Imi Sde-Or, the founder of Krav Maga, was born in 1910, in Budapest Hungary. His father, Samuel Lichtenfeld, was a big influence on Imi, and with that Imi trained his body with many sports. Anti-Semitism was on the rise back then, so Imi devoted his physical prowess into defending the Jewish communities.When Israel was founded in 1948, Imi trained the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces. He worked with the IDF for 20 years, making sure the soldiers are ready for many different threats. This is where he perfected Krav Maga as a self defense system.
After his time in the IDF, Imi modified Krav Maga for civillian needs. He wanted people to have the skills they need to escape all the different dangers the world could throw at them. He made the system applicable to everybody, men or women, boys or girls.
Even in his later years, Imi would still help out in the development of Krav Maga. He would monitor the progress of the advanced students. He also spent time with the instructors, improving the different techniques.
Sadly, Imi passed away on the 9th January 1998. Eyal Yanilov, Imi’s closest student, was at his bedside.
Imi’s legacy, his belief that the common man should be free from persecution, lives on in Krav Maga.