Frequently Asked Questions

We have done our best to answer the most common questions that we receive in the section below. 

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What is Krav Maga?

Krav Maga is Hebrew for Contact Fighting. It is the most effective self-defence system offered today. Krav Maga is easily learned and implemented quickly. This system is accessible to anyone interested in learning self defence techniques in order to protect themselves and those with them.

Krav Maga was founded and developed originally by Imi (Lichtenfeld) Sde –Or. Imi created Krav Maga for the purpose of improving the combat abilities of Israeli IDF soldiers in the early 50’s. Over the years the Krav Maga was further developed by Imi to provide self defence solutions for other sectors as well. Today Krav Maga is providing self defence solutions to the:

Civilian Sector
For adults, women and children – carefully adapted to match the special needs of each group.
Military Sector
For soldiers aimed at growing their combat abilities as individual soldiers and as a part of a unit.
Law Enforcement
For police officers and governmental units.
VIP sector
For all professional levels of “Third Party” protection defences.

What do the letters IKMF mean?

IKMF stands for the International Krav Maga Federation. It is the premier organization offering Krav Maga. IKMF is headed by Avi Moyal, its chairman and head instructor as well as Imi’s direct student. IKMF headquarters are located in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is IKMF’s ongoing desire to reach out to as many individuals around the world to provide them with self defence tools so that everyone may walk in peace.

What are the general threatening situations Krav Maga deals with?

To name a few… chokes, bear hugs, punches, sticks, knives and guns. There are a number of variations in each of these categories. For example, chokes on the ground or in a standing position; from the front, side or behind. Students learn the self defence principles for each of these categories. The particular techniques grow out of these principles. Students practice the principles and techniques until they become automatic. In other words they become “muscle memory”.

What are the specific skills that one learns from Krav Maga?

Krav Maga techniques prepare students to function in all circumstances and fighting environments according to their particular needs and situations. Students learn Krav Maga techniques and principles which include:

    • Avoidance, prevention, escape and evasion.
    • Handling throws and falls in all directions and angles.
    • Attacks and counterattacks, performed on all targets, distances and directions and in all rhythms. These are executed from all positions and postures using different common objects for defensive purposes.
    • Defending against all unarmed attacks such as punches, strikes and kicks.
    • Defending against all armed attacks and threats such as knives, firearms, sharp objects, sticks and other blunt objects.
    • Releases from all sorts of grabs and holds.
    • Dealing with attacks coming from all possible directions:
    • By a single or multiple attackers;
    • In different locations: confined or open areas;
    • On all types of grounds;
    • When free or in limited space of movement;
    • While standing, on the move, sitting down, laying down on the back, side or facing down etc.

How is it different from Martial Arts?

Krav Maga is not martial arts. There are no tournaments, competitions, fighting rings, point system or katas. Krav Maga focuses on self defence principles and techniques used in particular threatening situations. For this reason it is very practical. In a very short period of time a person can learn to defend themselves from a wide variety of threatening situations whatever their physical condition.

I am not athletic. Will that stop me from benefiting from Krav Maga?

Krav Maga is meant for the ordinary person. The techniques leverage natural body reactions to threatening situations. These natural reactions are developed into self defence techniques that are very effective. Krav Maga is not just about punching and kicking. It is also about avoiding threatening situations and how to defuse escalating situations.

I have a hectic schedule. How often do I need to attend classes to develop effective self defence skills?

Krav Maga is known for the speed in which one acquires self-defence skills. This goal can be achieved by participating in one or two classes per week. In many cases what starts out as a desire to learn basic self-defence skills in the civilian stream turns in a passion for the topic. For these situations IKMF has programs designed to accommodate those who want to go much deeper. There are specialty streams such as law enforcement, 3rd party protection etc.

Does Krav Maga use a belt system like martial arts to measure progress through the ranks?

No, IKMF uses a patch system. After passing a level test students will receive a patch and diploma. The patch is worn on the pants to identify their training level. IKMF manages a grading system based on the following levels:

  • Practitioner levels (P levels 1 to 5),
  • Graduate levels (G levels 1 to 5), and
  • Expert Levels (E levels 1 to 5).

New students start with the P Level and can work their way through the levels. G levels are usually veteran Krav Maga students who often instructors. Krav Maga Experts are few. They are highly professional instructors who have dedicated their lives and careers to Krav Maga instruction. Each element of the curriculum is based upon real life attack – defence scenarios. Every P or G level includes self defense solutions and counterattacks that derive from such scenarios. As one advances in grading the scenarios become increasingly complex. In addition to the classes for the different levels, IKMF also offers extra curriculum qualifications for Krav Maga students such as seminars & workshops that focus on specific topics such as home invasion or abduction. IKMF makes every effort to keep the syllabus up to date so it is always contemporary and effective.

How long will it take to become proficient? (How long will it take me to get to the next level?)

At the start of training, students learn the basics which build the foundation for everything else. The first level takes 3-6 months. Each level after that is about 5-6 months, depending on the level of mastery. The goal of Krav-Maga is not becoming a Master; the goal is learn to learn how save your life. Students will most likely leave the first class with something that could save their lives!

I have years of martial arts experience. Can I join the advanced class?

Everyone starts at the beginning. Due to the unique nature of KM, techniques that you have known for years may be slightly different. Even a punch is very specific to KM. Starting at the beginning will build that strong foundation that will enable you to advance through the system knowing that you are learning and absorbing what is being taught.

Do we wear a Gi?

No. In Krav Maga the clothing is meant to be as close as possible as to what you would normally wear every day. The official Krav Maga training attire is black pants and Krav Maga t shirt. These are required before the first test.

Do I need to go through a ranking process?

No. You do not have to go through the ranking process. Krav Maga is about learning self defence. Some students benefit from the ranking process as it provides them with specific goals. Other students just want to learn specific self defence techniques. Our schools accommodate both types of students.

Do you provide personal training?

Yes. This can be taken at your selected location or at the Krav Maga school. The training content will be determined by your specific needs and goals. Semi-private training is also available, for example with your family, friends or coworkers.

What is Krav Maga for Kids?

The Kids Program enables children to learn self defence techniques in a relatively short period of time. The program has been carefully adapted to their age, physical and emotional levels. Through Krav Maga training children are taught how to recognize threats ranging from bullies and kidnappers. They learn the difference between being threatened and bullied by a classmate or by an unknown adult; their options in each situation and what is the appropriate response.
Krav Maga for the younger kids is mostly taught through games. Games help children develop coordination; follow directions and foster assertiveness. Through games kids are taught how to avoid confrontation and how to defend themselves and escape when necessary. As the children get older training includes fewer games and resembles more the adult curriculum. Children who are trained in Krav Maga learn about commitment and endurance, improve their self esteem, build confidence, respect and discipline. Krav Maga teaches them to appreciate and be proud of their achievements when learning a new technique or passing their grade test.

How old does a child need to be in order to start Krav Maga?

Children should be at least 4.5 to 5 years old.