Krav Maga Vs. Jujitsu

Krav maga and jujitsu are both forms of self-defense that differ in style, history and practice. Developed in different areas of the world during separate periods, the intent of these strategies of defense differs greatly as well. While krav maga was developed in the early 1900s, the origins of jujitsu date back hundreds of years.

Martial artists practicing in a park (Image: Milenko Bokan/iStock/Getty Images)

Krav Maga History

The art of krav maga was created by Imrich Lichtenfeld in Eastern Europe in the 1930s. Lichtenfeld, a former boxer and wrestler, designed this form of martial arts as a means of self-defense for those Europeans confronted by anti-Semitic extremism. It's taught in schools and is currently used by the Israel Defense Forces.

Krav Maga Style

Krav maga is intended for self-protection. The strategy is to prevent injury, to practice dignity while defending yourself and to not kill your opponent. This form of self-defense is taught as a way to protect yourself from an attacker or aggressor while remaining calm in a potentially dangerous situation. A combination of punching, kicking, elbowing and other physical methods is used to ward off an attacker. In the United States, krav maga is taught as a form of martial arts that incorporates aerobic activity for an enjoyable full-body workout.

History of Jujitsu

Jujitsu was developed by samurais in Japan at an unknown date. Stanford University proposes that this art was created sometime between 1100 and 1500 A.D. Jujitsu was originally developed as a backup defense in case the fighter's primary weapon was lost during hand-to-hand combat. Many forms of jujitsu incorporate the importance of a balanced body and mind in battle.

Jujitsu Technique

While many forms of jujitsu exist, the basis is the incorporation of kicks, hits, gouges, blocks and holds without the use of any major weapons. Techniques of this art also include locking joints, chokes and different forms of escapes. This method is based on the idea of using the opponents' attacks against them by doing the opposite of what is applied by the attacker during combat. For example, if the opponent attempts to push you, pulling him will negate his attack.


Although both krav maga and jujitsu originated during different periods of history in different areas of the world, both forms of self-defense incorporate the importance of not applying fatal blows to the opponent. These forms of martial arts are meant as a deterrent, applying only the amount of force necessary to deter the opponent from further attacks.


While jujitsu is a carefully honed style of its own, krav maga was born from a compilation of multiple styles. Jujitsu also focuses more on complicated techniques, while krav maga is more focused on swift self-defense in dangerous situations. Thus, krav maga may be more suitable in a street fight, according to Israeli Krav International.

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