Krav Maga: An Endangered Species?

Krav Maga is a popular form of self defence that is now taught in many locations around the Globe. Unfortunately, what is being taught is not the original system. Each school, organization, federation, association, etc admits to modifying the system for various reasons. This is extremely problematic for the future of the authentic Krav Maga. Consider what Jiu Jitsu or other form of martial art would be if every dojo changed the techniques and training method. They would cease to exist. Diluted into oblivion.

Not only is it troubling that this is happening but it is totally unnecessary. Krav Maga, as taught in the Israel Defence Force (with no modifications made), is also taught to civilians (Men & Women) in Israel. It is not just a program for the military, it is wildly popular in Israel for self defence and fitness.
When talking about Krav Maga, one needs to remember it is a self defence system; not the martial art some are making it out to be.

The original IDF Krav Maga system continues to work to this day, which is why it is taught all over the world to special forces and civilians. It simply is the most efficient self defence system out there. The concern is that, given that the systems being taught as “Krav Maga” are modified from the original, it would follow that it is no longer Krav Maga and so the name should reflect that it is its own thing.

If you change the system – change the name

It’s also not entirely honest to tell people they are learning Krav Maga when they are actually learning a system only based on the original but different.

If you learn kick boxing in NY and pick it back up in California, you would expect it to be the same. By changing the system you dilute it and make it so that there is no consistency between schools. It is a specific system with a rich history that should be able to be started in one school and continued in another.

We have had students come to us from Europe and the US saying they were level 3 but were not even proficient in level 1. They had learned a completely different system that was peddled to them as Krav Maga and they were very frustrated realizing that what they were taught was not effective and then having to fix all the mistakes they learned.

In my humble opinion as an ex Soldier and IDF Certified Instructor with over 24 years teaching experience (as well as martial arts training), what I see in most of the online Krav Maga videos is Krav Maga mixed with A LOT of martial arts, and martial arts, while fun to learn and amazing in their own right, are not effective in a real street situation.

IDF Krav Maga School in Canada teaches the Original IDF Krav Maga System


My intention is not to attack other schools or create division. All instructors are passionate about what they do and are sincere in their desire to help people defend themselves. I am just concerned about the future of Krav Maga. If every school decides to modify it and add a bit of this and a bit of that, Krav Maga will not exist anymore. The original system needs no modification since the way people are attacked has not changed (fists, kicks, chokes, knives, guns, etc). Let’s save the system and keep the tradition alive.

עם ישראל חי Am Israel Khai

Sergeant Major Omri Serper
Head Instructor
IDF Krav Maga School – Canada