Krav Maga is taught to civilians, military, law enforcement and security agencies around the world. Schools can be found everywhere from Australia and the UK to South Africa. Krav Maga was developed in Israel by Hungarian-Israeli Martial artist Imi Lithtenfeld and is used by Israeli Defense Forces. Krav Maga Patches are used to denote rank and progression thought the training system.
Organizations who teach Krav Maga outside of Israel like the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), Krav Maga Global (KMG) and International Krav Maga (IKM) use the same grading system based on a series of patches. The patch system was developed by Imi Lichtenfeld after the belt system in the late 1980s.The grades are divided into 3 main categories; Practitioner, Graduate and Expert. Each of the categories, which are often abbreviated to their initials, has 5 ranks. Grades P1 through to P5 are the student levels and make up the majority of the Krav Maga community. After P5 are G1-G5, and in order to achieve Graduate level the student has to demonstrate a proficiency in all of the P level techniques before advancing. The majority of instructors hold a G level grade and are civilian instructors. However, passing the instructor’s training course is a requirement, and holding a Graduate rank does not necessarily make one an instructor. The Graduate syllabus also builds on the Practitioner syllabus by focusing more on developing fighting skills. The Expert grades cover more advanced military and 3rd party protection techniques as well as advanced sparring and fighting skills. People who hold these ranks tend to teach in other sectors such as military and law enforcement in addition to civilian. In order to progress to Expert level one has to demonstrate proficiency in all of the Practitioner and Graduate syllabi and have excellent fighting skills. Beyond Expert 5 there is the rank of Master. However, this rank is held by only a small number of individuals and reserved only for those who have dedicated a lifetime to Krav Maga and made valuable contributions in teaching and promoting the style.