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Usually when I tell people I’m a Krav Maga instructor, they at first say, “Oh, cool!” Followed by,


Krav Maga is a practical, instinctual way of fighting and self defense that’s used by the Israeli Defense Forces. Literally translated as “close combat,” Krav Maga was developed for extremely stressful, and real-world conditions involving as weapons and multiple attackers (something that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other “martial arts” tend to ignore.)

It originated in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s, primarily by Imi Lichtenfeld to protect his people from brown shirt brutalization in Pre-World War II Europe. He was an expert in boxing and wrestling, trained by his father who taught defensive tactics for the local police.

What I love about Krav Maga, other than its very practical application, is that there are no rules. There’s no “good sportsmanship,” men and women go through the same rigorous drills, and there are no special uniforms. It’s a real world, come as you are, train like your life depends on it, no such thing as fairness, no sorries kind of experience.

It’s empowering. See what I mean in this video Nolia Roots produced for my gym.

We’re taught all our lives to sit down and shut up. Keep your hands to yourself and say “I’m sorry.” We’ve been conditioned to play by these “rules” since we were kids. Women, especially, have been praised so much for their silence and manners, that when we feel true danger, it’s challenging to turn off the switch because they don’t want to seem impolite or judgemental.

Krav Maga is the ONLY place I’ve ever been a part of that encourages you to stand up, speak up, fight for yourself, and embrace extreme ownership. Well, until I was introduced to entrepreneurship.

Below are a few things I learned about entrepreneurship through practicing and teaching Krav Maga.


My whole life, I would get in the habit of feeling comfortable. I was always good at school, not because I was the most intelligent person in the room, but because I knew if I turned in my homework consistently on time, made the teacher’s job easier, and did well on exams, I’d do well.

Every once in a while, I’d snap out of it and do something uncomfortable like go to college in North Carolina, even though all my friends were staying in the north east. Or booking a spontaneous flight to New Zealand after graduation by myself with a backpack, a map of the country, good hiking shoes, and a ticket home in a month and a half.

But I’d always find my way back to comfortable.

Ugh. I’m starting to hate that word.

My situation would be hard, but change seemed even harder. I waited for things to happen to me because I didn’t have the energy, priority or time to deal with it on my own. It was easier just to coast.

I guess it’s human to search for inertia in life. Change is hard. And while it’s easy to imagine what life would be like once you’ve made the change, it’s cognitively exhausting to think about putting in the work to change.

Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day. There’s no such thing as “not enough time” — it all comes down to priority.

“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.”

— Henry Cloud

Krav Maga (and Glennon Doyle in her book Untamed) taught me that I can do hard things. I started training out of fear but I stay to keep reminding myself that my growth is more important than my comfort. I train with men twice my size. They literally punch me in the face daily (30% power, of course). They pin me to the ground until I can’t breathe, but somehow I always get out on the other side with just a few bruises.

I can do hard things.

Life is too short to only go in 80%. It’s up to you to find what’s worth the extra 20%.  Only you can know if you’re putting in 80% effort. You’re either fully present and committed or you aren’t. This is binary. 

I grow personally, physically, and emotionally every time I leave that Krav Maga gym. It’s the same with business. When you decide to do something hard, you grow from it.

My Krav Maga coach once got the advice that “Complacency is the death of a small business.”

Deny mediocrity. Deny comfortability. Deny complacency.

You can do hard things.


In Krav Maga, we heavily train in multiple attacker situations. If you’re attacked, it’s most likely going to involve multiple bad guys. That means you need to have keen situational awareness so you know where all your threats are coming from, deal with the most immediate threat first, and fight like your life depends on it — because it does.

You can’t rely on police response because most likely, they won’t get there in time to save you. You are alone, and you need to learn how to fight alone against what feels like 1,000 people trying to harm you.

In entrepreneurship, you have your high highs and low lows. During those low lows, it’s inevitable to feel lonely.  I saw this at my last company and I’m seeing it a bit day to day now. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a one-man show or you have 35 employees. It’s inevitable to feel like no one is worried about the same things you’re worried about, no one cares the same way you care about your business.

But that’s when you have to just keep fighting. Like in Krav Maga, there is no one coming to rescue you.

