Krav Maga is Self Defense, Fighting and Fitness all in One

I was introduced to Krav Maga by my husband who is an expert black belt.

Krav Maga is the most devastating fighting /self defense system in the world . It’s  the official self defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces (both regular and special forces)  and also the defensive tactics system used to train the Israeli Police, Israeli Intelligence and all Security Divisions and has been taught to hundreds of law enforcement agencies and thousands of civilians in the United States and throughout the  world

Krav Maga was derived from street-fighting skills developed by Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler as a means of defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava in the mid-to-late 1930s. In the late-1940s, following his immigration to Israel, he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the IDF, who went on to develop the system that became known as Krav Maga which stands for hand to hand combat in Hebrew. It has since been refined for civilian, police and military applications. Krav Maga was introduced in the U.S in the early 1980’s and growing internationally since the 1990’s.

Krav Maga is not a traditional martial art. There are No katas and No rituals. It’s actually a form of combat with no rules and no limitations. Martial arts such as Judo, Karate, and even wrestling are considered sports;  Krav Maga, on the other hand is a regulated form of combat.

[box type=”note”]In fact, the point of Krav Maga is to take the enemy down as quickly as possible. Some teachers of Krav Maga explain it as “the art of going home alive,” which means that groin strikes, choking, and head butts are considered acceptable moves .[/box]


Krav Maga for Self-Defense?

This simple, yet effective self defense system emphasizes on instinctive movements, practical techniques, and realistic training scenarios. It’s designed to teach real self defense in the shortest possible time. The objective of Krav Maga is to avoid injury in real-life scenarios, such as fights, street attacks, and violent encounters.

In addition to using their bodies to fight, practitioners of Krav Maga are taught to use the environment as a weapon. This means learning to use any object nearby, from bottles to baseball bats, as a gun-substitute.   Advanced students of Krav Maga learn to defend themselves from gun and knife attacks, multiple attacker scenarios, headlocks, and ground fighting.  Just as important it teaches people to function during the stress and shock of a sudden, violent encounter. Krav Maga is also great for women because it focuses on rape prevention techniques and tactics and teaches you to spot danger signs and how to defend yourself when no danger signs are given.

Anyone these days can learn Krav Maga. There are academies in many cities across the country that teach it. You do not need any previous experience in martial arts and you do not need to be in great shape to learn it.

If you’re looking to get in great shape and learn realistic self defense  that’s  been proven in military combat then Krav Maga is for you.

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My name is Milena and I’m a black belt in taekwondo, expert in Krav Maga and a Fitness buff. I’ve been working out for over 20 years. I love to help people find a healthier way to live with exercise and eating naturally. You can check out my blog at

One thought on “Krav Maga is Self Defense, Fighting and Fitness all in One

  • May 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I don’t necessarily agree its the most devastating martial art in the world (I think all arts are devastating if applied correctly) or that Karate or other arts are simply “sports”, there are sport aspects to all of them (including Krav Maga as you wear protection in all out striking scenarios) but at the core the desire is to defend yourself from attackers at whatever means.  There is nothing new in Krav Maga that is not in any of the other arts.What is in Krav Maga though it brings forth the premise of “any means necessary” to the forefront more often then most.  This is what martial arts is about – you walk away and your attacker does not.  For example MMA is great and fighting in MMA is about as close as your going to get to a real fight in terms of striking and grappling, but there are rules (limited strikes in certain positions, limited targets, time limits, etc…).  In the art I practice, there are no rules except be alive at the end.  Gouging the eyes, striking the groin, crushing the adams apple, breaking the neck, hyperextending/breaking joints, and so forth are all part of the plan along with your more regular punches, kicks, elbows, and backfists.  Obviously we don’t spar at this level, but groin strikes are legal in sparring, I have had 13 stitches on my eyebrow, fractured ribs, and so forth so its not always “points fghting” either.  In my art you have to be able to ramp up to the highest level of effort as fast as possible, so the Krav Maga mentality of “getting this over” is there already as well.  Granted Krav Maga practices this more often, its part of every class whereas Karate has Kata and other items to master.  And before you write off Kata, what people miss about Kata is that its the answers to the test, its up to you (and your instructors) to figure out the questions, if you explore what is going on in the kata you learn new ways to handle familiar situations, especially as you grow in your art.  Perhaps better ways for your body type or style to use over the already prepackaged responses taught to you. So there is a continuous growth mechanism attached to the self defense, making it a life long journey to master.  I also believe working Kata like we work Kata helps with building balance, coordination, and even conditions the body to deliver powerful strikes (ever stood in a low horse stance for over 30 minutes?  You will never fight from that stance, but it its an isometric leg conditioning exercise, as well as a mental exercise).  And all of this is coming from a guy who loves the self defense side of my art MUCH more then Kata, I am more martial then art.
    But, I like the premise of the article, using self defense as a healthy way to exercise and get fit.  I have been doing this for years.  No matter what the art is, properly applied its great.  Get out there and try some, find the one that “fits” your style, and have some fun while learning something that may come in handy one day!


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