Krav Maga vs MMA. Things You Need To Know

Both MMA and Krav  Maga use techniques of training from martial arts.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) encompasses various martial arts disciplines like boxing, karate, Muay Thai, tae kwon do, judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. UFC is the most renowned promoters of MMA events in the globe.

Krav Maga is a military developed by the Israeli defense forces with combination of karate judo, boxing and realistic fighting training. It means combat fighting.

It focuses its teachings on simulations of highly stressful, real-life situations with emphasis on self-defense or survival skill.

For more info on Krav Maga, read out comprehensive guide below…

History of Krav Maga

In 648 BC, pankration sport was introduced to the Olympic Games. Prankration was a mixture of boxing and wrestling.

Modern mixed martial arts, has similarities to prankration due to combination of techniques.

MMA consists of boxing, kickboxing, muay Thai, wrestling and judo. It uses techniques from other combat sports and martial arts.

It is a combat sport that allows striking and grappling while standing (muay Thai knee strikes) and on the ground (Brazilian jiujitsu submission technique).

Krav maga on the other hand was developed by a Hungarian immigrant to Israel in 1930s who later taught this survival technique and skill to the military on request by the Israeli government in 1948.

The fact that the skill was learned to face actual stressful life situations limited the rule of training thus, inhibiting the wide spread in the world today.

It’s important to note that both krav maga na MMA have historically developed from boxing, karate and judo.

MMA has seen its popularity spread to be a world sport with Krav maga left in the security and military training.

Krav maga is a serious do or die art while MMA has an element of competition and entertainment.

Ideals of Krac Maga

Despite its name, MMA is not a martial art.it is a sport like judo and boxing that is governed by rules of participation in the ring.

The rules are regulated, strictly controlled and supervised by a referee for the safety of the fighters.

Unlike in krav maga where the intentions is to purely overwhelm the opponent, in MMA, the rules have limitations prohibiting some strikes and hits of some areas of the body.

Moreover, other martial arts krav maga inclusive are combats arts. Its areal fight against areal known attacker with unknown intentions.

Your intention is purely survival, hit fast and at the right place aiming to subdue, hurt, cripple or even kill. You have to make decisions first and correctly without a second thought on your opponent’s safety.

There is no quitting in combat: you quit you die.

On the other hand MMA are adequately trained to hit, hurt, and incapacitate the opponent without the fate of killing. The safety of yourself and opponent is key.

Your intention in the ring is completion, knock, hit fast and hard but without fouling your opponent.

There is no fear of the opponent or fear for your life (instincts for survival). Most important, you can quit any time in the game.

Krav Maga Technique

MMA as stated is a mixture of combat techniques.

The borrowed techniques are combined in a seamless attempt to win over your opponent.

MMA samples the Brazilian  jiu-jitsu submission techniques, Muay Thai skills of knee strikes, elbow strikes and shin block and free style in Greco-Roman in wrestling.

Other common techniques include; punches, and arm strikes, stretching, warm-up exercises, conditioning and strength training.

Contrary, the real world approach makes krav maga a continuously evolving systems that involve strikes: (as per karate and boxing), groundwork (as per judo and wrestling) and take downs (as per aikido) .

This approach also makes krav maga to include holds and sometimes chokes of the opponent in case the real life attacker is armed.

The key here is to appropriately apply an attack skill.

Krav Maga In The Modern World

MMA is highly popular in the USA.

In modern times its tournaments are sponsored by MMA promotion companies like the UFC (Ultimate Fighter Championship). MMA was established with the introduction of weight classes, time limits and suctioning.

Krav maga continues its teachings on simulations of highly stress full, real-life situations with emphasis on self-defense or survival skill.

The self defense system was eventually adopted by the Israeli Defense Force as the most effective and instinctual form of martial arts.

Further adding, there are no rules of training other than the ability to determine and attack the attackers areas of vulnerability by instincts, whether the attacker is armed or not.

This makes it difficult to formulate a set of rules to be adhered to in a highly stressful and life threatening real life situations.  Krav maga methodology of approach has made it a preferred method by law and security enforcing agents for self-defense rather than a sport.

Limitations of Krav Maga

Despite MMA’s world popularity today, it suffers some limitations.

First is the lack of multiple opponent scenarios in training since self-defense is one on one. Also, it lacks weapons of defense training.  The single most self-defense is lack of conflict, a concept that is an absent principle of MMA training.

Most fights can be avoided or diffused. You don’t always have to engage. MMA utterly ignores this fact. The average person is not tough enough to stick to MMA training system.

Thus it lacks long-term sustainability. The problem with krav maga is the fact than one cannot ideally practice fully another fighter.

How practical is it to practice an actual brutal skill that is likely to eliminate an attacker on areal practice partner like eye gauging?  The available training options of certain moves on a mannequin prove futile since the mannequin cannot provide the actual real word human reactions.

This will definitely limit the ability to explore and practice actual instinctual reactions.

Practicing with a sparring partner immobilized by a self-defense suit, equally gives a feeling of practicing with a slow moving mannequin.

The difference is the same.

Final Verdict

Every time a system of rules is imposed on a fight, artificiality is created deviating from the real street fights.

Moreover any fight is intended to submit the opponent.

While krav maga as stated will do what it takes to submit the opponent, MMA is limited to the opponents safety.

Whether this is the factor that skyrockets the popularity of MMA, in the world today or not, a fight is a fight.

Moreover, to say that fatalities are bound to occur even with the best of intentions.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Isaiah - March 26, 2018


I know this is a few months old but can I practice both MMA and Krav Maga?

    bornfighter - March 26, 2018

    Learning both together might create some problems. Learn one first and then try the another.


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