This is a summary of how we teach our Krav Maga classes at a high level.

This is a summary of how we teach our Krav Maga classes at a high level.

Imi Lichtenfeld, founder of Krav Maga and Eyal Yanilov founder of KMG.

Imi Lichtenfeld, founder of Krav Maga and Eyal Yanilov founder of KMG.

Eyal Yanilov teaching knife techniques.

Eyal Yanilov teaching knife techniques.

The History of Krav maga

Krav Maga translated from Hebrew into English, as ‘Contact Combat’ was initially developed as an unarmed combat system by Imi Lichtenfeld for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) due to its no-nonsense approach.

Krav Maga has since been adapted  to meet the needs of civilians, law enforcement officers and security personnel and is widely recognized as the most comprehensive reality based self-defense system in the world today.

Krav Maga is a unique and logical contact combat system of self-defense, fighting skills and defensive tactics. There are no traditional or sporting elements in Krav Maga with all of its training methods being based on the adaptation of instinctive response through principal based learning, resulting in skills that become practical in a short space of time and useful under stressful conditions. Elevating the trainee’s capabilities on the physical, mental, technical and tactical levels, Krav Maga – contact combat is suitable for all, as each person, with the guidance of a certified instructor can reach their own goals and fulfill their needs.

Eyal Yanilov teaching striking techniques.

Eyal Yanilov teaching striking techniques.

Krav Maga being trained in the military.

Krav Maga being trained in the military.

how do we teach krav maga

Each class is planned in three parts: warming up, fundamentals building and self-defense skill teaching.

Warming Up: This might not seem like an important part of the class, but it is actually quite key to getting the most instruction possible during the class. When a student comes in they have usually spent the day working or studying and have not had the time to focus their mind on training. During the warm up, we have the time needed to allow everyone to socialize and prepare themselves mentally for training. The warm up should be sufficient to physically get students ready to train, but not so exhausting that they are too tired. Since the warm up lasts about 5-15 minutes, we want to make good use of the time and start to having the students perform the basic movements relevant to that days lesson. For example, if they will be doing some ground training we need to ensure that the warm up properly prepares them to be on the ground during the class. 

As part of the warm up we usually introduce some games that serve several functions. They allow the students to interact with others (especially important for new students) in a safe and non-dangerous manner. The games should also have several elements in them that allow the students to begin doing movements that will help them later in class, such as simple striking and blocking motions. 

Fundamentals: One of the primary goals of each class is to build a base of solid fundamentals. Fundamentals include striking skills (punching, kicking, knees, elbows, etc), blocking skills and proper movement. These fundamentals cross over into a huge number of techniques and situations and should be practiced often regardless of experience or rank. The fundamentals that we cover will be relevant to the self-defense skills we are going to teach later in the class. It is our experience that this is where most training programs spend less time than necessary. We allow for at least half of each class to be spent on teaching fundamentals. This is also where we can cover tactical elements such as multiple attachers or transitioning from standing to ground fighting. 

Self-Defense Skills: The final part of each class is covering a self-defense situation. We cover each situation with three basic elements in mind:

  • Timeline - This is the time over which an attack can occur. In general your response might be very early, early, late, or very late. We will usually cover a single situation from multiple points of time, or we will stick to the same point in time and deal with different types of attacks and responses. 
  • Variations - We cannot train for every conceivable method of attack, but by studying thousands of examples over many years the approximate variations of each type of common attack is well known. We can also assume that there are several positional and tactical changes that might occur. For example, someone might grab you from the front, side or back. They might use one hand, or two, You might be ready for it, or completely unprepared. They might attack with an object or weapon, or you might have an object or weapon. These are all variations that can happen in pretty much all types of attacks and we train on as many is practical.
  • Environment - This is accounting for the world in which we live daily and might include: sitting down, being in a car, against or near a wall, on the ground, objects in a room or transitioning between any of these. It also accounts for third party protection, bystander intervention, and multiple attackers. We try to integrate various environmental variables as often as we can.