Israeli Krav Maga | What You Should Know

Israeli Krav Maga is the official hand to hand combat system of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces).  It was developed and codified in the 1940’s during the formation of the Israeli state.

The Israelis needed every able body man and woman to participate in the defense of the state, so the system could not be based on size or strength, and it needed to be effective yet simple, so it could be taught and learned quickly.

Israeli Krav Maga made its way to the United States in the 1980’s and has since gained popularity among Law Enforcement and Hollywood stars alike.

The system features realistic defenses against common, real world attacks coupled with an unprecedented training style that builds fitness – a total body workout.

But Krav Maga did not invent the punch or the kick.  Combative strikes have been around for centuries.  The Israeli Krav Maga system is unique because although it borrows from other martial arts, it is a simplified, well integrated, cohesive system – one that begins all of its defenses with a natural, instinctive human response.

If an attacker aims to choke you, for example, the instinctive human defensive response is to shield and bring the hands up protecting the neck and throat.  Krav Maga begins its choke defense with a motion replicating this instinctive response.

All Krav Mag defenses begin with a natural response.  The idea is to program the “what comes next” response because the “what comes first” response is part of human nature and can’t be overridden.

Moreover, Israeli Krav Maga is not a collection of varied and different defenses.  Perhaps surprisingly, the defenses you learn as a beginner are relied upon in intermediate and advanced levels, when the level of threat is elevated.

Simply put, our goal is to teach the least amount of defenses to address the most amount of attacks.

Other distinctions separate Israeli Krav Maga from other defensive systems and give it its uniqueness.  Here is recap of some Krav Maga principles that are particular to the Israeli style.

Defenses ought to:
Begin with a natural, instinctive response
Be effective irrespective of strength, size, or gender
Account for variation of the same attack (choke from front vs. side, vs. rear, etc.)
Incorporate an immediate (simultaneous) counter attack.
Be replicable under increased levels of stress.

All instructors who teach Israeli Krav Maga, whether Israeli or not, ought to be mindful of these basics.

Here’s what one practitioner had to say about our training:

“I’d like to offer an unsolicited comment for the end of the newsletter which you send out periodically.   Just in case anyone would be interested:  In case anyone doubts the validity, the efficacy, or the reality of what is taught by KMNY; the weapons drills we practiced two weeks ago were exactly the same as what I learned as a soldier in the IDF. To me, that speaks volumes!” – Eldad B.

Krav Maga New York teaches elite self defense and fitness to ordinary, everyday people.

Expect fitness, friendships, command presence (a deterrent), and an increased sense of self-reliance and self-worth.

If you’d like to learn Israeli Krav Maga, we’d be happy to teach you.

Hope to see you in class,
Team Krav Maga New York

Israeli Krav Maga

Israeli Krav Maga

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