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Krav Maga ('contact combat') was originally a military self-defence system that originated in Eastern Europe around WW2. Krav Maga is not a sport, but a life saving survival skill. Based on your body's instinctive reactions, Krav Maga was designed to be instinctive, simple and effective, to solve real world encounters of violence under pressure.


Krav Maga was first created by the late Imi Lichtenfeld in Austria-Hungary in the 1930s, to help the Jewish community protect themselves as anti-semitism and the Nazi regime emerged in Europe. Imi became a leader in protecting the people in his city and he saw how traditional martial arts and combat sports were not sufficient to deal with real street violence. In the 1940s when the Nazi arrived in Europe, Imi escaped to Palestine. Due to his experience defending street violence, when Israel was formed by the UN 1948, he was asked to bring Krav Maga to the newly formed Israel Defence Forces. Krav Maga then became their official hand to hand combat system. When Imi retired in 1964 he created a civilian version of Krav Maga and formed several civilian associations.

The army however continued to evolve and develop its Krav Maga program through the contribution of subsequent generations of military instructors such as Imi's successor Eli Avikzer, and later on in the 1980's Dr. Itay Gil - who brought much needed innovations into Krav Maga - when he witnessed certain things not working in real life and needed updating, innovating and changing. As a result, their special-forces training school and special-operations community took on Itay's methods.


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Our academy's methodology initially came from TKM - an Australian academy in the 1990's and 2000s which pioneered bringing to AUS/NZ top-level authoritative military Krav Maga instructors direct from Israel. TKM was developed through broad input from the highest level of Krav experts such as Itay GilRan Nakash and Eyal Yanilov. TKM was the pioneering association that brought Krav Maga training to New Zealand in the early 2000s.

Our academy is now affiliated with Protect Krav Maga HQ, a global network of trusted instructors working with Dr. Itay Gil - the former operator / chief instructor and current consultant for the elite YAMAM Counter-Terror Unit. Our methods are particularly influenced by Itay Gil's Krav Maga, developed and tested through years of active duty experience in counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, SWAT and VIP protection. During his compulsory service, Itay trained under Krav Maga founder Imi Lichtenfeld's top student, Eli Avikzer. He then joined the YAMAM unit and became the chief close-quarter-combat instructor for the unit, innovating and evolving Krav Maga for the elite special operations and counter-terror community.


Itay Gil's version of Krav Maga is the most realistic and battle-tested version of Krav, highly regarded around the world. Itay is CEO of Protect Academy in Jerusalem. You may have seen him hosting the presenters on History Channel's 'Human Weapon' (USA), and BBC's 'Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week' (UK)

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The system is divided into ten gradable levels:

BEGINNER LEVELS - L1 / L2 / L3 (white / yellow belts*)

INTERMEDIATE LEVELS - L4 / L5 / L6 (orange / green belts*) 

ADVANCED LEVELS - L7 / L8 / L9 (blue / brown belts*)

GRADUATE LEVEL - L10 (red / black belts*)

(*Grades are granted via certificates not belts, but displayed here are each L-level and its belt equivalent)

Syllabus Skill Set Examples

  • Situational Awareness | Verbal Tactics | Defusing Violent Behavior | Space Management

  • Communication Skills | Phases of a Confrontation | Principles of Krav Maga | Self Defence Laws

  • Striking Techniques | Bursting | Footwork | Stances | Combinations

  • Defence Against Striking and Kicking | Defend Standing and Grounded | Stand-Up Fighting Skills

  • Empty-Hand Baton | Stick | Bat | Machete Defence

  • Release from Chokes, Grabs, Holds | Defend Pushing and Pulling Standing and Grounded

  • Knife Threat Defence | Knife Attack Defence | Defence From Being Held and Hit

  • Utilising Improvised Weapons For Defence | Using Distraction, Shields, Sticks, Sharp Objects

