History of Krav Maga

Founder of Krav Maga Imi Litchenfeld

Krav Maga was developed in the late 1930s in Czechoslovakia and later refined in Israel. Its creation can be attributed to Imi Lichtenfeld. A Slovakian-Israeli martial artist and former boxer, wrestler, and bouncer. Imi developed Krav Maga as a practical and efficient self-defense system for the Jewish community in Bratislava to protect themselves against anti-Semitic violence. During a period of rising tensions leading up to World War II.

Imi Lichtenfeld later immigrated to Israel.  Where he continued to develop and teach Krav Maga to the Israeli military the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). Krav Maga became the official hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli military. And was further refined for military and law enforcement purposes.

Imi Lichtenfeld continued to refine and teach Krav Maga throughout his life. Adapting its techniques to suit the needs of military and law enforcement personnel. After his military service, Imi Lichtenfeld began spreading Krav Maga to civilians as well. Recognizing its practical applications for personal safety.

Today, Krav Maga is taught worldwide through various organizations and schools. Each with its own curriculum and approach. Imi Lichtenfeld’s contributions to the development of Krav Maga have left a lasting impact on self-defense training. And his legacy is carried on by the instructors and practitioners of Krav Maga around the world.

Men and Women a like anyone else, may choose to learn Krav Maga for a variety of reasons. Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed in Israel that focuses on practical and efficient techniques. Krav Maga is often incorporated into military and law enforcement training programs. Due to its practical and effective techniques. Male and Females that pursue careers in these fields may learn Krav Maga to enhance their skill sets.

Krav Maga Symbol

The Krav Maga symbol means.

The symbol is referred to as the kouf-mem. It is a representation of the Hebrew letters kouf (K) and mem (M). The open circle represents the open nature of the system. New ideas and techniques are continually added into the system, while old and outdated ideas may be removed. Because time and violence change within time, to over whelm the modern violence, Krav Maga needs to update its techniques and knowledge. Many Krav Maga Clubs within in the world has designed their own club Krav Maga logo.

The word Krav Maga

Translated from Hebrew into English it means Contact Combat

The primary goal of Krav Maga

Is to provide a simple and effective method for self-defense and combat situations. Emphasizing practical techniques that can be quickly learned and applied. It focuses on real-world scenarios and is designed to be accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities.

Krav Maga and Grading System

There was not a formal belt system initially. Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder of Krav Maga, began teaching the system to the Israeli military. And its evolution included the incorporation of belts in the 1960s. The grading and belt system was further refined over time by various instructors, and the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF) was established in 1996. Which helped standardize the system and certification process. 

While it’s challenging to identify the absolute first black belts, some of the early high-ranking Krav Maga practitioners include Imi Lichtenfeld, Eli Avikzar, Haim Gidon, Eyal Yanilov, also David Levine.  Who played crucial roles in the development and the spread of Krav Maga worldwide to date.


Krav Maga is known for its emphasis on real-world situations and practical self-defense techniques. Men and Women may learn it to feel more confident in their ability to protect themselves and others in potentially dangerous situations.


Krav Maga emphasizes quick and instinctive movements. Allowing practitioners to respond rapidly to threats. This can empower men and women by providing them with a sense of control and the ability to defend themselves quickly and effectively.

Increased Awareness

Krav Maga training often involves situational awareness.  Teaching individuals to assess their surroundings and identify potential threats and exit points of buildings etc. This can heighten awareness and be valuable for personal safety. Krav Maga training may also include situational awareness and strategies for avoiding conflict when possible.

Confidence Building

As individuals progress in their Krav Maga training. They often experience increased confidence and mental resilience in peoples ability to handle dangerous situations. Confidence can extend beyond self-defense situations and positively impact various aspects of their lives.


Krav Maga is a physically demanding.  Self defence system It provides a full-body workout, helping individuals improve their strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. And overall fitness. Some Krav Maga clubs do have physical fitness in their classes, they mainly are used for the beginning of the class, commonly known as a warm up, physical fitness is also known to be in krav maga drills, used as pressure testing the students knowledge and muscle memory.

Combat Sports Interest

Individuals interested in combat sports may be drawn to Krav Maga for its practical and efficient approach to fighting. While not a sport in the traditional sense, Krav Maga training can appeal to those with an interest in martial arts.

Real-World Applicability

Krav Maga is designed to be effective in real-world situations, It focuses on practical techniques that. Men and Females may appreciate the no-nonsense approach and the focus on quickly neutralizing threats. compared to traditional martial arts.

Personal Challenge

Learning Krav Maga requires dedication, discipline, and hard work. Men and Women may undertake the training as a personal challenge, pushing themselves physically and mentally to master the techniques.

It’s important to note that people’s motivations for learning Krav Maga can vary widely, and individuals may have a combination of these reasons. Additionally, Krav Maga is available to people of all genders that choose to learn it for various reasons.

Krav Maga Community

Joining a Krav Maga class provides an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share an interest in self-defense. This sense of community can enhance the overall experience and make training more enjoyable and fun while meeting new friends along the way.

Leave a Replay