HISTORY

Maître Imrich Lichtenfeld

Maître Imrich Lichtenfeld

Krav Maga is a self-defence discipline created in the 40’s by Master Imrich Lichtenfeld, known as Imi, a Czechoslovak Jew born in Bratislava. Son of a police lieutenant specialist in techniques of submission, Imi practised various sports very early in his life, with a preference for gymnastics, boxing and wrestling, disciplines in which he distinguished himself at the national and international level. When the fascism began to gangrene the Czechoslovakia during the 30’s, Imi constituted a group of young athletes in charge of defending the Jewish community. He participated then in numerous fights which sharpened his awareness on the essential differences between the sporting events which were familiar to him and the street fight. At this moment the essential principles of Krav Maga began to crystallize.

The situation became intolerable in Czechoslovakia, and Imi left Bratislava in 1940 for the Middle East. Having served in the Czech Legion beside the English, he joined Palestine and joined the Haganah, Jewish paramilitary organization, where he was asked to teach his self-defence method. After the creation of the state of Israel, Imi continued his activity within the Israel Defence Forces ( IDF). Then Krav Maga became the official bare hands self-defence system of the army, the police and the Israeli security services. Imi is nominated Chief Instructor at the Physical Education and Krav Maga Military Academy.

Imi Lichtenfeld et Richard Douieb

Imi Lichtenfeld et Richard Douieb
Source: FEKM

During twenty years, while developing and improving his system according to the results in the field, Imi personally trained the best elements of the special units, as well as the Krav Maga instructors. In 1964, Krav Maga became “unclassified”. Mister Lichtenfeld then worked to adapt his system to the needs of the civilians.

Krav Maga spread to every population layers, then crossed the national borders. In the 80’s, it began to be taught in the United States, then in Europe thanks to Richard Douieb, technical director of the European Federation to which we are affiliated.”

Source: FSKM