Krav Maga: Give these girls grief, they’ll go for the groin

Mathiba Kgoba, 19, of Somerville practices her punches during the Young Women's Self Protection Seminar at Krav Maga
NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

After five days of imagining themselves pinned down on the sidewalk by a vicious, violent attacker, a handful of young Boston women are ready for a fight.

That’s because of a five-day course recently taught at Krav Maga Yashir Boston in Charlestown, the only self-defense studio in the city devoted solely to the Krav Maga fighting technique.

“I was followed one night coming home from the T, and I was fortunate enough to run into friends,” said Sabrina Ozit, a college student who commutes evenings. “This doesn’t teach you new skills, but it enhances the ones you were born with. That really appeals to me; I can go for the groin.”

A petite girl, Ozit said she feels it is extra important to learn her strengths in case she is ever caught off guard.

“But I think it’s important for any woman, of any size, to learn how to defend herself,” she said.
The “any size” aspect is a key point for these women, who were drawn to the intense course.

Women are quickly catching wind of Krav Maga, the fighting system used by the Israeli military that uses techniques that tap into natural instincts, and striking attackers where it hurts.

“If somebody attacks your throat, your hands are naturally going to come up to protect your throat. Everything we do starts from natural response,” said Krav Maga instructor Gershon Ben Keren. “It doesn’t matter how many months or years you’ve done in the gym; you’re eyes, your throat and your groin are still vulnerable.”

As Ozit practiced kneeing an assailant in the family jewels on a mat behind him, Ben Keren said there is very good reason for women to equip themselves with self-defense skills.

“I think the statistics for violence against women are pretty freaking frightening. I also think from just a quality of life and empowerment point of view, knowing that you have the ability to defend yourself is important.”


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