By CAROLINE CORNISH
Krav Maga Raleigh is a self-defense studio located within a 5 minute drive from NC State University. For two years a few members of UPP staff have been attending weekly classes that teach defense techniques from physical attacks while also priming striking abilities, in particular using punches, elbows, knees and various kicks. Krav Maga was derived from Imren Litchenfeld in 1930’s as a more practical form of self-defense. He used this street-fighting technique to instruct Jewish refugees in Israel defense from those that would cause them harm in that area and time. The defense is still used today by many across the world, and those living in Israel are all trained in this form of fighting for its practicality and modernized integration of classical martial arts, ground fighting, weapon disarms and more.
In light of the wonderful benefits of increased fitness and confidence; to say nothing of the built skill and routine that attending Krav Maga classes brings, staff thought that inviting students to join a self-defense class would be of great benefit to them. On January 27th, blackbelt holder and trainer, Cassie Rhodes, with her assistant Mason, taught 11 of our students how to defend themselves using some basic but very effective techniques.
Students had great fun learning and testing these new abilities on each other. Punching and kicking proved more technically challenging than they previously assumed, but the assurance it brought them in learning how to strike was impressive. “I feel like I have more confidence in myself as a girl!” one student exclaimed after the event. Even if students cannot master the learned techniques after one class, inspiration can be drawn from the female instructor Cassie who demonstrates how strong and capable a woman can be in a fight. This building of self-belief is a wonderful gift to all women who learn they can have the strength to defend themselves, and that size isn’t always everything.
Many of the boy students tapped into this renewed confidence as well. While they laughed and enjoyed the awkwardness of holding pads, and encouraging their friends to punch harder towards them, they too were able to reflect on their current fitness and make goals to improve themselves.
One student in particular, Xu “Rudolf” Li said this about the experience, “The class is very motivating and it really… ignites the fire underneath my heart to improve my strength and fitness.” He enjoyed the class so much he has since signed a membership at Krav Maga Raleigh after attending a few level 1 classes. His membership includes access to beginner level krav maga classes, group fitness classes, stretching, and ground fighting. Rudolf will use Krav Maga to further his fitness goals and bring some fun and variety to his workout routine. Moreover, as his confidence and abilities increases he will have a very unique hobby and skill to show off to his friends, and maybe even use this knowledge to defend himself one day.
UPP at New Mind would like to thank Krav Maga Raleigh for inviting them to train together and will continue to use the inspiration garnered from this studio as fuel for their personal endeavors. Kida!