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The History of Krav Maga

Krav Maga was developed by Czechoslovakian-born Imi Lichtenfeld, a champion boxer, an expert in Ju-Jitsu and Judo as well as a dancer and trapeze acrobat.  Imi’s family was forced to emigrate, eventually landing in what was then Palestine and is now known as Israel.

Soon after the Israeli state was established in 1948, Imi was asked to develop a system of fighting and self-defense for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).  Imi carefully refined Krav Maga during his career as chief instructor of hand to hand combat for the IDF.  Beginning with special forces units like the Haganah, Palmack, and Palym, Krav Maga became the official combatives training for all military personnel, Israeli police and security forces.  Faced with the task of preparing both fit and out-of-shape soldiers, Imi developed a comprehensive system that relied on simple, instinctive moves rather than rigid techniques requiring years of training.

In 1964, Imi retired form the IDF and began teaching Krav Maga to civilians, law enforcement, and military applications.  In 1978, Imi and several of his students created the Krav Maga Association, which was aimed at promoting the teaching of Krav Maga in Isreal and throughout the world.

Krav Maga is rapidly gaining in popularity and almost 10,000 people are currently studying the art.  It is widely used by member of the United States local, state and federal police agencies, including the FBI, Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Celebrities practicing Krav maga include singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, and actress Jennifer Garner (Alias), Shannon Elizebeth (American Pie), and Mia Kishner (Wolf Lake).


The History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that teaches a smaller person how to defend himself against a larger adversary by using leverage and proper technique. The Gracie family, the founders of BJJ, modified judo and traditional Japanese jujutsu to create the art. It contains stand-up maneuvers, but it is most famous for its devastating ground-fighting techniques. Gaining superior positioning and leverage—so one can apply the style’s numerous chokes, holds, locks and joint manipulations on an opponent—is the key in BJJ.

BJJ’s roots began in the early 1900s. Esai Maeda, know as Count Koma – the chief of a Japanese immigration colony who was assigned to Brazil—befriended Gastao Gracie. Maeda, a former jujutsu champion in Japan, taught the art to Gracie’s son, Carlos. In 1925, Carlos and his four brothers opened the first jiu-jitsu school in Brazil. Carlos’ younger brother, Helio, adjusted the techniques to suit his small frame, thereby focusing more on the “Guard” in his families Brazilian jiu-jitsu system.  In the early ’80s, Helio’s son, Rorion, planted the seeds of BJJ in the United States with the creation of the UFC, where the art has become immensely popular.


History of Krav-Jitsu

The history of Krav-Jitsu really began in the 1970’s with Richard Timm as a young boy watching the television show Kung-Fu and Bruce Lee movies.  Rich went on to learn Japanese Jiu-Jitsu for a time before moving with his family to north New Jersey.  It was at this time that he learned wrestling in Jr. High and High School under Phil Federico as well as College Wrestling for Montclair State University under Steve Strelner.  Years later Rich had the opportunity to learn Moo Yea Do a Karate and Kung-Fu style under Grand Master Tiger Yang.  Later Rich learned Aikido under Susan Perry and Ron Rubin.  After getting his BlackBelt Rich started taking Krav Maga classes (Expert Level) and opened an official Krav Maga Worldwide location.  At this time Rich realized that he needed to know the new style of ground fighting called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Rich then started with Gracie Barra in Lake Forest under Carlos Gracie Jr. organization, led by Marcio Feitosa and Professor Andres. Krav-Jitsu came about due to the simple idea that a combination of all of these practical and traditional arts would complete the circle.  The stand up self-defense of Krav Maga is second to none and the ground work of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is again second to none. Rich felt that the combination of the two would enhance the student so no mater where the situation, stand up or ground, the student would be safe.  The addition of some Aikido elements for joint locks and control are in addition to the system.  Our system is Not just for fighting or self-defense but for the whole person to become a better person .

Krav-Jitsu’s goal is to help society become better by helping each person individually live a better life – physically and mentally.