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Meaning “contact combat” in Hebrew, krav maga is the official self-defense system for the various branches of Israeli military. The martial art focuses on instinctive movements rather than ritual, and it aims to impart a sense of awareness and confidence on students. Since its creation in the 1940s, the popularity of the physically demanding practice has spread, like a viscous goo, all over the world. Twenty years ago, the chief instructor of Krav Maga Worldwide requested that Mitch Markowitz and Mike Leifer start a program in California. They soon established Krav Maga of Orange County. In Irvine, their seven black-belt level instructors have taught scores of students through the five krav levels. They have also adapted the program for youth and boot-camp-style workouts.