Walking back to your car in the dark of night with unknown assailants lurking and waiting to pounce is a situation few want to be in and one that would leave many helpless if assaulted.
Aloha Krav Maga owners Jessica Simmons and Brandon Phillips hope to bring a solution to that possible problem with their new Krav Maga studio in the Kona Marketplace.
“It’s an honor to come to Kona and teach self-defense classes to people who are willing and eager to learn,” Simmons said. “Krav Maga is not just what you do if you are walking to your car at night and someone assaults you. It’s also what to do if there is a home invasion or a domestic dispute.”
Krav Maga, which is Hebrew for “contact combat,” is a simple, effective self-defense system that emphasizes instinctive movements, practical techniques and realistic training scenarios.
“You’re not going to come in and wear a traditional gi or some kind of outfit,” Simmons said. “We do very practical core movements that apply in real life situations. It’s very practical, and on top of being a great workout, it’s something you can use in everyday life.”
Simmons and Phillips ran a Krav Maga studio in Texas for four years before making the move to Kona. Phillips said he has frequently dealt with victims of domestic violence — both male and female — and he has seen them completely transform through Krav Maga.
“It’s really amazing to see how much it empowers people,” Phillips said. “I’ve seen people come in with their shoulders rolled forward with their head hung low. In two months, not only are they in great shape, but they carry their chest high and head up and walk with more confidence. When you carry yourself with that energy and healthy confidence, it’s what keeps you from getting attacked in the first place.”
While Krav Maga is a great way to learn how to keep safe, it’s also an alternative way to workout for people who are sick of the normal routine.
“It’s a great alternative to gyms,” Simmons said. “When I started working out, I was going to the gym for a year and didn’t see any major results because I didn’t know what I was doing. As soon as I started doing Krav Maga, I saw a huge improvement in how I looked and my health. With the movements in the workouts, you can burn up to 800 calories per class.”
In addition to basic Krav Maga training, the studio will also offer strength and cardio classes that integrate Krav Maga techniques.
Each person who comes in can participate in one free class. After that, customers sign a one-year contract at $119 per month, which includes unlimited classes.
Phillips, a certified and insured trainer, will also offer a variety of private sessions in CrossFit, strength and conditioning, POSE running and general fitness that range from $40 to $50 per session.
The studio has classes scheduled from 8 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. daily, but are asking for input on how they can adapt to best serve the community.
“We are willing to offer classes at all times of the day, but we don’t know what people really want until they tell us,” Phillips said. “We want to serve the community the best we can so input is welcome.”
Aloha Krav Maga’s grand opening is Saturday, and the staff invites the community to participate in free classes offered from 9 to 11 a.m. where participants can evaluate if Krav Maga is for them.
Space is limited, so participants should call 329-2962 to reserve their spot or go online to alohakravmaga.com.