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What Is Modern Krav Maga™?

What Is Modern Krav Maga™?

Modern Krav Maga™



modern: involving recent techniques, methods, or ideasup-to-date



krav maga: contact combat; a form of self-defense based on unarmed combat movements developed by the Israeli armed forces



In its purest form, krav maga is a living, breathing expression of the most combat-proven techniques, tactics, and principles for dealing with interpersonal violence, without attachment to tradition for the sake of custom. In recent years, the proliferation of krav maga training organizations has resulted simultaneously in institutionalized stagnation and rapid evolution. 


The former iteration, stagnation, is primarily the product of long-established organizations beholden to convention. The latter stems from a recognition by longtime practitioners for development based on current circumstances and relevant information. This recognition has resulted in the creation of Modern Krav Maga™.



Major Principles of Modern Krav Maga™

  • Avoidance: if removing yourself from a potentially violent situation is feasible, this should be the priority. In Modern Krav Maga™, understanding how to deal with conflict before it gets physical is important: pre-contact cues, de-escalation tactics, and improvisation must be practiced. Further, if violence is unavoidable initially, but it is reasonable to disengage and escape during a physical altercation, this is generally preferred.
  • Be first: it is not uncommon to hear “defense is for suckers” in Modern Krav Maga™ circles. This phrase needs further explanation outside of a training environment, as it is meant to emphasize the importance of taking control of a confrontation quickly. In Modern Krav Maga™, training from extreme positions of disadvantage comprises only a small percentage of the overall approach, favoring a more robust emphasis on recognizing and dealing with problems earlier.
  • Learn to fight: Modern Krav Maga™ boasts training contributions from all modern combat systems, including but not limited to wrestling, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, boxing, firearms, blade work, and MMA. As a result, Modern Krav Maga™ coaches place a heavy training emphasis on partner resistance training and conditioning/fitness, including sparring, rolling, scenarios, force-on-force, pad work, glove drills, strength training, and more.
  • Problem solve: Modern Krav Maga™ coaching pedagogy is heavily influenced by the Socratic method. Practitioners are encouraged to learn from exploring, answering questions through successes and failures, and learning to problem-solve in real-time. Contrary to many reality-based systems, which tend to follow an “if this, then that” approach, Modern Krav Maga™ students learn the principles and concepts that influence technical responses, allowing them to make adjustments based on the totality of the circumstances.
This is just the beginning. Part 1 – a quick look at some of the principles that delineate Modern Krav Maga™ from schools that are teaching from outdated and misguided training manuals as opposed to evolving and growing. 

About the Author

Ryan Hoover is the Founder and Chief Instructor for Fit to Fight®. He has extensive knowledge in Krav Maga, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and other fighting arts. Ryan is a 2nd Degree Krav Maga black belt, the founder of Fit to Fight® Modern Krav Maga™, and a BJJ Black Belt.