Looking at this video, it seems that Krav Maga has a lot in common with Aikido, suprisingly! A lot of the techniques demonstrated here seem to be from Aikido, and also, the keikogi is almost identical. Is this a general property of Krav Maga, or is it specific to this practitioner's style?
Imrich Lichtenfeld - the founder of Krav Maga - does not appear to have any formal asian martial arts roots that I can find. His bios state that he learned wrestling and grappling from his father, and later honed his skills fighting on the street. (wikipedia, kravmaga.com). Once he immigrated to Israel he joined the para-military forces and started teaching self-defense techniques.
During that same time Aikido was being developed by Morihei Ueshiba. He based Aikido off of his years practicing Daitō-ryū, Tenjin Shin'yō-ryū, Gotōha Yagyū Shingan-ryū, and Judo. (wikipedia) He continued to refine the art throughout the duration of his life.
I watched the video. These are the techniques I felt were similar to Aikido.
- Kotegaeshi - There were a number of examples of this
- Iriminage - Several examples which looked very rough.
- Nikyo - The angle was not good. It might have been nikyo.
- Sankyo? - At one point (After the supposed nikyo) it looks like he does a sankyo against his chest.
Looking at the techniques:
- Kotegaeshi is probably just a natural development of anyone experimenting with joint locks. There are only so many ways to bend the wrist.
- Iriminage in this video is akin to a close line, and it doesn't have the fluidity or grace of most Aikido styles I've seen.
- Those may be nikyo and sankyo, but again, there are only so many ways to hurt a wrist. They are probably variations on the same principles.
Because Imrich Lichtenfeld continued to evolve Krav Maga it is not impossible to say that Aikido may have eventually started to influence a few of the techniques, but there is nothing in his online biographies to suggest that. The two martial arts have very conflicting philosophies.
Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing threat neutralization, simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers, and aggression. wikipedia
Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. wikipedia
There are only so many ways the body can be manipulated, off-balanced, locked, thrown, etc.
Put a bunch of students in a room and they'll argue about systemic differences.
Put a bunch of masters in a room and they know they're the same (but different).
I see an amazing number of similarities in seemingly-disparate arts.
This video you linked to isn't just Krav Maga. A lot of it is Israeli Ju Jitsu. Krav Maga is generally very static or 'rough' in it's movements, while Aikido (or at least the pieces of Aikido I have seen) is very fluent, and the fighting mechanics has an aesthetic focus.
The guy from this video (Roy Elghanyan) has another video where it's Krav Maga only, but his style is a bit different from the style I know best from the branch IKM (International Krav Maga).
In IKM you do not want to take the fight to the ground even though you train groundfighting, so Roy Elghanyan's takedowns are not to be preferred here. I should mention that IKM has a big focus on police and military training. This footage is from civilians taking a police course to get a taste of it.
That's clearly a man that has been practising a lot of martial arts, not just krav maga. There's lots of Brasilian Jujitsu in those videos, as well as typical aikido stuff (especially direct irimis, which are not found in almost every other martial art).
Summing up, it has not to be krav maga just because the video title says so.
Krav Maga has indeed incorporated techniques from Aikido since the 1970's:
In 1968 Eli Avikzar began learning Aikido underneath the guidance of an Englishman named Mike and became his coaching partner after a year. Mike was astounded by Eli’s fast progress and allowed him to go abroad for his Black Belt training in Aikido. Following mike’s advice, Eli left for France in 1971, passed the test and received a brown belt in Aikido. Before his tour, Eli received his Black Belt in Judo, additionally to the first Black Belt ever given in Krav Maga, which he got from “Imi” in 1971. Upon his return, Eli started working alongside “Imi” in Netanya and Tel-Aviv training centers. Furthermore, they trained Soldiers and volunteer units. In 1977 Eli went to Germany and received a Black Belt level in Aikido from the European Federation.
- About the Founder - Eli Avikzar (kravmagen.ca)
There were two other creators of Krav Maga (beside Imi L) , who were Aikido black belts, so that's why you can see so many similarities.
Eli Avikzar and Rafi Algrisi (the two other aforementioned krav maga creators) both had black belts in aikido and judo. Elis Bio: http://www.wincol.ac.il/lp/kami-eli
Cant find any info on the internet about Rafi.
Everybody knows that Imi was a skilled boxer and wrestler, but you can clearly see that there is much more of other martial arts techniques in Krav Maga.
The aikido connection seemed natural to me. Considering that both Krav Maga and Aikido are modern "made up" martial arts and have no basis in "tradition". I was taken abak by the flow and simplicity of Krav Maga. It is like Aikido (Ho Chi Dao) in Chinese Ho = flowing with, in harmony, Chi = Chi and Dao = "the way". The flow of Krav Maga is so smooth. No extra posturing like formal Karate. The other obvious strong point of Krav Maga and Aikido is the use of leverage. An extended arm is not as strong as a move in close using the leverage and pivot of the body. Because they are "made up" by practical men well versed in grappling and wrestling it is no wonder they are similar. Chinese techniques of "Chin Na" Firm grasping are also present in Krav Maga, and revolve around the obvious limited ways of bending and exploiting holds.