Looking for something fun and active for you or your child to do this year? Krav Maga is a newer type of combative method that is imminently practical for self-defense and gives you an excellent workout. But, where did it come from, and how does it work? Here, 914 Training Center — in Scarsdale, NY — shares a brief history of this hybrid martial art.
The Start of Krav Maga
In the years preceding World War II, Fascism was steadily growing in popularity in Europe and times grew harder for Jewish people. In Bratislava, Slovakia, Imi Lichtenfeld — already-renowned Jewish athlete — gathered and trained a band of young men to defend themselves and others from street violence. He managed to escape to Palestine just before war broke out in earnest and joined a paramilitary group called Haganah, which would later become the Israel Defense Forces — IDF.
With a combination of Judo, Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, and Boxing, Lichtenfeld created his own form of hybrid self-defense technique that came to be known as Krav Maga — or ‘contact combat’ in Hebrew. After the war, he worked with the IDF for two decades, training soldiers for self-defense in only three weeks and further perfecting his Krav Maga methods.
The Principles of Krav Maga
While Krav Maga makes use of many martial arts techniques, it’s hard to judge whether it is a martial art itself. It is a modern system of self-defense with no rules whatsoever. All parts of the opponent’s body are targets, and any available weapon is fair game. Students’ bodies and instincts are trained to quickly disarm an attacker from any position, making it highly practical for military and civilian uses.
The Spread of Krav Maga
Lichtenfeld retired from the IDF in the 60s and opened his own Krav Maga training center in Israel where he continued to perfect his methods while training civilians. In the 70s, he created the Krav Maga Association to promote its use and training throughout the world. Through the 80s, it grew in popularity in the States and is now used by military and law enforcement here and around the world. Because of its simple and effective techniques, it has saved lives.
If you’re still on the fence about what fight system you want to learn, consider enrolling in what is still the official combative method of the IDF. At 914 Training Center, they offer numerous Krav Maga courses for all ages, starting at four years old. With various martial arts and self-defense training courses, this family-owned training center seeks to fight bullying, support the military, and give everyone a chance to defend themselves and build strong bodies. For more information about them or their course schedule, call them today at (914) 437-5353 or visit their website.