Krav Maga schools in San Diego County

// October 4th, 2012 // krav maga san diego county

Krav Maga, the Israeli self-defense system popularized in television shows such as Fight Quest and Human Weapon, was first introduced to San Diego County in the early 1990’s.  During a promotional tour of the United States, Eyal Yanilov, then lead instructor of the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), held seminars at various martial arts schools in San Diego to highlight Krav Maga’s efficiency for civilian audiences.

After Yanilov’s initial visit to San Diego, Krav Maga schools began to crop all over the county under the banners of competing Krav Maga organizations.  Krav Maga Worldwide (KMW), which is headed by Darren Levine (a 6th degree black belt and only American recipient of the Krav Maga Founder’s Diploma of Excellence), established schools in La Jolla, El Cajon, Vista, and Sorrento Valley.  All of these schools still operate, though there have been organizational divisions among the three.

Core Self-Defense in El Cajon (San Diego) is still a Krav Maga Worldwide school.  Headed by black belt Richard Schott, Core emphasizes a fitness-orientated approach to Krav Maga.  (It is common for KMW classes to be greater part cardio workout than self-defense training.)  Core teaches updated KMW curriculum.

The MMA Academy in Sorrento Valley (San Diego) is also a Krav Maga Worldwide school.  Headed by Michael Mihalkanin, the MMA Academy teaches relatively updated KMW curriculum but with a stronger emphasis on fighting than other Krav Maga Worldwide schools.

The oldest Krav Maga program in San Diego is Krav Maga San Diego.  Krav Maga San Diego started in 1991 as a KMW school; however, Dissatisfied with the level of Krav Maga practitioners and instructors that IKMF was generating, Eyal Yanilov dissolved his connections with the IKMF and founded Krav Maga Global (KMG) in the summer of 2010.

KMG instructors are required to maintain a strict professional development schedule that includes on-going training and testing.  All instructor certifications must be renewed annually and are contingent upon fulfilling high professional standards not adopted by any other Krav Maga organization.  Because of the exceptionally stringent requirements, no Krav Maga school in San Diego qualified for KMG.  Recognizing the need for high quality, updated, authentic reality-based Krav Maga in San Diego County, practitioners Yury Sigal, Veronica Gabarra, and Stephen Scanlan joined KMG and began the process of opening the first Krav Maga school in San Diego: Impact Self-Defense, San Diego.

Impact Self-Defense opened in late August 2011 to serve the growing demand for high quality Krav Maga schools in San Diego.  Located in University Heights, Impact Self-Defense is an official affiliate of Krav Maga Global.  All of Impact’s instructors are certified by Eyal Yanilov and received their grading certifications under Yanilov.  They all adhere to the highest professional standards and are unique among San Diego County Krav Maga instructors in this commitment.  Further, they are the only Krav Maga instructor team in San Diego County to be certified under Yanilov and are among the highest-ranked practitioners in San Diego County.

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