Krav Maga on Charlie’s Angels and in pop culture


Rachael Taylor, new Angel, Krav Maga expert (Photo by Bruce Moyle)

Tonight is the premiere of Charlie’s Angels, the new television show adapted from a movie franchise that had been adapted from an iconic 70s series starring Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith.

And a new series in a new era means new agents. Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), Annie Ilonzeh (General Hospital) and Rachael Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy) will play the Angels this time around. And Taylor’s character, in addition to being improbably attractive for a detective, will also demonstrate some impressive fighting skills, courtesy of the Israeli self-defense martial arts.

But this will hardly be the first time that Krav Maga (which translates to “contact combat”) has been featured in film and television. Here are five other times that Krav Maga has graced the big and small screen.

1) Enough

The 2002 film starred Jennifer Lopez as an abused wife who finally has had “enough” (get it? get it?) and studies Krav Maga to beat down her husband, Israeli-style.

2) How I Met Your Mother

In the first season episode, Return of the Shirt, Ted Mosby misunderstands what exactly his girlfriend, Natalie does in Krav Maga class.

Natalie: [in flashback, at the bar] I got a Krav Maga class in about half an hour.

Future Ted: It turns out that Krav Maga is not a form of yoga. It’s a form of guerrilla street fighting developed by the Israeli Army. [Natalie proceeds to beat up Ted]

3) Gilmore Girls

Paris and Doyle, Rory’s Yale roommates, show her the skills they’ve been practicing to survive the ghetto streets of New Haven. (You can watch the entire clip here.)

Doyle: Krav Maga, the official hand-to-hand combat style of Israel. Krav Maga is not about being a tough guy or fighting in a ring. It’s about going home alive no matter what.



Paris: And it’s a rush.

4) The Tonight Show

Jay Leno and Kevin Eubanks exchange some “witty” banter about Krav Maga.

Leno: It developed in Israel. It’s the ultimate self-defense. They say it involves head butting, hair pulling and poking in the eyes. In fact, show the three guys that developed it.

This cues a clip of the Three Stooges doing all of those things to one another.

So that’s where the Israelis got the idea.

 The Tonight Show clips begin at 5:18, after the Krav Maga infomercial.

5) 30 Rock

After ordering Kenneth the page to attack him, Jack Donaghy grabs him a choke hold.

Jack: Damn my Krav Maga training and lightening quick reflexes!

UPDATE/BONUS: Just minutes after the first episode of the new Charlie’s Angels ended, the season premiere of The Office kicked off (spoiler alert) with the news that Andy had been named the new regional manager. And one of the ways Dwight Schrute gets over his anger about not getting the job — Krav Maga lessons.


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