Israeli Krav Maga Association (IKMA)
Krav maga founder Imi Lichtenfeld established the non-profit Israeli Krav Maga Association (IKMA) on October 22, 1978 to promote krav maga throughout the world. After Imi’s retirement in 1964 as the military’s chief instructor of physical training and self-defense, Imi focused on adapting his system to provide both professional security agencies and ordinary civilians – men, women and children – with solutions to avoid and/or end a violent encounter.
Grandmaster Haim Gidon, the highest-ranking individual in the world at 10th degree black-belt, currently heads the IKMA as Imi’s appointed successor and President. Grandmaster Gidon was a member of Imi’s first training class in the early 1960’s, and along with Imi and other top instructors, co-founded the IKMA. In 1995, Imi nominated Haim as the top authority to grant 1st dan krav maga black-belt and up. In an IKMA ceremony, Imi awarded Haim Gidon his 8th dan and stated 9th and 10th dans “were to come”, designating Haim as the highest ranking krav maga instructor. (Video clips of the ceremony are available at www.kravmagaisraeli.com).
As President and Grandmaster of the IKMA, Haim has taught the defensive and military tactics for the last thirty years to Israel’s national police, security and military agencies. Some of Haim’s students hold the highest posting in the Israeli military and security establishments. In recognition of Grandmaster Gidon’s contributions and continued development of the Israeli fighting system, the IKMA added the Gidon surname to the Association’s title, hence, Israeli Krav Maga Association Gidon System.
David Kahn serves as the IKMA’s United States Chief Instructor and is the only American to sit on the board of the IKMA. He is responsible for coordinating U.S. activities along with Rinaldo Rossi, Don Melnick and Chris Eckel.
The IKMA sponsors programs worldwide. Every July, the IKMA sponsors an 15-day instructor certification course. In addition, a shorter course is offered every December for those students who wish to advance their knowledge. Imi and Haim’s hometown, Netanya, Israel serves as the hub of krav maga learning and development. All courses are taught at the IKMA main facility at 21 Ben Zion Street.
Training class in the United States are held at the IKMA training centers in Bordentown and Cherry Hill, New Jersey in coordination with the Israeli Krav Maga Association’s main training facility in Netanya, Israel.
More information in both English and Hebrew can be found at the IKMA’s website: www.kravmagaisraeli.com