Krav Maga Grading System and Belts

For belts and grades, most Krav Maga organisations use the judo-based ranking system with coloured belts that Imi Lichtenfeld designed.

The belts go from white to black, and there are 9 Dans (aka "Dargas") for the Black belt. The time and requirements for advancing from one belt to the other vary with each organisation.

Some other Krav Maga organisations, mostly outside Israel, use coloured patches instead of belts. There are only 3 colours, Yellow, Blue and Red. In the patch system which was developed by Eyal Yanilov in the late 1980's, the grades are divided into 3 main categories:
  • Practitioner (P)
  • Graduate (G)
  • Expert (E). 
Each category has 5 ranks: P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, then G1-G5 and E1-E5.

Training Grades and Belts



Krav Maga belts colors and patches - Urban Fit & Fearless


Krav Maga Curriculum

The syllabus is mostly consistent across most organisations but there are some differences.


PRACTITIONER LEVEL (P1-P5) - LEVEL 1-4 (KMW)

=> Equivalent to belts White, Yellow, Orange and Green

Students learn how to defend the most common attacks and avoid situations while developing their fighting skills and fitness. Students learn stances and movement, strikes (punches, elbow strikes, hammer strikes, kicks), 360° defences, blocks and strike defences, breakfalls, ground fighting and grappling, defence against stick attacks.

Krav Maga Global: White trim & logos on black attire. Grading patches are yellow with black bars representing their level.
British Krav Maga Association: White (P1-P3), Blue (P4-P6) and Red (P7-P9).

Grading System European Krav Maga Federation (FEKM):


Curriculum Krav Maga Worldwide (KMW/KMU)


Syllabus Krav Maga Global (KMG):


GRADUATE LEVEL (G1-G5) - LEVEL 5 (KMW)

=> Equivalent to belts Green, Blue and Brown

In order to move to Graduate level the student has to demonstrate a proficiency in all of the P level techniques first. More focus is brought on fighting skills at G level and more complicated situations are addressed. Students learn more advanced strikes and striking combinations, defenses against various cold weapons attacks and firearm threats. Most instructors hold a G level grade.

KGM: Red trim & logos on black attire. Grading patches are cobalt blue with black or white bars.

Grading System European Krav Maga Federation (FEKM):


Syllabus Krav Maga Worldwide (KMW)


Curriculum Krav Maga Global (KMG):


EXPERT LEVEL (E1-E5)

=> Equivalent to Black belt

The Expert grades cover more advanced techniques (i.e. military and third-party protection) as well as advanced sparring and fighting skills. Only high level instructors hold a E level grade. Expert level testing is by invitation only, and has specific requirements apart from testing for each level.

KGM: Gold trim & logos. Grading patches are gold with red bars.

Grading System European Krav Maga Federation (FEKM):


Beyond Expert 5 there is the rank of Master. However, this rank is reserved only for those who have dedicated a lifetime to Krav Maga and made valuable contributions in teaching and promoting the style.

Only a small number of individuals hold the rank of Master. Among them are:
Imi Lichtenfeld (+)
Eli Avikzar (+)
Haim Gidon
Haim Zut
Eyal Yanilov
Raphy El Grissi
Kobi Lichtenstein
Darren Levine


REFERENCES


Books

Aviram, Boaz (2014) Krav Maga: Use Your Body as a Weapon. Skyhorse Editions.

Green, Thomas A. , and Joseph R. Svinth (2010) Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation, Volume 2. ABC-CLIO.

Kahn, David (2019) Krav Maga Combatives: Maximum Effect. YMAA Publication Center.

Kahn, David (2016) Krav Maga Defense: How to Defend Yourself Against the 12 Most Common Unarmed Street Attacks. Griffin Publisher.

Kahn, David (2012) Krav Maga Weapon Defenses: The Contact Combat System of the Israel Defense Forces. Ymaa Publication Center.

Kahn, David (2004) Krav Maga: An Essential Guide to the Renowned Method--for Fitness and Self-Defense. St. Martin's Griffin.

Katz, Moshe (2016) Footsteps from Judea: My Journey in Krav Maga and Life. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Levine, Darren, and John Whitman (2016) Complete Krav Maga: The Ultimate Guide to Over 250 Self-Defense and Combative Techniques. Ulysses Press.

Levine, Darren, John Whitman, and Ryan Hoover (2009) Krav Maga for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide to the World's Easiest-to-Learn, Most-Effective Fitness and Fighting Program. Ulysses Press.

Sde-Or, Imi, and Eyal Yanilov (2001) Krav Maga : How to Defend Yourself Against Armed Assault. Dekel Publishing House.

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