an old article that is still relevant to current times.


White Belt
Feb 15, 2012
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Hello guys, As this is my first post i'm trying to make it as neutral as possible. just posting an old article of an israeli newspaper сalled "haaretz" and was published in 12.9.2004.

just a littel disclaimer: 1) This article looks upon the rise of Krav Maga and the consequences of it gaining popularity.

And another point which you all should be aware of is: In the article Eyal Yanilov is mentioned as someone who published a book about krav maga which was later translated into other languages. From different sources i've heard that it is not the true, and this book was originally written by Imi's which later asked eyal to translate it, which he did, past his death.

also another thing to keep in mind, this article was translated from hebrew using google translator

hope you enjoy.

"I left a pub near Victoria Station in London, and I was pretty drunk. Suddenly I felt a blow on the head. Fell on the sidewalk, and two strangers began to break my ***. I could not do anything. Doubled over, protecting your head with your hands, and prayed it would end" , the number of Kevin Harrop.

Harrop, 33, is a software engineer and rising to a height of 1.85 meters. He does not look like a folding so easily. After ten years of combat training in four overs, he never imagined such a humiliating encounter with the sidewalk, unable to defend himself. "They attacked me not because they wanted to rob, but because they wanted to unload their nerve on someone. Really bothered me that I could not defend myself properly and I started looking for a method that would allow me to react instinctively to a situation of an attack. Krav Maga was the ideal solution for me" . Month after he started training, Harrop very pleased with the Israeli fighting doctrine. "In the short time that I learned more in self-defense techniques and fighting styles than any others combined."

Harrop was one of six students who reported humid summer day in the classroom of John Aldkroft, fitness trainer and self defense, that specializes in fighting from Thailand and Brazil. Aldkroft concocted a complex mixture of training. Runs, crunches and strenuous warm-ups, which sprinkled every half hour, and included a hilarious imitations - but extremely difficult - a frog jumping and crawling crocodile. In between, he practiced with students dealing with a series of dangerous situations. As a stranglehold and exchange punches and attempts to target organs susceptible to injury. Students, sweaty and breathless, at the end of training remained sprawled on the floor, they were totally exhausted.

The last two years gaining Israeli combat doctrine - called KRAV MAGA world - great popularity, especially in northern Europe and the United States. Several factors, including the September 11 attacks and Hollywood stars of interest method, has led to hundreds of training classes around the world which specialize in combat training.

Krav Maga system was conceived and developed 50 years ago by Imi Lichtenfeld (field - light), a Jewish athlete who grew up in Bratislava, the shadow of his father, who was a circus. Lichtenfeld, winning several championships in boxing and wrestling team Slovakia, decided to leave the country following the rise of fascism and anti-Semitic outburst. When he immigrated to Israel, he joined the Palmach and the Haganah, and the state appointed the army chief instructor of Krav Maga and Fitness.

60s Lichtenfeld came to understand that we need to develop a method that would give correct solutions to dangerous situations. He instituted his knowledge of the general theory of self-defense, including techniques and ingredients drawn from several martial disciplines - including judo, wrestling, jujitsu and boxing, along with original solutions conceived by himself. In 1964, Lichtenfeld began to formulate a neat turn, based on his experience fighting face to face.

"The main goal is to get out as quickly as possible," said Chairman of the International Krav Maga Federation, Eyal Inilov, who was the senior disciple of Lichtenfeld and write the basic school system ("Krav Maga: How to protect yourself against armed assault"), translated into six languages. He said, Krav Maga integrates three principles: based on responses Rflksiwiot and intuitive of the body, carrying out most efficiently, without exaggerated movements or unnecessary; based on the skeleton of basic techniques, which are derived from the response data, variations slightly, to situations of them are the people - such as hijacking, assault with a knife or strangling. theory affected the combat and other combat techniques, says Inilov, especially on Karate and Judo: "My mother used to say: the end everyone will come my way."

The method was adopted gradually in the IDF and special units, and in 1970 gave her the Ministry of Education official recognition as a martial art, and shortly thereafter began to open at the Wingate Institute training courses. Day included learning Krav Maga as a full-fledged export directory of the Ministry of Defense. To preserve the system and disseminate it to a new audience in 1978 established Lichtenfeld "the Israeli Krav Maga Association", which he led until his death in 1998. "Learning Krav Maga Imi Lichtenfeld and the IDF are one," he wrote Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who sent him on 1993 personal letter of thanks for his contribution.

