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Is Krav Maga a Martial Art?

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

Most people know Krav Maga for its excellent self-defence capabilities and know that it's a prevalent system. A number of Krav Maga techniques are taught to MMA fighters to improve their ability to counter an opponent's attack. While Krav Maga has a reputation as an effective fighting method, can it be considered a martial art?

Krav Maga is not considered to be a martial art. Instead, it is a self-defence and fighting system made for the Israeli Defence Force as a method of teaching hand-to-hand combat to soldiers. It incorporates techniques from boxing, wrestling, karate, judo, and aikido.

There is no doubt that Krav Maga is one of the most respected combat systems that incorporate techniques from many fighting styles. It also has its own moves developed by Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld from his street-fighting experience. It is generally believed that Krav Maga is one of the most effective fighting systems, so why is it not regarded as a martial art?

How Krav Maga differs from Martial Arts

Krav Maga is an Israeli self-defence system whose purpose is to help protect its practitioners from harm by any means necessary, as simply as possible. Unlike martial arts, Krav Maga also has no spiritual components.

There are no structured steps in Krav Maga; the system is based on principles. Other martial arts are structured around defined moves (such as Kata), whereas Krav Maga has a more general framework for all physical interactions. By doing so, a greater degree of flexibility and effectiveness can be achieved against any opponent.

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How is Krav Maga similar to Martial Arts?

Krav Maga is certainly a self-defence and combative system. Krav Maga, like other Martial Arts, is intended to be used to defend oneself and beat an attacking opponent.

Peace is another purpose of Krav Maga. Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder of Krav Maga, famously remarked that the aim is "so that one may walk in peace."

Krav Maga, like other martial arts, is a system, which means that guiding principles and basic methods must be followed and performed correctly for it to operate.

Our Adult & Teen self-defence classes are taught to the highest standard of the Krav Maga Global (KMG) syllabus. Book a trial class at a choice of locations to see what happens at a Krav Maga group class.

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