Our System Works
REAL LIFE SURVIVAL: FROM OUR STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS
Here are just a few of the hundreds of actual encounters on the streets that we’ve accrued over the years. In 15 years of existence, Elite Defence Academy International has never lost a student or instructor to an act of violence, and we have a 100% survival record.
ELITE DEFENCE ACADEMY INTERNATIONAL KRAV MAGA INSTRUCTOR IS AN ACCLAIMED ANTI-TERROR HERO
EDA Krav Maga Instructor, Level 3 Krav Maga Black Belt, combatives instructor, and tactical shooting instructor, Inayat Kassam, is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Twice, Kenya has been hit by major terrorist attacks in Nairobi – and, incredibly, Inayat was at the scene of both attacks. The first was in September 2013, during the infamous Westgate massacre, when a shopping centre was attacked and besieged for 3 days, and the second was was in January 2019, when terrorists attacked the Dusit D2 Hotel complex using grenades, suicide bombs, and AK47s.
Inayat was a first responder at both incidents, and entered the buildings armed with only a handgun, engaging the terrorists at point blank range, inflicting casualties to the terrorists while evacuating hundreds of innocent civilians while providing cover fire and creating escape routes. It is estimated that he singlehandedly saved the lives of more than 600 people by his actions alone.
Inayat exemplifies the EDA Krav Maga prime directive taught to all students, which is The Preservation Of Life.
Our ethos is to avoid trouble at all costs, but if there are lives at stake, then we are among the ones who choose to intervene on their behalf.
EDA KRAV MAGA PRACTITIONER DISARMS KNIFE-WIELDING HOME INVADER
Marlene S, an EDA Krav Maga practitioner training in Grootfontein, was at home with her two young daughters, aged 3 and 10, in February 2019.
She woke just after midnight to the sound of an intruder who had broken in. She followed the intruder to her lounge, unseen, putting herself between him and her daughters’ rooms. She had already placed a call to the police, but was determined to protect her daughters in the interim.
When the intruder saw her, he pulled out a knife, advanced on Marlene, and tried to stab her. She executed a fast disarm, taking the knife out of his hand – and the knife fell to the floor. The intruder tackled her to the floor, attempting to pin her down as he tried to pull her top off. Marlene used one of the basic rape prevention techniques taught in EDA Krav Maga to instantly injure the attacker and throw him off. He then rolled away, went after the knife on the floor, and as he did, Marlene jumped on his back, locking in a choke as she did so. The intruder fell backward, plunging Marlene through the glass table in the middle of the lounge and forcing her to release the choke.
When she struggled up, he had regained the knife and came in for another attack. Marlene again parried the knife arm, executed a strong disarm, took the knife away from the assailant and counterattacked fiercely at the same time, inflicting severe injuries to the attacker. The intruder panicked, began to run, and escaped by throwing himself out of the window through which he had climbed.
Marlene suffered several bruises, but not a single cut, and was not harmed by the attacker’s knife at all through the process of the attempted knife attacks.
What makes this encounter even more remarkable is the fact that Marlene was a brand new EDA Krav Maga student, who had been training for 3 months, and had not yet attended her first belt grading.
EDA KRAV MAGA PRACTITIONER DISARMS AGGRESSIVE TAXI DRIVER ARMED WITH HANDGUN
Dylan McCallum, a 19-year old varsity student and EDA Krav Maga practitioner in Bedfordview, was on his way home in March 2018 when he rounded a corner and found a minibus taxi parked across the road, blocking the way while offloading passengers.
Dylan waited politely for a few minutes, as the taxi remained stationary after discharging its passengers, and then indicated to the taxi driver that he wished to pass.
The taxi driver exited the taxi, holding a handgun, and walked over to Dylan’s car, demanding that he get out. Dylan complied and raised his hands, closing the gap on the gunman who by now was presenting the gun directly to Dylan’s face.
The taxi driver demanded that he drop to his knees, while hurling abuse at him, and Dylan made the decision to disarm the assailant. Using a fast two-handed disarm, he stripped the weapon from the gunman’s hand and struck him in the face with it, knocking the attacker down to the roadway in a state of semi-consciousness and confusion.
He rapidly jumped back into his car, reversed away, and made his escape, taking the weapon with him.
At this point, Dylan had been training EDA Krav Maga for a total of 5 months, and had learned the disarm he used only 2 weeks previously.
EDA KRAV MAGA PRACTITIONER FIGHTS OFF HOME INVADERS AND PROTECTS DAUGHTER
Renata Fester, an EDA Krav Maga practitioner in Johannesburg, had just seen off visitors in June 2016, and as she was closing the door, 3 armed men rushed the door and pushed her back into her house at gunpoint.
They grabbed Renata’s teen daughter, and took both women to the master bedroom, where they demanded that both lie down on the bed.