Intifada and Israel's image deterioration in Europe in recent years almost no impact on the marketing efforts of Krav Maga, although recently, a number of difficulties have rise. Guide Aldkroft says he was in contact with a private company being renovated citizens military training regimen, and she had received complaints that it combines combat studies in its courses. "The manager of the company turned to me and said he had received complaints from people," says Aldkroft. Complainants, who refused to be identified, said the British company that they do not understand what should be taught "method of fighting anti - Arabic based on the dispersal of demonstrations by Palestinians". The manager said Laldkroft: "We should not import some Arab client class and complains that we are teaching him an Israeli self-defense system." His class, however, no students no problem with a system that originated in Israel.

Not the most aesthetically

Aldkroft number Krav Maga rolling case, after some clients asked for advice about self-defense. "I looked around and discovered Krav Maga provides the best answer," he says. The combination of grueling physical training and modern techniques for extrication captured his heart. "This is perhaps not the most aesthetically martial art, but it provides the answer to the best and fastest with minimal effort."

"The more aggressive combat judo or karate. There any classes or rituals; do not even have a special uniform. Enough to come with a T - shirt and sneakers. Goal is to escape from danger by taking advantage of all the opponent's weak points - kicks to the groin, pushing fingers to the eyes, anything that might save you - and therefore very practical training. apprentice learns protection against knife attack has been first class. in combat while others come to it only much later. "

Aldkroft came on the Israeli martial art study volunteer moment where we can determine the effectiveness of enemy. "A lot of things about Krav Maga season was kind of event I was involved with youth. For example, to deal with someone stronger or more violent. Krav Maga provides the tools and determination to overcome it."

The chance would come his way before eight months. "I ski trip in Montana with Richard Wright (a former member of Pink Floyd, Shaldkroft is his personal trainer, WH). And I went out with his chef, an Italian in his 50s, living in New York, pub. When we entered we realized immediately that it was wrong. "One of the locals, who did not like the" invasion "to his favorite bar, decided to teach the foreign guests took." It was bigger than 50 pounds, just a man mountain, "says Aldkroft." He was waiting for us Outside, very nervous, the pub's staircase. He immediately sent a punch at first, but I managed to block it; fell down the stairs and continued to fight, not far from the parking lot. After a few minutes he was tired, and saw that he could not defeat me, then he stopped and separated us. We more or less well - I had a black eye and he was spitting blood from the nose and mouth - but for me it could have been much worse. "

Aldkroft never visited Israel, but moved to the UK training courses and authorized to organize and conduct courses of Krav Maga in London, which he puts at 11 sites. Every few months he organizes comprehensive training campaign with the participation of senior Israeli instructors. Aldkroft says he was surprised by the volume of demand. "This is a martial art to new people coming While we are not campaign or something like that. It's just a matter of time before Krav Maga will catch the UK. I predict that the demand will be very large, because people are fed from training gyms. It boring them and they are looking for something that gives them interest ".

The difference between Krav Maga and other fighting methods is also reflected in the type of people who join courses of Aldkroft. "Kick Boxing and Boxing attract relatively low-class training in jujitsu and kung fu interesting higher-class people. Krav Maga, than I am impressed, attractive professionals. For example, lawyers who specialize in criminal law and should represent criminals, or doctors fear of violence in hospitals. These people have no time to devote to karate and develop for 15 or 20 years, instinctive skills. they need immediate training to work on the reactions of the body's natural reflex. "

Using the right marketing, he says, Krav Maga may be the next hit in the UK martial arts. According Aldkroft, -400-200 people learn about Krav Maga in the UK. "Look what happened to Judo: Six years ago there were barely two hundred students, today there are already several thousand. Enough a few celebrities and experts in other martial arts styles start to practice, to drag others ".

Not only in London are so. System of Krav Maga is taught in dozens of countries. U.S. alone has 200 centers and branches. Armies, security services, police and U.S. federal agencies - such as the nose - me - ay, and airline security agency, secret service - and some courses were received permission to run internal courses. Demand for Continuing Education in the civilian sector increased significantly since the September 11 attacks, along with an increase in interest in the armies and special units.

According to the President of the Federation Ilinov, he trained together with his dozens of units and organizations worldwide. "We conducted training in the Swedish army, special units and police forces in Finland, Poland, Norway, Australia and Singapore." In fact, he says, "There is almost no military or security organization not heard or experienced combat training".

