Pilates and hot yoga are being pushed aside at gyms in swank Manhattan neighborhoods for a more down to earth fitness method.
Gym-goers are learning the martial arts practice Krav Maga, a highly efficient method of hand-to-hand combat used by the Israeli Defense Force. Matan Gavish, the 29-year-old manager of Krav Maga Academy in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, says that while classes are hugely popular, he would like to recruit more women to the gym:
“Women are taught that they have to be gentle and kind… The hardest thing in Krav Maga is to transform yourself from an educated, well-mannered person into a super-aggressive, super-destructive being.”
Gavish, a former Special Ops soldier, explained one of the psychological aspects of the training:
“You make yourself crazier than the guy who is trying to hurt you,” added Gavish, who’s also a graduate of Psychology at Columbia University.
Although the practice is gaining steam among American fitness buffs, the classes won’t break the bank when weighed alongside other fitness options in the New York Metro area- $100 a month for a yearly membership, or $250 for a ten class pack.