Here is an Instagram post that I show all of my Krav Maga students on the first day of class. You can read the caption, but basically, this woman was going for a run and as she stopped at a restroom, she was assaulted by a man hiding in the stall.

She had just taken a self-defense course and she learned to NOT STOP FIGHTING.

She fought the man on the ground, on the sink, outside the restroom, and back in (you can see where they fought by the red lines on the map from her GPS tracker). And the whole time, she knew if she solely left her fate up to law enforcement, she’d surely be hurt, if not dead. No one was coming to help her. In the end, the only injuries she had were a couple of bruises and a cut on her face.

This is the same for entrepreneurship. It feels like no one is coming to save you. So you have to nut up and fight, even if you feel weak, even if you just ran 4 miles, even if you feel alone. Because that’s how you survive.


Krav Maga training assumes that you’ll be fighting under high-stress situations, in worst-case conditions, and disadvantaged positions. We always say, you already failed in Krav Maga if you have to use your Krav Maga in a real-life situation. You should see the warning signs before trouble happens. Put your phone down, look around you, walk on the lit side of the street, know your surroundings, know your exits. Does that guy look “off” to you? Does he have a bulge in the side of his waist belt? Be prepared, and don’t ignore your instincts.

I recently listened to a podcast by HBR IdeaCast called Future-Proofing your Strategy with Scenario Planning.

In it, Alison Beard discusses with her guest, Dr. Peter Scoblic, Co-Founder of Event Horizon Strategies, that world-changing events, like 9/11 or a global pandemic, takes many companies by surprise. Companies need to develop strategic foresight which involves inclusive, in-depth, and ongoing scenario planning.

They talk about how the short term of your business is in constant demand or as Dr. Scoblic explains, “We’re all subject to the tyranny of the present.”

It’s displayed as countless emails in the inbox that are all high priority, quarterly earnings reports, or for a small business, getting that social media post out today. Scenario planning should be a constant cycle of planning for the future as well as acting in the present. Imagination is an undervalued strategic resource when you’re thinking about your long-term focus.

In entrepreneurship, as well as Krav Maga, you are training for the what-ifs. And if you only focus on the now (which is a very important piece of life as well) you’ll be blind-sighted when a pandemic, recession, or mugging happens in your future. Not just that, but you won’t have the tools in your toolbox to solve your problem.

Think: how can your business survive the next recession? The next wave of this pandemic? The next family emergency? What are the tools you need and the systems in place to thrive?

Some restaurants are thriving more than others during this pandemic. The ones that can open garage doors or big windows, provide ample outdoor seating, and have a good social media communication plan were far more prepared with systems and structures to survive this pandemic. It’s probably not the case that these restaurants had measures in place in preparation for this pandemic, but it’s forcing players in the industry to think proactively.


In Krav Maga, as I said, there are no rules. It’s always encouraged to use force multipliers to improve your position. Use a chair, a rock, a kick in the balls, get your concealed carry permit – all of these will dramatically improve a weaker person’s chance of winning a violent physical encounter.

Using your tools in entrepreneurship works the same way. Use force multipliers to make your life easier and improve your and your business’s position in the marketplace.

Outsource, outsource, outsource! Hire a marketing and branding company to un-silo your new business and marketing to drive leads. Hire a tax accountant so you get the highest deductions possible for your business. Hire a VA so you can focus on innovation, and not your calendar. Outsourcing is the key to growth because it allows you to focus on not just what’s important, but also what you’re good at. If you’re the innovator, hire the artist. If you’re the artist, hire someone who will make sure you execute. Not one entrepreneur can be everything.

A good book that references this is called the E-myth. Tony Robbins also discusses this with this quiz on business identity.

The most important tool in your tool belt, though, are your mentors. Find yourself a good mentor. Find someone who has an abundant mindset, wants you to succeed, and won’t think they might fail in the process. Find someone that knows you almost better than you know yourself and can call you out on your shit. Find someone that will push you – even when you don’t want to be pushed. Find someone that asks you the questions needed to put your ideas into words, and in turn, action.

In the past decade, I’ve felt so much gratitude learning from those around me. I’ve been mentored by business owners, marketing experts, coaches, Krav Maga fighters, real estate investors, my family, and more. I couldn’t be more thankful because each and every one of them have primed me for my next step.

Stay tuned.


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