The Israeli close-combat method shoulders its way into civilian life as the ultimate form of self-defense
Krav Maga, the close-combat method conceived in secrecy by the Israeli army, has kicked its way firmly into civilian life and with Hollywood’s help, has become the ultimate form of self-defense.
“The idea is to be able to quickly hit the aggressor’s vulnerable spots and to defend yourself with whatever is available — a beer bottle or a stick,” explains Elad Nimni, who teaches Krav Maga in the Israeli army.
“Or, if you’re doing military Krav Maga, you can use a gun instead of your body, because your body can get damaged and that hurts,” he tells AFP, wearing military fatigues, his muscles rippling under a tight black t-shirt.
Although Krav Maga — which is Hebrew for “contact combat” — borrows techniques from boxing, wrestling and jiu jistu, it differs from all other combat sports in one way: there are no rules.
Krav Maga is all about saving your own skin, and anything goes.
But interest in the streetwise style of fighting has stretched far beyond Israel, notching up diehard fans from Hampstead to Hollywood, among them A-listers like Angelina Jolie and husband Brad Pitt, whose daily workouts reportedly caused him to bulk up his muscles and “dramatically” lose weight.
Read the Remainder at Times of Israel