Krav maga (‘close combat’) is a ‘no-rules’ self-defense practice, which has over the last thirty years become increasingly popular in gyms, martial art dojos, and combat sports centers all over the world. My research shows how stereotypes of ‘Israeliness’ and myths of an undefeated Israel Defense Force (IDF) have become key elements of krav maga’s global promotion. The article describes how first-generation instructors react to krav maga’s global increase in popularity, a dynamic I understand as a form of ‘solidification’. This article provides a cultural studies approach mapping out the various tropes that produce krav maga as a globally recognizable signifier for self-defense.
How to Cite:
Schaflechner, J., 2021. Krav Maga: History, Representation, and Globalization of a Self-Defense System from Israel. Martial Arts Studies, 11, pp.110–121. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/mas.127