Imrich Lichtenfeld

     Imrich Lichtenfeld (Imi Sde-Or is his family name in Hebrew, adopted in the early 60's. It is an exact translation to the meaning of Lichtenfeld - light feld) was born in 1910 in Budapest (at time was city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). He grew up in Bratislava (the city of Czechoslovakia), in home where sports, law, and Central Europen education were equally respected. Imi became active in wide range of sports with his father. He exceled in wresling, gymnastics and boxing. 

images/imi-lichtenfeld-hd.jpg      In 1940 in Slovakia, having become a thorn in the side of the anti-Semitic inclined local authorities as a result of Imi activities, he left his home, family, and friends and boarded the last immigrant ship that succeeded in escaping the Nazis'clutches. The vessel was an riveboat named Pentcho, that had been converted to carry hundreds of refugees from Central Europe to the land of Israel.

     In 1944 Imi Lichtenfeld began training fighters in his areas of expertise as physical fitess, swimming, wrestling, use of the knife, and defenses against knife attacks. During this period Imi trained several elite units of the Hagana and Palmach, including the Pal-Yam, as well as groups of police officers. In 1948, when the State of Israel was founded and the IDF was formed, Imi became Chief Instructor for Physical Fitness and Krav Maga at the IDF School of Combat Fitness. He served in the IDF for about 20 years, during whitch time he developed and rafined his unique method for selfdefense and hand to hand combat. After he finished his active duty, Imi began adapting and modifying Krav Maga to civilian needs. The method was formulated to suit everyone (man and woman, boy and girl, who might need it to save his or her life or survive an attack while sustaining minimal harm, whatever the background of the attack). To disseminate his method, Imi established two training centers, one in Tel Aviv and the other in Natanya.

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* Lichtenfeld Imrich, Yanilov Eyal, Krav Maga, Umění čelit ozbrojenému útočníkovi, Naše Vojsko Praha, 2003

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