History of Krav Maga and KMI

In the late 1930s, a Hungarian-born professional athlete named Imrich (Imi) Lichtenfeld assembled a group of Jewish boxers and wrestlers and brought them out to the streets of Bratislava to defend the Jewish neighborhoods against fascist and anti-Semitic people. However, Lichtenfeld realized that self-defense was very different from competition fighting, so he re-evaluated his ideas about fighting.

He developed a set of practical fighting skills and techniques that would help a victim get out of a dangerous situation immediately. His ultimate goal was to create effective self-defense techniques and skills that would ensure survival in any situation and that could be taught quickly.

In 1944, after having moved to the Middle East, Lichtenfeld started training fighters using the techniques he had developed. Soon afterwards, he moved on to train the military, including special units of the Israel Defense Forces and police officers.

In the following decades, the Israeli self defense system became a common practice in the Israeli military. When Lichtenfeld retired from the IDF, he modified the Israeli self defense system for civilians. He made sure to teach civilians enough Israeli self-defense techniques to be able to protect themselves in any type of dangerous situation.