The Degredation of Krav Maga


Black Belt
Sep 26, 2017
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I found this post on FB from the Cherry Hill, NJ IKMA page. Found it interesting and really says a lot about the IKMA school here in NJ.


Hi everyone, we would like to ask those interested in Israeli krav maga to weigh in on a vexing topic: the degradation of krav maga resulting from poor instruction and misleading self-promotion.

In short, the krav maga self-defense system increasingly receives many negative reviews and deservedly so. There are far too many dubious instructional practices along with suspect teaching material being pedaled by unqualified instructors -- if not outright charlatans. As a result, the Israeli krav maga system is becoming widely known as an exercise fad and/or, simply, poorly executed, ineffective self-defense.

A ubiquity of unqualified instructors are creating their own krav maga systems. They promote themselves both literally and figuratively while selling krav maga belts at all levels of their curriculums. This, in no short order, has created a considerable public confusion and rising disdain. As more and more people become instructors without formal training from krav maga founder Imi Lichtenfeld or a select few of Imis top ranked disciples including Grandmaster Haim Gidon, Eyal Yanilov, and Haim Zut, (see Imis final blackbelt declarations attached) krav magas basic core tactics -- let alone its more advanced fighting tactics -- continue to be bastardized and misinterpreted.

There are almost too many splinter krav maga organizations to track. Each of these competing organizations espouses to be the best. Ultimately, the adage should apply: seeing is believing along with tracing the instructors lineage and experience. Unfortunately, many trusting people are duped and fall prey to slick marketing.

What is Krav Maga?

So, this brings us to the hotbed topic: what is krav maga? When evaluating whether a technique is legitimate or good krav maga, it helps to lay out a few immutable krav maga principles. If these non-exclusive, general, core principles are satisfied, the tactic is likely to be sound krav maga. Grandmaster Haim Gidon adheres his students to the following principles represented by these questions (which, as set forward, are copyrighted). I was also presented with these same principles by senior instructor Rick Blitstein when I first began my krav maga training with him. When situational avoidance and/or de-escalation is not possible, and the defender must use counter-violence . . .

1. Does the defender use simultaneous defense and attack or near simultaneous defense and attack combined with the necessary ferocity to thwart the attack?
2. Does the defender use, when possible, an instinctive body defense combined with a deflection, block, or redirection of the attack?
3. Does the counter-attack tactic/combative optimize the bodys natural motions to deliver maximum power and reach (pivoting and using the bodys full mass) while allowing for instinctive follow-on combatives? In other words, does the defender generate as much power as his/her physique will allow which leads immediately into another opportune combative as necessary and retzev (continuous combat motion).
4. Does the counter-attack tactic target the attackers anatomical vulnerabilities while facilitating retzev (continuous combat motion) to render the attacker no longer a threat?
5. Does the defender keep his hands properly positioned (by not dropping them) while not generally occupying or committing both hands to the same movement?
6. Does the tactic represent economy of motion and simplicity without telegraphing the defenders intent/strategy?
7. Is the tactic flexible enough to work against different methods of related movement attacks or family of attacks? (For example: will the same defensive tactic work against a Hook Punch vs. a Hook Stab vs. an Overhead Stab vs. a Slash)?
8. Will the tactic work against concerted resistance or immediate counter-measures (this, in part, focuses on proper body mechanics and deadside positioning)? In other words, will the tactics work against a skilled adversary who is trained in martial arts or hand-to hand combat?
9. Will the tactic reasonably work for any defender regardless of his/her size, strength, or athletic ability? Will the tactic work against multiple assailants and position the defender to the deadside, especially, when confronting multiple assailants?
10. For weapon defenses, does the defender decisively and optimally control/secure the weapon in a safe manner (third party considerations) as soon as possible? Does the defender know how to employ the weapon optimally while safeguarding innocent third parties?
11. For both standing and ground survival, is the defensive tactic visceral? In other words, is there no sporting aspect to it? Accordingly, will it work for most people even against trained adversaries?
12. Does the defense allow and facilitate an armed defender's rapidly and safely deploying his/her own weapon?

To be sure, there are more points, but, we simply chose a dozen to start. We look forward to everyone's informed thoughts. BECAUSE NOT ALL KRAV MAGA IS THE SAME.


David and the Israeli Krav Maga Mishpachat"

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Feb 23, 2014
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Yeah because this dogmatic principles thing has really helped chun.


Senior Master
May 16, 2014
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I was ok with the posted article until he said it was copyrighted.
And that's when my brain shut off, and lost interest.

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