children – with solutions to avoid and/or end a violent encounter. Haim Gidon, the highest-ranking individual in the world at 10th degree black-belt, heads the organization as Imi’s appointed successor.
For more information on Krav Maga and its founder, Imi Lichtenfeld, in either English or Hebrew, please visit www.kravmagaisraeli.com.
Grandmaster Haim Gidon (10th dan and IKMA President)
Grandmaster Haim Gidon (10th dan and IKMA President) is a member of Krav Maga founder Imi Lichtenfeld’s first training class in the early 1960’s. Haim fought in the Six Day War, War of Attrition, and Yom Kippur War. Prior to the 1967 War, Haim resumed his competitive boxing and decided to learn more about the Krav Maga principals he had learned in the military. In 1978, Haim helped Imi co-found the IKMA. Along with Imi and other top instructors, Haim Gidon co-founded the Israeli Krav maga Association (IKMA) which he now heads as President. In 1994, Haim was elected as IKMA president and opened his current gym and the main training center for the IKMA located on Ben Zion Street, Netanya, Israel. In 1995, Imi nominated Haim as the top authority to grant 1st dan Krav Maga black-belt and up. In an IKMA ceremony, Imi awarded Haim Gidon 8th dan and stated 9th and 10th dans “were to come” designating Haim as the highest ranking Krav Maga instructor. (Video clips of the ceremony are available at www.kravmagaisraeli.com).
Imi approved of Haim’s adding extensive groundwork, modified weapons defenses and other additions/improvements to the Krav Maga system. Grandmaster Gidon is also a committee member of the Wingate (Israel’s national sports institute) professional committee representing the self-defense style of Krav Maga. As President and Grandmaster of the IKMA, he has taught the Israeli Police defensive tactics for the last thirty years to Israel’s security and military agencies. Haim has received special commendation from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies worldwide for his specific Krav Maga law professional training curriculum. His teaching expertise is requested worldwide.