Angelina Jolie practiced it for her super-spy thriller, Salt. Jennifer Lopez fought with it in Enough. Hilary Swank trained with it for The Next Karate Kid and Million Dollar Baby. Matt Damon learned the techniques for The Bourne Ultimatum. Countless others have utilized it for weight loss, fitness, personal safety and empowerment.

That's right, it's the martial arts-based practice called Krav Maga, and it clearly has Hollywood - and the rest of the world - in a chokehold.

Israeli stunner Bar Refaeli even rocks it! If you thought she was fierce on your latest magazine cover, she's even fiercer in the gym. The sexy supermodel, who looks phenomenal flaunting her trademark curves in the new fun and flirty 2012 Passionata calendar, has said, "I don't feel the need to be super-skinny, but being in shape is important. My trainer taught me all kinds of kicks and they work everywhere – your abs, your butt."

Don't mess with this supermodel…or anyone else training with it, for that matter! Krav Maga, which translates from Hebrew to mean "contact combat", is a fighting style originally used by the Israeli army and combines techniques from different styles of martial arts and boxing.

Centers all over the world such as Krav Maga Worldwide offer self-defense and fighting classes that Krav Maga made its name with. In the self-defense class, you'll learn to defend against common chokes, grabs, and bearhugs, as well as weapons such as guns, knives, and sticks.

The more grueling fighting program will test, develop, and hone your fighting skills through partner drills and sparring.

For those not interested in getting too down and dirty with the sparring (I admit, it sounds a little too intense for me), you can get fierce with aerobic Krav Maga-inspired workouts instead!

The high-intensity classes work the entire body (much like cardio kickboxing) and include kicks, punches, and other vigorous aerobic moves with the use of kettle bells, medicine balls, jump ropes, boxing bags, and gloves. Instead of a routine, you'll get a workout that constantly varies from week to week so you- and your body- will stay intrigued.

So while you may or may not be willing to engage in a cage match anytime soon, one thing's for sure- you'll burn some major calories, build muscle tone, boost strength and stamina, as well as learn some important basic self-defense skills at the same time.

Check out this video to get an idea of how grueling – and amazing – Krav Maga fitness workouts can be!


Kristen Aldridge lends her pop culture expertise to Yahoo! as host of "omg! NOW." Receiving millions of hits per day, the hugely popular daily entertainment news program is one of the most-watched on the web. As a seasoned entertainment journalist, pop culture expert, fashion addict and lover of all things creative, she is founder of and recently launched her own celeb-inspired fashion line and smartphone app. Connect with Kristen to talk all things celebrity via Twitter and Facebook, or visit her official website.