Self defense at any age: Krav Maga school teaches safe, effective skills

FOX 10's Kristy Siefkin has the details on a method of self defense that's becoming popular here in the valley.

A valley self-defense school is teaching students the art of Krav Maga, which is a simple, easy to learn system that uses your natural instincts.

Some students have even used the system in real life to escape from an attacker.

Krav Maga means contact combat in Hebrew. It's used by the Israeli Defense Forces, but simple enough that anyone can learn it.

"As part of the training, we're constantly talking about the vulnerable spots that we have -- eyes, neck, groin.. even if it's a larger person, we can get the maximum effect by striking those areas," said Derrek Hofrichter, owner and head instructor at East Valley Krav Maga.

Students first learn to use moves to ward off an attacker.

"So at the same time that she's defending the choke, she's going to be using her legs and sending a kick, targeting a very vulnerable area," explained Hofrichter.

Krav Maga student Barb was attacked by her boyfriend as a teen. Now, she and her daughter train at the studio.

"Bringing her to Krav Maga, getting her some immediate skills and tools gave me peace of mind as a parent and I've watched my daughter drop grown men, so I know it's effective," she said.

At just 95 pounds, student Marla defended herself against an attacker at a gas station. She says if someone like her can master the skills, anyone can.

"At the gym, a few of the guys have asked me.. they're like, you can't do that and I say, do you want me to show you? And they're amazed. They're really amazed," she said.

Each Krav Maga class lasts about 50 minutes and as you can imagine, you get a pretty good workout while you're learning to defend yourself. Hofrichter tells us it only takes six months to really have a good grasp of the basic techniques.

East Valley Krav Maga
1328 E. Apache Blvd.
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 535-7087

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