I just got back from seven days of training in Israel where I was truly at “the source” of Krav Maga. “The source” as far as 1) Israel, the country that Krav Maga was developed in, 2) Netanya, the city where Imi lived, 3) Wingate, the physical education university where Imi developed Krav Maga and 4) Yaron Lichtenstein, Imi’s second ever student and one of only ten that Imi ever personally trained to black belt.

This was certainly an education! Being around Grand Master Lichtenstein was amazing. Hearing stories about Imi (Yaron trained with him nearly daily for over thirty years), about how Krav Maga was developed and about the old school training was so cool. Our training was definitely different. We trained as they did in the old days. We wore gi’s (this felt very odd, reminded me of my tae kwon do days), trained barefoot, had very slow, methodical training and did a heck of a lot of high kicking. Several times I started to say “they’ve turned Krav Maga into a martial art” when I caught myself because this was how Imi developed it, this was what he wanted Krav Maga to be. It is those who followed who turned it into the self defense system that we teach today.

Grand Master Lichtenstein is a character out of a movie! He was 60 but could teach hard all day, every day and kick higher and harder than all of the young bucks! He told jokes, yelled at us if we called him “sir” and was a very humble and approachable person. We even got into a fight with the Israeli Olympic tae kwon do team (long story) and he was in the middle of it choking one of the dudes out!! Priceless! His son, Rotem, was one of the best martial artists that I have ever seen. Excellent technique and smooth as glass!

A great trip and great memories. Our group of 8 from the USKMA were the most respectful, well behaved people at the training in my opinion. We represented ourselves very well and were complimented on how hard we tried and what good people we were. Everyone but our group stayed in the athlete hotel at Wingate while we stayed in Netanya at a hotel because they ran out of rooms. Taxi’s took us back and forth to training every day so we got to experience Israeli traffic every morning! I believe our group also won the eating contest….every dinner was a buffet with at least four kinds of meat!

Keep your eyes on our events page as we will be having the Grandmaster in Ohio in September or October for a weekend seminar. You’ll love him!!


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