Is Krav Maga Banned from MMA?
Krav Maga! It sounds like dangerous martial arts. After all, Krav Maga was developed by the IDF to survive. Today, Krav Maga seems to be the most realistic self-defense system. Part of the Krav Maga philosophy goes from zero to 100 as fast as possible. It is to fight and survive on the streets. You […]

Krav Maga practitioners

Krav Maga! It sounds like dangerous martial arts. After all, Krav Maga was developed by the IDF to survive.

Today, Krav Maga seems to be the most realistic self-defense system. Part of the Krav Maga philosophy goes from zero to 100 as fast as possible. It is to fight and survive on the streets.

You will learn eye kicks, knees to the groin and throat kicks. And did I say that Krav Maga teaches the use and self-defense of weapons? Krav Maga training even includes defending against someone with a gun in close quarters combat.

Krav Maga focuses above all on realism.

You'd think a realism-focused combat system would do well in MMA. After all, MMA is by far the most comprehensive combat sport.

MMA fighters appear to be the ultimate street fighters, at least for hand-to-hand combat (Read: Can MMA be used for self defense and street fighting? - Why MMA sucks for them, and why it's so impressive)

When you watch Krav Maga practitioners training, they seem to be able to send their opponents out in seconds.

Is it because Krav Maga is banned from MMA?

After all, maybe Krav Maga is too dangerous for MMA. Perhaps if they allowed Krav Maga practitioners to do MMA, they would kill or upset their opponents too often.

After all, “Krav Maga” is Hebrew (the language they use in Israel) for “contact combat”.

What do you think?

Well, honestly, there is no such thing as MMA style. It is true that there are more effective means of combat. (Lily: What martial arts is MMA made of?However, you really don't need to belong to a specific fighting style.

However, MMA is really pretty much what works in an MMA game. (Lily: How MMA Fighters Train - Answered an MMA fighter and trainer)

You can be a boxer, a judo player, or a karateka. You just need to be able to beat your opponent, subdue him or knock him out.

So won't a Krav Maga fighter do well in MMA?

Maybe Krav Maga is too dangerous, so it's forbidden in MMA…

Nope.

Surprise Surprise. Krav Maga is not prohibited in MMA.

however, many movements used by Krav Maga are prohibited in MMA. For example, the kneeling of the groin, the broken fingers (small manipulation of the joints) and the head butt are used a lot in Krav Maga. Krav Maga is geared towards street fighting and surviving deadly encounters. You have to be as vicious as possible. This is how you have to be in a street fight where the environment and your opponent are unpredictable.

While these "dirty tactics" are essential to fighting most effectively in a survival situation, MMA cannot have them.

Why can't MMA have them? Isn't MMA a "real fight"?

MMA is a sport. His athletes must stay. You can't have small joint manipulations, groin kicks and elbows on the back of your head in MMA, at least not in a lasting way.

Street fights are similar but still different from MMA.

This brings us to the simple truth of why you don't see a lot of Krav Maga fighters in MMA. A Krav Maga expert who doesn't train in MMA won't do very well in MMA.

Krav Maga fighters are not banned from MMA. Krav Maga fighters don't do well in MMA (compared to a wrestler or a muay thai kick boxer).

MMA is pure hand-to-hand combat. The environment is controlled to keep the competition fighting as much as possible.

MMA fighters can fight in several ways that a street fighter cannot:

  • MMA fighters can calm down. It's good for a controlled environment like an MMA ring. Going all the way or going from zero to 100 as what Krav Maga teaches will “waste” (tire you out) in the first round of an MMA match.
  • MMA fighters can make extensive use of positions that would normally be at a disadvantage in a street fight. (Lily: Is guarding unruly, cowardly or gay?)
  • MMA fighters can use tactics that wouldn't make sense in a street fight, like exhausting your opponent on round kicks or causing long wrestling fights to catch your opponent into a submission. Krav Maga practitioners are concerned with survival, such as not being stabbed or trampled to death by multiple attackers.
  • There is a lot of emphasis on ground fights and grappling in MMA. Krav Maga is concerned with just trying to get out of a ground fight or end it quickly. An MMA fighter can use strategy in a ground fight.

In a word…

Let's end it all in a nutshell. MMA training is the best for an MMA fight because it has a lot of street fighting applications. This is only hand-to-hand combat.

Meanwhile, Krav Maga is purely for surviving a real fight, like a street fight.

While there is a lot of overlap between the two, they are different enough that Krav Maga fighters don't do well in an MMA match.

Krav Maga fighters are not prohibited in MMA. Many of their moves are prohibited in MMA, but any type of fighter can enter MMA.


If you liked this article, you might be interested in this one: 3 essential reasons why law enforcement officers (police) should train in MMA.


For just over 3 years I have been training in Kung Fu and Muay Thai. Learning any martial art is a physically and mentally challenging process that takes years of practice to master. Here are 4 tips I wish I had known that can improve your training and reduce the time it takes between novice and grandmaster.

Flexibility is a fundamental trait of any good martial artist. Having this early on in your training will help boost you ahead for many reasons. Firstly, the more advanced techniques in martial arts require you to be extremely souple, it’s impossible to begin learning them without the required flexibility to do so, and thus you will be learning advanced moves earlier in your training if you’re already performing a perfect split. Secondly, you need to kick high, sometimes higher than your own head. If you’re training in a martial art that is fight orientated, such as kickboxing, being able to kick your opponent in the head is one of the best moves you have in your arsenal of attacks. If you are studying an art such as Kung Fu, flexibility will dramatically improve your technique in forms, helping you to score those extra points in competitions for your technical ability.

