Krav Maga

Krav Maga training in Birmingham/West Midlands

If you are thinking about undertaking Krav Maga training in the Birmingham area, get in touch with the experts at Krav Maga Central today.

History of Krav Maga

Krav Maga is Hebrew for ‘contact combat’ and was developed by Imi Sde Or (Lichtenfeld) in Israel during the 1940. When the State of Israel was created in 1948, it was immediately in a fight for survival: surrounded by countries that either invaded or intended to invade, with no proper army, no time to train and few weapons. People were being sent to the front and told to fight with what they had. Imi, as Chief Instructor for the newly-formed Israeli defence force, developed Krav Maga as simple but effective way of enabling soldiers to defend themselves. It needed to be quick to learn and easy to remember under pressure, being taught to conscripts who may never have fought before.

Before emigrating to Israel, Imi was a champion boxer, wrestler and expert in Judo and Ju-Jitsu in his home country of Slovakia. His father was in charge of training detectives in Bratislava, which included teaching police defensive tactics. Imi had first-hand experience of street fighting as he and others defended the Jewish quarter of the city against attacks by local fascists in the run up to World War II. Krav Maga was a success and become part of the training programme for all Israeli military personnel and police. Imi continued to refine the system, leaving the army in 1964. He then went on to develop Krav Maga for civilian use and it became part of the national curriculum in Israeli schools. Krav Maga has spread all over the world, being used by security forces including the FBI, as well as in VIP protection, anti-terrorism, men, women and children of all ages. It is practised by celebrities and Krav Maga fight scenes have featured in movies including Enough, starring Jennifer Lopez and The Bourne Supremacy with Matt Damon. Imi died in 1998, at the age of 88. Avi Moyal is now the Chief Instructor of the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF).
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students practicing

Krav Maga techniques

Although Krav Maga shares many techniques with other martial arts, such as Boxing, Savate, Muay Thai (for the punches, kicks, elbows and knees), Ju-Jitsu, Judo and Wrestling (for the grappling and disarming techniques), the training is often quite different. It stresses fighting under worst-case conditions (for example, against several opponents, when protecting someone else, with one arm unusable, when dizzy, or against armed opponents). Training in Krav Maga is an aerobic workout, and relies heavily on pads. 

Students take turns holding pads and doing combatives against the pads. This is important because it allows the student to practice the technique at full strength, and the student holding the pad learns a little of what it feels like to get hit. It can be almost as taxing to hold a pad as to practice against one. 
a girl practicing Krav Maga

Basic principles of Krav Maga

In Krav Maga, there are no hard-and-fast rules. It is not a sport, and there are no competitions. All the techniques focus on maximum efficiency in real-life conditions. Krav Maga generally assumes a no quarter situation; the attacks and defences are intended to inflict the most pain possible on the opponent. Groin strikes, headbutts, and other efficient and potentially brutal attacks are emphasised.


The guiding principles for those performing Krav Maga techniques are:
  • Neutralise the threat
  • Avoid injury
  • Go from defending to attacking as quickly as possible
  • Use the body’s natural reflexes
  • Strike at any vulnerable point
  • Use any tool or object nearby
The basic idea is to first deal with the immediate threat (being choked, for example), prevent the attacker from re-attacking, and then neutralise the attacker, proceeding through all steps in a straightforward manner, despite the rush of adrenaline that occurs in such an attack. The emphasis is put on taking the initiative from the attacker as soon as possible. 

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If you are looking for Krav Maga classes in Birmingham, call Krav Maga Central on 
07956 595 224
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