What is Krav Maga?

krav maga bristol

Guest International Instructors – Amit Porat IDF Trainer

Krav Maga is a modern close quarters combat system based on simple and instinctive responses to a range of realistic threats.

It is the longest standing close quarters hand to hand combat system used by the military in modern history. Over 500 Military, Specialist and Law Enforcement units use Krav Maga as their go to choice for self protection.

Unlike most martial arts, Krav Maga favours simple and practical techniques over complex, stylised ones. Through 70 years of front line pressure testing in real life violent encounters and in tangent with a growing understanding of the physical and psychological reactions that the body goes under during pressure, the Krav Maga system has evolved to contend with the current threats of our society.

Real Life Street Combat

A street fight is not confined to fighting someone in the same weight class, the hands are not wrapped to protect them from impact, and there is no referee to stop the fight once someone has become too injured to continue.

Students of Krav Maga always train with the assumption that their attacker is bigger, armed and has “friends”.

Principles of Krav Maga include never trying to match an opponents strength, striking to vulnerable targets and hard and aggressive counter attacking. The only way to stop a fight is to fight!

At the core of our Krav Maga program, the student prepares by training as a fighter. You will learn how to punch, kick, grapple and clinch as well as how to defend against common street scenarios, knives, firearm threats and multiple opponents.

Krav Maga Originskrav maga kingswood

Krav Maga was originally designed based off the back of European boxing, wrestling/grappling and street fighting.

The hand to hand combat system known as Krav Maga was invented by Imi Lichtenfield who was born in 1910 in Budapest and grew up in Bratislava (Slovakia). Imi trained in gymnastics, wrestling and boxing and was a champion in all, later going on to teach wrestling.

In the mid 1930’s anti-Semitic riots led to Imi leading a group of Jewish boxers and wrestlers to defend the streets from the growing numbers of the national socialists. It was during this period that Imi realised that actual fighting is very different from competition fighting, and that although boxing and wrestling were very good sports, they were not well equipped for the aggressive and brutal nature of street combat. Imi was forced to re-evaluate his ideas about fighting and started to develop Krav Maga. In 1940, Imi and his family fled Europe and moved to what would become Israel.

Krav Maga’s use in the Military

In 1944 Imi began training fighters in the Haganah paramilitary organization in physical fitness, swimming, wrestling, use of the knife and how to defend against knife attacks.

When the state of Israel was formed in 1948, Imi became Chief Instructor in the IDF during which he served for 20 years, developing and refining his system in self defence and hand to hand combat.

In 1971 when Imi retired, he opened a school to teach and train civilians in Krav Maga. Krav Maga has since been adopted by over 500 military and law enforcement agencies across the globe due to its effectiveness in combat.

You’ll love Krav Maga If:krav maga bristol

  • You enjoy a tough physical and mental challenge
  • You want to learn a self defence or combat system that works now rather than in 10 years time
  • You like training in an ego free environment with like minded people
  • You value practical techniques over flashy ones – krav maga techniques have been proven over 70 plus years frontline work – security, Police, Military, bodyguards – all use Krav Maga – beautiful, artistic or point scoring techniques used to impress the judges have little use in real life
  • You wish to train with a Nationally Accredited club with a recognized National curriculum
  • You want to train in a system that takes into account common street scenarios. Although we train one on one fighting, Krav Maga also considers other factors such as having your kids/wife with you during an assault, or having to control and restrain someone

Krav Maga Won’t be for you If:

  • You don’t enjoy high intensity training where you break a sweat
  • You are looking for gentle exercise or kata based recreational type martial arts
  • You are looking for traditional martial arts with an emphasis on traditional weapons eg swords, spears and/or a spiritual growth emphasis
  • You are looking for a joint locking based system eg Aikido
  • You want to build up your trophy or belt collection – the Krav fighter trains to fight outside of their weight class and sparring typically involves stand up, clinch, ground and even multiple opponents and weapons. We don’t award trophies and we don’t wear belts.

There are very few alternatives when it comes to self defence or close quarters combat to Krav Maga. Krav Maga is the go-to choice of hand to hand close quarters combatives of any krav maga classesprofessional and you will find it being used by Bodyguards, Security, Police and Military across the world.

How do I start training?

If you are based in Bristol then you are in luck, we have multiple clubs across Bristol, you can find them here.

Alternatively if you live outside of Bristol then please use our club finder to find the nearest Krav Maga club to you.