SCARSDALE, N.Y. Israeli Defense Forces started the martial art known as Krav Maga in the late 1940s but the style has started to trend today. Steve Sohn's Jujitsu Concepts Krav Maga Training Center in Scarsdale has been teaching Krav Maga for 21 years.
Krav Maga, which means "hand-to-hand combat" in Hebrew, focuses on simplicity and efficiency. Steve Sohn, owner of the Scarsdale center, said that students can learn black belt level material in the first few lessons.
"We have the least amount of defenses for the most amount of attacks," Sohn said. "It's a self-defense style. I wouldn't even call it martial arts. It's more of the martial than the art."
Sohn said the basic principles of Krav Maga focus on people's natural reaction to danger. If someone were to choke a person, for example, the hands would go to the throat as a natural defense.
"As the no-nonsense fighting method of choice for many law enforcement agencies like the FBI, Krav Maga is known to be a particularly efficient way of kicking butt in hand-to-hand combat," according to an article from MSNBC.com.
Krav Maga Worldwide says this martial art is an "effective self-defense system that emphasizes instinctive movements, practical techniques, and realistic training scenarios."
Sohn said the style has started to trend now because of Krav Maga Worldwide, which popularized the form through television advertisements and centers, including his, throughout the United States.
He said the simplicity of the style makes it a popular choice for women who want to defend themselves and for law enforcement officials.
"It's simple, it's direct," Sohn said. "There's nothing artistic about what we do."