  • Take-Downs | Throws | Falls | Sacrifice Falls

  • Ground Defence | Ground Escape | Ground Fighting

  • Firearm Disarmament | Handguns | Rifles and Shotguns | Held Hostage at Gunpoint

  • Defence on Public Transport / Aviation | Multiple Attackers | Third-Party Protection | Scenario Training


7 Principles of Krav Maga

1. Avoid Injury & Confrontations
2. Use your body's natural reflexes
3. Move from defending to attacking immediately
4. Attack vulnerable points
5. Use common objects as weapons
6. Continue counter-attack until attacker is overcome
7. There are no rules & never give up

What makes Tactical Survival Krav Maga unique is how we train. Krav Maga is built on a set of problem solving techniques, but it is much more than just techniques. It's the protector/warrior mindset from the biblical stories that makes Krav Maga unique. Once you've learnt the techniques, we apply the techniques in 'pressure-testing' drills, allowing you to learn to adapt & improvise naturally. Of course, we strongly address using only the appropriate level of force according to NZ's self defence laws.

What is Stress Training / Pressure-Testing? Stress training will teach you to function effectively under duress (e.g. tired, exhausted, surprised, lying down, limited space to maneuver, against multiple attackers, when protecting someone else, when dizzy). Training is an intense mixed aerobic & anerobic workout, relying heavily on protective gear in order to experience both delivery and defense of strikes. Once you've learnt the techniques, we progressively introduce you to train with a 'resisting opponent' as much as possible. There are no predefined sequences of moves or choreographed styles; instead Krav Maga emphasizes rapid learning, using techniques that builds on other techniques.

What is Scenario Training? Training may take place outside in the dark, in a carpark, in hallways, in small confined spaces, inside a car, in a bus, in an airplane, under water or in a park. It may involve scenarios involving surprise attacks occuring in close quarter/confined spaces. You may be taught role-playing or verbal tactics. You may be trained to rescue or protect a third-party in a crowd. Techniques are pressure-tested in scenarios, to train the student to function effectively in a myriad of environments.  What is difference between civilian & military training?   Read this article


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Krav Maga is used as the primary hand to hand combat system by the Israeli Defence, Anti-Terror Police and Special Forces (Sayeret Matkal, Duvdevan, YAMAM). Several European militaries have also adopted Krav Maga. These units include GIGN, Federal Police Special Units, FBI HRT, and SWAT, among others. Krav Maga is often taught to Sky Marshals and some commercial airline crews.


In the USA, personnel from the FBI, CIA, AFOSI Anti-terrorism Specialty Team, US Air Force, United States Marshals, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration Arrest and Control Unit, U.S. Treasury Department, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, State Department, United States Coast Guard, and police in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Alabama, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and California have received training in Krav Maga. 



Krav Maga has been used in films + games that needed a realistic fight style. It is also used by various actors for their physical training, stunt training, character development and personal protection. Some well known examples include:

  • In Tom Clancy's books and video game franchise Splinter Cell, the main protagonist CIA agent Sam Fisher, uses Krav Maga exclusively as his hand to hand combat system.

  • Daniel Craig trained Krav Maga for 007 James Bond to develop fast-paced skills for fight scenes on his first mission as a 007 agent. Craig made excellent use of Krav Maga for this movie and in the sequels that followed. 

  • Tom Cruise trained in Krav Maga for fight choreography in Jack Reacher.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio trained in Krav Maga for his role in Blood Diamond.

  • Jessica Chastain is taught Krav Maga for her role on The Debt alongside Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington.

  • Sean Penn trained in Krav Maga for fight choreography in The Gunman.

  • Jennifer Lopez learns and uses Krav Maga to protect herself and daughter in Enough, a film about a domestic violence victim in a desperate struggle for life.

  • In the Bourne Trilogy Jason Bourne played by Matt Damon uses a mix of Kali and Krav Maga concepts and ideas (bursting, weapon disarming, dealing with multiple opponents, using common objects as improvised weapons). 


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