Level Expert 2
IKMF Director of Canada
Laurent Mougeot was born in Lyon, France in 1971. His family moved to St-Etienne, a small former mining town in 1979 and Laurent grew up in a tough neighbourhood, going to school with violent gangs. He was involved in many fights throughout his teens and nearly lost an eye when a thug threw a knife at him. At age 13, Laurent started Karate Shotokan, hoping to learn how to defend himself better. Unfortunately, even after he earned a black belt, he realized that Karate did very little to give him an edge in real fights. However, in 1989, one of Laurent’s Karate instructors, Jean-Marie Araez, who had been training regularly in Israel, introduced him to Krav Maga. This was a revelation for Laurent, who then realized that traditional martial arts were not the answer to real-life violence, which is ugly and has no rules.
Laurent enjoyed learning the basis of Krav Maga but moved to Canada in 1992, where the system did not exist yet. He then resumed his study of martial arts, including Tae-Kwon-Do, Aikido and Kyo-Ku-Shin Karate. In 2002, Laurent earned another black belt in Chito-Kan Karate and participated in several competitions, always dissatisfied with the lack of realism of what he learned compared to Krav Maga. Disappointed with martial arts, Laurent departed from Karate in 2003 and began teaching a reality-based self-defence class in Ottawa, at the Ottawa Friendship Centre, based on the little Krav Maga he had learned in France. He immediately found followers and realized there was a need for this new approach.