We do Bad Things to Bad People: Krav Maga’s German Career in the Light of Social Systems Theory

Swen Körner, Mario Sascha Staller

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


Despite its worldwide popularity, Israel-originated Krav Maga is still remarkably unexplored. With regards to Krav Maga’s global spread, this article focuses on the ‘social career’ of Krav Maga in Germany and enquires into the conditions for its success. Beginning in the 2000s, Krav Maga has rapidly resonated throughout Germany, nowadays showing a high degree of social connectivity and differentiation. Analysed through the lenses of social systems theory, Krav Maga’s increasing popularity in Germany can to a significant degree be ascribed to communication – implemented in particular by highlighting relevant differences from other practices and systems of self-defence, and by its new correspondences with contemporary social and individual needs and expectations. As our analysis shows, Krav Maga, as an effective solution to the pressing problem of interpersonal violence, provides an answer to a problem that is at least partly contributed to by the system itself. Following initial analyses of the spread of Wing Chun in Germany, this case study makes a further contribution to an understanding of the socio-cultural evolution of self-defence systems in Germany.
ZeitschriftMartial Arts Studies
Seiten (von - bis)66-77
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2023


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