Bio Richard Douieb

If you ask whether martial arts are actually efficient and effective, it implies that it is the martial art that makes the man. In Krav Maga, however, we tend to think that it is the man who makes the martial art.

Richard Douieb has been teaching Krav Maga in France and elsewhere in Europe since 1987, officially delegated by its Founder, Imi Lichtenfeld.

1970 to 1973

- Acrobatic gymnastics after six years of swimming.
- Started learning English-style boxing.

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1973 to 1974

- One year of karate and Krav Maga at a kibbutz in Israel.

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1974 to 1976

- Recruited to an elite commando unit in the Israeli army. Obtained military diploma in Krav Maga.

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1976 to 1977

- Demobilised from the army following an injury. One year of convalescence in a rest home.

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1977 to 1980
- Resumption of daily classes in Krav Maga at the same time as studying to become a teacher of physical education. Qualifications obtained: teacher of gymnastics, Krav Maga instructor, and black belt in Krav Maga.

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1980
- Return to France. Started learning judo, ju-jitsu and boxing (English, American and Thai styles).

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1982
- Progression to black belt in ju-jitsu and American-style boxing. Progression to second dan in Krav Maga, in Israel.

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1983 to 1986
- Champion of France in American-style boxing; taught American-style boxing in Argenteuil (France).
Several trips to Israel for training courses. Progression to third dan in Krav Maga.

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1987
- Obtained qualification as teacher of Krav Maga, recognised by the Ministry of Education in Israel. 
Return to France and creation of first school of Krav Maga. Mandate as official representative of Krav Maga in Europe, delegated by the Founder.

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1990 
- Several trips to Israel. Progression to fourth dan in Krav Maga.
- Start of regular training courses (still being held) at the company FORS (technical research in the field of security) in Switzerland.

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1993
- First year as official trainer of police in France’s GIGN elite intervention squad. 
Regular training courses held until 2005.

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1994
- Start of training for police and sport managers in Lausanne, in the form of an internship.

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1995
- Progression to fifth dan.
- Start of regular training courses for the Polish intervention unit at the Centrum Skolenia Policji.

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2007
- 20 March: validation of first level of French qualification as sports instructor (‘BEES’).

What about certain disciplines with names strangely similar to ours?

It is obvious that what they do has nothing in common with Krav Maga apart from a vaguely similar name. Their self-styled ‘grand masters’ have awarded themselves their grades, with a degree of self-importance that is matched by the number of their self-awarded dans.

If anyone goes so far as to say that his discipline is a combination of American-style boxing and Krav Maga, or that it takes its inspiration from strictly codified martial arts, it is obvious that they have not understood the essence of what Krav Maga is about. Krav Maga is a complete martial art and as such it necessarily includes techniques that are also used elsewhere. What makes us original is not the techniques we use but the way we use them, and above all the way we practise our sport in order to minimise risks. Krav Maga is not just another martial art. If two people use the same punch or kick or the same stranglehold escape, I can tell straight away which of the two practices Krav Maga.

I also get very angry about a few real teachers of a mediocre standard who spend most of their time training other teachers in the space of a few days; the teaching is of course not very good, and it is certainly not expensive, but they lord it over their students, with no conviviality, and their ethics would make my Master Imi blush with shame – even though they claim to be following his teaching.

To end this warning about parasites – and they are in fact a sign of the growing success of the method – I would just like to add that the reason for my anger does not come from any concern I may have regarding the development of the FEKM, which has nothing to fear from these unimportant people; my concern is for the harm these false teachers do to their small number of pupils – people who in all good faith have put themselves in the hands of irresponsible people who are prepared to mistreat them in order to pander to their petty need for power.

Some explanations of the background

In 1988, Imi felt that I had reached the necessary level, after fifteen years of practising Krav Maga, to represent him in Europe. He appointed me his representative, and provided me with an official letter to prove it.

At the time, there was only one association in Israel apart from those of Daren Levine and Eli Aviczar (set up in 1983 and 1984 respectively). In 1994, Eyal Yanilov created his own association, the IKMF. For my part, I stayed with my Master until his death, following his teaching for 24 years. Imi had so much to pass on that, throughout this entire period, there was always something else for me to learn. My meeting him was providential, in both technical and human terms.