September 4, 2022

Kali vs Krav Maga: Which one’s Better for you?

Have you ever had the chance to learn about the famous martial arts forms, Kali and Krav Maga? Today, many different names denote the martial art forms. Let us take you through the differences between the two. We will also venture into the effectiveness of both these martial arts forms.

Let us explore a seemingly deeper version of martial arts as we know today. 

What is Kali?

The ancient form of martial arts dates back to the times of Spanish invasion. Traditionally, it makes use of blades between fighters. The Filipino martial arts community refers to Kali for different connotations.

Funnily, no one really knows what the original name of the martial art. Kali is simply the non – Spanish name of the art. If the facts are to be believed, the name Kali is derived from a Hindu goddess. The fact finds support in the presence of Hindu influence in the Philippines before the prevalence of other religions overtook. The goddess is generally portrayed as holding a sword, thus the name.

What is Krav Maga?

The military and defense forces of the Israelis developed the fighting system of Krav Maga. The martial art is a combination of various fighting techniques including boxing, Judo, Karate and fair barn knife.  

The art form emerged from the street fights of Hungarian and Israeli fighters.

The Fighting Perspective

How are Kali and Krav Maga different?

Kali is a plain form of fighting which is based on the use of weapons. The intention is clearly directed towards inflicting maximum damage on the opponent. With a combination of empty hand techniques and weapons, it aims to damage the opponent in a lethal way.

There are many fighting forms which are a sub style of Kali. They include Balintawak, Kali Sikaran, Rapid arnis, Sayoc kali and more.

The main focus of Kali is on a transitional system. From fighting with a weapon to bare hands, it teaches a player how to keep his hold on the game even if he has lost his weapon. The prominent systems of Kali art which are operative today, mostly teach the act of fighting, striking, taking down or grappling the opponent. The art form is quite violent. This is evident from the fact that it also teaches biting, among other extreme tactics.

Coming next to Krav Maga, one of the first things we know about it is that it avoids physical confrontation. The players learn to attack the most aggressive sections of the body during a fight. Due to the nature of the art form, students learn to attack and defend themselves against all extremes during a fight.

This is why some of the most extreme forms of tactics used in Krav Maga include attacking a preemptive basis and continuing a strike on the opponent until he is thoroughly incapable to defend himself.

Techniques involved in a fight during Krav Maga are strikes, take downs, ground work, escaping from a choke, and empty hand weapons. It draws each of these techniques from one or the other martial art form.

Krav Maga military muddy fighting duo

Which one is more effective?

From a fighting perspective, we are sure you would like to know which of these is the more effective one!

Well, to an extent, it depends upon the experience of the player itself. Kali is suitable for an advanced level player, simply because of the tactics that it involves.

From a self defense perspective, however, you may want to choose Krav Maga. It is an all rounder at supporting you with the right techniques and tactics for this purpose. For someone who is just starting out on his journey to martial arts, the better choice would be Krav Maga, given its techniques and skills involved.

For an advanced player, Kali can prove to be an essential add on to his skills. It can teach him the perfect timing, zoning and distancing techniques which prove to be effective at combat.

The Conclusion

Today, Krav Maga and Kali have evolved to become full fledged martial arts, which surely originated years ago from now. Today, however, they have been organized as proper martial arts sports, which are taught to students under a controlled environment and under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Krav Maga and Kali differ from one another to a large extent. While the former focuses on self defense, the latter is largely focused on attacking and defending in a lethal manner.

While Kali developed as a fundamental survival technique to save oneself from salvation, Krav Maga emerged as a disciplined self defense fighting technique in a military environment. The origins of the art forms are quite sufficient to explain the apparent differences in the fighting form of the two arts.

Have you ever watched either of Kali or Krav Maga fights? Do let us know.

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Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

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