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Imi Lichtenfeld, founder of Krav Maga

Cityskills Krav Maga in Berlin: The original Krav Maga Training

If you have always wondered why our IKMF association logo says “IMI”, then you will find out here and now.

“Imi” is short for Imrich Lichtenfeld (later Imi Sde-Or), the founder of Krav Maga. Born in Budapest in 1910 and raised in Bratislava, he came into contact with fighting and self-defense techniques at an early age through his father, who was the chief commissioner of the city police.

Imi’s main disciplines included wrestling, boxing, and gymnastics, in which he also successfully participated in numerous national and international competitions. When programs against Jews in Bratislava increased in the 1930s, he and other comrades-in-arms founded a protection force for the Jewish population of Bratislava. In numerous street fights, techniques were formed that were later significant in the development of Krav Maga.

In the 1940s, Imi fled to Palestine. Before arriving there, he joined the Czechoslovak Legion under British command. After entering Palestine in 1942, he began training fighters for the underground Zionist organization Haganah, who were later transferred to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

In the IDF, Imi became the chief instructor for physical fitness and military close combat and continued to develop Krav Maga during this time. Twenty years later, in the 1970s, he began developing a civilian version of Krav Maga and founded the Israeli Krav Maga Association, the first organization to disseminate this effective self-defense system for civilians, which was not active outside Israel.

The International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF)

It was not until 1996 that the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF) was founded at his request, with the aim of spreading Krav Maga worldwide so that people could better protect themselves from violent attacks.

We at Cityskills Berlin belong to the IKMF and share the original spirit of Krav Maga. At the IKMF, all techniques are still constantly renewed and adapted today, just like Imi did. The IKMF is the largest internationally active Krav Maga organization with locations in over 90 countries and about 15,000 students. Whether big, small, old or young: everyone can join, everyone can learn to defend themselves effectively!

Or to say it with Imi: “So that one may walk in peace.

Would you also like to take part in a Cityskills Krav Maga training in Berlin? No problem! Come by any time for a free trial training. You can find our training times here and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us via our contact form or Facebook.