There are plenty of would-be “experts” and groups out there who proudly lay claim to teaching “reality-based” systems and techniques, and that these systems have been “tested”. But what does that actually mean?
Most often, it means – for example – that two people dressed in thick padding take turns spectacularly trying to stab each other with a rubber knife. Or they do fast, flashy, carefully choreographed fighting movements in a studio while looking fierce. Or they do intellectual exercises and have endless video debates where they try to “prove” that you can’t disarm a gun, or that this or that technique will or won’t work.
We don’t do that at Elite Defence Academy International.
Why? Because every single thing we teach you has been used in real life, over the past 15 years, in literal life-and-death situations, in one of the world’s most inherently violent countries. That’s how we know our techniques have been “tested” for reality.
Here are just a few of the hundreds of testimonials 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.
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 the ones who choose intervene on their behalf.
Marlene S, an EDA Krav Maga student 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.
Dylan McCallum, a 19-year old varsity student and EDA Krav Maga student 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.
Renata Fester, an EDA Krav Maga student in Johannesburg (now a certified Krav Maga instructor) 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 made the decision to persevere in my training and become an EDA International Krav Maga instructor.”
Today, as a certified Elite Defence Academy International Krav Maga instructor, Renata conducts mainstream Krav Maga classes, workshops, and private training, and is also actively involved in projects that equip female survivors of gender violence with skills that transform lives, restore self-confidence, and promote pathways to permanent healing.
John Smith is an EDA Krav Maga student 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.”
Kendall Dixon is an EDA Krav Maga student living in 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.
PLEASE READ THIS UPDATE: Kendall is now in another, more serious, fight for his life, as he was diagnosed in October 2018 with Lymph Melanoma while working in Dubai, and is receiving costly treatments which are not covered by his medical insurance. PLEASE DONATE any amount to help this hero today. To find out more, please CLICK HERE.
Chris Troskie is an Elite Defence Academy International Krav Maga instructor and Black Belt Level 2, based in Johannesburg.
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.”
Elite Defence Academy International has a number of instructors and students who are involved in military, law enforcement, and executive private security operations on an ongoing basis.
For security reasons, not all these functions can be named here or discussed in detail, but some areas of active service and involvement include:
- Police special operations units
- Military command
- Executive private security and close protection for international clients, which include multinational mining companies and the United Nations
- Presidential security detail
- High value asset tracking and recovery teams
- Anti-hijack and anti-terror response units
- Armed tactical medical assistance units
Many of the men and women involved in these services have had to use their training on several occasions to preserve their own lives and the lives of others. For some, who serve in law enforcement, dealing at close quarters with drug cartels, human trafficking rings, illegal gold miners, smuggling syndicates, cash-in-transit robbery gangs, and professional hit squads, is a daily reality.
And for them, using our system of Krav Maga to stay alive, very often in extreme circumstances, is also a daily reality.
As an organization, this gives us the advantage of receiving constant, accurate feedback on our techniques, our tactics, and our teaching. It also means that we’re able to teach a broad range of practical skills – ranging from hand to hand self defense for absolute beginners, right through to high-level Krav Maga skills, weapon skills, tactical skills, and operational skills for individuals and teams in high-risk environments.
It also means that we don’t stagnate. We’re all too aware of the fact that the criminal world is constantly in a state of change, and this is reflected in the way we teach and grow.
Whether you’re a civilian who’s never thrown a punch in anger but wants to learn some self defense basics, a woman who wants to know how best to protect herself and her loved ones, or a martial artist or combatives practitioner seeking a higher level of practical training, we have what you’re looking for.
At Elite Defence Academy International, there is a vast difference between theory and reality. Between acting tough and being tough. Between thinking that your Krav Maga works, and knowing that it works.
And, because of our constant involvement in reacting intelligently to changes in criminal behavior and tactics, we’re one of the few Krav Maga systems that actually evolves, in real time, to adapt, to stay ahead of the game, and to ensure that you get the very best Krav Maga training possible.