Krav Maga is About a Lot More Than Just Fighting
Krav Maga was developed by the Israelis in the 1940’s to train their soldiers to protect themselves in some of the most dangerous environments on the planet. The Israeli’s needed something that their soldiers could learn in a relatively short time and that was devastatingly effective against a wide array of threats. Their answer was Krav Maga.
In the 1970’s Krav Maga spread beyond the army and was adapted for civilian use. It proved incredibly effective for civilian self defence because of it’s focus on surviving violent encounters rather than winning fights within a limited set of rules.
Once it spread beyond the Israeli army, Krav Maga was quickly adopted around the world by military and police forces, as well as civilian martial art schools. Its popularity was largely due to its logical approach to real violence and it’s effective techniques which are based on the body’s natural instinct and reflexes; this is what also makes Krav Maga quick to learn and practical to use.
Today Krav Maga is taught exclusively in every branch of the Israeli protective services where it continues to develop. It is the the number one choice for military and police forces in the world. And it is taught in civilian Krav Maga schools in virtually every country on the planet.
Krav Maga is a system that continues to develop. As knowledge grows and as the nature of threats around the world change, Krav Maga as a system adapts and grows to meet those threats.
The Founding Father and Grand Master of Krav Maga
Imi was born in 1910 to a Hungarian Jewish family. His father, Samuel served as a chief inspector on the Bratislava police force but also owned a modern gym – the first in the capital – where people practiced self-defence; then mainly boxing and wrestling. At his father's encouragement, Imi engaged in a wide range of sports, winning championships in boxing, wrestling and gymnastics.
In the mid-thirties, Fascist and anti-Semitic groups appeared in Bratislava, targeting the city's Jewish community in violent attacks. Imi led a group of Jewish boxers and wrestlers who would stand guard and defend his Jewish neighbourhood. Encountering many "street fights", Imi quickly realised that sport had little in common with real combat and began developing a system of techniques for practical self-defence in life threatening situations.
In 1940 Imi fled the Nazi occupation of his homeland, and arrived to Israel in 1942. Upon his arrival, Israel's early leaders recognised Imi's fighting abilities and commissioned him to train the defence force fighters in hand-to-hand combat. After the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the formation of the IDF he became the IDF Chief Instructor for hand-to-hand combat. Imi served in the IDF for 20 years, during which time he developed and refined his unique method for self-defence and hand-to-hand combat naming it Krav Maga (contact combat).
In 1964, Imi Sde Or retired from the military, and began adapting and modifying Krav Maga to civilian needs. The method was formulated to suit everyone - men and women, boys or girls.
Even during his last years, Imi continued teaching Krav Maga, captivating his students with his personality and imparting them with his knowledge and unique personality.
Imi Sde Or, our valued teacher passed away on the 9th of January 1998, at the age of 88.
Today Krav Maga is taught exclusively in every branch of the Israeli protective services. It is the number one adopted self defence system for military and police forces in the world. And it is practiced by hundreds of thousands of civilians in virtually every country on the globe.
Imi’s legacy lives on.