Krav Maga is a form of martial art that has been around for over 80 years. It was founded by a Hungarian-Israeli named Imi Lichtenfeld who was a trained wrestler and boxer. He used these techniques to fend off fascist groups in Czechoslovakia and went on to provide lessons about the fighting style several years later.
What is krav maga?
The concept of Krav Maga was to take elements from several disciplines and combine them into one to make a cohesive and diverse fighting style.
While most martial arts tend to promote patience and defense, Krav Maga focuses on physical aggression and overwhelming attack. The main reason why it is believed it is taught this way is that it is generally recognized as a military martial art.
When facing life or death situations like they could be potentially exposed to, it would be best to attack hard and fast rather than play it defensive. Krav Maga is famously taught within the Israel Defense and Security Forces. It has been their martial art of choice for several decades.
The techniques taught in Krav Maga will vary as it is generally a combination of boxing, wrestling, and judo. Students will be taught how to disarm individuals, imbalance them, execute proper takedowns and even strike with them if the situation were to happen.
What is kickboxing?
Kickboxing, on the other hand, is more a form of sport than it is a martial art. It originated in Japan during the 1950s when founder, Tatsuo Yamada, looked to combine the styles of Muay Thai and Karate. Ever since then, tournaments and competitions were already being held. By the 1970s and 80s, kickboxing started to get recognized in North America and Europe. But it was not until the 1990s when Japan launched their K-1 fighting promotion, that kickboxing would pick up ahead of steam. Similar to Krav Maga, the sport of kickboxing takes elements from different fighting styles such as Muay Thai, Lethwei, and Karate.
The sporting industry is very lucrative today as fighting promotions like K-1 and ONE Championship feature kickboxing fights frequently on their match cards. It has also proved to be an elite fighting discipline as the current UFC Middleweight Champion, Israel Adesanya, is a multi-time kickboxing world champion.
While the two fighting styles do share some similarities, the main difference between them is how they are perceived by the public. Krav Maga is a martial art that specializes in real-world situations, and kickboxing is a sporting event.
Which one is better for losing weight?
In order to lose weight, kickboxing will be your best option. The reason why kickboxing can be very beneficial to your weight loss methods is because of how demanding the training is on your cardiovascular system.
Sessions involve shadow boxing for 5 2-minute rounds, mitt, and pad striking drills, speed bag drills, heavy bag drills, dynamic stretching, and even free sparring once you have honed your skills. It is also quite common for individuals to enroll in kickboxing classes with the sole intention of losing weight.
Krav Maga is by no means a bad option to lose weight, both styles will make you sweat and shed those pounds but Krav Maga is more technique-centric while kickboxing’s training regime can be adjusted for people who are just there to cut weight.
As an example, instead of focusing on how to deliver the perfect roundhouse kick, coaches may adjust their training style to have longer periods on the pads, more emphasis on the number of kicks rather than the quality, and more dynamic workouts in order to make their clients sweat. Even more, to burn those calories off. This might be hard to replicate in Krav Maga as the techniques taught are very precise and in order to be effective, have to be executed properly.
Which one is better for conditioning?
Improving your cardiovascular system by leaps and bounds while doing kickboxing will benefit both your weight on the scales and your overall stamina.
As the individuals in the Israel Defense Forces go through extensive amounts of hand-to-hand Krav Maga training, their world-class endurance might be the result of their other physical training sessions in the military such as swimming, running, and performing military simulation drills.
If we are to compare both fighting styles in a vacuum, however, you will most likely improve your conditioning more training kickboxing than if you were to train Krav Maga. Kickboxing and stamina are heavily linked with one another because without good endurance, you will not last very long in the ring.
Coaches have come up with specialized training sessions like clinch pummeling, timed striking, explosive sprints, and shadow boxing that will help maximize your cardiovascular development. Professional kickboxers from around the world are able to compete for 15-25 minutes as they have a high level of fitness and stamina.
Which one is better for self-defense?
While both fighting styles would be great to learn for self-defense purposes, Krav Maga would be the better choice. In kickboxing, you are taught several attacks that can be thrown to neutralize specific strikes by your opponent.
If an opponent closes the distance against you, a front kick to the stomach should keep him a few feet away. If he tries to throw a kick, slip the kick, and kick his standing leg which will drop him to the ground. If he tries to grab you, clinch with him and sweep his legs to drop him on the floor. Kickboxers are very knowledgeable in terms of defending themselves and handling physical altercations.
Having said that, Krav Maga specializes in self-defense for real-life situations. Experts pride themselves on being prepared for any possible scenario that might happen, any time, anywhere. These scenarios range from being held at gunpoint, knifepoint, getting choked from behind, being approached head-on, etc.
Krav Maga was built for the real world, not for sport. Students will be taught how to exploit opponents’ vital organs and sensitive areas to their advantage. Physical aggression is also highly encouraged in order to end fights swiftly and decisively.
Ultimately, it will always come down to personal preference. Both disciplines are great to learn with one leaning more on the fitness and sporting side, while the other is specialized and very true-to-life. One thing is for sure, however, you cannot go wrong with either choice.