Select language: History of the founder Imi Lichtenfeld  


« I'll be so good that I will not need to kill »
(Imi Lichtenfeld)

Emerich Imre Lichtenfeld, Imi also known as the Hebrew name Imi Sde-Or (Budapest, 1910 - Netanya, January 9, 1998) was an athlete and Czechoslovak military, known for being the founder of the method of combat and self-defense Krav Maga.

biography

Imi was born in Budapest, a Hungarian-Jewish family and grew up in Bratislava (Pozsony called at that time). His father, Samuel Lichtenfeld, was a fighter, a circus acrobat and, later, Chief Inspector of an investigation department of the police. From an early age he showed a versatile person and, thanks to his father, Imi became interested in art circus (13 years became part of a traveling circus), swimming and combat sports, practicing boxing and wrestling, where he obtained significant results (in 1928 he won the junior championship fight in Czechoslovakia and in 1929 he was national champion in the fight Senior category and international champion of boxing). Also practiced acrobatics, martial arts like Judo and Jujitsu and participated in various theatrical performances, devoting himself to dramatic art.

In the thirties, the Nazi persecution of the Jewish population of Bratislava raged quickly and Lichtenfeld, along with other wrestlers of his ethnic background, he engaged in dealing with offenders. It was this experience to make it clear to Imi street fighting is a very different situation from the comparison and sports, according to the practice in these circumstances, it began to develop its own combat system, suited to address the dangers of everyday life. Imi, as a result of the Nazi occupation in Czechoslovakia, was forced to flee together with others in Palestine in 1940, after a very troubled (almost lost his life to save a few people who had fallen from the boat and it was later destroyed by strong drafts as he was heading to Crete).

In Palestine, Lichtenfeld began teaching his method to the departments of the Haganah and the Palmach. After the birth of the state of Israel in 1948, he became chief instructor for the physical training of the Israel Defense Forces. In this period, Lichtenfeld, thanks to his experiences of struggle gained both in racing and for the street, introduced an effective and, at the same time, to learn in a short time the Krav Maga.

After retiring from military service in 1964, Imi began adapting to the Krav Maga self-defense method and extending it to the police and civilians, people of both sexes and of all ages. To spread his discipline, he set up two schools in Tel Aviv and Netanya, the city where he lived. Over the years, were opened more schools of Krav Maga, in order to spread it throughout the world. In 1978, Lichtenfeld founded the I.K.M.A. (Israeli Krav Maga Association), an association suitable for the promotion and dissemination of this method in Israel and around the world. After receiving numerous awards, Imi died in Netanya January 9, 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

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