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NEWS | May 12, 2014

Krav Maga gets Joint Base Charleston in fighting shape

By Jessica Donnelly 628th Force Support Marketing

If you are looking for a full-body workout to get you in shape while teaching you valuable self-defense techniques, check out Krav Maga at the Joint Base Charleston Fitness and Sports Center on the Air Base every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. through Sept. 26.

According to the Krav Maga Federation website, Krav Maga was created by Imrich Lichtenfeld during his service in the Israeli military from 1948 to 1963, where he taught Israeli Soldiers self-defense and face-to-face combat. After retiring from the military, Lichtenfeld modified the technique so anyone could learn it. The approach was then taught to Darren Levine who brought it to the U.S. in 1981. Now, Krav Maga is available to members of JB Charleston through the Single Airman Initiative.

"It is realistic self-defense," said Matt Robinson, Charleston Krav Maga & Mixed Martial Arts owner and instructor. "It is the closest thing that I have found to what's going to happen on the street, and at the same time, you're going to get fit."

Robinson has taught Krav Maga for 12 years and partnered with SAI two years ago to bring the technique to JB Charleston. He explained the training is designed for both men and women because everyone should know how to defend themselves from an attacker.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Tobin Short, a nuclear power school student, explained that he has past experience in boxing and MMA and has looked around the area for a gym that offers these self-defense style classes. He was not able to find one that works with his schedule at a reasonable price, so, when the AB Fitness Center started offering the Krav Maga classes, he decided to check it out.

"It's been fun, informative and a pretty intense workout," added Short.

While the class has been taking place for the past couple weeks, Robinson explains that anyone can join anytime through September.

"It's made for people who don't have a background in self-defense; they don't even have to be physically fit," added Robinson.

During the hour-long class, participants can expect a warm-up, stretching, then learning the different techniques such as head-butts, proper punching and blocking methods; how to react to attacks from behind and other approaching, attacking and countering skills.

Robinson explained the class teaches practical skills that can be used in real-world situations.

"You'll be able to use what you learn when you need it, to protect yourself and protect your family," Robinson said.

The Joint Base Charleston Single Airman Initiative offers many other events, trips and classes throughout the year. It is geared primarily toward single Sailors and Airmen, ages 18-25, but everyone is welcome to join. For more information on Krav Maga or other SAI events, contact Eryn Pope at (843) 963-2400, or visit the website at