Krav Maga | Contact Combat

In Hebrew, Krav Maga translates as “contact combat”. It was first recognised as a formal system when it was used to train recruits to the Israeli Defence Force. After studying their instinctive responses under pressure, Lichtenfeld honed and adapted the reactions to be as efficient and powerful as possible in a fight.

Unlike martial arts such as tae kwon do or judo, Krav Maga is all about real-life situations rather than a series of calculated moves. There is no background philosophy, and when it comes to etiquette, eye-gouging and ball-crushing are both deemed perfectly acceptable. The rules are simple: there are no rules. It is already practised by more than 200,000 people worldwide, from young mothers to sports fanatics. The FBI are trained in it, the NYPD and LAPD use it and it’s on the national curriculum for high-school students in Israel, where it was devised. Along with other Hollywood kick-fighting divas, such as Angelina Jolie and J-Lo, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz are all keen followers of Krav Maga. Asthon Kutcher, Matt Damon and Sam Worthington are also dedicated students. Krav Maga fitness classes in gyms provide a faster-paced and less-combative workout version that could literally save your life.

Krav Maga encourages students to avoid confrontation. If this is impossible or unsafe, it promotes finishing a fight as quickly as possible. Attacks are aimed at the most vulnerable parts of the body, and training is not limited to techniques that avoid severe injury. Drills provide maximum safety to students by the use of protective equipment and the use of reasonable force. Students learn to defend against all variety of attacks and are taught to counter in the quickest and most efficient way.

For most Krav Maga students, self-defence is their main priority. There is no situation that isn’t catered for. Students are taught how to defend themselves from a ground position, when sitting or lying, or in dark surroundings. Props such as rubber knives, sticks (to imitate crowbars) and guns are used, and teachers will often deliberately tire their pupils at the start so that they are in a poor reactive state. “Every technique must work from the worst possible position”.Strength, size and gender do not matter. Angulation and learning about body weaknesses are far more important. Not only is it intended to quicken your reflexes, but it also leaves you fit and flexible, which may be why it is regarded as the most effective self-defence system to date.