MORGANTOWN — Imagine walking down the street, and someone accosts you with a gun demanding your wallet and all of your money.
How would you respond in such a stressful, frightening situation?
Defense in Depth is now offering four classes per week in a unique style of self-defense, called Krav Maga, which can help address these types of situations.
On Saturday morning, Defense in Depth held a grand opening of its new Krav Maga studio, one of the only ones in West Virginia.
“This is new for Defense in Depth,” said Jeremy Harris, Defense in Depth’s certified Krav Maga instructor. “They do a lot of other cool defense styles here, but Krav Maga is a simple, effective system, and we just wanted to do a big grand opening to let the public know that we’re offering it here.”
As part of the grand opening festivities, a number of free Krav Maga classes were offered, in addition to free food, prizes and giveaways. The free classes included two 90-minute Krav Maga introductory classes, a weapons defense demonstration class and a women’s empowerment class.
“We believe it’s important because unfortunately the world just isn’t as safe as we’d like it to be,” Harris said. “Even here in Morgantown, it wasn’t that long ago that there was a shooting rampage at a gas station. These types of things happen. So the reason it’s important for people to train is so that you can be able to take care of yourself in any situation.”
Mark Nesselroad, of Morgantown, had his first exposure to Krav Maga during the weapons defense demonstration class in the morning.
He had the opportunity to learn about various Krav Maga techniques that can be used against someone that confronts him with a gun or knife.
“It was fun and engaging,” Nesselroad said. “It’ll probably take a couple classes to get used to it and to get comfortable.”
“I want to be able to protect my family, protect other folks, protect myself and feel safer in an awkward situation.”
According to Harris, Krav Maga is an Israeli-based martial arts system that includes real-world training.
It pulls a lot of different techniques from other martial arts styles and combines them into a fast, effective system. For example, Krav Maga uses Muay Thai striking techniques and combines it with Jujutsu groundwork, boxing and wrestling.
Harris says the biggest differences between Krav Maga and other popular martial arts is that it’s not rule-based and there are no rituals.
“The motto of Krav Maga is ‘So that one may walk the streets in peace,’” Harris said. “That’s what we try to get people to do. You come here, you train hard and you go home safe.”