Krav Maga in Early Israel

Moving to Israel

In the year of 1948 the State of Israel attained official independence. After this the defence of the nation became an important issue. Imi Lichtenfeld had moved to Israel and brought with him his new and early developing fighting style. He had spent years creating a brand new system that combined multiple Asian and Western forms of hand to hand combat. He had already tested it out his new martial art on:

  • Violent rioters
  • Antisemitic civilians in order to protect Jewish neighbourhoods
  • State sponsored Nazi enforcers

Now it was his job to arm members of the Israeli Defence Forces. He became their army’s first ever instructor in physical training. He taught Israeli soldiers his martial art which he called Krav Maga. This is in fact named after the Hebrew translation of “contact combat”.

Expanding Krav Maga

It was not long before Krav Maga expanded to the civilian popular of Israel. This occurred after Imi retired from the Israel Defence Forces. As he began to teach it to people outside of the army it began to increase in its popularity. Krav Maga quickly spread to a significant portion of the population of the new State of Israel.

People were drawn to Krav Maga’s simplicity and the fact that it had applications for real world conflict resolution. This is in contrast to other martial arts which are more focused on the sport element. Eventually these qualities began to recognised all across the world.

The expansion of Krav Maga across the globe can be credited to two instructors:

  • Darryn Levene
  • Eyal Yanilov

It is their system that is the most common form of the martial art today. Thanks to the founder and these two instructors Krav Maga has grown into the most long standing form of self defence in modern fighting.