The history of the Krav Maga system and the association founder
Mr. Imi (emerich) Lichtenfeld (1910-1998)
The Israeli Krav Maga Association (IKMA) was founder in 1978 as a:
Registered Non-Profit rganization In Israel, by Imi Lichtenfeld and a few of his senior students, among them Mr Haim Gidon. The main aim for establishing such an association was to achieve the following four goals:
Maintain Krav Maga’s teaching and development within Imi’s guidelines and principles. Provide a professional teaching and learning venue for those who practice Krav Maga creating an orderly learning progression by grades
Act as Krav Maga’s principal authority to establish and maintain orderly progress to qualify competent instructors. Spread Krav Maga throughout the world.
Imi's formation of the IKMA was a natural outcome and eflection of his unique determination to create, form, emper and upgrade the most efficient method of surviving and prevailing in dangerous situations .
The founder of Israeli Krav Maga, Mr. Imi (Imerich) Lichtenfeld, was born in Budapest on June 25th, 1910 to a Jewish family. Imi spent his youth in Bratislava (Presburg), Slovakia, and began his athletic training at the age of 10. Imi won the junior boxing and wrestling titles for the Slovak team. In 1940 he fled Europe and joined the free Czech Legion under British control in Egypt to fight the Nazis. In 1944, after his distinguished service, Imi made his way to then Palestine to join the “Palmah” organization as a hand-to-hand combat instructor. Later, he joined the “Haganah” organization With Israel’s birth in 1948, Imi continued to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and held the title of “head instructor for Krav Maga and combat fitness training”. In 1964 Imi retired from the IDF and continued to work with Israel’s security establishment. Imi trained many of Israel’s elite soldiers and security personnel. In 1964, Imi began to standardize the Krav Maga doctrine for military, law enforcement, and public learning purposes.
B experiences in Slovakia, he developed a system that was both unique and efficient, suitable for ordinary civilians and the street. Imi’s system was formally recognized by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Wingate Sports Institute, Israel’s official entity for physical education. The first non-competitive ased on Imi's vast hard-fought experience with hand-to-hand combat situations pre-warmartial (combat oriented) arts course was held in 1970. Within the framework of the IKMA, Imi developed and enhanced the self-defense system to suit the special needs of Israeli society. Imi would soon thereafter began teaching Krav Maga abroad.
In his long tenure as the President of the Israeli Krav Maga tAssociation, Imi trained many coaches and instructors. He worked tirelessly to spread the system in Israel and abroad as gaining great public and international recognition of the Association’s activities. The founder of the Israeli Krav Maga Association, Imi Lichtenfeld, passed away on January, 1998 at the age of in his hometown, Netanya