What is FEKM Krav Maga, and who is Richard Douieb?
FEKM Krav Maga is run by its President Richard Douieb, who created the organisation in 1997. Richard is the official representative of Imi Lichtenfeld in Europe, and the European Federation of Krav-Maga now includes more than 20000 members in 15 countries, which makes the FEKM number one in the world in terms of membership!
Richard Douieb has taught Krav Maga in France and Europe since 1987 and was officially delegated by Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder. Born in Jerusalem in 1956, Richard Douieb lived in France until the age of 16. He then returned to Israel where he began to learn the martial arts.
At 17, while in the military, he started training in Krav Maga under the top military instructor Imi Lichtenfeld. At the age of 23, Richard returned to France and began training in other various disciplines such as Atemi-ju-jitsu, Thai Boxing, and American Boxing, where he won a championship in France in 1983.
Finally Richard decided to devote himself to Krav Maga after getting his instructor qualification in Israel. He opened the first school of Krav-Maga in 1987.
In 1990 he received his 4th dan and gave his first training course in Switzerland. Three years later, Richard became the sole instructor in close combat for the prestigious French GIGN (this is a post that he no longer holds). He achieved his 5th Dan in 1995 and in 2000 received the 6th Dan from the College of the black belts of the European Federation. May 25, 2007, a jury of FFKAMA, including Dominique VALERA reconfirmed the 6th Dan. The quality and thoroughness of his work earned him recognition and respect in the martial arts world. Richard is the author of several DVD movies and reference books on Krav Maga. He currently teaches in Paris and gives numerous workshops and seminars throughout Europe. Richard is universally liked and respected by his students for his immense martial qualities, educational and human resources.
Richard Douieb gave the following statement on removing the FEKM from the FFKDA (French Karate Association and Associated Martial Arts – similar to the UK AMA) on September 15th 2011 (translated)
Anxious to preserve Krav-Maga in its entirety we believe that candidates for examination grades must be evaluated only by people who have trained in that specific art, otherwise we would not recognise those people receiving a Dan grade.
For the future practitioner wishing to learn Krav Maga, significant confusion comes from a law which will allow a Karateka with a grade (1st, 2nd, 3rd dan etc. ….) to claim the same in Krav Maga or any other associated discipline with no specific training.
Some Karate organsations have unscrupulously used this law to their advantage. Instructors claiming expertise in Krav Maga – who in reality have little training or no training at all – were evaluated by karate instructors without the presence of a genuine Krav Maga Instructor, therefore lacking any responsibility for the discipline.
Despite several complaints about these matters to the FFKDA throughout nearly six years in this federation, we found no improvement and got no response from their management.
Those interested in learning Krav Maga can unknowingly take the risk and end up being taught by someone who has a dan in Karate or something similar with little or no introduction to Krav Maga.The instructor then pretends to teach Krav Maga, thinking that he knows our discipline.
To avoid this confusion and to allow all those who wish to have access to an authentic Krav Maga instructor we made the decision to leave the FFKDA on September 15, 2011. The FEKM has more than 11,800 members (the largest international federation) and does not recognise the Krav Maga grades of the few hundred members that will stay.
Although the transition to FFKDA was important to change its image in the public eye, the development of Krav Maga, which began well before the FFKDA, not from the federation. It is the consequence of the great spirit of its founder and the result of hard work, done upstream by the school mainly.
– Richard Douieb