When it comes to reality-based self-defense organizations, Krav Maga Worldwide is the world’s leader in Krav Maga-based fitness, self-defense and combat training classes. Krav Maga Worldwide offers classes for every type of individual, no matter their experience level. There are also special programs, including classes in self-defense for sworn officers, a youth program, kickboxing and boxing-centered courses, and powerful self-defense classes drawn up especially for women.
Today Krav Maga is gaining plenty of recognition in the U.S., but it may not have made the jump from the official combat system of the Israeli Defense Force to a training center near you if it had not been for Imi Lichtenfeld and Darren Levine.
Imi grew up in Bratislava and was heavily influenced by his father, Samuel, a police officer who taught self-defense techniques to other local policemen. In the 1930s, Imi used his fighting skills and self-defense measures he learned from his father to protect himself and his peers. Years later he joined the fight again by joining a group of individuals seeking to create an independent state of Israel. In Imi’s spare time, he worked to train soldiers in self-defense so that they could protect themselves.
Because of his hard work and skill, he was asked specifically by the Israeli government to create a system that pulled together self-defense techniques and fighting—a system would later become Krav Maga. After his retirement, Imi worked to adapt this system into everyday life so that the average man, woman, and child would benefit from its practicality and efficiency.
The Krav Maga Association—a group that Imi and several of his students founded—held the first International Instructor’s Course in 1981, a course that Darren Levine attended and passed. Without Darren Levine, Krav Maga may not have spread to the U.S. and gained the following that it has today. When he came home from the course, he taught what he had learned to members of his community.
When Darren received his first degree black belt in 1984, Imi came to the ceremony and passed his own belt to Darren, showing that he was an honorable successor. In 1987, Darren and his top students began teaching Krav Maga to members of the U.S. law enforcement and, under Imi’s guidance, they re-adapted Krav Maga into a system that would benefit military members—this time the U.S. military.
Receiving the Founder’s Diploma and Reaching for the Stars
In 1997, Darren Levine, Krav Maga’s rising star, was awarded a Founder’s Diploma by Imi Lichtenfeld—a mark of approval and excellence that only one other man had ever received: Eyal Yanilov, the Director of the International Krav Maga Federation. Since then, Krav Maga has flourished into “the next big thing” in the United States, complete with books, instructional videos, and officially certified training centers.
Thanks to Darren Levine—Krav Maga Worldwide’s Chief Instructor, a Los Angeles County prosecutor, and assistant head deputy of the Target Crimes Division—the Krav Maga system has grown to a new height, with classes for youths, sworn officers, and average Joes on how to defend themselves, fight back, and find sweet confidence.
To learn more about the accomplishments of Imi Lichtenfeld and Darren Levine, Krav Maga Worldwide’s two most well-known figures, or to take the first steps on your journey of physical and mental transformation, call 800-KRAV-MAGA!