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Monday, December 16, 2019

Englewood Krav Maga has a new home and is inviting everybody to check it out. Beginning in September, the new studio, located at 26 East Forest Avenue, will offer traditional Krav Maga classes as well as a variety of other classes designed specifically for women and children.

Traci Edwards and Juan Berrios have been teaching Krav Maga for the last six years at a temporary studio in Englewood and are excited about the new space and the opportunities it provides.

Edwards believes Krav Maga is an excellent regimen for anybody interested in learning self defense while at the same time achieving their fitness goals. Because of the nature of the moves, Krav Maga has gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts worldwide.

“Krav Maga is a different type of workout that offers tremendous benefits for everyday life,” said Edwards. Through simple and effective body movements clients learn how to protect themselves and at the same time get a thorough workout, she added.

Krav Maga dates back to 1948 when Israel was under British mandate and needed a way to defend itself without weapons. When the Israeli Defense Forces were created, Imi Lichtenfeld became the chief instructor of hand-to-hand combat and created Krav Maga to protect Israeli soldiers in battle. When his military service ended, Lichtenfeld adapted Krav Maga for civilian use and the martial art has since been hailed as a remarkable form of self defense.

Krav Maga or, in English, contact combat, is specifically created for use in the street, a place where rules do not exist. The self-defense techniques are designed to be used by everyone, never relying on size, strength or fitness level. According to Edwards, a common misconception people have is that a small person, or a female, can never overcome a larger opponent. Krav Maga techniques utilize strikes to an attacker’s most vulnerable targets. Once you understand the technique, you are capable of overcoming an attacker, regardless of your size, she explained.

In 2002, after mastering other forms of combat art, chief instructor Juan Berrios began his Krav Maga training under acclaimed instructor Rhon Mizrachi. He described the Bronx in the ’70s, when he was growing up, as a dangerous environment, which sparked his interest in martial arts.

“I needed to learn how to protect myself,” he said. Now he is passionate about teaching others these valuable skills, which he says will go a long way in today’s sometimes dangerous world.

The new location will offer six-week programs for children starting at age 3 and women and girls 13 and up. They are also introducing a program specifically designed for seniors. Classes are held twice a week during the day with instructors training each client to work at their own pace. According to Edwards, clients are learning to protect themselves, but she also notes a difference in character after just a few sessions. Particularly for younger children, confidence-building skills are an important part of the program.

Edwards also leads a volleyball program for girls in grades 2-12 on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The program is open to all levels and aims to teach volleyball along with other developmental skills. Edwards played Division 1 volleyball in college, which she believes truly shaped her formative years. She hopes to offer young girls in her program that same experience she found so invaluable. Edwards plans to bring the program to Englewood in the near future. For more information, please visit www.hotvolleyballnyc.com

In honor of its grand opening, Englewood Krav Maga will be offering family discounts during the month of September. Additionally, clients who sign up in September will receive a month of unlimited classes and a uniform for $99. To learn more or to register for a free trial session, please visit www.englewoodkravmaga.com.

By Andrea Nissel