From the early days of human civilization, men had to get involved in combat for different purposes. Although the main goal of those fights was survival, it didn’t take them long enough to realize how they can use this ability to fight at recreational and also, ill purposes.
As there are sporting events centered around fighting like boxing, there are also self-defense methods like Krav Maga. Despite having some similarities, their differences easily outnumber those similarities. We will give you an elaborate description of their differences below.
A Brief Introduction to Boxing
Boxing is a combat sport. It involves two players punching each other wearing protective gloves for a specific duration. Since there is a huge chance of getting severely injured while playing the game, there is a set of rules to make those injuries a minimum. Depending on the moves a player makes a panel of judges scores and selects a winner.
What’s Krav Maga
The word “Krav Maga” is Hebrew for contact combat. Unlike boxing, it is not a sport. Krav maga is a military-grade self-defense combat skill. The primary target of krav maga is to teach someone to tackle and escape a real-world life-threatening situation. There’s no scoring or winning in krav maga as it’s a sport.
Origin of Boxing
The history and origin of boxing can be traced back to the 3rd millennium BC. Different civilizations like the Greeks, the English, etc. had their records of playing illegal boxing fights with their own set of rules. The popularity of those fights eventually gave birth to modern boxing with an international rule to maintain a level playing field.
Origin of Krav Maga
Krav Maga is relatively modern compared to boxing given the fact that it was started around the 1930s. During the mid to late 1930s in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld combined his wrestling and boxing skills to protect the Jewish quarters against fascist groups.
In the late 1940s, Imi Lichtenfeld migrated to Palestine and started providing lessons on combat training which then became the Israeli Defense Force. Hence, Krav Maga was officially formed for the Israeli security services.
Difference Between Krav MAGA and Boxing
Being combat or fighting systems, krav maga and boxing both are similar because it involves fighting. But apart from that, there aren’t any significant similarities amongst them. They are very different and that’s what we’ll talk about right now.
Krav maga is a self-defense fighting system. It is no kind of sport. But boxing is a sport. And in sports there are winners. But krav maga is not a sport so there’s no winner in this one. Also, there are rules and scoring system in boxing, just like any other sports. But krav maga does not have any of those. It is simply a combination of skills to protect one.
Boxing is a standalone sport and fighting technique. There is no involvement of any other combat style in it. But krav maga is not a standalone combat system. It is a hybrid combat system that has many other fighting systems involved in it like boxing, wrestling, judo, karate, etc.
The basic principles of boxing are international rules. These rules apply to all international events and are monitored and conducted with the same set of rules. On the other hand, Krav Maga’s basic principles encourage learners to avoid conflict at first. If it is not possible to avoid the fights, krav maga urges to finish the fight as fast as possible.
Rules of boxing like avoiding sensitive parts like eyes are not within the basic principles of krav maga. Instead, krav maga encourages its learners to find the most vulnerable body parts of an enemy like their eyes or foot and strike them there. Also, boxing doesn’t allow any instruments like sticks but krav maga encourages to use them.
Boxing between two players is held with special gloves on both of their hands. This gloves not only prevents them from making a firmer grip, but it also protects them fist against injuries. Boxing gloves are available in different varieties in the market.
There are no gloves to practice Krav Maga. Because in real-world life-threatening situations, people are not equipped with gloves.
As mentioned a couple of times, boxing has a strict set of rules when playing it. These rules are to minimize the injury that occurs during a match. But krav maga does not have any rules. The rules of striking and defending like in boxing are still applied here.
However, in boxing, there are certain places of an opponent that a player cannot hit in. This is to protect those delicate parts. Krav maga does not have any such rules. Krav Maga believes that in a life-threatening situation, the only goal is to defeat the opponent and escape in any way possible.
That’s why some krav maga pieces of training are done with an object like a stick or knife. Krav maga tries to depict a real-world hazardous situation. But using any kind of instrument is strictly prohibited in boxing.
The way you stand to face an opponent player in boxing is of 3 types, each for long-distance, short distance, and defensive strategies. No matter what happens, you will be punched from the front and your stance will be likewise.
But stance in krav maga is not limited to forward-focus. Because while defending yourself, you are likely to get attacked from all the other sides. That’s why stance in krav maga is a move of a 360-degree. Also, there are no definitive stances in krav maga like in boxing.
Defense and Blocking
Krav Maga’s blocking and defensive techniques focus on the wide 360 degree attacks that can come during a street fight. So these blocks in krav maga are much wider actions. But boxers anticipate and get attacked only from the front. They don’t have to worry about what’s behind them and hence the blocks are much narrower.
The punches that you will find in boxing are straight. Boxers rotate their fist in such a way that their knuckles and arm are parallel to the ground. Krav maga attacks don’t maintain any of these formal rules and the punches land at a natural 45-degree knuckle position. This increases the power of the attack and also leaves a possibility to cut the opponent.
Movements of boxing are a crucial part of the game and hence there are strict rules for moving smoothly. Maintaining these rules a player can slip and weave his way out of trouble. But the movements of krav maga are nowhere near as smooth and organized as boxing.
The reason behind this difference is that in boxing you don’t anticipate any weapons or illegal attack forms. But in a street fight, these things are a highly probable event. So krav maga focuses on getting out of those situations even if they are not as fluent as boxing.
In boxing, footwork is an important factor because there are attacks and blocks based on footwork. Some techniques require front foot and some back-foot. But footwork in krav maga is focused on the front foot. The element of footwork in Krav Maga is not as rich as in boxing but there is a small part of it in krav maga.
Because of the gloves that you have to put on in case of boxing, the thumb is under the arm and in front of the index and the middle finger. This prevents you from establishing a firm grip that might injure your opponent severely.
However, Krav Maga’s thumb is placed beside the index finger. This is done to condense the fist into a firmer structure so that you get more power when you hit your enemy.
Krav maga and boxing are completely different on their terms. A sporting event like boxing’s elements can never be like the element of a self-defense fighting system like krav maga. There are some obvious, but small similarities but it is like ping pong and tennis. They both of them hit balls with bats but they are more different than similar.
Krav maga, being a mixture of multiple fighting systems, have some elements of boxing in it. But those elements are not limited by the standard rules of boxing. If you want to learn self-defense, then krav maga is for you. But if you want to play fighting as a sport, then you should try boxing.
Also read- Boxing Gloves Vs MMA Gloves