Krav Maga has exploded in recent years and has become a credible street defense ‘fighting style’ when taught and executed well. However, there seem to be so many different ‘types’ of Krav Maga? An online search resulted in multitudes of lessons, sessions, classes, clubs, federations, associations and organizations.
Krav Maga is a philosophy, a set of principles and a tool-kit of techniques. It was defined and refined through five decades of application: from the barricades of Jewish neighborhoods in 1930’s Europe, through World War Two, Israel’s War of Independence and the terrorism of the 1970’s and 1980’s by Imi Sde-Or, Eli Avikzar, and Boaz Aviram.
When he retired from the IDF, Imi wanted to train civilians in self-defense and he founded the Krav Maga Association. When Eli Avikzar wanted to step to the side of Imi’s civilian Krav Maga Association, he founded the Israeli Krav Magen Association. Seems fair: the father of Krav Maga and his first successor each with an association promoting their specialized systems.
Now many years later we now have the Krav Maga Association, International Krav Maga Federation, Krav Maga Global, US KM Association, Israeli Krav Maga Association, Krav Maga Federation, Krav Maga Worldwide to name but a few?
Some of these organizations were founded by students of Imi or Eli; Haim Gideon or Eyal Yanilov, to maintain standards and with a deep desire to promote self-defense. Often is the case that when people are passionate about something they come to believe in, they are more or know more and this can lead to differences as in the earlier organizations that have led to the situation now seen in Krav Maga.
Also what needs to be taken into consideration is the commercialisation of Krav Maga, the ‘McDojo’ franchise model, while this does not mean that good quality instructors should be denied making a living from teaching Krav Maga but does become questionable when people training within an organisation step outside it in order to train & qualify their own instructors and build their own organisation. Majority of the recognized Krav Maga organizations or organization-affiliated instructors have some degree of external moderation and quality control. However, there is nothing to stop someone setting up as ‘Another KM’ and starting a franchise McDojo business wherein they train who they like, and charging whatever they like.
Do your research and find the training that suits you.