Krav Maga is roughly translated from Hebrew to mean “close quarter fighting.” It is a highly effective martial art that utilizes a combination of strikes, grapples, throws, locks and holds. Krav Maga originated from street fighting techniques of Jewish gangs defending themselves in the tough ghettos of Bratislav in the 1930s. Krav Maga was developed in Czechoslovakia in the 1930’s by Imi Lichtenfeld. After the nation of Israel was born, Krav Maga was adapted and further developed by the Israeli security forces.
Krav Maga is more effective for close quarter combat than many other styles of the mixed martial art. Unlike most Asian martial arts, it was born in the modern era. This makes it a very “applicable” system of self defense. While Karate and Kung Fu were developed to for individuals to defend themselves while traveling the dangerous highways of feudal Japan, Korea and ancient China, Krav Maga was designed to be used in the tighter confines of an urban setting.
Being a modern martial art, it also provides reliable techniques for defending oneself against an opponent armed with a gun or knife.
Close quarters fighting in Krav Maga is about using simple, direct movements to neutralize an opponent quickly. It is a fighting style developed on the streets and perfected on the battlefield. There is no sporting federation or points system involved. Groin strikes, joint breaks, eye jabs are all legitimate close quarters fighting techniques that can be learned and used in Krav Maga.
Close quarters defense in Krav Maga is reliant on several factors. Technique is of course essential but so is awareness, discipline and aggressiveness. Unlike many martial arts that are embodied with a non-violent code, aggressiveness is vital in it. Close quarters fighting in Krav Maga is about ending an encounter quickly and when necessary, brutally.
Discipline is key because without it is impossible to master Krav Maga; and awareness is key because it allows you to head off or avoid conflicts before they arise. In worse case scenarios, awareness can help you determine when it may be necessary to launch a preemptive strike.
The training is meant to be realistic in nature and to prepare students in the event they should find themselves in a close quarter encounter with an assailant. Many of the techniques used in Krav Maga are popular with mixed martial arts competitors for their effectiveness in bringing down an opponent.
Close quarters defense in Krav Maga is not really something you can learn by just reading about it. In order to really learn the techniques, you need training from qualified professionals.