by Jeremy Defatta
Happy new book day, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. This week, I’d like to keep looking at real people through the lens of Batman. This time, I have chosen another martial artist, but of a different sort—Imi Lichtenfeld (or Imi Sde’Or, 1910-1998).
Imi Lichtenfeld was born and lived in the then Czechoslovakian capital of Bratislava. He remained there until 1940, at which point it had been under German occupation for several years. He was the son of a police officer, jujitsu master, and circus performer, and he eventually went on to create the martial art called Krav Maga, which is considered one of the deadliest fighting styles ever devised and is practiced to this day by the Israeli Defense Force.
Several things here make me think of Batman when I read about Imi Lichtenfeld. He was trained in boxing, wrestling, Eastern martial arts, and gymnastics at a young age by a father who was also familiar with acrobatics and strongman techniques from his years as a circus performer. All of this contributed to the form of his fighting style. But what of its substance and philosophy?