On April 22, UPP students and staff signed up to attend a self-defense workshop, hosted by Krav Maga Raleigh. This was the last optional event of the semester, and it was such a beautiful and hot afternoon! Ten students, most of them girls, participated in the event.


Krav Maga is a self-defense martial art developed by the Israeli military. The goals of this event were to expose UPP students to a new style of physical fitness as well as learn self-defense techniques, which are particularly useful for female students.



“It hurts, but I am enjoying it,” Gabby Xiong said during the event. Another student, Xinyang Li, said she released her stress from upcoming exams through this new type of fitness and training.


The group began with warm up exercises, such as jumping jacks, push ups, etc. UPP students were then split into pairs to practice different strikes and techniques. The Krav Maga instructors taught students the proper forms of kicking and punching. Then students practiced kicking and punching together, trying to land as many solid strikes as they could in 10 seconds.



“I am sweating, but I think it is useful to learn these skills.” Zidan Liu said.


Students also learned how to escape from various grabs or holds. Students practiced breaking free from someone larger than them who tried grabbing their wrist. For many, this was an important lesson: it is technique, not brute strength, that is the most important in a fight.



“This skill of getting away is useful in real life,” Aurora Yinan Ding said.


In order to reach new levels of physical fitness and hone their new skills in striking and escaping, students trained for over an hour. We at UPP are very thankful to the kind and patient Krav Maga instructors, who ensured our students left sweaty and sore but also proud and more confident!