“FIDF YL” and “BRI Next” Join forces for Krav Maga

On Sunday, June 6th the Tri-State Young Leadership of FIDF partnered with Birthright Israel NEXT to host a special introduction to Krav Maga, the official self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces. More than 40 BRI alumni came out in their workout gear to learn some Krav Maga basics. For many in attendance this was also their introduction to the FIDF.
Viktor Koen, YL Board Member and Chair of the upcoming 2010 Mission to Israel, opened the session by providing a brief overview of the FIDF and how it works to care for Israeli soldiers. Dan Haskell, Director of the Westchester/CT Chapter of FIDF and a former combat soldier in the IDF’s elite Egoz Unit, then described how the IDF is organized and operates. Using his own experience as an example, Dan explained how teenagers prepare for their draft and how they are eventually selected to serve in a unit.

Matan Gavish, a former special ops soldier and the founder of New York’s Krav Maga Academy who has trained hundreds of members of the Egoz Unit, explained the history and effectiveness of Krav Maga. Within minutes Matan and his instructors had everyone executing hand-to-hand combat moves. After an intense hour-long workout, participants had learned some of the basics of Krav Maga and gained a greater appreciation for how hard their Israeli peers train.
The Krav Maga event was the second successful event of the YL – BRI Next Partnership which launched last March with a Shabbat Dinner with visiting IDF soldiers. If you are interested in learning more about our Young Leadership events, please contact Liat Berko at liat.berko@fidf.org
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"Matan was such a compelling teacher and he did a great job explaining how Krav Maga differs from other forms of self defense as well as how it can be used in real life situations."
- Lauren Osheroff

"The Krav Maga class…taught us that Israeli-style hand to hand combat is about self defense that is based on speed, agility, and intelligence. And by actually doing mock-combats we were able to be thrown into a battlefield-like situation."
- Josh Fialkow


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