Krav Maga was originally a military strategy used by the Israelis, combining many different techniques into a single art form. But since then, it’s been transformed into one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world.
As you might imagine, Krav Maga training is based around combat. Many of the techniques developed by the founder of the regimen, Imi Lichtenfeld, double up as an excellent way to increase your strength, power, and endurance.
Because of the strong cultural connection between the US and Israel since the founding of the Jewish state in 1947, Krav Maga got exported, and gyms all over California continue to practice the discipline as a modified exercise regime, to this day.
What Disciplines Does Krav Maga Borrow From?
Lichtenfeld didn’t need to reinvent the wheel developing Krav Maga. All he had to do was take the best from other martial disciplines and incorporate them into his own. As a result, Krav Maga contains elements of boxing, Judo, and Jujitsu. It also departs from traditional martial arts, like karate, by allowing participants to use handheld weapons, including knives and guns. In the gym, you won’t use real weapons, although you might use substitutes, like batons.
The purpose of Krav Maga is to train both the body and mind for combat, to be ready at a moment’s notice to defend oneself and one’s community. The discipline teaches you how to react quickly to threats and how to use your opponent’s physical weaknesses against them, employing a range of martial skills. But it doesn’t rely solely on martial skills. Many people new to the exercise are surprised to learn that Krav Maga is also inspired by yoga, another discipline which focuses the mind and helps individuals to master control of their bodies.
The Benefits Of Krav Maga
Krav Maga is increasingly being used as a full body conditioning strategy, incorporating hundreds of different movements, testing the body’s mental and physical resources.
One of the first things practitioners notice is increased strength and stamina. Those who participate in Krav Maga quickly build up aerobic and anaerobic fitness, taxing multiple body systems.
Another big draw is weight loss. Krav Maga is intense, but also readily amenable to beginners.
- Improved Mental Acuity And Confidence
Lichtenfeld originally designed Krav Maga to sharpen the mind and reduce the time it takes for the brain to process information and formulate an appropriate response. Krav Maga still helps with this today. But perhaps more importantly, it also contributes to improving the confidence of participants, helping them achieve their ideal body.
- Tone Muscle
Finally, Krav Maga is used to tone muscle. All those kicks, punches and vigorous aerobics are an incredible way to firm up around the midsection, thighs, and buttocks.
Getting Started With Krav Maga
Licensed instructors practice Krav Maga in gyms across the world. Some focus on the fitness aspect, while others on combat. You don’t need any special uniform like you do in karate. You can just turn up and start immediately.