How Dangerous is Krav Maga?

Krav Maga is seen by many as the deadliest sport in martial art. So, how dangerous is Krav Maga in comparison to other sports? And if deadly at all, to whom is it most dangerous to – the opponent/rival, aggressor, or all practitioners?

Perhaps you’re looking to enroll in a Krav Maga class but are worried about the risks involved in the sport. In this article, we will see the concept, objectives, rules (if any), principles, risks of Krav Maga, and why it is dubbed the deadliest martial art.  

What is Krav Maga? 

Krav Maga is a discipline composed of personal defense and hand-to-hand combat. It is designed so that its practitioners can defend themselves effectively in dangerous situations. It is direct and is designed so that as soon as you start, you can learn useful techniques to get out of a situation from the uncomfortable to dangerous. 

Of course, this does not mean that in two days you will be Jason Bourne. Krav Maga is simple, but not easy. To handle the techniques, you have to train, make an effort, and be consistent; and these take time. 

Another very interesting aspect of Krav Maga is its diversity. By preparing for any possible situation and not limiting yourself to competition with rules, it forces you to work on all the techniques and frequent scenarios of aggression.

For this reason, in Krav Maga, you can work on combat techniques that are found in different disciplines and martial arts. These are combined with your defense techniques, such as fist-foot techniques, floor techniques, projections, falls, etc.

You can also learn certain less common techniques, which in a risky situation, can save your life. These include blows to the genitals or other street blows.  

Objectives of Krav Maga 

Krav Maga rests on 4 pillars: 

  • Simplicity 
  • Speed 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Self-control 

Krav Maga has changed a lot since its inception since it is an “open discipline” where constant improvements and corrections are accepted. This is because new risks or dangers always appear and we must also work out ways of counteracting them. It is like any arms race or nature itself: the world evolves and the practitioners with it. 

However, there is something to which practitioners will always remain faithful to. And that is the original objective of the discipline: Krav Maga is only intended to defend against risky situations.

Therefore, there is no competition in the discipline. Also, the moral code of the European Federation of Krav Maga (FEKM-RD) reminds us that we can only use the techniques we learn in the case of legitimate personal defense or those around us. Although Krav Maga is also used in military and law enforcement training.  

Is Krav Maga as dangerous as feared? 

Krav Maga has a reputation as a violent or dangerous sport. But are there any risks in practicing it? Well, Krav Maga is certainly brutal, without a doubt, but not its practitioners. This is because they only aspire to defend themselves against unscrupulous aggressors. 

Learning must be done with protective equipment as well as with strict safety instructions with respect to others. That said, Krav maga is a contact sport, and to say that you will work regularly without ever hurting yourself would not be in line with reality.  

The bottom line is: Krav Maga is seen as the deadliest martial art because it doesn’t put the well-being of the opponent into consideration. The reason this principle exists is that the opponent is always an enemy and not a competitor.  

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Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Why practice Krav Maga despite the risks? 

The motivations that push people to practice Krav Maga are diverse and personal. It can be practiced by a: 

  • A person wishing to acquire self-defense techniques to be able to defend themselves in the event of aggression, for private or professional purposes; 
  • A person who has been the victim of an assault or who is often harassed and wishes to gain a certain self-confidence by learning self-defense techniques; 
  • A person simply wishing to practice a sport with double benefits: physical expenditure and learning self-defense techniques; 
  • And a person practicing other combat sports wishing to broaden their panel of knowledge to become a successful fighter

2. Are there any physical prerequisites? 

No. Regardless of what your physical condition is, whether you are athletic or not, whether you are short or tall, whether you are thin or stout, whether you are young or old, you can practice Krav Maga! Krav Maga allows everyone to be able to defend themselves by taking into account each person’s differences.

However, like any practice of martial art or a combat sport, it demands your physical capacities. So, depending on the workouts, you should expect to “wet your jersey”! That said, everyone goes at their own pace and according to their physical capacities. 

