To counter the skirmishes and offensive actions from the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian security forces are being trained in an Israeli martial art named Krav Maga.
The first batch comprising 50 instructors, are being trained at the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) training academy in Panchkula, Haryana.
According to the IG (Inspector General) of the Training Department, IS Duhen, “In the first batch, we are training fifty instructors who will go into the fields and train the ITBP Commandoes in unarmed combat.”
According to experts, Krav Maga is an advanced version of mixed martial arts to help security forces during unarmed combat and in places where they cannot fire or carry weapons. Besides the ITBP, the Indian Army is also imparting training in Krav Maga to its personnel and officers deployed along the LAC.
“The Israeli Martial Art (Krav Maga) is considered one of the best forms of martial arts combining aikido, karate and judo and will help the patrolling units to give a befitting reply during skirmishes”, another official said.
Krav Maga is a lethal self-defence fighting system developed and taught to the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces). It originated in 1948 when Israel and the IDF came into existence. Imi Lichtenfeld, a Hungarian-born Israeli martial artist, created this martial art.
Lichtenfeld was the chief fitness instructor of the IDF School of Combat Fitness, and he served in the IDF for 20 years, during which he developed martial art. Originally taught to the Israeli Military forces, it was taught to civilians too in the 70s.
It was first introduced to the Indian Military in 2005-2006 when the Special Protection Group responsible for the Prime Minister’s security were trained in this technique. Since the SPG provides close security to the PM, it was felt that Krav Maga could help commandoes thwart attacks where they cannot fire.
According to India, China has illegally occupied 38,000 square kilometres in Ladakh and 90,000 square kilometres in Arunachal Pradesh. The undemarcated LAC has been a constant source of tension, but both sides managed it really well through protocols enshrined in 1993 and 1996 peace and tranquillity agreements.
In June 2020, The Chinese violated these agreements by amassing many troops along the LAC in Galwan, eventually killing soldiers on both sides. Before the Galwan incident, the face-off was limited to waving flags and claiming the undemarcated territory as their own.
For the past few years, the Chinese Army has become very aggressive, and their aggression has been met with mirror deployment on the Indian Side. In August 2021, more than 100 soldiers of the PLA had crossed the border at Barahoti in Uttarakhand, causing some damage to the infrastructure, including a bridge.
The two sides clashed again in December 2022 in Yangtse (Tawang) in Arunachal Pradesh, where troops from both sides exchanged blows after hundreds of Chinese soldiers transgressed into either side
In one of the papers presented at the Annual DGP-IGP conference in January 2023, the Superintendent of the Police of Leh-Ladakh noted, “Indian security forces were restricted, or there has been no patrolling in 26 out of 65 points from Karakorum Pass to Chumur. There is respective patrolling by Indian forces between patrolling points 5-17, 24-32, 37, 51, 52 and 62.”