Imrich ("Emerich") Lichtenfeld (1910 –
1998) is the founder of the self-defence system
who later became known as Imi Sde-Or.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, he grew up in
Bratislava, Slovakia, and was a successful boxer and wrestler.
In the late 1930s Anti-Semitic riots
threatened the Jewish Population of Bratislava. Together with other
Jewish boxers and wrestlers, Lichtenfeld helped to defend his people. In
this time he learned that sport has little in common with real fighting.
He started to develop a system of simple techniques for self-defence.
In 1940 he fled from Slovakia to
Palestine, where he arrived in 1942. There he taught fighters of the
Jewish underground organizations Haganah and Palmach. After the
foundation of Israel in 1948 he became an instructor at the School of
Later he modified Krav Maga for the needs
of police forces and civilians.
He died in January 1998 in Netanya