Imi Lichtenfeld, was born in 1910 in Bratislava, in Czechoslovakia. Inspired and encouraged by his father Samuel, a former circus acrobat and prize-fighter, teacher of physical education, police detective and chief instructor of the Local Police who was reputed for his self-defence instruction and for his impressive arrest record, Imi practised many sports. He finally specialised in gymnastics, wrestling and boxing, and for ten years took part in many competitions, which he frequently won, mainly as a wrestler.
Important dates :
In 1928 Imi won the championship for free-style wrestling for the youth of Slovakia.
In 1929 he won the same championship for free-style wrestling but for adults and in two categories of different weights, as well as the national boxing championship plus an international gymnastic competition.
In 1935 : a rib broken during training just before a competition in Palestine kept him from competing ; from this event he drew a lesson concerning the question of safety while practice, contrary to the belief that you must win at all price : « first of all, avoid being wounded .... ».....