By Emily Glory Peters
If you were like the average American kid, keeping healthy might have included a stint in karate, tae kwon do or other martial art for a few months before teetering into your next recreational activity. But what does fitness look like now as an adult?
For some, self-defense for fitness is an end in and of itself—but a simple jog around the neighborhood could provide comparable benefits. Martial arts, including more obscure branches like Krav Maga, also teach adults how to remain calm in high-stress situations, defuse conflict, and (if necessary) defend themselves and others without the use of firearms.
“Krav Maga is a hand-to-hand combat system designed for the Israeli military. It’s a no-nonsense, quick-and-dirty system dealing with violent encounters. The job of Krav Maga Black Belt Instructors is to constantly refine the system by testing its principles and applying them to modern-day threats. If something doesn’t work, we replace it with something that does,” explains Jarret Waldman, chief instructor at Krav Maga Unyted. “The evolution of the system is also what makes Krav Maga so effective.”
With locations in Pasadena and Los Angeles, Krav Maga Unyted is a full-service self-defense, fitness and fight facility for those 18 years and older, with a special youth program at the Pasadena gym. Athletes can select from beginner to black-belt levels, with membership packages ranging from 3 to 12 months or annual unlimited-class access. Towel service, showers and snacks are all available too—essentially, everything you need to get cut (and fight bad guys) is here.
So who’s a good fit for Krav Maga? Certainly not those looking for the most aesthetically pleasing martial art. According to Waldman, Krav Maga isn’t about looking “pretty or fancy” but addressing the most immediate danger in the most effective manner by leaning into our natural defensive instincts. That includes learning “combatives” (punches, kicks, elbows, knees, headbutts, eye strikes, throat strikes and the use of common objects) to end conflicts quickly and efficiently. So yes, offensive physical aggression is a given with Krav Maga—but under a skillful teacher, it’s accessible to all.
“Krav Maga was designed so that both men and women of all shapes, sizes and athletic ability could defend themselves against enemies both foreign and domestic,” says Waldman, noting that the term “unyted” was a spin on bringing a diverse group under one roof to learn. After all, an attack may impact anyone at any time—so self-defense (and its health benefits) should be equally attainable, no matter your background.
“Everyone should feel safe and be able to protect themselves and their loved ones,” says Waldman. “Liked the founder of our system, Imi, said, ‘so that one may walk in peace.’”
Krav Maga Unyted is located at 772 E. Walnut Street in Pasadena. To try out Krav Maga for yourself, request one of their 3-day passes for $30 by calling 626-460-8886. Visit www.kravmagaunyted and follow along at Facebook and Instagram @kravmagaunyted to learn more.