I didn’t know there was one! I was on the west coast recently and heard talk about the big MMA and Krav Maga feud. I don’t know if this was a local thing or a west thing but it perplexed the heck out of me. Most people I know who are in Krav or MMA know what they are training for. They realize that MMA training is the best thing you can do for the ring and Krav training is the best thing you can do for the street. Is one better? Yes…MMA is better for the ring and Krav is better for the street. This is common sense to me. MMA has some use on the street, it would be better than no training. Krav has some use in the ring, it would be better than no training.

How would a Kravist do in an MMA event? Not any better than anyone else coming from any other background. The ones who win MMA fights are the ones who are excellent athletes, have chins of granite, have out of this world cardio and train stand up, take downs, take down defenses and bjj. Krav does teach and practice all of the above but the practice for a ring fight would be training these things exclusively.

MMA for the street? The big problem is that MMA is training for one kind of violence and one kind only….a fairly evenly matched fight against one unarmed opponent in a fight with rules. If the MMA fighter got into a street fight with one guy about his size with no weapons and nobody else jumping in he would do fine because this is what he has trained for. He has to hope when violence finds him this is what it is. Add a blade, three on one, fighting in a crowded bar or bus isle and things get tricky because this is not what he has trained for. The big problem is that there are rules in his fighting. There can be no rules in protecting ourselves from real violence. Whatever is against the rules in the ring is exactly what we want to do on the street. If an MMA fight was treated like self defense you would bring buddies with ball bats to the opponents locker room before the fight….taking care of a threat with no damage to you is the goal! Really, the things that are against the rules in MMA are against the rules because they are too effective…they would end the fight to soon. An eye gouge, kick to the groin, elbow to the back of the head, etc. would make for quick, one sided fights so they are against the rules. Quick, one sided fights are what we want on the street!

All that MMA ground training (BJJ) is counter productive to self defense on the street. BJJ’s philosophy is to patiently control an opponent until that opponent can be submitted. This is not a good philosophy for self defense as every scumbag has a scumbag friend nearby! Ever do BJJ on concrete or blacktop? Neither have I but I have a psycho staff member who did. He assures me that there is no good position to be in. The bottom gets you ground into hamburger. Being in side control or guard scrapes your knees to the bone. Having the opponent mounted isn’t any good either, when they buck and move your knees slam into the ground over and over. Add another attacker, a blade, being on concrete, etc. and the ground becomes a bad place to be.

Similarities? MMA gets the fact that you have to be good at everything. Imi was ahead of his time as he preached this in the 50’s! You have to be well rounded, in shape and ready for anything. MMA practitioners get this! They are the most in shape people I know, which is what we aim for in Krav. They train hard and are bad dudes….just like us Kravists! BE SAFE!



  1. Great post & well put.

  2. Mark ! I trained both MMA and Krav Maga. I find there is no conflict in both methods. In addition, MMA is a competition style not a martial art or training style. In fact, you can apply Krav Maga punching in MMA quite well. In close range, my MMA training partners comment how well is my ” Dirty boxing “, I was able to strike in very close distance when most other fighters prefer clinch or wrestle. That was actually my Krav Maga hands. One thing about BJJ training that might be useful for real life is its ability to get out of people’s mount or get to the ground quickly. I do see a lot of similar approach with IKMA and BJJ. I am not sure if that’s the best approach.

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