Sunday, 09 October 2016 12:25

A self-defence academy

Special self defence classes for women are available Special self defence classes for women are available

Martial arts are a popular way of keeping fit and training body and mind. Most forms of modern martial arts have a competitive element.

Not so in Krav Maga, which is not, in fact, a martial art, but more of a self-defence system known for its focus on real-life situations and efficient counter-attacks.

Several centres operate across Cyprus and Limassol just acquired a new one called The Academy of Self Defence which specialises in teaching self defence and Krav Maga for men, women and children.

Krav Maga, a Hebrew word meaning contact-combat, was developed in the 1930s and 40s for the Israel Defence Forces  and has a philosophy emphasising aggression, neutralisation and simultaneous defensive and offensive manoeuvres.

There are several organisations teaching variations of Krav Maga internationally, with the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF) being the leading and most recognised family. The system consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from aikido, judo, boxing and wrestling, along with realistic fight training.

Special classes for women

While the idea of being able to defend themselves appeals to anyone, it is obviously very attractive to young, independent career women who live on their own, travel, or go out a lot.

However, self defence is really a skill every woman should possess, says Arthur Magoulianiti, who co-founded the centre with Nickolas Kostas. Having a young family himself, and having worked with women all his life as an executive coach, empowering women has always been on Magoulianiti’s agenda.

“Cyprus is considered a generally safe place, and yet, crime can happen to anyone at anytime,” he says.

“People, usually think that trying to reason with an attacker or shouting to get help will keep them safe, when really, the best way to stay safe is to be prepared. In a physical encounter, one generally has about 5 seconds to react.”
Magoulianiti started Krav Maga in 2004 because he wanted to learn a practical way to be able to defend his family and himself, if required, without spending years of learning, and has been practising actively ever since, completing his instructor course to be a certified IKMF civilian Krav Maga Instructor.

“Our new centre looks to empower and prepare its students, both mentally and physically, in the best self defence strategies possible,” explains the trainer.

“Even with just a few lessons and proper practise with skilled teachers, one can shift the odds in the event of a bad encounter.”

Many reasons to practise

Apart from learning self defence, practising the relatively new sport of Krav Maga will also increase self-confidence.

Women and parents in general, can not only set an example for their sons and daughters, but also protect them in a dangerous situation. “I find the courses fun and very helpful,” says one young woman who has recently joined. “And they are really improving my physical fitness.”

The Academy of Self Defence is currently located near Limassol’s new port, with plans to open in Ayia Fyla soon.

It offers mixed classes, women only, children’s classes and also personal training. The first month at the centre is free.

The instructors are internationally trained and are certified by the International Krav Maga Federation, the world’s leading organisation in Krav Maga and self defence.

Details can be found via the Facebook page Academy of Self Defence, or by calling: 99-454956.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of October 7th 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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