FAQ

+ Who uses Krav Maga?

Krav maga is used every day by the men and women of the Israeli defense and security forces. Numerous international military, security, and law enforcement agencies also employ krav maga. In addition, krav maga has thousands of civilian practionners around the world.

+ How does krav maga differ from other martial arts or fighting styles?

Krav maga is complete fighting system. The only rule is that there are no rules. In its military capacity and highest levels of learning, krav maga teaches not just defenses against armed and unarmed attack, but how to initiate an attack. An IKMA krav maga practionner is as comfortable in a ground confrontation as standing confrontation. (Note: a practionner does not necessarily want to be situated on the ground during a confrontation for several reasons including the threat of multiple attackers. Nevertheless, the reality is that many fights to end up on the ground.) Imi designed krav maga to be learned in a short time, and, equally important, to be retained. Krav maga does not emphasize traditional katas or choreographed routines. Instead, krav maga relies on retzev or “continuous combat motion” to complete the defense. Krav maga’s spiritual side is embodied by civility and good citizenship.

+ Does the IKMA curriculum incorporate ground survival?

Yes, the IKMA incorporates extensive groundwork tailored to the krav maga philosophy of quickly disabling or neutralizing an opponent. In other words, a krav maga practitioner does not necessarily intend for a “submission” or “tap out” from an opponent as common in sport fighting. A krav maga practionner will execute a joint dislocation or worse to end to the confrontation. (On this and related points, use of force and legal issues are important considerations. A defender must not exceed “reasonable” force or use excessive measures once the threat ceases to be a danger. Use of force issues vary considerably and it is incumbent for a defender to know what is legally acceptable.)

+ Does krav maga adhere to a belt or ranking system?

Yes, krav maga uses a belt ranking system as follows:

White belt Yellow belt Green belt Blue belt Brown belt Black belt dans 1-10

+ Does one require previous self-defense training?

No, krav maga is designed for people to learn self-defense and advanced fighting skills regardless of previous self-defense training or who have no self-defense training at all. Krav maga’s overriding philosophy is to do “whatever works.” While krav maga emphasizes several basic techniques and advanced applications of these techniques to neutralize a dangerous situation, there may be no absolute or correct answer. The system is flexible in its thinking, true to its modern combat evolution. Techniques are constantly modified, revised, added and discarded as real-life encounters are taken into account and analyzed.

+ Does krav maga require uniforms or specific attire?

No, krav maga is designed for people to learn self-defense and advanced fighting skills irrespective of previous self-defense training. Krav maga’s overriding philosophy is to do “whatever works.” While krav maga emphasizes several basic techniques and advanced applications of these techniques to neutralize a dangerous situation, there may be no absolute or correct answer. The system is flexible in its thinking, true to modern combat’s evolution. Techniques are constantly modified, revised, added and discarded as real-life encounters are taken into account and analyzed.

+ How are krav maga classes run?

Krav maga classes are generally one hour to one and one-half hours. Special seminars can run up to five hours in length.

Class will begin with stretching and warm-ups. Retzev or “continuous motion” combatives will follow. Instructors will demonstrate techniques for the appropriate belt levels full speed and then break-down the technique into its component parts. Students will then practice the techniques. If a particular question catches the instructor’s attention, class will temporarily halt for the instructor to provide further clarification and explanation.

+ Do classes incorporate full contact fighting?

Yes and no. Krav maga, because of its nature, must be practiced under controlled conditions. Because striking at the body’s vulnerable parts is krav maga’s underlying counterattack principle, caution must be applied when using the techniques especially to the groin, throat and eyes. However, controlled sparring with protective gear and groundwork is an integral part of the krav maga curriculum. Advanced students regularly participate in “fighting classes.” Krav maga instructors emphasize two paradoxical training rules: (1) there are no rules in a fight and (2) one must not injure oneself or one’s partner when training.

+ Does krav maga distinguish between training men and women?

No, Imi designed krav maga for people of all shapes, sizes, and physical abilities regardless of age or sex. The same krav maga techniques, with minor modifications, are taught to both men and women. However, the emphasis placed on certain techniques is can be different. Size and strength are factors a defender – male or female – must take into consideration. This is especially true where reach is a determining factor. Often women are confronted with a predatory attack, which brings the attacker in close. As a result, “infighting” or elbows, knees, eye-gouges, and, if necessary, bites are encouraged. In addition, some women are reluctant to use their knuckles for striking and instead may feel more comfortable, for example, using a palm-heal. Several krav maga ground-fighting techniques also address sexual predation or other dangers women may face and are specially adapted

+ Is it appropriate for children to learn krav maga?

Yes, krav maga is recognized by the Israeli Ministry of Education as the leading method of self-defense. The IKMA runs extensive training programs for children. Basic krav maga movements are taught combining physical fitness training along with civic virtues.

+ Does krav maga require uniforms or specific attire?

No, krav maga does not require traditional martial arts attire. Athletic shoes, preferably not running-type shoes, are suggested along with athletic attire. Most krav maga practionners like to wear a krav maga shirt for class spirit and uniformity. In Israel, IKMA shirts are usually worn along with white or black gee pants. Male participants should wear protective athletic supporters and some students choose to use mouth guards.

+ Does krav maga incorporate weapons defenses?

Yes, krav maga is world renowned for its weapons defenses including threats from edged weapons, blunt weapons, firearms, and even micro explosives.