The Unger Report: Krav Maga

Learning the Brutal Israeli-Style Self Defense

Unger and Cannon

Brian Unger, left, takes a punch -- protected by padding, of course -- from Krav Maga instructor Vivian Cannon. Rob Sachs, NPR News hide caption

itoggle caption Rob Sachs, NPR News

Krav Maga, a martial art developed by the Israelis as a brutal but effective form of self-defense, is now emerging in the United States as a way to stay fit and keep street smart. The main technique of the martial art is to use "dirty" tactics to overcome bigger and stronger attackers.

It first gained popular recognition in the United States by its association with one of the most famous women in pop culture — Jennifer Lopez, who played an abused wife in the movie Enough. In the film, Lopez' character learns Krav Maga and winds up dishing out some abuse of her own on a husband she's unable to escape.

In real life, the national training center for Krav Maga is located in Los Angeles. Instructor Vivian Cannon recently gave Day to Day reporter Brian Unger and producer Rob Sachs a primer in the deadly science of attacking a man's most vulnerable areas.

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