3. Are there any rules in Krav Maga? 

No, because the aggressor has no prohibition and only respects the law of the strongest. Therefore, a method of self-defense cannot have rules to be effective. Unlike combat sports, Krav Maga does not meet any rule because we are talking about extreme situations where all shots are allowed. Maybe this is why it is regarded as one of the deadliest combat sports.  

4. Are there fights in Krav Maga? 

Yes, the fights are always done with respect for the partner. They resemble what we could see in disciplines such as Kick-boxing, Thai Boxing, French Boxing (Savate), and this with strong nuances.

These nuances relate to chokes, dislocations, seizures, bringing opponents to the ground, throws, fighting on the ground, blows to the genitals, headshots, elbows, fingers in the eyes, and bites. 

However, during training, at no time are these dangerous blows really landed as they can be very damaging to the opponent. This is why they are mimed or given very lightly, at least during training.  

5. Are there any Krav Maga competitions? 

No, because during combat sports competitions, the establishment of rules is essential to guarantee the physical integrity of the participants. 

Krav Maga is a method of self-defense. As such, it is necessary not to be locked in rules to maintain its effectiveness. It must be kept in mind that during an assault, all hits are allowed. Therefore, there is not and never will be a competition in Krav Maga.  

6. How are the passing exams carried out? 

There are techniques to do alone or with a partner. Your instructor will analyze the technique, balance, fluidity, and ease of the practitioner in performing the movements. From the green belt, you will also have to perform a fight to generate maximum stress. This enhances your ability to respond to attacks not known in advance and your management of the effort. 

7. Do you need special equipment to practice Krav Maga? 

Yes, the equipment may consist of an outfit (such as kimono pants and T-shirt) and protections to practice safely. 

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8. How long does it take to become good at Krav Maga? 

From the first lesson, in many Krav Maga training classes! However, it is a question that is poorly asked. You don’t get good, you get better, because the moment you start training regularly, you will progress and only get better.

The more you train, the more you improve! Some people can do 5 or 6 workouts per week while others can only do one. The amount of time you devote to your training will be in line with your progression curve, although everyone will progress at their own pace or ability. 

9. What is the difference between automatism and a reflex?  

Automatism results from learning based on repetitions. This learning phase is long term because the brain must assimilate techniques in response to a specific attack. Thus, during an attack, the brain will respond automatically and without having to think about which response to call. 

The reflex does not pass through the brain, but only through the spinal cord. Here, we’re referring to the reptilian reflex. For example, when a person puts their hand on a hot plate, they withdraw their hand instantly, long before the information reaches the brain. 

10. What sports can you practice in addition to Krav Maga? 

Krav Maga is a very complete discipline, both technically and physically. However, you can practice other sports in addition to it for three reasons: 

  • improve endurance through jogging, swimming, and cycling; 
  • increase your punching power through weight training; 
  • and acquire techniques from other disciplines that can be perfectly complementary, to broaden one’s range of knowledge.  

Some of these can be foot/fist combat sports (Thai Boxing, etc) or ground combat disciplines (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Pankration, etc.). 

In Conclusion 

Once again: how dangerous is Krav Maga? Krav Maga, like all self-defense techniques, is very dangerous for the attacker and not the practitioner as there are no competitors. When faced with a fighter who controls his fear and who has good reflexes.

The aggressor could receive incapacitating, rapid, and repetitive blows on his vital points (genitals, eyes, throat, etc.). In the army, where the technique is also used, they are trained to kill first. So, yes, it is really dangerous and even fatal for the aggressor. 


Hi - I'm Jonathan, and I've been passionate about fighting ever since I was a little kid. I did some Karate, Judo, and Kickboxing, and always wanted to try Aikido. I started this site to indulge my passion for Martial arts, answering all the geeky questions I had. Now I want to share all the information I've learned with you guys.

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