View Full Version : Krav Maga: Ultimate art or overrated art?

06-27-2000, 03:06 AM
Lately, many martial art magazines are claiming that Krav Maga has the best gun defenses and is the most efective style there is. Do you guys agree? Or do you think it will turn out to be another one of those styles that is believed to be "the best" for a period of time, only to beproven otherwise.

06-27-2000, 03:11 AM
I have a long time student that joined the israeli army. He would periodically beat the tar out of his krav maga instructor and point out the weak points of his point of view. That doesn't mean krav maga sucks but it does mean that no art can really claim to be the ultimate. In the end it boils down to time and experience.

08-18-2000, 07:55 PM
Hi, I'm a senior lead instructor in Krav Maga and a friend just pointed toward this discussion group.

KM has never claimed to be the "best" -- I'm not even sure what that means. We do believe we are one of the most complete systems, and we do claim to have the most realistic training approach. In fact, it's for this second reason that we never claim to be the "best." We use techniques that work for everyone. You don't have to devote a lifetime to training or be an incredible physical specimen to perform them. If someone devotes a lifetime to physical conditioning and training every day, then at the end of a lifetime of training they might be able to perform techniques that MIGHT work better than ours.

My personal belief, having studied several systems, is that most other techniques won't work better, but that's a very personal opinion, not the position of KM as a whole.

08-18-2000, 08:05 PM
Welcome aboard John. I don't think we've ever had a KM person here before. It'd be nice to hear your perspective on things. Can you point us to any good KM sites, books or videos?

08-18-2000, 08:15 PM
John, welcome, it's nice to finally meed a KM person....

What I have seen of KM doesn't seems suited to "everyone". They seem very well suited to a fit, adult, male (I assume the target audience of a millitary combat system) but looked prone to being overwhelmed if there is a size/strength deficiency in the practitioner.

What I have seen of KM also looked less sophisticated than similar arts, again, I assumed this was because of the focus of the training to make competent fighters out of adult males in short time rather than extreme fighters out of anyone in a great deal of time.

I could go into greater detail, but so far, no one has ever continued a discussion after asking for opinions on KM, so I'll save the keystrokes to see if this topic continues.

08-19-2000, 03:12 AM
I have only seen a little of Krav Maga, but my Dad met a few Isreali Special Forces guys when he was in Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm. He said the **** is effective and brutal. Some of the stuff is executed on pure balls and adrenaline. Breaking their arms while ripping out their windpipe, stuff like that. A survival art. My Dad is/was a US Army Ranger with wrestling and Judo experience, so I would assume he knows a little about what he's talking about. Any comments johnw?

[This message has been edited by Iron_Monkey (edited 08-19-2000).]

Chris McKinley
08-19-2000, 03:24 AM
Brutal, cruel, nasty, hateful, evil....just plain mean? Don't throw me in the briar patch! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


08-19-2000, 04:27 AM
Those are descriptive of what I have seen. Though if you have ever looked at arts like Harimau or Puter Kapala or Madi, they are worse (better?).

08-19-2000, 04:33 AM
It is a proven system and one I respect. As far as gun defense techniques go, I have seen dozens of styles that are a joke... I only have ssen a couple that are REALTIVELY effective and I consider KM among these.

I would like to hear what the instructor has to say about this as I have never trained in KM and only sparred with people from the Isreali Military. They have the mind-set down and believe me that is one of the best advantages a fighter can have.

08-19-2000, 10:50 AM
i have only read about it but it looks pretty good. i have to say it looks alot like ving tsun, except its lacks abit in steping.
in a mag it has a picture of a knife defence were they use a technique like a reverse tan sao but he stepped straight at him giving the attacker an easier way to stop it. by striking down he would have sliced his arm. if he had used the ving tsun step at the angle it would give him a better chance of not getting cut.
but thats just my opinon.
see ya

08-20-2000, 01:02 AM
Having trained in several other martial arts, and now training in Krav Maga, I thought I would add my 2 cents to the discussion. KM is by far the most practical/realistic MA I have practiced. As JohnW pointed out, I agree that one of the strengths of KM is the "real world" training. KM training is also based on instinctive movements... thereby making the techniques easier to learn and to remember under the stress of a street attack. Furthermore, we always train from a disadvantage (i.e. eyes closed, neutral/relaxed position when attacked) to help develop effective responses in the worst possible scenarios.
As for the weapons defenses, KM tries to keep things simple but effective. The more decisions you have to make in a fight, the longer the lag time in your response, and the greater the risk of harm. For example, the defense to a gun in the middle back is the same, regardless of the height of the weapon or whether the gun is being held with one or two hands. If I have to spend my time thinking of how the gun is being held, and which defense to use if the gun is at my shoulder blades or down by my lower back, then I am wasting precious time.
Finally, although I have only been training in KM for about 5 months now, I have more confidence in these techniques than I have ever had from 4 years of training in other systems. Again, nothing against other martial arts which each have their own benefits, just a note of support for Krav Maga.

