Krav Maga teachers grace Cayman

Krav Maga is not a martial art; it is an effective, simplistic and reality based self-defence system.

Krav Maga teaches you how to react in real situations to ensure your safety. It is also the official self-defence system of the Israeli Defence Forces.

A seminar, demonstration and fundraiser were held on Saturday, 4 August, at The Bootcamp Gym, run by Ronnie James Hughes.

Leading the seminar were two leading Kravists: David Kahn, the United States chief instructor and Avital Zeisler, the only woman in the world who has passed the full instructorship certification programme in Israel.

Zeisler, a former ballerina, became involved in Krav Maga at exactly the right time. Her father had enrolled her in a Krav Maga course and what she learned during those sessions helped save her life.

“My father put me in a self-defence course and it happened to be Krav Maga,” Zeisler said. “It was a 10-week intensive course. Then I was attacked later on and basically that’s what propelled me to want to learn how to protect myself.

“What I learned from that 10-week course saved my life.”

Zeisler’s high-level certification, the product of more than five years of intensive training, has given her the opportunity to work with military and self-defence specialists around the world.

She believes Krav Maga is a great way for women to protect themselves; she taught an all-female class at The Bootcamp Gym shortly after arriving in Grand Cayman.

“It’s always so meaningful for me to train a group of women. Guys are used to contact sports and martial arts. Women, we grow up in the dance studio or the ice rink doing figure skating, so it’s not something that’s expected of women.

“To see a woman take that first step towards self protection is phenomenal.”

Kahn became interested in Krav Maga when he was in law school, “I didn’t even know how to pronounce it, I probably didn’t pronounce it properly till five or six lessons later,” he admitted.

After the initial interest, Kahn began his Israeli Krav Maga training under senior black belt Rick Blitstein and trains regularly in Israel with Grandmaster Haim Gidon.

After receiving his advanced black belt teaching certifications from Grandmaster Gidon, Kahn is now one of America’s foremost Krav Maga experts.

He has taught the effective system to students in Rome and Japan and said he has a standing invitation to take the fighting technique to Hong Kong and Singapore.

“I’m just delighted to introduce Krav Maga here [in Cayman] and give everyone a good introduction, I hope, and Ronnie will take it from there.”

The seminar had a huge turn out. The host, Ronnie Hughes, wanted people to go away with an understanding of what Krav Maga was all about.

“I want people to go away realising that they do not have to be a martial artist, they don’t have to be a super athlete, they don’t have to be young or old to learn very simple and effective self defence techniques,” Hughes said.

The main points Krav Maga tries to teach are to protect your body’s vulnerable targets and to use an opponent’s momentum to fuel your counter-attack. Students of the seminar learned self-defence, combatics and how to use household objects to defend themselves. They also learned how to react under a knife or gun attack.

The aim of the six-hour seminar was to teach the students that, regardless of size, strength and fitness level, anyone can master the essentials of this unique system and reap the rewards of increased safety, confidence and conditioning.

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