The founder of Krav Maga, Imi Lictenfeld emphasized good citizenship and a strong sense of morality. The following pillars of Imi’s system help summarize his teachings.
- Good citizenship. Treat your fellow-citizens with respect and obey the law. Imi sought to instill “a sense of self worth.”
- Train properly to avoid injury. Do not injure your partner or yourself by training haphazardly or over aggressively.
- Act humbly. Do not show-off your skills or provoke others to test your mettle. Act courteously toward others. As Imi said, “The most necessary thing, is to educate you– and that is the hardest thing–to be humble. You must be so humble that you don’t want to show him that you’re better than him. That is one of the most necessary things for pupils. If a pupil tells me, ‘I fought him and beat him,’ it’s no good.”
- Avoid confrontation. Avoid or deescalate a potential violent situation whenever possible. When asked about a hypothetical confrontation that could be avoided, Imi responded, “Know what I told you – to be humble. I don’t want to get beaten. I don’t want to beat him. My purpose in learning krav maga is not to get hurt. If you beat him, you want to show him you can beat him. If you turn away, you have enough confidence.”
- Do not use unnecessary force. Respond to a threat or attack with only the necessary amount of force to neutralize the attack. Imi underscored, “That is most necessary and difficult thing in krav maga – that I must be so good that I don’t must kill.”