Krav Maga In The 60’s And Onwards

A Change In Direction

It was during the year of 1968 that one of Krav Maga’s founder’s students Eli Avikzar began learning aikido. At this time Avikzar had also become the first black belt in Krav Maga. He decided to leave for France in 1971. It was here that he attained a brown belt in aikido.

When he returned he worked alongside Imi, his instructor to adapt and improve the already popular Krav Maga. They began to incorporate certain apsects of aikido into the martial art. This included Asian counter defences during hand to hand combat. It was also useful for fighting an armed opponent. Defending against a knife attack is one of the main purposes of Krav Maga. Aikido was seen as an ideal fighting style to incorporate and borrow elements from.

Eli Avikzar

Eli Avikzar was later given control as the head of the Krav Maga center located in Netanya. He soon after became the head of a section of the Israel Defence Force that specialised in training soldiers in Krav Maga. The fighting style rolled out more significantly and became a large part of training for soldiers thanks to Eli’s influence.

It got to the point where every P.E. teacher was legally required to learn the martial art. In 1987 Eli retired from the IDF. By this time he had trained 80,000 Israeli soldiers who were male as well 12,000 female army soldiers.

The year 1978 marked the foundation of the Krav Maga Association. Eli Avikzar was active as a member of the association for international judo. In 1989 he helped in establishing committees for the ranking professional Krav Maga fighters. It is thanks to him that we have the organised rankings and belt systems that are used to grade those who are learning Krav Maga today.