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As people approach their golden years, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize their physical well-being and engage in activities that promote strength, balance, and confidence. Chozen Martial Arts Academy in La Verne, CA is helping seniors in all of those areas through its Senior Krav Maga & Fitness program.
Although Krav Maga was originally developed for the Israeli Defense Forces, Chozen’s program is more focused on helping seniors avoid confrontation rather than becoming street fighters. Jack Coberly, the program’s head instructor, explains, “You get into your 40s and you realize that you can’t train like you did when you’re in your 20s.”
Coberly, a seasoned athlete, coach, and physiotherapist, understands the importance of rest, recovery, and personalized adaptation in any training program. He uses Krav Maga principles and techniques as a foundation to help his students improve their physical fitness and balance. He shares, “Most of the injuries that the elderly experience are related to falling.” The program’s training involves a combination of active stretches, Feldenkrais Method exercise therapy, mobility drills, and self-defense techniques that target specific muscle groups to enhance overall strength and coordination.
Wayne, 71, says, “Since I started the class I’ve got better balance, a lot more agility, and a bit more confidence getting up off the ground and getting down to the ground.” Every class emphasizes movements that require flexibility, quick reflexes, and body control in order to improve stability and reduce the risk of falls.
Chozen’s program has also had a profound impact on the confidence and self-esteem of its senior students. Through personalized instruction and gentle guidance, Coberly helps each student overcome their initial hesitations and fears, enabling them to develop a newfound sense of confidence in their physical abilities.
Bonni Rizzo, 81, shares, “I worry about falling, but we’re learning about how to fall properly and to roll. Jack makes it so easy. I’ve developed more self-confidence than I had before.” This increased confidence carries over to other aspects of their lives, promoting a positive mindset and a greater sense of personal well-being.
While Krav Maga is known for its practical self-defense techniques that can be applied in real-life situations, Coberly’s classes also emphasize the development of situational awareness, teaching seniors to be more attentive and alert to their surroundings. Occasionally, the class watches videos of real-life attacks on seniors. Afterward, they discuss ways they might have handled the situation, keeping individual skills and limitations in mind. By studying real-life scenarios and how to apply their self-defense knowledge, students gain the necessary skills to respond to potential threats as confidently as possible.
The program aims to provide a safe place where seniors can practice and refine their techniques, empowering them with the tools to protect themselves and their loved ones. Coberly says, “Our senior students don’t want to be told that somebody has to protect them. Can a 5’3”, 110-pound woman take on a 210-pound 30-year-old? No. But is there a possibility she can do something to mitigate the situation? Yes, but that requires confidence.” Learning practical self-defense techniques not only helps seniors to protect themselves but also instills a sense of control and resilience in their daily lives.
In addition to the physical and mental benefits, these classes provide an opportunity for social engagement and a sense of community. Seniors often find solace in connecting with like-minded individuals who share a common interest in physical activity and personal development. Chozen’s Senior Krav Maga classes provide a supportive environment where seniors can meet new people, make friends, and forge meaningful connections.
Nancy, 68, said, “One of the best things I’ve gotten from the program are the friends that I’ve made. It’s wonderful seeing others in the program and improving.” The camaraderie and shared experiences within the class foster a sense of belonging and create a strong support system.
Chozen Martial Arts Academy’s Senior Krav Maga Program offers many transformative benefits for older adults. From enhanced physical fitness and improved balance to boosted confidence, situational awareness, and a like-minded community, seniors who participate in these classes have experienced a profound positive impact on their overall well-being. Under Jack Coberly’s guidance, these seniors are empowering themselves, breaking boundaries, and living more active, confident, and fulfilling lives.
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