Krav Maga Is A Mixed Martial Art!

From the beginning Krav Maga incorporated multiple martial arts disciplines as a mixed martial art, and continued to evolve until 1998 with the death of the popularly-credited “founder” of the system – Emrich “Imi” Lichtenfeld. But Imi was neither the founder of Krav training in the Land of Israel, nor did he ever claim to have invented the techniques which he standardized while serving in the Israel Defense Forces. 

Long before Imi’s “`aliyah” to the Holy Land of Eretz Yisrael, Krav Panim el Panim, or “face to face combat” was taught to members of the Palmach, a wing of the Haganah. After the United Nations declared the State of Israel an independent country from Mandate Era Palestine, the Haganah became known as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Imi’s Mixed Martial Art of Krav Maga developed in two different regions, simultaneously, in the 1930s. Fascist, anti-Semitic riots threatened the Jewish population of Bratislava in Europe. So together with other Jewish boxers and wrestlers, Lichtenfeld helped to defend his Jewish neighborhood against these fascist gangs. He quickly decided that sport fighting has little in common with real combat and began developing a system of techniques for practical self-defense in life-threatening situations.

By 1935, Lichtenfeld had visited Mandate Era Palestine with a team of Jewish wrestlers to participate in the Maccabiah Games but could not participate because of a broken rib that resulted from his training while en route. This led to the fundamental Krav Maga precept, “do not get hurt while training.”

Lichtenfeld returned to Czechoslovakia to face increasing anti-Semitic violence. Existing Jewish communities in Palestine, along with new-immigrants to the region, faced literal Nazi-funded riots. These were given the misnomer of the “Arab Revolts.” In fact, these Nazi satellite operations (documented by the Arab Higher Committee), were carried out by unelected, rejected terrorist gangs, headed by the Ottoman agent “Hajj” Amin Al-Husseini. Ghada Kharmi writes, in her memoirs In Search of Fatima, that “every family” of Palestinians had at least one relative who was murdered or disappeared, by this tiny, unelected faction of terrorists. 

In Europe, Lichtenfeld organized a group of young Jewish boxers and wrestlers to protect his community. On the streets, he acquired hard-won experience and a crucial understanding of the differences between sport fighting and street fighting. He realized that the fundamental self-defense principle: “use natural movements and reactions” for defense, combined with an immediate and decisive counterattack, of the “Internal Family” or “Nei Jia” systems (which he knew of from Aikido), were essential for real-world combat. From this evolved the refined theory of “simultaneous defense and attack” while “never occupying two hands in the same defensive movement.”

In the Mandate Palestine, the aforementioned Palmach wing of the Haganah were refining real-world combat techniques of Krav Panim el Panim. When Imi made “`Aliyah” to the Holy Land of Eretz Yisrael, and eventually became Chief Instructor for Physical Fitness and Krav Maga at the IDF School of Combat Fitness, he took his existing martial arts training in , and synthesized it with the Krav Panim el Panim of the Palmach and Pal-Yam units. 

Imi’s Krav Maga curriculum for the IDF derived from a combination of techniques used in Aikido, western boxing, Judo, Karate, and Greco-Roman wrestling, as well as the aforementioned synthesis with Krav Panim el Panim. 

So what could possibly make Imi’s synthesis better? 

Bringing deeper knowledge, and expertise in the systems from which he derive Krav principles – including the Nei Jia of Aikido and the Taijiquan that influenced it – to make techniques faster, requiring less “Li” exertion of physical strength, and more explosive upon impact. Add to that elements from other world-renowned Close Quarters Combat systems and you have the Krav Maga of TODAY! 

The Krav Maga curriculum taught by Manuel Taningco and Dr. Micah ben David Naziri derives from the following:

  • Imi’s Krav Maga, developed for the IDF and later for civilian and police forces
  • Filipino Escrima/Kali/Arnis systems
  • Indonesian Pentjak Silat 
  • CQB techniques employed by an array of U.S. SWAT teams
  • Empty Hand, Firearms, Blade Training and Disarms from several disciplines
  • Nei Jia principles of axial rotation on the spine, coiling in the “Xia Dan Tien” and pelvic “Kwa” as well as sinking strikes, and minimal retraction “Kiss and Go” clinch punches – also known as the “One Inch Punch.”

Our program is essentially Krav Maga on martial STEROIDS! 

Call 937-254-7035 now for information on how to join our Krav Maga class, whether as your first system as a beginner, or as part of your Mixed Martial Arts regimen! Also, don’t forget to add us on Facebook and follow on Instagram!

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