Why Krav Maga is better than Boxing for Self Defence

Similar Origins, Different Goals

Krav Maga and boxing have some similarities in the strikes and training, which is not surprising if you know that Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder of Krav Maga, was an international competitor in boxing in the 1930s. However, Boxing is a sport and has limitations in preparing somebody for a self defence situation.

For example, a boxing is a 1-on-1 rules based competition between evenly matched competitors. Boxers wear gloves and are limited to striking the head and front of the torso.  Boxing would definitely give you self defence skills but the limitations should be recognised.

In Krav Maga we are able to target vulnerable targets on the attacker, in order to bring the odds back in our favour. The quote from Imi Lichtenfeld (founder of Krav Maga) below is a bit crude but it does highly one of the fundamental principles of Krav Maga to target vulnerable targets in order to get the upper hand against attacker’s.

Consider also the context and location

  • A situation could happen anywhere (home, bar / cafe / public transport / car park, etc)
  • You may need to protect other people;
  • There may be objects near you that you can use to defend yourself;
  • Bystanders may or may not assist you, (it may not be obvious to them who is the attacker and who is the defender);

Krav Maga Covers all Attacks & Situations...

For self defence training to be realistic we must prepare ourselves for a much broader range of situations, where the advantage starts with the attacker(s). These include…

  • Surprise attacks from any direction
  • Armed attackers (knives, sticks, guns, stones,….) ;
  • Defending yourself on the ground when attacker(s) is on the ground or standing;
  • Attacker(s) that are larger and stronger;
  • Defending yourself within the bounds of the law.
  • Avoiding or deescalating trouble before it becomes violent.


Boxing training is not the best preparation for self defence due as you are limiting yourself to training in a gym, and just practicing punching somebody to the head or body (with gloves on), .

However, if you already have boxing skills, and/or want the fitness benefits of boxing type training, you will find a cross-over with Krav Maga because In Krav Maga training we do have plenty of boxing type drills as these are a good way to improve counter-attacking skills.

Aaron Moore

​Head Instructor, Krav ​Maga Aucklandd


​Aaron Moore is Expert Level Krav Maga Instructor trained in ​UK and Israel.  ​Awarded Expert level by Krav Maga Master Eyal Yanilov in 2015 in Israel.

Aaron is the head instructor ​of Krav Maga Global - Auckland, and teaches Adults classes and seminars.

Try A Krav Maga Class

Sign up for our Newsletter