Krav Maga Growth

Krav Maga Growth

"But the more they (the Egyptian oppressors) afflicted them (the Hebrews) the more they (the Hebrews) multiplied and grew. (Book of Names/Exodus, Chapter 1)

People often ask me what makes Krav Maga special. Throughout my many blogs I have continued to answer this question. Yes there are similarities to other styles but a deeper study shows that the differences are indeed very great.

The above verse from the Torah (Bible) tells us of a difficult time for our people. Indeed, it seems as if nearly all periods of Jewish history can be described as difficult times. Through no wrong doing of our own we are forced into slave labor. The Egyptians fear we might become too numerous and want to keep our numbers down, yet the more they oppress us the more we grow.

The Hebrew words are Yirbeh (Increase) and Yifros (burst forward). So we can retranslate this verse as "The more they were oppressed the more they increase and burst forward." This concept, written in our ancient text, can shed much light on Krav Maga development.

As I was reading the Torah it hit me. The word Yifros – shall burst forward, used thousands of years ago, is the same root as what we call today Koah mitpares – bursting power. This is the term we use today when teaching knife defenses and aggressive blocking techniques. The same words we use today in our Krav vocabulary were in use thousands of years ago by our ancestors.

It further hit me; the more we were oppressed, the more we grew, and burst forward. Here is the greatness of Krav Maga and of the Israeli army. The more we are attacked the better we get. The harder our enemies try to blow us up, hijack our plans, shoot our cars, the more we develop cutting edge responses. That is why all over the world Israeli Krav Maga is in demand. While I am writing these words I really should be packing as my flight to Germany leaves soon.

Krav Maga is not frozen in time. I have said many times, I do not care about lineage; I do not care how Imi Lichtenfeld did this or that, with all due respect. Things change and so must we. The more they oppress us, the more they come up with new tricks, the more we must burst forward with better Krav, with better tactics.

Imagine using a World War Two fighter plane today? You know what that would be called? Suicide. Yet so many people are teaching martial arts that come from a different time and place, from farmers who had to fight men with swords. Let's take a more modern example. In World War Two when the Nazi elite Panzer division came into Poland, they sent out the cavalry. Well you should know your history. The cavalry did not do very well, to put it mildly. During the Civil War the cavalry was a little more effective. Times change.

So I turn to our ancient books and I see what we must continue doing today; the more they oppress us – the more we must increase, grow and burst forward.