Krav Maga founder Imi Lichtenfeld established the original non-profit Israeli Krav Maga Association (IKMA) on October 22, 1978, to promote Krav Maga throughout the world. In 1964 after Imi’s retirement as the military’s chief instructor of physical training and self-defense, Imi focused on adapting his system to provide both professional security agencies and ordinary civilians – men, women, and children – with solutions to avoid and/or end a violent encounter.
After Imi’s passing in 1998, Grandmaster Haim Gidon, now, the highest-ranking individual in the world at 10th-degree black-belt, currently heads the IKMA as Imi’s appointed successor and President. Haim was a member of Imi’s first training class in the early 1960’s, and along with Imi and other top instructors, co-founded the IKMA. In 1995, Imi nominated Haim as the top authority to grant 1st dan krav maga black-belt and up.