How much attention our students give to their instructors varies from time to time. I’ve noticed students will pay much closer attention when we teach something they feel is more relevant to them.


If a technique is addressing a concern or a fear they’ve had experience with, the attention level is at a higher level and they train with more intensity and stronger intention. Some other examples are:


  1. If the curriculum or a story reminds them of something that happened to someone they know.
  2. If the class addresses the patterns of rising crime rates in their neighborhood.
  3. If the class addresses something that’s happened to someone from the same race, gender, or religious affiliation.

People react to true stories, and it’s through these stories that we help students take action and control! Here’s a true story about a woman who experienced an attack that led her to become stronger than she ever imagined she could be.

A true story about a woman recovering from trauma while becoming a Krav Maga instructor…


“It was my first day at university and I was walking in the parking lot to my car. I saw a group of young men walking towards me.  My heart started racing but I tried to calm myself and told myself I had nothing to fear – it’s daylight, it’s a well-populated city. I am not the type of girl who gets easily scared. But then it happened. Just before I got to my car the four of them surrounded me and grabbed my shirt. One pulled my shirt up and the other touched my body. What the other two did I can not even remember. I can still feel the creepy touch and how my body froze. I was humiliated and horrified.

For this group of young men, this was just a game. They did not intend to do more. After a short struggle, they continued on their way, laughing at their “prank”.

Needless to say, I was less amused. They didn’t realize, probably to this day, how horrible what they did to me was. They’ve probably done this to many others as well.

I got into my car and drove straight to my friend’s house. On the way I saw them again… I felt so much anger! I wanted to run them over, but the railing that separated the lanes prevented me from doing what could have been the biggest mistake of my life.

My friend wanted me to contact the police. I immediately dismissed the idea. “How in the world will they find them? I can’t even remember what they look like. I barely got to see their faces. The chance of them being caught is close to nothing. It will only prevent me from moving forward so I can forget this ever happened.” I gave up without trying and decided to leave it like this.

The days passed and I left the trauma to heal on its own. I did not seek help or even tell my parents or brother. I could not bear the pain it would cause them if they knew what had happened.
From a girl who traveled the world without fear, I became fearful of almost every situation and person.

A simple walk on the street made me feel like I was in danger….everyone was a potential attacker. If I saw boys walking towards me I would cross to the other side of the road. I tried to not walk alone almost everywhere.

The fear and anxiety continued to appear in more and more daily situations. It became worse when I became a mother. I feared for my daughters to the point of paralyzing anxiety.

Even with my ex-partner, I did not feel safe enough, although he was not at all violent or abusive.
Years after the incident, I saw an advertisement for a Krav Maga class. Ever since I was a child I loved watching movies where women knew how to fight, and I decided that at 38 it was time to take the first step. I came to watch a session where twenty sweaty men were punching and kicking the pads with insane intensity. It was scary, but at the same time I also wished I had such intensity in me, so I too would be able to protect myself and my daughters if need be. The coach came out to meet me and we talked. Based on my background, he advised me that I shouldn’t join the co-ed group just yet. I was too fragile at the time. So I started with a Krav Maga workshop for women after a few weeks. My opportunity to learn to fight was finally here! I started my training with the women’s group. After two lessons the instructor advised me I should not train with this group anymore. “You should train with men”. I remember how the men’s group seemed to me when I came to watch the first class….to put it mildly, they were not gentle. This was the beginning of wonderful friendships and of my long-overdue healing process.
From that day on my quality of life began to improve. These men were not gentle, but they were gentlemen. With no ego or any inappropriate vibe, they welcomed me and treated me like one of their own.

That training was the best treatment I could’ve given myself.
I started living a full life again. 
Over time I went back to being me, the girl I was before the attack.
I went back to walking down the street with confidence.
I went back to walking alone, without fear.
My maternal anxiety reduced to a more manageable, normal level and not irrational anxiety.
I am no longer overwhelmingly scared nor am I enormously brave.
I’m not complacent but rather, cautious. Today I see things as they are, without interpretation that everyone on the street is a potential attacker.

The process was so liberating! And to think that the feeling of safety is what I thought I had lost forever. One of the small moments I cherish is when I realized how intense and profound my transformation was. At that moment I was walking on the beach by myself and realized that only a few years ago I would not have dared to be there on my own. And yet there I was, victorious because I am in control of my life again.

Krav Maga changed my life. Today I know how to take care of myself, read the ‘signs’, trust my instincts and avoid trouble.

Many women have been harassed, attacked, and assaulted and now they are afraid to walk down the street. I was that woman, but she is no more.

Not everyone likes to fight, but everyone wants to feel safe!

I’m an advocate of Krav Maga and self-defense training. Self-protection is a necessary skill for every woman and girl. Not only is it a life skill that you can’t afford to ignore, it positively impacts all of your daily interactions, and so by extension you’re also improving the lives of your loved ones.

It is never too late to start, tho I admit that I didn’t realize how much I needed it before I started.
Age or trauma should not stop you from starting. In fact, this is a wonderful and effective way of treatment for recovery. Sometimes much more than a psychologist. “
Whatever YOUR story may be, there’s no better time than now to start healing by learning how to take care of yourself.… By being proactive and taking that first step wherever you are, you will be changed for the better!


Tsahi Shemesh