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Krav Maga classes teach men, women and children self defense

Self Defense classes are filing up in the wake recent kidnappings and campus violence.

The Santa Barbara Krav Maga Official Training Center on Magnolia Ave. in Goleta teaches a self defense system created for Israel Defense Forces.

In Hebrew Krav means combat, Maga means contact, together they translate into contact combat.

Certified instructor Pedro Sanchez said it is more martial than art.

Sanchez is a second degree black belt in the self defense system that combines a variety of methods including judo, wrestling, and street fighting.

He has taught men, women and children of all sizes and fitness levels how to defend themselves.

“Recently we’ve been doing a lot of active shooter stuff, how to take somebody down if I had to fight for my life at the last minute, ” said Sanchez.

Some classes use toy weapons and knives.

Lauren Kenly started taking Krav Maga classes after seeing a friend fend off an attacker on State St. in Santa Barbara years ago.

Kenly takes classes with her daughter and her daughter’s middle school classmates.

They get school credit.

Ella Kenly,14, said “I feel like if I walk down the street and someone comes at me I know what to do.”

Students can learn simple moves using palms, knees and feet to fight off attackers in a single class.

But Sanchez recommends three months of training that teaches students to defend themselves in all kinds of situations.

Every third Saturday of the month instructors teach an introductory $20 class for ages 12 and up.

They also teach classes at the Pardall Center in Isla Vista.

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