It all started around 1930, Israel wasn’t esteblished yet, and the Jewish settlers had realized they could trust no one to defend and protect them from the threats around them.
A simple system of “self defense” made up of simple elements started to emerge. the Jewish settler learned combat methods from British soldiers and from other settelers that learn martial arts and came to palestine from all Europe and Russia.
The training included boxing, Judo, jiu-jitsu wrestling and other fighting systems. Trainees added fighting with a walking stick, shepherd stick, knife and bayonet. They called this style of fighting Kapap קפא”פ (Hebrew acronym for Krav Panim el Panim, קרב פנים אל פנים face-to-face combat). Kapap evolved and became more sophisticated throughout the years. The new immigrants to Palestine brought with them new practices and tactics.
The late Haviv Galisko was born and raised in Jerusalem. He was a member of the “Hagana”, one of the defenders and road openers of the city of Jerusalem. A soldier in the Moriah regiment, he fought and was wounded twice during the “Kattamon” and the “St. Simon” monastery battles. He was one of the first Kapap instructors in the “Hagana”. Haviv learned the secrets of the art of defense from a British sergeant, as well as from his brother Moshe who served as a brigade soldier and fought in Greece, Italy and Libya. Moshe died during the inroad to Jerusalem.
Haviv Galisko was a Kapap instructor for the “Hagana” and later on for the IDF until he was wounded discharged, and went on training Kapap at the YMCA in Jerusalem.
He eventually moved to Be’er Sheva where he continued to teach his firstborn, Moshe-Hai Galisko, the head of International KAPAP Association.
Until the esteblishment of the state of Israel, Kapap evolved and became a combat doctrine and the core of all the other Israeli martial arts, and the main doctorine of the IDF, Israel police and various armed forces, among the martial arts that brached from KAPAP you will find “krav-maga”, “lotar” and more.
The unique style kept on evolving, but still keeping the concept of simple, poweful and effective self-defense style.