08-20-2000, 01:56 AM
DUDE...all those MAGAZINES claim there system is the BEST! Krav Maga is a very good self defense system...it's applications from other styles...basically it teaches you how to TOAST someone and ball out! Disarming seems to be key in this art...
Is it the BEST???
It's pretty effective but the BEST is up to your own attributes and so forth!

08-20-2000, 06:33 PM
Please visit: www.kravmaga.com (http://www.kravmaga.com)

08-20-2000, 10:26 PM
That site didn't seem to have much actual info. The pictures looked like serak without the pukilan or foot skills.

08-20-2000, 10:42 PM
There is a Krav Magna studio down the street from me in Costa Mesa, CA. I have always been a little curious about it, maybe I'll check it out one day. As a side note and I don't know if this is true or not, but I heard Krav Magna students never spar, can anyone back this up?-ED

08-21-2000, 01:12 AM
From what I saw on the A & E documentary...they seemed to practice preset sparring...you do this...I do this etc...slow then full speed...I think the focus is on basic street situations...I throw right cross you block and chop etc...but they seem more MODERN then KARATE one step two step.

08-21-2000, 09:31 AM
Does Krav Maga have any eastern connections. Some of the techniques look very similar to asian martial arts. I heard that Krav Maga is composed of boxing, wrestling, judo, and jujitsu. It might be a coincidence, but some of the elbows and kicks also look like muay thai techniques.

08-21-2000, 06:12 PM
Kravmaga is an original system.It's not a mix of martial arts.
In kravmaga,it's right that we use elbows and knees.Also in muay thai?ok,but humans are only 2 arms and 2 feet.It's normal that we used same tools as martial arts.But there is a big difference in this using because all in kravmaga is optimized.In taekwondo and others,kicks are not the same as the kicks of kravmaga.In kungfu(wingtsun and others),karate or boxing,punches are not the same as the punches of kravmaga.
Bye and sorry for my poor english.
french student in kravmaga

08-21-2000, 08:02 PM
With thousands of years of experience in hundreds of martial arts, the founders of Krav though there was no merit in pulling from this pool? That just doesn't make sense. The connections between Krav and other arts may not be overt, but if they are not there, then that would give me an opinion on KM right now.

08-21-2000, 08:43 PM
Hmmm...I gotta agree with JerryLove, that does make any sense. I always thought Krav magna used what they thought was effective from other systems. In that A&E special it certainly looked like they had taken the Thai round kick as well as the elbows and knees. I also heard, maybe at Mousels, that a number of JKD instructors from the Inosanto academy moonlight as Krav Magna instructors in LA. anyone know if there is any truth to that?

08-21-2000, 08:43 PM
As I have heard, the Isralie Army hired some Philippino MAsters to develope and teach instructors of this "new" art. Regardless a wheel is a wheel, whether you reinvent it or not.

08-21-2000, 09:50 PM
"a wheel is a wheel" is awfully convienient. Try sticking a round rock on your car (or even the much more sophisticated wagon wheel) and see if the ride is the same.

A punch is most certainly not a punch, and even if it were, there is much more to fighting than punching. You don't want an attack that leaves you open to counter. How can you tell if it open to counter? Have a few thousand people use it in a few million fights and see if it gets countered.

To use your wheel analogy. I could study existing wheel technology and make a good one of my own (in theory). If I try to invent one in a vacuum, I have an awful lot of mistakes to repeaat (why would I put steel belts in there? Make it hollow and fill it with air? What tread?)

08-21-2000, 11:04 PM
Actually Krav Maga is an art taken derived from other styles.

"The inventor and developer of the Krav Maga was a champion heavy weight boxer, a judo champion, and an expert in jiu-jutsu. In addition, he was as a trapeze acrobat and a well known dancer. The knowledge he thus obtained, contributed to the development of the Israeli martial art of self defense. There is no hidden meaning behind the name Krav Maga, and literarily means "contact fight / battle"."

Most of these new styles that you heard about that is created in the 20th century whether it be Jeet kune do, Kajukenbo, Shotokan, or Wen Hop Kuen Do, are usually never "made from stratch." I can tell that Krav Maga has some jujitsu elements in it, since some of the techiniques are more similar to jujitsu as suppose to prankration.

08-22-2000, 12:27 AM
Yes, Imi Lichtenfeld had practiced martial arts.But he had understood that fighting in tournaments is not the same situation as fighting in the streets.
I have never seen, in jujitsu or others,defenses against guns.Also,defenses against knives are not the same as jujitsu,kungfu,...It's right there is some technics which look like at technics of aikido or jujitsu(10%?maybe),but all these technics are optimized(cf.my last post)and they have not the same aim. And also, there is not unlimited technics;there are always some resemblances.But sometimes,these differences are the roots of efficient.
Also,kravmaga today is not the same kravmaga as 50's;kravmaga is like the wine,it begin the best with the time.

