What do you get when you combine Aikido, kickboxing, calisthenics, jiu jitsu, wrestling, judo, and butt-kicking cardio? A radical blend of self-defense and extreme fitness called Krav Maga, which translates from Hebrew to mean contact combat.
Pronounced krahv muh-GAH, this new fitness craze is actually more than 70 years old. It was conceived by Imi Lichtenfeld, a Hungarian-Israeli gymnast, boxer, and wrestler who devised the techniques used in Krav Maga while defending his community against anti-Semitic attacks during the 1930s.
He became a champion wrestler and martial artist, but his experience as a street fighter inspired him to modify his style in both wrestling and martial arts. The result was the creation of Krav Maga, which was so effective that it became a popular military training regimen used to prepare Israeli soldiers for battle.
By the Second World War his skillset expanded to swimming and knife fighting - again informed by his street fighting style. It was also modified as a form of self-defense for families, including children, to protect themselves from the onslaught of anti-Semitic sentiments that persisted during and after the war.
His renown as a master of self-defense and hand-to-hand combat catapulted Lichtenfeld to national fame. After the war he became Chief Instructor for Physical Fitness and Krav Maga at the Israeli Defense Forces School of Combat Fitness.
Martial Arts Adaptations
Over the next 30 years Aikido and judo techniques were gradually incorporated into Krav Maga. The judo ranking system was adapted for Krav Maga students, who may ascend the levels of proficiency from white to black belts. There is also a patch system of rankings from practitioner to expert to master. To date, hundreds of thousands of Israeli soldiers and law enforcement officers have mastered this intense combat style.
Thousands of American law enforcement officers have also adopted this fighting style, and increasingly civilian enthusiasts have embraced it as well.
If youve always dreamed of transforming your body into a weapon, like the hero in your favorite action flick, Krav Maga is the best opportunity for wish-fulfillment youll ever have. Youll get to kick, elbow, punch, and grapple your way to a new body and a more confident self-image.
Beyond the movie-fantasy, youll develop skills based on real world scenarios. The real world can be a scary place full of assaults, purse snatchings, brawls, bar fights, and the like - your mastery of Krav Maga can prepare you to fight for your life, protect your family, and prevail.
In the process of developing your self-defense skills, youll get the workout of your life.
From stress drills to strength training to muscle and core fitness drills to intensive cardio exercises. Krav Maga is a total-body fitness routine. And this brand-new-you wont just materialize on the outside. Your mental fortitude, emotional stamina, self-reliance, and self-respect will bulk up and toughen up, too.
There are more than 150 training centers around the world, including 40 in the United States. Talk to your doctor about your readiness for it, seek out a certified trainer in your area, and start the New Year with a bang.and a punch!