Focus Self Defense & Fitness
If you're teaching krav maga in America, there's a good chance that John Whitman has punched you. The fifth-degree black belt has played an integral role in spreading the self-defense system throughout the country, a fact that earned him a feature in Black Belt magazine for influencing modern martial arts. Today, he trains students and fellow instructors at his gym, Alliance Training Center, which doubles as the national headquarters for his organization, Krav Maga Alliance. There, he guides his pupils through the same instinct-based techniques that he has used to coach soldiers, law-enforcement officers, and celebrities, including Million Dollar Baby's Hilary Swank.
Krav maga's devastating maneuvers constitute the official self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces. However, John and his team educate students of all ages and fitness backgrounds, maintaining that the art's effectiveness relies on sound execution rather than strength, size, or an additional set of bodybuilder arms. The instructors also teach other classes for muscular and martial conditioning: CrossFit employs Olympic weightlifts, kettlebells, and gymnastics equipment to toughen physiques, and StrikeFit sessions pit fists against heavy bags and pads. Instructors also lead programs for children aged 6–12, which help cook discipline and confidence into their daily routines.
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