Imi Lichtenfeld developed the early stages of his martial art in the streets of Bratislava defending Jews against fascist thugs. He was forced to leave and was asked to develop a martial arts for the Haganah and eventually the Israeli Defense force. It was further perfected during the unfortunately plentiful opportunities in the Israeli wars in the field.
In 1964 it was allowed to be taught to citizens and in 1978 the Krav Maga association was developed. You can now learn this Israeli Martial Art in training centers around the world and in the United States. Krav Maga is Hebrew for ‘contact combat.’
Learn more about it at http://www.kravmaga.com/kravmaga.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krav_Maga