For those who is willing to do some research on the latest and best Krav Maga instructors, Sergeant Major Nir Maman’s name is definitely among the top 10. Sergeant Major Nir Maman moved to Canada from Israel when he was a young boy. His parents put him in French immersion school to help him adapt to Canadian culture. He wasn’t the most popular kid in the world and spent much of his adolescents with another fellow Jew. This could be considered a normal life for any immigrant that doesn’t quite fit in, if it wasn’t for the fact that Nir and his friend were Jewish…………. Near the end of my instructor course Nir told us the instance that set him on the path to becoming one of the leading counter-terrorist experts in the world.
One day Nir and his friend were waiting at a bus stop to go home. Between them and the school was a corner store. Out of the store came a group of Neo Nazi youth, one who was known to them and had bad blood with his friend. To Nir, this was one of those “OH SHIT” moments in life where you know that it’s only going to get worse. They were surrounded and after a few words a fight broke out. The reality of this fight was that the two of them were surrounded by superior numbers and beaten. It was pure luck that allowed Nir to escape as after taking one very strong hit he buckled and fell to the ground. This allowed him to crawl through the legs of his attackers and run. To his dismay all he could do was look back at his friend being further beaten as he ran for his life.
This act of hate left a lasting impression on Nir and made him dedicate his life to fight those who would do evil and help protect those who just want to go home safely. When he was old enough to Nir moved back to Israel to join the Israeli Defense Forces. There he was drafted into the elite unit, the Central Counter Terrorist unit. This unit has one of the most intense Krav Maga and Counter Terrorist training programs out of all the Israeli Special Forces. While most Special Forces units spend only a few weeks training Krav Maga, this unit spends upwards of six months training Krav Maga 3-6 hours a day.
According to Nir’s biography on his website Nir went on to be more than just another Special Forces soldier.
“During his service he held several positions including Commander of the Counter-Terror School’s International Training Section where he was responsible for developing and delivering specialized Counter-Terror, Hostage Rescue, and Krav Maga training to Special Forces Units from various countries around the world including the United States (Army Special Forces, Delta, Marines Special Operations Command, Rangers and Asymmetrical Warfare Group), that attend the Israeli Special Forces Counter-Terror and Special Operations School in preparation for high risk deployments such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also held the position of Lead Counter-Terror Instructor on the Counter-Terror School’s Designated Hostage Rescue Take-Over Units Instruction Section, where he was responsible for training new recruits and active operational members of the Israeli Special Force’s Designated Hostage Rescue Units in all areas of Counter-Terror warfare and Hostage Rescue including Hostage Rescue Operations in domestic and hostile/foreign environments, Close-Quarters-Combat, Dynamic Entry, Aircraft, Ship, Train, and Bus Interdiction, Suicide Bomber Interception, Urban Warfare, Tactical Shooting, and Krav Maga.”
It only takes one look at his lengthy list of accomplishments and resume to see that Nir is one of the best Krav Maga instructors in the world. Add to that his height, at well over six feet and over 200 pounds he is an intimidating man. Don’t let this fool you; he is an intelligent, funny, out spoken individual whose seminars and courses are completely worth the money. Nir now spends his time living in Ontario, Canada where his day job has him working as one of the most intimidating Canadian peace officers this country has to offer. He spends the rest of the time running his business, CT 707 Israeli Krav systems. Through this company he offers Krav Maga, Tactical shooting and Counter Terrorism courses to Law enforcement, Military personnel and anyone who is interested in perfecting the art of defense.
Like much of the martial arts world Krav Maga has been divided due to pissing contests and politics. I have trained with people from several different groups such as, International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), International Krav Maga Association (IKMA), Israeli Krav International (IKI). In addition to this I have seen videos and demonstrations from other organizations such as the KMF, Krav Maga Worldwide and Krav Maga Alliance. However, if there is one thing I can say about the CT 707 it’s that it is the most pure and to the point versions of Krav Maga I have seen to date.To my knowledge, Nir is one of the few top instructors in the world that was ACTUALLY in the special forces of the IDF (Itay Gil being another such individual).
Now before this information sinks in let me break down how Krav Maga actually works in the IDF.
Too often I hear from people, “Oh you were in the IDF, you must be able to kill people with your bare hands.” This is a gross overstatement. While Israel has about 15% of the army in combat roles very few people actually learn Krav Maga to the level that the outside world thinks they do. For example, I was in one of the large Infantry Regiments of the IDF Givati, in the 424 battalion. In my training I spent maybe a total of 8 hours learning Krav Maga. The fact is that my hardest Krav Maga class was actually when I was in the army’s Hebrew school for new immigrants and not in my combat unit. This puts things into perspective a little more. Furthermore, there are two types of army Krav Maga instructors. The majority of army instructors spend maybe 4-6 weeks learning to teach Krav Maga before they are sent out to teach it. The fact is, these instructors are actually considered paper pushers or “Jobniks” as the term has been coined in Israel. These instructors are actually far less qualified to teach than the average civilian instructor in Israel.
The second type of Krav Maga instructors in the IDF are Special Forces instructors. This is the type that Nir is. He spends more time practicing Krav Maga in 6 months that most people do in 5 years. On top of that, as it says in his bio, he was in charge of developing Krav for the elite forces of the IDF. These are the same elite forces that have brought fear into the hearts of Israel’s enemies. Needless to say when I found out when his next Instructors certification course was I jumped at the chance to take it. Nir has simplified Krav Maga into an efficient system that has not been watered down by sport. Though I was only training with him for 4 days there was very little if anything that I disagreed with. His version of Krav Maga is purely about one thing – SURVIVAL! He truly understands what the founder, Imi Lichtenfeld had in mind when he first started to put together this system.
There are several fraudsters and McDojos out there who pretend to be teaching Krav Maga but do little more than take people’s money. Through Nir’s dedication and experience he has proven that he is a true master of Krav Maga and Canada should be proud to be his place of residence. I look forward to taking more of his courses in the future and hope to be a part of his organization as long as it is possible. I encourage all of you to try the various styles of Krav Maga, whether it be IKMF, IKMA, IKI, KMF, KMG, KMWW , etc.. As long as your end goal is to perfect the art of survival you have not forgotten what Krav Maga is really about. Only you can decide what is right for you.
Keep practicing and Stay safe.
Written by: Jonathan Fader
Edited by: Stephanie David
Jonathan Fader was a former sniper with IDF Givati Infantry Brigade. He is also a CT707 Krav Maga instructor under Nir Maman, IKMF P5 and BJJ practitioner. He is the proud owner of Vancouver based Krav Maga gym Urban Tactics Krav Maga.