At first most martial arts styles start out of necessity of as a type of self defense that is easy and effective. Nevertheless, over time things change and the unique idea is becomes corrupted. Krav Maga began off as a rough and tumble type of street fighting, but like most arts; it has grow to be “civilized”. Like with other martial arts Krav Maga’s own commercialization and recognition has grow to be its downfall.
They are saying necessity is the mother of invention and there isn’t a higher example of this than on the planet of self defense. Krav Maga was no different, it was born out of a must keep the peace and survive the brutal streets of Bratislava, Krav Maga’s founder, Imi Lichtenfield grew up on theses streets during harsh times. He knew what all street fighters know; combat sports aren’t self defense. Trained to be a boxer, he learned that if you should survive a fight, you could have to go all out and take down your enemy hard and fast.
Imi Lichtenfield was born in 1910 in Hungry, but grew up in town of Bratislava, Slovakia. He was a talented athlete who excelled in gymnastics, boxing, and wrestling. He received his first self defense training from his father Samuel, a 30 yr veteran of the local police force who had a fame as tough, but fair man. Through his profession, Samuel took down a number of the city’s hardest criminals. He taught other officers what he learned at his gym “Hercules.” On the gym officers learned each the best way to fight and more importantly, how and when to use force.
Though the world in 1930’s Hungary things looked bleak. The prosperity after World War I gave solution to global economic crisis and political upheaval. The banners of communism and fascism were flying around Europe and governments were powerless to stop armies of thugs from imposing their will on their communities. While most individuals know in regards to the battles of World War II, the fighting really began within the streets. Before the Nazis over took the country, their militia groups and gangs began terrorizing Jews and anyone else they saw as an enemy.
To guard his community in Bratislava, Imi began fighting the thugs within the streets. He quickly became aware that combat sports like boxing were inefficient and almost useless in a street fight. Within the boxing ring you never should cope with multiple fighter or worry about someone picking up a broken bottle, but in a street fight that happens on a regular basis. Imi learned fast and these real street fights would help him develop the principals of Krav Maga. As the road fights was full fledged war, Imi decided to flee to the Middle East, only to have a latest fight on his hands.
Imi left Nazi occupied Slovenia in 1940 and in 1942 he arrived in Palestine where Jews were fighting to make Israel an independent state. The fighting was all about close combat and guerrilla warfare. Imi shared what he knew with local paramilitary groups. Presently he was exposed to the British hand-to-hand combat system developed by police officer William Fairbairn and others. Fairbairn’s system was a group of easy techniques that could possibly be utilized by each law enforcement officials and soldiers. Once more Imi learned well and when Israel became a nation he would spend the following 20 years teaching Krav Maga to the soldiers of the nation’s armed forces.
Eventually civilians began learning the combat martial art for their very own protection, but because it became more commercialized, it stopped being a practical type of self defense and more like a “modern martial art”. Krav Maga was first a philosophy that permit a fighter cope with any situation. Nevertheless it wasn’t long before the strategy of coaching modified and other people began training for specific situations.
At first Lichtenfield knew first hand that to survive a street fight you wish a primary set of techniques and techniques that will be applied to any situation. Imi Lichtenfield taught his students to do whatever was essential to survive, not play games. There have been no hand wraps or spandex. He understood that if you should make it home you should have a set of tools that may work anytime in any situation. In a street fight nothing is for certain and even the perfect combatives training is simply a start line. Don’t think that if you could have learned Krav Maga that you just shall be ready for anything, since it is simply the start. If you should win in a detailed combat situation you should keep things easy and effective, so do not get bogged down by to much information.
Today popular Krav Maga has been described as from the whole lot to a type of Judo to a Mixed Martial Art. It has left the road and brought on the roll of a martial art, using sporting techniques misapplied to self defense situation. Students wear hand wraps, boxing gloves, have belt ranks and are taught situation specific defense techniques, similar to those taught within the overwhelming majority of martial arts studios. The one thing separating popular Krav Maga from the remainder of the pack is the name and the marketing. They’ve the story right, however the product is not any different. Fortunately there are a couple of proponents of the old ways still about. I hope for his or her sake and the legacy of Imi Lichtenfeld, their voice is heard.