MembersKrav Maga – Israeli Self-Defense Takes the World by Storm

Krav Maga (literally “contact-combat”) is practiced around the globe.

By Judith Wagner |
Orthodox Jewish settler women practice the self-defence martial arts sport Krav Maga at the Jewish outpost of Ramat Migron. Photo: Uri Lenz/FLASH90

Imi Lichtenfeld (also known as Imi Sde-Or) originally developed the self-defense system for the Israeli army. But with the founding of Krav Maga Global (KMG) by Eyal Yanilov, this unique martial art has spread to no fewer than 50 countries. We asked Yanilov why Krav Maga is more important now than ever before.

Israel Today: How did you start practicing Krav Maga?

Yanilov: At age 14, I and a friend were learning karate techniques from a book. At some point he brought up [the newly-developed] Krav Maga, so we went to a training session and met Imi Sde-Or. I was not so good at other sports like soccer or basketball, but Krav Maga appealed to me. We trained together every week for over 24 years until Imi passed away.

Why did you establish KMG?

In the beginning there was only the International Krav Maga Association, which is a non-profit body. I wanted to spread Krav Maga around Europe, and it was not possible to do...

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