Chicagoans Learn to Ward Off Attackers at Unique Self-Defense Class

Clientele at Chicago's Alpha Krav Maga in the city's Old Town neighborhood has nearly doubled over the past year, the self-defense training center's owner says. The uptick comes during a wave of brutal attacks against women over the last month.

Two of the attacks have occurred in Lake View and another in Lincoln Park. Participants like Melanie Kane say they are training to fight back.

“It’s nice to know that if I were to get attacked I have the best chance of survival,” Kane said.

Jeff Horvitz, owner of Alpha Krav Maga, says when the threat is real, you don’t have time to think. He also said most of those who train at his facility are victims or witnesses of an attack.

“In class, we will choke each other, we know what it feels like,” he said.

It’s training that Horvits says more people are seeking—learning how to fight off attackers.

But, Horvitz, says if someone “puts a gun to your head” you should do what they say.

“It’s when they ask you to get in the trunk of a car and the situation changes, then you look for what may be opportunities,” he said.

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