The History of Krav Maga

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Krav Maga and Martial Arts: The History of Krav Maga

From Israel to Los Angeles, Krav Maga self-defense training has positively changed the lives of thousands of individuals.  That being said, it took some time for this transformational program to expand into the phenomenon it is today. This amazing self defense and physical fitness program has a fascinating history. Check out the story below for details on the history and development of the official hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Krav Maga: The Origins

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So, what is Krav Maga?

The roots of Krav Maga can be traced back to one man, Imi Lichtenfeld. Born in Budapest in 1910, Lichtenfeld grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia where his father was a police officer and self-defense instructor.  

Training at his father’s gym, Imi developed into a talented boxer, wrestler, and gymnast. As a young man, Imi fought and competed on the national and international levels.In the late 1930’s Imi used his experience in boxing, wrestling, and gymnastics to help defend Jewish neighborhoods from anti-semitic riots, which were flaring up in Bratislava.

These riots were often led by members of the socialist party and anti-semitic thugs, and Lichtenfeld had to adapt his competition based knowledge of fighting into a real world self defense system.  In 1940 Imi fled the Nazi occupation of his homeland and made his way to Palestine. There Imi joined the Haganah, a paramilitary group within the Jewish community dedicated to fighting for the independent state of Israel.  Lichtenfeld began to play a very strong role within the Israeli military system, and was asked to develop their self-defense system.

Thus Krav Maga was born. Lichtenfeld built up a strong group of followers, including special unit leaders, professionals in the armed forces, and police officers.  Using his knowledge of street fighting and legitimate competition tactics, Lichtenfeld was able to develop the revolutionary self defense system of Krav Maga.


Krav Maga Continues to Grow

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Krav Maga continued to grow as Lichtenfeld developed the IDF School of Combat Fitness. During this time, he continued to fine-tune his self defense method.  As Lichtenfeld increased the range of Krav Maga, the number of students grew.  To keep up with this massive following, Lichtenfeld adapted Krav Maga to better fit the lives of all individuals.  Throughout the 1960s, Lichtenfeld made it easy for all citizens, including women and children, to learn the techniques of Krav Maga so that they might better protect themselves.

Los Angeles and Krav Maga: Krav Maga Worldwide is Born.

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Krav Maga Worldwide was born when one of Imi Licthenfeld’s students, Darren Levine, decided to open a Krav Maga focused-center in Los Angeles. Since then, Krav Maga Worldwide has developed programs to fit individuals of all backgrounds. Using Imi Lichtenfeld’s original goals, Krav Maga Worldwide provides an accessible and approachable environment where Los Angeles citizens can learn self defense skills and increase their level of physical fitness.

The timeline of Krav Maga does not stop here.  With the amazing results Krav Maga provides, it’s no surprise that this self defense program is rapidly spreading throughout the United States, and changing the lives of hundreds of individuals.

Join the Los Angeles Krav Maga phenomenon and sign up for a class today!