Renata knew she had to prevent what was unfolding, and moved toward one of the men with her hands raised in a surrender position.
“I was saying ‘it’s going to be okay’”, she says. “He thought I was talking to him, and he was momentarily confused by it, but I was actually talking to myself, because I knew that I had to act quickly.”
Renata sprang forward, executing a textbook disarm and stripping the assailant of his handgun. She instantly went on a high-speed attack, inflicting injuries to all three, putting them to flight, and driving them out of the house, all three attackers in a state of pain, panic and disorientation. Renata acted with such speed, determination, and ferocity that not a single shot was fired during the entire episode.
“If it hadn’t been for my Krav Maga training, it would have ended in an unthinkable tragedy,” says Renata. “On that day, I realized how important Krav Maga had become in my life, and I realized just how important my Krav Maga training was.”
EDA KRAV MAGA STUDENT FIGHTS OFF HOME INVADERS ARMED WITH AK47 RIFLES
John Smith is an EDA Krav Maga practitioner in Johannesburg.
In May 2014, John had parked in his driveway and was busy opening the gate to his property when a vehicle came up at high speed and then stopped, blocking him in.
Three individuals jumped out of the car and immediately pulled out weapons – one of them, a handgun, and the other two, AK-47 rifles.
John realized immediately that this was the onset of a violent home invasion, and he slammed the gate shut, locking it, in the knowledge that his wife and children were inside and that he had to protect them. Simultaneously, he pulled his handgun and dived behind his car as the intruders opened fire on him.
“I went into momentary shock,” he recalls. “I froze for a second, and then realized that there was only one way this could end well for me.”
John fought back, and a standoff gun battle ensued, during which he twice encountered ammunition misfeeds and had to rectify them to get his firearm working again, while his car was being shredded from the other side.
“There came a moment,” he says, “when there was a kind of inner silence, and I could hear Des’s voice, clear as day, inside my head. He was saying two things he’d repeated to me at one point during Krav Maga training – ‘get behind the engine block’, and ‘relax and breathe, John’.”
John returned fire from cover, pinning the attackers down, and ultimately forced them to retreat. Within a minute or two, it was over, and they had fled.
“Looking back, I shouldn’t have parked directly in the driveway like I did,” says John. “I ignored something I’d been taught. But, I also remembered several other things I’d been taught, and the training I received ultimately saved my life.”
EDA KRAV MAGA PRACTITIONER DISARMS KNIFE ATTACKER AND PROTECTS FAMILY
Kendall Dixon is an EDA Krav Maga practitioner from Johannesburg.
In February 2017, he had exited his front door and was walking around to open the garage when he realized that a side window to the house had just been forced open – the window to his daughter’s bedroom.
He looked in, and saw an intruder holding a knife. Miraculously, Kendall’s daughter was not in her bedroom, but had only a few minutes previously gone through to the bathroom to shower.
The intruder spotted Kendall in the same instant, and began running down the passageway toward the living room and front door. Kendall sprinted around to the front of the house, and intercepted the intruder at the front door.
The intruder repeatedly tried to stab Kendall in the chest, but Kendall fended off the attack and then closed in on the attacker, trapping his knife arm and stripping the knife from his hand. A hand to hand fight ensued, during which Kendall parried the attacker’s punches and kicks, and replied with strikes which broke two of the attacker’s ribs.
Kendall executed a swift takedown, and restrained the intruder on the ground until the security service and police had arrived.
He sustained a laceration to one hand which required medical treatment, but was otherwise physically unharmed.
UPDATE: It is with enormous sorrow that we report the passing of Kendall Dixon, on 3 April 2020, due to leukemia, for which he has been receiving treatment after being diagnosed a little more than a year ago. He leaves behind his wife, children, and extended family. We remember him always in our commemorations, with respect and love, as an individual who displayed uncommon courage, and to whom we will always pay tribute. May his memory be a blessing.
EDA KRAV MAGA PRACTITIONER FIGHTS OFF 11 ATTACKERS AND SAVES FAMILY
Chris Troskie lives east of Johannesburg, South Africa.
In November 2017, Chris, his partner, children, and his parents were holidaying and boating, when they became the target of a violent, pre-planned gang attack.
“I was taking our boat down to the water,” says Chris, “when I passed two men who were clearly very drunk. They were blocking the jetty, and I asked them politely if I could pass in order to launch my boat. They were belligerent, and made several provocative comments, which I ignored. I secured the boat and returned to fetch my family.”
Chris and his family enjoyed an hour of boating, but when they returned to shore, the situation had worsened. The two drunks had called a number of other men, and as the family left the water in order to return to their lodgings, they were ambushed.
The attackers (11 in total) rushed Chris’s father, knocking him to the ground, fracturing his jaw and breaking his ribs as Chris ran into the mob to intervene. They then turned on Chris, who found himself at the centre of a blizzard of punches and kicks.
