Krav Maga is a military self-defence and fighting system developed for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and Israeli security forces derived from a combination of techniques sourced from boxing, wrestling, JuJitsu, judo and karate.
Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and its extreme efficiency. It was derived from the street-fighting experience of Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler while defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, during the mid-to-late 1930s. In the late 1940’s, following his migration to Israel, he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the IDF.
From the outset, the original concept of Krav Maga was to take the most simple and practical techniques of other fighting styles (originally European boxing, wrestling, and street fighting) and to make them rapidly teachable to military conscripts.
Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasising aggression, and simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers. Krav Maga has been used by the Israel Defence Forces’ special forces units, the security apparatus, and by regular infantry units. Closely related variations have been developed and adopted by Israeli law enforcement and intelligence organisations. There are several organisations teaching variations of Krav Maga internationally.