16 October 2012

What is Krav Maga?

Posted by Jody under: Health .

Martial arts isn’t solely an ancient Asian practice. An Isralian self-defense system called Krav Maga is a recent addition to the world of martial arts.

One of the most recent additions to the world of martial arts is the appearance of Krav Maga, also called the official Israeli self-defense system. Created by Imi Lichenfield some forty plus years ago, Krav Maga was designed to teach anyone, regardless of age, physical prowess and experience how to defend themselves against a variety of attacks.

Students initially learn kicking and punching techniques that emphasize quick speed attacks to vital areas such as the groin, eyes and throat. Low kicks to the knee are also used. Krav Maga distinguishes itself from most other martial arts systems (but not all) in that there are no rules. Anything goes and any attack and defense combination is welcomed to the art.

Most of the techniques themselves are combat-oriented versions of techniques borrowed from martial arts such as jujutsu, aikido, boxing, karate and judo as well as a number of lesser known but equally effective martial arts systems. Emphasis is placed on using exactly what is appropriate to the situation and nothing more.

Students also learn how to fall and roll properly since many encounters will end up on the ground. Defenses against armed multiple attackers are also drilled and students learn basic weapons such as knife, short staff and bayonet rifle to include in their repertoire. Defenses against all manner of submission holds like full nelsons, chokes, bear hugs, lapel grabs, and more all learned such that students have at their disposal a vast arsenal of knowledge with which to respond to an attack.

While initial instruction starts off slow, students rapidly progress to full speed, sparring wear protective equipment is used to cushion blows and protect the vital areas.

This type of training allows application in the classroom, examination of technique, and introduces the student to a small sampling of what an adrenaline rush during an attack may be like.

Initially designed to give the Israeli Defense Forces a centralized self-defense system, Krav Maga today has blossomed in popularity due to its pragmatic focus on personal protection techniques, its disdain for rigid forms that restrict free form thinking and responding, and its casual but simultaneously serious environment.

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