One of the best ways to learn, I have found, is directly from the horse’s mouth, in this case your master. Typically, in your classes, your master will demonstrate a technique that they want you to practice with a partner. If they don’t ask for volunteers before performing each technique, go ahead and tell them before the class starts that you would like to be involved in the demonstrations. This will help you get a real feel for what they’re trying to show you, as you can miss subtle techniques that may be out of your vision. Volunteering to be demonstrated on can seem scary, but remember that they are a master of what they do, and they won’t actually be performing the move with the intent to hurt you.

Hitting pads is good for when you’re learning a new move, but you will find you begin performing the technique in a much different way when faced with something that will hit back. Simple things like remembering to cover your head when throwing a kick or punch will become second nature after being punished for dropping your guard, even for a split second. You may be asked or required to participate in a fighting tournament at some point of your martial arts journey, and the best way you can prepare for this is sparring. Remember that it is for the purpose of learning, not knocking each other out as quick as you can. You will begin to learn how to spot and react to your opponent’s openings, and how to defend against different moves. Forget being stronger or faster than your opponent, being an compréhensif fighter is what will give you the advantage come fight night.

Your training doesn’t begin and end when you enter and leave the doors. My Kung Fu master always told us that “practice is good, but perfect practice makes perfect”. When you train at home make sure you are performing each technique properly, as if you were in chic, bad vêtements form fast and are extremely to be undone. Purchasing a large mirror is a great investment so you can l'étude yourself at home. Also watching scènes of other people performing techniques will help you to see how different techniques should look when you’re not at class.

Did you set a new year resolution this year ? If so, do they happen to be martial arts related ? Do you think you will actually achieve them ?

Statistics for failed New Year’s resolutions run anywhere between 45-80%. Now that another new year is here, it’s time to focus and set our eyes back on the prize in order to not become part of this rather bleak data. to help you, on this post, I’ll be highlighting a couple personal tips that may help make both your short-term and long-term goals stick

Focusing on small milestones, following your motivation, challenging yourself, and finding what inspires you can help you make improvements for the rest year and meet or even surpass your martial arts goals and beyond !

You’re much more likely to stay motivated and make improvements if you’re doing something you enjoy. What is your absolute favorite thing to do at your martial arts school ? If you love to spar find ways to push yourself harder. Ask your instructor for pointers. Train with higher-ranking students. Seek out tournaments in your area for a challenge.

What if you’re doing what you love, and you’re already good at it, but you don’t know how to improve ? Avoid stagnation by digging deeper into your favorite activity. Find ways to go out of your comfort zone. Ask for help and feedback even in areas where you feel you are at your best. For example, if you enjoy doing forms, ask your instructor to work with you on finer details.

Play around with timing and emphasis. Enter or at least attend a tournament to see how other martial artists practice forms and see what you can learn from them. Seek out master classes, seminars, and clinics in your area. If you want some fun and relaxation while you practice consider taking a martial arts holiday.

Alternatively, you can also work on your training from the comfort of your own home by joining an online martial arts training. As you won’t even have to step foot outside, there’s simply no excuse not to keep up your practice !

Think about your long-term goals and then break it down into small milestones. Do you want to be able to do fifty push-ups in one set, but right now you can only do ten ? Don’t burn yourself out on day one trying to do all fifty. You may injure yourself or simply become discouraged that you can’t reach your goal immediately.

Slow down. Scale back. Try adding five extra push-ups per week, and over time you’ll build up the strength and stamina you need to meet your goal.

Maybe you have transferred schools and need to relearn the particular forms or self-defense techniques practiced at your new school. I have seen this happen with black belts and higher-ranking color belts who have transferred to my dojang. For example, a fellow black belt practiced Taeguk taekwondo forms at her old dojang, but now she needs to learn the Palgwe forms that we practice.

Rather than trying to learn everything at once, which will likely feel overwhelming, start with one technique or one form. Ask an instructor or another black belt for help. Watch scènes online. Move on to the next technique when you are able to perform the first one without any guidance or prompts.

Sometimes you have to do things in martial arts that you don’t enjoy as much but you still have to do due to tradition, chic schedules, and keeping your practice well-rounded. Martial arts may be the hardest thing you do, but it shouldn’t feel like drudgery. Think about what you don’t enjoy as much in class or what you dread doing, and try to figure out why you avoid it. Perhaps you don’t like it because you’re not very skilled ( yet ), you don’t do it very often, you find it stressful, or you simply find it boring.

Challenge yourself. Find the “fun” in something that has simply felt like work. It’s easy to get better at something you enjoy and you’re naturally good at doing. Just think of how it will feel when you make improvements in an area where you have continuously struggled.

Leveraging your strengths can help you develop skills in areas where you struggle. For example, if sparring is particularly challenging, be mindful of other times when you use blocks or strikes such as in forms or self-defense. Make them as sharp and powerful as you would in a faster-paced sparring match. Ask your instructor to incorporate quick reaction drills into classes. Attend extra sparring classes, and if you are a black belt or higher ranking, attend lower ranking sparring classes and offer to coach or referee. Teaching a skill can help you make vast improvements in your own practice.

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