Chris’s partner, mother, and sister ran toward their lodgings, pursued by two of the attackers.
Chris recalls: “I had two choices: stiffen up and get killed, or relax and let my subconscious mind take over, which is what we’re taught to do. I let go, removed myself mentally from “freeze mode”, and suddenly I was inflicting serious damage to the attackers, while they were struggling to target me or hit me. I picked up my dad with one arm, and we began to move while I continued to fight.”
Chris managed to get his father to their lodgings, where his teen sister Bianca (herself an EDA Krav Maga student) was fighting off the two men who had followed the women inside.
Chris overwhelmed the two attackers, injuring them and forcing them to retreat, and then continued to fight the rest as they rushed him. One of them called out that he had a gun, and that moment, Chris chose to draw his own firearm, putting the gang to flight within minutes.
“We were lucky that day,” says Chris. “And I can tell you right now that without the training I’ve had, it would have ended up being a tragedy for our family.”
EDA KRAV MAGA PRACTITIONER DISARMS GUNMAN IN CORPORATE OFFICE
Vincent Teixeira is an EDA Krav Maga practitioner based in Johannesburg.
In January 2019, Vincent, who works as a digital design professional, was asked by his manager to pay a courtesy visit to the premises of a client in order to address some design requests the client had made.
Vincent took a colleague with him, and during the appointment, diplomatically broached the subject of several outstanding payments due by the client, without which it would not be possible to keep servicing the client's account.
The client, who was seated at his desk opposite Vincent and his colleague, grew agitated, and stated that it was his right to demand continued design work, and that the payments could be sorted out in due course.
"I could see something was wrong," says Vincent. "I was trying to be really empathic with him, because I could see that his face was flushing, his hands began to tremble, and he was getting the glazed look that - for us in Krav Maga - mean that some kind of attack is imminent."
"I told myself not to be ridiculous... we were in a company office, with other people around, in a busy environment. It would have been completely illogical and bizarre for him to actually get aggressive. But despite what my brain was saying, my body was overrriding it, and I found myself watching his hands for signs of sudden movement, which is what we're taught to do."
Suddenly, and without warning, the client stood up, lifting the corner of his shirt, and began to draw a pistol which was holstered at his belt.
"At that point, I wasn't even thinking," says Vincent. "It was full autopilot. I dived across the desk, and did a wrist pluck disarm, which we practice quite a lot in our class. Except that we normally practice it standing face to face... and here I was doing it in mid-air as I crashed into him."
Vincent stripped away the pistol, and the assailant tried to strike Vincent, but missed. Vincent executed a fast takedown, and restrained the assailant on the ground, while securing the firearm and rendering it safe.
"My colleague was just standing there, kind of frozen. Eventually he heard me telling him to call the police, and he did."
The police officer who effected the arrest did not initially believe Vincent's account of what had happened, stating that it was "impossible" to disarm someone at that range, or even disarm someone at all. It was only after eyewitnesses confirmed the events that he believed what had happened.
"It was literally a do or die moment," says Vincent. "And I realize now that the "sixth sense" kind of training we get in our classes is really, really important. Without that, it could have ended very differently."
EDA KRAV MAGA PRACTITIONER PREVENTS STABBING AMBUSH
Ryan Meyer, an EDA Krav Maga practitioner, was holidaying in Cape Town with his family in December 2018.
After an evening out at a restaurant, they left the building, and began to walk back to their car, which was parked a block away. As they walked, Ryan became aware of 3 men sitting on the kerbside ahead of them, and his instinct told him to avoid them.
Unobtrusively, he got his partner and sister to cross the road with him, and they carried on walking toward their car on the opposite side.
Ryan normally carries a number of weapons as a matter of prudence, and he decided to draw his secondary weapon (a knife) out of sight and to conceal it against his wrist, as a precaution.
"Everything we've been taught about subliminal awareness is true," he says. "I experienced it... it was a really, really strong feeling that the signals weren't good."
As they continued walking, Ryan saw the men stand to their feet and turn away as if to walk in the opposite direction. He looked forward again, checking how far it was to the car, when he heard a sound behind him.
One of the men had sprinted up behind him, and was already stabbing toward his back with a knife. The other two men were also running toward him.
In a split second, Ryan wheeled around, and performed a strong, fast parry, which knocked the knife out of the attacker's hand. The knifeman tried to go after his weapon, but Ryan kicked it into a stormwater drain at the side of the road, and advanced on the attacker with his own knife.
There was a moment of hesitation, and then all three men turned and ran away.
"Two things saved my life," says Ryan. "The first was the awareness training. The second was the fact that they could see that I knew what to do, and I was prepared to do it to them in order to save my sister and partner."
"I also realized that the more seriously you take your training, the easier it is to deal with a situation and do the right thing without thinking about it."