Krav Maga means "Close combat" in Hebrew. It consists of two parts:
-Self-defense, which is the essential framework. This is made up of a variety of techniques which aim to enable those have been begun training to defend themselves against an attack, to avoid being injured and to finish-off an assailant. It includes responses to a wide variety of attacks, armed or unarmed and from various positions: upright, seated, lying down...
-Hand-to-hand combat, which constitutes a more advanced phase of Krav Maga; here one is taught ways in which to neutralize an opponent quickly and effectively. It includes elements which are, strictly speaking, more concerned with actual fighting: tactics, feints, various attack combinations, the psychological dimension of combat… and the training exercises reinforce its spirit and develop the ability to manage violent confrontations whilst in a state of stress.
Krav Maga is not just another school of martial arts, based on conventional approaches. It is above all concerned with a modern methodology of self-defense characterized by a coherent and logical approach allowing natural, practical and easy techniques, based on relatively simple movements of the human body. This discipline's concern with realism does not therefore permit rules, limits or its use in sporting events.
Krav Maga grew out of an environment in which violence, particularly of an ideological or political nature, was commonplace. It was consequently tested, studied and refined and has demonstrated itself to be a comprehensive method of self-defense when faced with critical danger.
THE SEARCH FOR THE EFFECTIVENESS
In Krav Maga we believe that simplicity is a determining factor in safeguarding one's chances of survival when faced with physical aggression. Simple movements are short and consequently less tiring. There are two good reason for simple movements: they constitute the most effective way of preserving one's physical stamina during a fight, and a simple movement, being short has less distance to cover, and is thus inevitably faster.
In spite of the absence of limitations in Krav Maga, we obviously abide by all the necessary safety regulations to ensure that students can improve their level of practice in a secure environment. We must also however, ensure that no movement, nor any attack, is foreign to us. Aesthetics are of no concern to us; our priority is effectiveness. Our concern is to avoid any false teaching, and to prioritize instead a culture of effectiveness which we will be able to use in moments of absolute necessity. First of all we will make every effort to remain alive and, if necessary to kill in order not to be killed. Secondly, we will try to be sufficiently effective to exercise the self-control necessary not to have to kill or to cause irreparable damage. This is the point at which Krav Maga becomes an art form.
THE NOTION OF SELF-DEFENSE
The legitimate self-defence allows a person to defend himself by using force without being accused. In order to be considered legitimate self-defence, the following points are taken into account :
- - it must be necessary: there can be no alternative (running away for instance);
- - it must be imperative (the victim does not have the time to call the Police for instance);
- - it must be proportionate to the assault
Violence must be employed only to defend yourself immediately. If violence is used when the assaillant is leaving or in anticipation of a future or uncertain assault it is not considered to be legimate. An instructor has to be aware of these legal facts and has to inform his students.
THE BRANCHES OF KRAV-MAGA
As many martial arts unfortunately, different schools of Krav-Maga appeared even before the death of the founder, Imi Lichtenfeld. Theses branches were created by recognized instructors who all worked with Imi and who are or were excellent but with a point a view different regarding to their personnality. The very first instructors were Eli Avikzar, Raphy Elgrissi et Haim Zut.
Eli Avikzar was Eyal Yanilov's, Haïm Giddeon's, Kobi Lichtenstein's and Richard Douïeb's teacher. Richard Douïeb also worked with Raphy Elgrissi and Haïm Zut. These 4 persons were also Imi's students.
Nowadays, 5 main organizations exist : FEKM, IKMA, IKMF, WKMF and Federaçao Sul Americana de Krav-Maga.