Trading Karate Kicks For Real Force from the New York Times reports on the surging popularity of Krav Maga, a self-defense method favored by growing numbers of law enforcement, military and private citizens - even for children.
Krav Maga is enjoying an unusual burst of popularity among American children who might otherwise be practicing karate chops. Born in the Jewish quarter of Nazi-infested Bratislava, then part of Czechoslovakia, in the 1930s and embraced by the Israel Defense Forces after the founding of Israel in 1948, Krav Maga (“contact combat” in Hebrew) spent decades in America as a cult activity inside a handful of gyms in Los Angeles and New York.
But in recent years, the no-holds-barred technique has been introduced as a martial arts class in cities and towns across the country. Among the students are children whose parents worry about “stranger danger,” women who want to protect themselves, security guards at psychiatric hospitals and teenagers scared of high school bullies.