Krav Maga literally means Contact Combat. Its roots can be traced to Imrich “Imi” Lichtenfield. Imi was born in Budapest and raised in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Imi excelled in athletics including gymnastics, wrestling, and boxing, As a Hungarian-Israeli martial artist he used his training to defend the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava in the mid-to-late 1930s. Following his immigration to Israel in the 1940’s he began to train others using his real-world experiences and skills. While in the Israeli Army what he taught others was developed into a usable style for what would become the Israeli Defense Forces.
Now, what Imi once taught is now being used to good effect by India’s police and military. The Krav Maga headquarters at Saket area of Delhi is being used to train over three dozen personnel from different armed forces including some commando units.
Other units training in India in Krav Maga are the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams of Delhi Police and the Punjab Police. The Punjab police SWAT, during a terrorist attack at Pathankot airbase on January 2 last year, eliminated the intruders without any casualties on their side.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel. This is the only self defence technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best,” said Vikram Kapoor, head instructor at International Ultimate Krav Maga Federation.
“It’s not like dodging the bullets, no one can do so. Krav Maga is all about science of Close Quarter battles. Over the period of time, the battlefields have shifted from the trenches to the urban areas and our forces are facing such problems everyday,” said Kapoor.
“Unlike the oriental martial arts and traditional gun training, Krav Maga training includes target that retaliates. This makes the personnel ready for dodging the attacks rather than only firing bullets and throwing punches,” said Kapoor.