MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Train for the worst, hope for the best. That’s what Krav Maga is about.

“It’s all designed to help you survive a violent encounter on the street with the hope that we never need it,” explained Gail Boxrud, director of Minnesota for the International Krav Maga Federation.

Boxrud encountered some potentially dangerous situations during her career as a crime reporter, so she decided to equip herself with the tools to stay safe.

“I was hooked instantly,” recalled Boxrud. “It felt so real. It felt so empowering.”

That was nine years ago when she took her first Krav Maga class. Now she co-owns a Krav Maga gym.

“I’ve got women in their 50s and 60s who have never done anything like this, never dreamed they could do something like this. That’s where my heart is,” said Boxrud.

She wants to empower women and men to know that they have a choice to fight if they need to.

“That’s the hope, that you carry yourself with more confidence,” said Boxrud. “If you look less likely to be a victim, you’re less likely to be a victim. Most bad guys are looking for an easy target.”

Boxrud says that being trained in Krav Maga improves your chances of surviving a violent encounter.

“All of these techniques are built around your instinctual reaction to a threat.”

It’s also a great workout.

“Fitness is not our primary goal,” explained Boxrud. “Fitness is a byproduct of what we do.”

The mission of Krav Maga is to teach defense in the hopes that you’ll never have to use it. The official motto from the founder of Krav Maga is: “So that one may walk in peace.”


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