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I'm familiar with the basics of Krav Maga (history, philosophy and approach), but not a practitioner. There's a lot to like in this martial art from my perspective, but I generally don't see any mention of a competitive/sports aspect of the art - in fact, I generally hear practitioners specifically promote how Krav Maga is not sports-oriented. All of this got me to wondering, is there a sports-oriented version/aspect of Krav Maga? And if so, how does it differ from the more self-defense oriented Krav Maga practice?

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I didn't go into the detail but it's look like there is tournament with judge for military jspace.com/news/articles/…. Hope they will do something like this for civilian also. –  aberration Jul 10 '13 at 17:20

4 Answers 4

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First, Krav Maga doesn't refer to itself as a martial arts. It's more appropriately called "Self defense tactics system." This might seem like marketing fluff, but the idea is that there is no art to it, and it want's to separate itself from traditional martial arts.

Second, there is no sports (also known as competitive) aspect to Krav Maga. Krav Maga itself takes it's learnings from many martial arts: Boxing, Tae Kwon Do, BJJ, Muay Thai etc, which do have competition and rules, but eschews them for a simplified fighting style.

If you want Krav Maga with a competitive nature to it, then I recommend MMA, which has a lot of overlap with krav maga, minus the weapon defense, small joint manipulation, and other "hurt at all cost" moves (eyepokes, ball-kicks, etc), which are generally illegal in competitive martial arts.

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Why make the separation between a "Self Defense tactice system" and a "martial art"? What do you think Karate/jujustu/kung-fu were made for? Its not at all different then what Krav was created for; fighting. –  Btuman Sep 3 '13 at 18:48
It's not my distinction. Its the distinction that Krav Maga's various associations make. Krav Maga has no Art to it. It's all about street mentality w.r.t. self-defense. KM is far from perfect, but I certainly think the distinction is a valid one. –  Alan Sep 3 '13 at 19:51
Personally I would say it like any art is simply a sub category. A focus on one thing or another does not really make it a different animal. –  Btuman Sep 3 '13 at 20:23

Krav Maga is a relatively new martial art which was developed by Israeli military for military applications, as such it does not have a competitive/sports aspect as with Taekwondo or Seido.

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It's not really due to time. BJJ started in 1914, while KM was first started in 1930's. It's due to philosophy more than anything. Also maybe smart marketing, since people won't see KM fighters get their butts kicked in the ring, they won't lose credibility. –  Alan Sep 13 '13 at 15:29

As far as I know there has been one tournament held last year by the Israeli Self Defense Force. The scarcity for competition in this field are likely due to it's brutality. Krav Maga leaves the opponent damaged and crippled through the use of eye gouging, groin, and throat shots. It was created for the purpose of self preservation and many of the techniques would be unsafe and unethical to preform for sport.

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user1592 is right. Imagine someone who knew KM just walked into an MMA cage and started fighting. KM practitioners are trained to kill right? They probably would most commonly seriously injure someone every time they entered the ring. If you ask someone who is an expert on KM, they'll say they know a gazillion ways to kill someone. That's not okay to put in a competition, even MMA. I've even talked to someone who has just a few years to get to intermediate KM. Guess what? He knows a couple hundred ways to kill that are ONLY to be used IN SELF DEFENSE.

I'll cite some sources of the most lethal martial arts and you can read about the top few. You'll notice KM is usually 1st place, at the end, on the list. These lists tend to count down.




I know your probably thinking "duh" after reading some of those links. Maybe everything said on some of those isn't the most reliable, but reliable or no they all say KM is the most deadly. The reason is because its simply for serious self defense and involves some serious techniques that probably will kill the person they are performed on. The real purpose of KM is probably more likely to be used if someone has a knife or a gun and threatens you, not for MA competition.

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