Eyal Yanilov Interview
Krav Maga is a modern, effective, system of self-defence & hand to hand combat. Krav Maga has been adopted by the like of the FBI, The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Beverley Hills PD - in fact more than 60 agencies in the USA alone - as well as the Finnish Paratroopers to name but a few.
Krav Maga was initially developed for the Israeli Defence Force and has now been adapted for civilian use. It has proved itself, consistently, under real life conditions
Krav Maga is based on our natural reactions & human behaviour. This
concept underpins the whole system. As the movements are based on natural
body reactions, a good level of proficiency can be achieved after only
a short period of instruction.
Krav Maga covers virtually all attack situations including ground fighting, multiple attackers, edged weapons, sticks, and firearms, and let’s not forget beer glasses
In a nutshell, the basic fighting principles are that every self defence response must meet all of the following criteria:
In the given situation, the defence or attack must be
The basic idea is to first deal with the immediate threat (e.g.
hands around one's neck), prevent the attacker from re-attacking,
then neutralize the opponent, proceeding through all the steps in a
very straightforward manner.
An emphasis is put on taking the initiative from the attacker as soon as possible. Krav Maga generally assumes a no-quarter situation- the attacks and defences are intended to inflict or divert the most pain possible on the opponent.
Groin, eye, and other "unfair" attacks are emphasized, as are a variety of other fairly brutal attacks.
It is considered acceptable to run away (and included in training), if the situation dictates that.
Krav Maga can be used against opponents who are armed, and against multiple opponents. It is also good in closed areas, such as airplanes.
Krav Maga stresses practice of fighting under worst-case circumstances (against several opponents, back to the wall, when protecting someone else, with one arm unusable, when dizzy, against armed opponents...).
In addition, the fact that there are no rules leads to different reflex mechanisms (protecting one's groin and one's eyes, for instance). The training emphasizes real-world practicality. There is heavy emphasis placed on stamina and concentration. Training is often undertaken while a speaker system blasts loud music, meant to train the student to ignore extraneous input and focus on causing as much damage as possible.
Krav Maga (a Hebrew phrase meaning 'contact combat') was developed for
the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) by Grandmaster Imi Sde-Or (Lichtenfeld)
just after WW2.
Imi was a champion athlete excelling in wrestling, boxing & gymnastics.
He formed a group of athletes that protected his neighbourhood against fascist thugs in 1930ís Czechoslovakia.
When Mr. Lichtenfeld came to Palestine prior to the establishment of the state of Israel, he began teaching hand to hand combat to the Haganah, the Jewish underground army.
After the establishment of Israel, Krav Maga was adopted by the Israeli armed forces and Police as the Martial Art of choice. The art reached its current form in Israel shortly after its formation.
After Mr. Lichtenfeld retired from a long career as chief instructor of Close Combat in the Israel Defence Force (IDF), he started teaching Krav Maga to the civilian population.
In this way, a civilian version based on the principles of Self defence was developed.