(16.6.1947 – 16.5.2004)
Eli Avikzar immigrated in 1963 to Israel from Morocco as a boy with nothing in his pocket, except a made background of street fights from his hometown, Casablanca. He was forced to fight native gangs who were harassing him for being Jewish during a hostile history.
Eli started training with “Imi” Lichtenfeld(Sde-Or), the founder of Krav Maga (Contact Fight) in November 1964 at his institute in Netanya, and have become his first student. In those days there were no training outfits or grades for Krav Maga. Therefore they trained in army uniforms. In 1965 “Imi” added Judo coaching, as part of the Krav Maga coaching and distinguished lecturers same as Gadi Schornic and Amos Grinshpen became Eli’s Judo instructors.
Eli trained two times a week, and after receiving his Orange belt in Judo and with “Imi’s” consent, Eli trained in Tel-Aviv, where he continued practicing Judo and added Karate and Jujitsu to his coaching schedule. Eli would then return frequently to “Imi’s” coaching classes, and together they improved and developed counter exercises to Judo, Karate, and Jujitsu.
“Imi” stuck to the motto that each person, with or without coordination, strong or weak, will perform Krav Maga exercises, by utilizing one’s force.
Until 1968 there were no grades in Krav Maga, and trainee’s grades were determined primarily by their performance in Judo.
In 1968 Eli Avikzar began learning Aikido underneath the guidance of an Englishman named Mike and became his coaching partner after a year. Mike was astounded by Eli’s fast progress and allowed him to go abroad for his Black Belt training in Aikido. Following mike’s advice, Eli left for France in 1971, passed the test and received a brown belt in Aikido. Before his tour, Eli received his Black Belt in Judo, additionally to the first Black Belt ever given in Krav Maga, which he got from “Imi” in 1971. Upon his return, Eli started working alongside “Imi” in Netanya and Tel-Aviv training centers. Furthermore, they trained Soldiers and volunteer units. In 1977 Eli went to Germany and received a Black Belt level in Aikido from the European Federation.
In the year 1974 “Imi” retired and passed Eli his Krav Maga Coaching Center in Netanya. In 1976 Eli joined the IDF, as Head of the Krav Maga section. Krav Maga took a significant role because of Eli’s appointment. They started giving courses, and each P.E. instructor was obliged to know Krav Maga and teach it. Thanks to exercises from the civil life he improved the Krav Maga in the I.D.F. It became routine and was accepted by all. Proving its effectiveness in special forces units. Eli continued to develop Krav Maga inside the I.D.F. until his retirement in 1987. Up to the current date, Eli had trained 80,000 male soldiers and 12,000 females soldiers.
In the Year 1978, the Krav Maga Association was established. As an active member of the Judo Association, Eli Avikzar helped to determine the professional and Rank committees within the Krav Maga Association.
In 1979 Eli appointed his first two black belts to trainees:
* Avi Avisidon
* Eyal Yanilov
In 1981 Eli traveled to the U.S.A. together with “Imi” and some of his trainees for a 45-day performance tour, for a fundraising trip. In 1983, following that visit, American students arrived in Israel for a three-week Course. In 1984 the Krav Maga Association awarded a Black Belt to 2 American trainees, Allen Feldman and Darrin Levine. In 1985 Eli visited the U.S.A. as a spokesperson for the Krav Maga Association, to instruct the Department of Police, and in 1987 he came again to the U.S to open his first course to the Los-Angeles Police Department.
The many enhancements Eli added to Krav Maga remodeled it into a replacement method that was parallel to Krav Maga.
The name K.A.M.I. (Israeli Defense Battle) Is attached to Eli’s ideology since the strategy is split into two elements: Self Defense and hand at hand combat (KAMI will not participate in any competitions). A combat fight develops if a self-defense exercise does not totally neutralize the enemy. From this theory originates the name Israeli Krav Magen.
K.A.M.I. Adapts itself to the altering state of the outside and the immediate dangers of the street. K.A.M.I. Renews and updates, adds and revises exercises to find solutions to a dynamic atmosphere. The exercises are short and efficient, and all is allowed to save lives. “Minimum Movement against Maximum Movement becomes Minimum Defense against Most Offense.”
In 1987 Eli Avikzar retired from the Krav Maga Association and in 1989 founded K.A.M.I. – Israeli Krav Magen Association, with “Imi’s” blessing. Today K.A.M.I. System has over 40 branches across the country. It is recognized by the Israeli Ministry of Education as the suggested technique for education, and it is approved by the Academic College of Wingate, “Na’amat” (women’s organization), and P.E. teachers, and various security forces employ it. K.AM.I is well known throughout the world.
In 1996 Eli was granted a Dan eight grade, together with a Founder Diploma, that was the primary to be issued by “Imi”, and in 1999 was given Dan 10 grade by all the esteemed and professional members in K.A.M.I., together with senior pupils and P.E. Institutes in Israel.
In 1999 Eli was given worldwide recognition and also the Dan 10 belt from martial arts heads from Israel and abroad, Israeli sports institutes and his senior students.
In 2004 Eli Avikzar passed away leaving his dream that every boy and girl know how to defend themselves