The Krav Maga symbol consists of the Hebrew letters K and M surrounded by an open circle because the system is open to improvement by adding techniques, exercises, and training methods.
"Good things can continue to flow into the system and flawed exercises can flow out."
-- Imi Lichtenfeld, the Grand Master of Krav Maga
Krav Maga is not a traditional martial art. It was developed in an environment where the Israeli military could not devote many hours to hand to hand combat training. Therefore, the Krav Maga system was created to bring students to a high level of skill in a relatively short period of time. There are no forms (katas) or rules or set combinations as reactions to attacks. Instead, Krav Maga training focuses on teaching simple self-defense techniques which are specifically catered to reality based attack situations. Many techniques originated in Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing and wrestling, with other techniques call from Ju-Jitsu and Karate.
how is it different?
The art of Krav Maga is much more of a survival system dealing with personal safety issues. It is considered to be a modern, highly refined, street fighting system, designed to be used against armed and unarmed attackers. Krav Maga addresses a wide variety of aggressive acts which include punches, kicks, chokes, bearhugs, headlocks, grabs, as well as defenses against multiple attackers and assailants armed with a firearm, edged weapon, or blunt object. In addition to self-defense, Krav Maga teaches hand to hand combat. This is a more advanced and sophisticated phase, and shows how to neutralize an opponent quickly and effectively. It embodies elements related to the actual performance of the fight including tactics, feints, powerful combinations of different attacks, the psychological dimensions of the fight, and learning how to use the environment to your advantage.
Krav Maga includes specialized training methods to not only challenge students physically, but to also instill a special mental discipline meant to strengthen the spirit and to develop the ability to deal with violent confrontations under intense stress. Classes will also incorporate the self-defense techniques that they teach to law enforcement personnel.
Krav Maga was derived from street-fighting skills developed by Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler as a means of defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in the mid-to-late 1930s. In the late 1940s, following his immigration to Israel, he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the IDF, who went on to develop the system that became known as Krav Maga. It has since been refined for civilian, police and military applications. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krav_Maga)