Accolades were not long in coming: "We use this system for five years and is very effective," wrote to Linilov Lieutenant - Colonel Bogdan Coltonsky, commando battalion commander in the Polish Army. "Krav Maga is the most comprehensive method of self defense that I've ever run", adored Peter Lindskog, guide and self-defense weapon police Gothenburg, Sweden. Jeremy Margolis, Illinois police chief, decided to combine the array combat basic training and ongoing, "because we think is the best method there is." Similar letters were sent to the Army School of the Finnish drop, agents also - I - Investigation and other agencies.

Hollywood also recently adopted the Krav Maga. A long list of stars, including Patrick Swayze ("Dirty Dancing"), Cristana Loken (the star of "Terminator 3" with Arnold Schwarzenegger), Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie and James Gandolfini (who plays Tony Sopranos Sofarno ") paid off or were trained in Krav Maga in preparing the roles she played. Despite the respectable list, krav maga is almost unknown in the U.S. until a few years ago.

The breakthrough came when Jennifer Lopez, who played two years ago, a battered woman in the movie "Enough", found the Krav Maga. Lopez played the character, Slim, learned the secrets of Krav Maga and overcame an abusive husband. Lopez insisted on doing all her own stunts in the film and studied Krav Maga for three months. Her mouth had nothing but praise: "the very essence of Krav Maga is finding the inner strength that exists within each one, and this is what generates the big change in the character I am playing," Lopez said in interviews that preceded the film port, and jump the number of those interested in the U.S. four times. Even the movie failed at the box office (combat specialists also were reluctant to say the least, the performance of Lopez), the public relations campaign and the enthusiasm with which she talked about the Israeli system was a dream come true method for distributors worldwide.

Greater the success, so the number who claim the throne succession of Lichtenfeld. Around the world are several organizations and associations, each of which appears in the Israeli boasts inheritance "or another that gave them the founder of the method before his death. Many of them present a common pictures and documents signed by him, which they claim to be followers "real".

Behind these organizations are active and senior instructors who retired founding body. "The success of the original society organizations led to the establishment of competing," says Gideon fan, senior instructor and son of Haim Gidon, president of the Association. "Began a power struggle, who controls and directs the face of Krav Maga." He said, "each pulling the other way as one sees eye", as the main disagreement is how much remained loyal to the teachings in the industry and the principles of the founder of the method.

The result is a night - a multitude of specialties and sub - styles are included under the umbrella concept of "contact combat"; no one orthodoxy prevails, and any organization or senior instructor develops the techniques and methods in accordance with the considerations of his ordination. Aldkroft, for example, combines the lessons it teaches elements borrowed Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Thai boxing, fighting in which two specialized branches. "I learned the basic elements of Krav Maga, but I do not want to rely only on one method of attack or defense," he says. Aldkroft trained police officers from various units scattered skirmishes seeking to practice violence, and sought to do simulations of conflicts involving punches that mimic real events.

Training activity and learning in the world is divided mainly between three organizations - the Israeli Association of Krav Maga, headed by Haim Gidon; International Federation of Krav Maga leads Eyal Inilov, and An establishment Krav Maga worldwide ", founded by Darren Levine, who was also his proteges of Lichtenfeld, and serves as a guide Chief of the U.S. system (alongside his work as deputy prosecutor in Los Angeles).

The battle for succession

Although they are supposed to promote the same method bodies are marketed the world's Krav Maga operate in parallel and independently from each other. "Global combat factories" specialized in the U.S. market, they operate autonomously and provide certificates of authority and discretion. "International Federation of Krav Maga" spans some 30 countries - except the U.S., while the union focuses on Israel, but works in a small number of countries including USA and Western Europe. Working relationship between agencies minimal; most professional ties were severed with time due to financial disputes, professional or personal.

If there is one concern that unites all those in the profession is because charlatans posing as experts in Krav Maga. Inilov: "There are some Israelis, have a background in martial arts such as karate, masquerading as Krav Maga, and presume to teach others the method, when in fact their knowledge approaches zero. This is of course another issue entirely than the problem of multiplicity of organizations and leaders, who studied the teachings of Krav Maga in the founder of the method, But there is disagreement about their professionalism. "

"The forgers and imposters out we usually there is not good for low level and not understanding in the field, and in any case do not indicate a close encounter. Jargon ours we call" surfers "(SURFERS), that they take a ride on the wave we produce the world. It reminds me When I was a child, any Jap or Chinese experts were fancy karate or kung fu. now part of martial arts practitioners believe that every Israeli is an expert in Krav Maga. " *
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