Rick began his IKM training in 1977 while living in Israel on Kibbutz Ein Harrod Me'uchad. While practicing his kung-fu which he grew up learning, several "Kibbutzniks" introduced him to IKM by showing him what he was doing was not effective for real life attacks. He learned these new friends were in top commando units of the IDF, and they brutally taught him what IKM was all about. They also introduced Rick to Grandmaster Imi Lichtenfeld. In 1979, Grandmaster Imi and many of his top black belt students did a tour around the USA demonstrating the system. Rick met them and was personally invited by Grandmaster Imi to come back to Israel to attend the first International Instructors course, with the purpose of bringing IKM back to the USA. In 1981, Rick attended and completed the first International Instructors course. Under the direction of Grandmaster Imi, the students learned from many of the top practitioners of IKM. After completion of the course, Rick returned to Cleveland and began teaching IKM, as well as testing it in real life situations as he was working in corporate security.
For three decades, Rick has taught thousands of civilians, law enforcement and military personnel. Rick has been featured on many news and TV shows, newspaper and magazine articles, and has now brought Krav Maga to the big screen as a fight scene choreographer. Rick has also trained the World Champion Italian Water Polo team preparing for the 2012 London Olympics, of which they won the Silver Medal. A member of the IKMA and recognized as a senior black-belt instructor, Rick is committed to the proper expansion of the system in the U.S. and around the world. Rick sent David Kahn to train with the Grandmaster Gidon and the IKMA for advanced instructor certification.
Rick Blitstein’s Foreward in Advanced Krav Maga (St. Martin’s 2008)
“I have the honor of learning Krav Maga from its founder, first Grandmaster Imi Lichtenfeld and continue to learn under current Grandmaster Haim Gidon, Imi’s hand chosen successor. I lived on Kibbutz Ein Harod Me-Uchad and met Imi Lichtenfeld in 1977 and graduated from the Israeli Krav Maga Association’s first international instructor’s course in 1981. I had grown up learning kung fu and practiced outside on the kibbutz. Some of the kibbutzniks were watching and approached me. They said that looks nice but what would you do against this? They brutalized me with chokes, bearhugs, knife attacks – all with speed and power. I asked them “what style is this?” They responded, “Oh, this is from the army.” I found out later that these guys were in top commando units and quite adept at Krav Maga. My commando friends took me to train and there were some older men watching. One of those men was Imi.
Many years ago I made arrangements for David to travel to Krav Maga’s source, Israel, to learn under Grandmaster Haim Gidon of the Israeli Krav Maga Association. This lineage assures the quality of technique introduced in David’s first book, Krav Maga: An Essential Guide to the Renowned Method for Self Defense and Fitness and continues with this second volume, Advanced Krav Maga. A seed does not fall far from the tree. So, by reading this book, you will be on your way to becoming a kravist. Enjoy.”
For more information regarding Rick see: http://www.israelikravmaga.com/