Imi Lichtenfeld was born in 1910 in Budapest at the time was one of the capitals of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He was educated and grew up in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, former Czechoslovakia, then known as Pressburg. From his father Samuel, a Police Officer in Self Defense Instructor, he learned many of the techniques and tactics for street fighting that would be later incorporated into Krav Maga. Samuel began his career as a circus acrobat and a fighter, but later joining the police department, where he served for three decades as Chief Inspector, renowned for his teachings on self-defense, but also for his numerous arrests. Imi variety of sports. Finally, concentrate on gymnastics, wrestling and boxing for ten years actively involved in a large number of competitions which were won often, mostly in Combat. When fascism appeared in the 30’s, Imi gathered a group of young athletes with a mission to protect the Jewish community fighting local troops and fascist groups.
Also, he was involved in numerous fights that helped him realize the difference between street fights and competitions. The principles of Krav Maga was born. By his actions, soon became unpopular with local authorities and had to leave Bratislava. After several years traveling and fighting in the so-called Jewish Brigade, also known as Czech Legion (military unit composed of five thousand volunteers under command of British Jews who fought in World War II against the Nazis). Imi came to Israel, then called Palestine. After spending a veritable odyssey Pentcho board that lasted two years and recorded nearly life.
He joined the Haganah, a paramilitary organization of the Jewish community, within which fought for the creation of the State of Israel, this time against the British. During his service in the Haganah, Imi take the opportunity to teach soldiers basic self defense techniques. After formation of the State of Israel, the Israeli government to charge him Imi to develop an effective system of self defense and combat, which later became the Krav Maga. Haganah members joined the Israeli army (Israeli army) and Imi became the Chief Instructor of the Military Academy in Physical Education and Krav Maga. For twenty years of service in the Israeli army, Imi was developing its system while the future trainers and Elite units. After 1964, the Krav Maga was opened to civilians, their techniques have spread rapidly among the Israeli population, thanks to the team of highly qualified graduates trained directly by Imi, who is accredited by the Ministry of Education of Israel Krav Maga teachers to spread his teachings. In 1978, Imi and several of his students founded the Krav Maga Association, an association to spread the teaching of Krav Maga in Israel and worldwide. The Krav Maga Imi system is based on moral and human values, emphasizing the personal integrity, nonviolence, and humble behavior. These principles have been and continue to guide the students of Krav Maga. Imi Lichtenfeld died on January 9, 1998, but his legacy continues. In recent years, this new discipline has spread beyond the borders of Israel, a score of countries, but are the United States and France, those with the greatest number of licenses. In some of these countries, Krav Maga was formally adopted by government agencies and security agencies, GIGN, France, HRT_FBI, Police of Los Angeles, Etc.. . As a story of our time, that Imi was born in Austria in 1910, which later became Czechoslovakia to finish taking Slovak-Israeli dual citizenship.