Master Uri Refaeli
Master Uri Refaeli , Dan 8, was born on 23.11.1957
In 1974, during Yom Kipur war, things weren’t easy, so for an after school activities, Uri searched for a meaningful and challenging hobby like every other teenager. At that time, unlike today, there wasn’t a big variety of activities for children, and because of the ongoing war, mind and body were full of negative energy and thoughts. Uri searched for a place to deal with his emotions and find a physical challenge when he came across Krav Maga. His world was transformed.
At 15 years of age he became one of the first students who trained under the founder of the method, Imi Lichtenfeled and Grand Master Haim Zut, who became his instructor and personal friend for years to come.
Uri joined the IDF in 1976 and served in the infantry ‘Golani’ regiment. During his time off from the army he continued to train with Haim and continued to do so upon his release from the IDF in 1979.
Uri was thirsty for knowledge and trained at every possible venue – Pardes Hana, Carkoor, Natania etc – sometimes up to three sessions per day in different venues.
He chose to divide his spare time into Krav Maga training, fitness training and his passion for sea and beach.
In 1981 Uri finished the ‘Wingate’ academy instructors course, started to develop and spread the Krav Maga method among the first group of instructors under Imi Lichtenfeld, and in 1983 Uri passed his first Black belt test under Imi and became the first ever student, under Haim Zut, to receive this high rank.
He carried on training with the leading Krav Maga instructors around Israel under Imi Lichtenfeled at the “Wingate” academy and by 1989 Uri was made part of the professional committee of Imi’s KM federation.
From this point onwards Uri continued to spread the Krav Maga method according to Imi Lichtenfeled’s standards and trained a large amount of students who became black belts. Many chose to take part and teach Krav Maga as well as open their own federations.
In 1993 the federation that was under Imi’s name split up into several different federations which all spread around Israel. Later on, in 1995, Uri and Haim Zut founded the “International Krav Maga federation” and Uri was made the head of the professional committee. In 2001 he finished his martial arts trainer course at the “Wingate” academy, a prestige course which demands a high professional level and training skills, and over the years he continued to progress under Haim’s tutelage till he reached his “Dan 8” black belt.
Master Uri Refaeli held many seminars in Israel and around the world; several seminars in Brazil (including the “Imi 100” event), Mexico, UK and more. Students and instructors from around the world arrive to Israel to train with Master Uri. Among his students are people now leading the KM field in the IDF and security agencies around the world.
Master Uri Refaeli sees Krav Maga as a way of life. He believes strongly that it is an important educational tool which helps develop positive social values among people, teaches everyone to be respectful to others, helps people to live a healthier safer life, allows everyone to walk with a sense of confidence and security and simply helping make the world into a better place.
Master Uri hasn’t stopped training and teaching for over the last 40 years, and can still be found teaching today at the Krav Maga Uri Refaeli school in the city of Hadera, Israel.