December 15, 2014

In my years as an instructor in Krav Maga for military units I have been asked a few questions by commanders and leaders: Why would somebody who carries a rifle need to know how to punch and kick? Why would somebody who works in teams know how to protect himself from an attack? My counter questions are usually these: What could you do if the rifle malfunctions just as the knife-wielding terrorist is running towards you? What could Krav Maga contribute to the physical and mental development of soldiers?




Krav Maga originally come from the military. The founder, Imi Lichtenfeld, found himself as the chief hand to hand combat instructors as the state of Israel was founded in 1948. He had spent the years before the war developing his fighting system and during WW2 he was actively fighting the Nazis and training others in the Haganah (Jewish resistance).

Krav Maga was developed in the IDF by Imi from 1948 and are still being taught to all the soldiers. It has spread to the world both in its civilian version and its military. So why would the military need KMG Krav Maga today? Isn’t everything done at long distance with rifles, rockets, tanks and planes? One would think so, but there are several reasons why hand to hand combat as a tool.




First let’s analyse the tools a soldier has today, he is usually equipped with a rifle and possible a secondary firearm like a pistol. Sometimes even equipped with less than lethal weapons like pepper spray, tazer, baton or rubber bullets, all according to the unit, role and position of the soldier. The more common situation however is that the soldier is just equipped with his rifle.


So if a situation would arise where a soldier has to act against an aggressor, what options does he have? Shoot or not shoot! Basically risking killing the other person, or potentially being hurt or killed himself. So what you might say, its war; its him or me. Yes true in some cases, but remember that the situations soldiers today find themselves in are often complex. It might be the guard outside a facility that are denying protesters entrance to it, or it migh