Noah Gross was born in 1968 in the USA and moved to Israel where he has spent most of his life. He has been training in martial arts since the age of 6; beginning in Judo and then Bujinkan Ninjutsu which he practiced for 25 years, achieving the rank of sixth Dan. He taught Ninjutsu for about ten years which continued his interest in weapons and his focus on making their use more practical. He also did some cross training in Tae Kwondo, and Arnis. In the late 90s he became interested in Historical European martial arts of the middle ages, renaissance and Victorian era. This lead to a meeting with Alexander Zhelezniak with whom Noah formed and is a senior instructor of the school and program A.C.T – Armed Combat and Tactics: a weapon-based combat system.
Noah was a visionary and was able to combine his passions for history and for martial arts. He began doing serious research into the history of Israeli martial arts in 1998 after meeting and interviewing Maishel Hurwitz who was 78 years old at the time. Maishel had been a member of the Hagana and Palmach before the foundation of the state of Israel and in 1940 had developed and taught a fighting method with a short stick. Noah was puzzled to learn that long before the name Krav Maga had ever been used, there was a system of hand to hand combat called Kapap and it was what the defense forces of the Jewish community in Israel used in the 1940’s. This meeting was pivotal in Noah’s path and set him off on a journey of over 20 years that continues to this day. Noah asked the question, “what happened that Kapap had died out and was replaced by Krav Maga”?
It has taken many years to find the answer. Noah published a book in 2010 titled, “Kapap from the field to the battlefiield” (in Hebrew) which covers the development of hand to hand fighting in Palestine and Israel from 1880 to 1948. Noah has been continuously researching this topic for many years and is probably the most knowledgeable person and greatest expert in the world on the subject of Israeli Martial Arts and Defense history. Noah has read thousands of original transcripts from the IDF/Haganah/and Palmach and compiled an awesome history. He believes that through knowing our history we come to understand better what we do and that only when we have an accurate understanding of the process by which Israeli martial arts developed can we truly appreciate and honor those who contributed to it including Imi Lichtenfeld.
We are proud and honored that Noah Gross is now the Official FIMA Historian. He will contribute to our members-only portal on our website, www.TheFIMA.com in a new History with Noah column.