08-22-2000, 02:59 AM
How much groundfighting does Krav Maga have. From what I read, it has some groundfighting, but it is more of a standup fighting art. If the creator was a judo champion and jijitsu expert, and he understood that fighting in tournaments is different from a streetfight, and he chose to focus more on standing when developing a streetfighting art, then I assume he thought that standing in a streetfight is more important than going to the ground.

09-05-2000, 12:37 AM
Hi All,

I am an israeli krav maga student (9 years).
I currently posses a brown belt (hopfully black next month).
As i live in Israel, I have the privilege to train with a few of the most experienced Israeli Krav-Maga instructors (including the head instructor of kravmaga,Eyal Yanilov - http://krav-maga.com/eyal.htm).

First, I would like to state that krav-maga is the only martial art i have trained, so i have no knowledge in other arts (i have seen other arts, but havent trained in them) nor am i able to compare krav-maga to other arts, Sorry.

Eventough, i think i can give some TRUE Hands-on information regarding this self-defence system.

I will not go into great detail now (if some1 wants me to, just post a reply and i will /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif, i do want to touch some topics that were raised in this discussion:

1. Sparring
In krav maga, sparring is performed on a usual basis, thus the claim that krav maga students never spar is not true. sparring is done slow (for beginners) fast (for advanced) and EXTREMELY FAST (and believe me, it is really hard and fast) for experts.

2. Krav maga basis
Punches and kicks are the basis for all arts, and krav maga never invented no kicks nor punches. krav maga does NOT use some sort of kicks/punches nobody else uses. Krav maga is NOT unique in these things.
The Uniqueness of krav maga, is how it uses these base functions.
There is one thing though that krav maga is different than Karate for example, is that emphasize is given to faster punches/kicks, instead of more powerful (slower) punches/kicks. this is done so that you will be able to give a fast first reaction, to surprise your opponnent, and then continue with a series of other techinques. I agree with this rational, though others could disaggree.

3. ground fights
Krav maga is a self defence system for "the street".
As it can happen more than often in the street, you will be likely attacked by MORE than 1 person.
In these situations, ground fighting can become extremely dangerous to you, as you can only fight 1 person on the ground.
On the other hand, if you are standing, you can usualy cope with 2 (sometimes 3) itermediate fighters.
This is why most Krav maga self defense techniques (not all) give emphasize on staying on your feet.

Ground fighting though, is NOT neglected at all, as it is tought on a regular basis to students from the second/third month of training.
A well trained krav maga fighter, has the ability to give a fair ground (street) fight to any other martial artist.
When teaching ground fights, a special emphasize is given to practical ground techniques such as head butts, punches, elbow strikes, finger braking, eye poking etc... along with more traditional techniques (choking,locking, etc..).

4. Summary
I hope i havent bored you guys too much.
I will answer any question you will ask me, as i didnt want to write too much...
I think each martial art is good for what it was designed to be, and krav maga was designed to deal with real life situations, and as far as i have experienced the techniques do work. It does lack the whole 'philosophy' aspect many eastern arts have, but that is the tradeoff.

Thanks and goodbye.
you can send emails also to elohim@dr.com

09-25-2000, 06:36 PM
Hi guys.

Sorry it took me so long to get back here. I answer a lot of questions on our website (www.kravmaga.com) and I forgot to come back and check here.

Many of the questions posed have been addressed, but I wanted to through in my two cents:

We do a lot of sparring in Krav Maga, and almost all of it is free form. We do standup, groundwork, and both together. We go with protective gear sometimes, and without. Whoever told you KM students never spar was just wrong.

In addition to sparring, we do a lot of stress/recognition drills where students are put under pressure, then attacked with a variety of weapons, never knowing what type of weapon or what type of attack is coming. We do this with self defense, punches, weapons, all mixed together. It's the only way to test yourself for the street.

As has been noted, KM is an original system. Anyone who wants to throw a kick on a different angle will naturally develop a round kick, and there are only a finite number of variations. Our kick is similar to muy thai's, only we don't drop the hand on the kicking side. You'll find similarities in many of our combatives (strikes) to any system stressing common sense, joint/muscle movements that involve the straightest possible line of attack and power. Where you'll see differences is in our self defense (including weapons), especially in our understanding of it, and our approach based on state of readiness. Many systems require a great deal of timing and assume precision: KM attempts, wherever possible (not always possible of course), to remove the need for precision and create technique that work even if you're late. It is this single understanding of self defense which influences all our techniques and makes us practical.

Example: earlier in this thread someone commented on our knife technique, which steps toward the attacker instead of to the side. The assumption in stepping to the side is that you saw the attack with enough time to step, and also that you recognized the attack as a knife stab. Neither of those facts is guaranteed on the street. In KM's view, your technique must be the same (and work) no matter how late you are, or whether you think it's a punch or a knife.

Thanks. I look forward to anyone's comments from your points of view. I promise to check this again sooner, in case anyone wants to discuss or debate!