Julia Katharina Klein

I was always a sporty person. From my childhood onward, I played tennis competitively and later I joined my university’s women tennis team. While trying out many different sports (ice skating, athletics, fencing) over the years, martial arts or self-defence was unfortunately never among them. Growing up in a safe environment, I simply did not see the need in the past and it slipped my naive mind that I would ever need it. One summer while at university, I volunteered for the Israeli Defense Forces and was introduced to Krav Maga by some of the combat soldiers on my base. While I really enjoyed learning bits and pieces back then, I did not consider it an option for a hobby as I was so busy playing tennis for my university. In my last year at university, my need for self-defence changed as I ended up in a situation where friends of my ex boyfriend attacked some of my friends in a nightclub and followed me home after work to scare me for a total of 3 months. The police would not intervene or take me seriously and I was extremely scared to ever walk home alone by myself at night … or even during the day. When I moved for my graduate job to Woking, I decided that I never ever want to be that afraid or scared to walk home alone… and that I want to be able to defend myself. I thought back to my time in the IDF and decided to give Krav Maga a go. One trial lesson later, I now have been a member at Carpe Diem for 1.5 years and it has been the most valuable time ever.

“Starting Krav Maga was one of the best decisions of my life.”

I found Carpe Diem after looking for Krav Maga classes in Surrey. I decided to join a trial lesson in December 2015 to see if the club and Krav Maga itself was what I was looking for. I was super nervous before my first trial lesson because I had never done martial arts in a club setting. Haitham and Jonathan greeted me super friendly and I found myself at ease immediately. While I joined the general warm-up, Haitham took me aside afterwards from the rest of the class and showed me the basic self-defence techniques, such as a 360 defence against strikes and kicks. I remember that I was apologising a lot whenever I hit Haitham but I realised after a while that this is just part of the sport. In the end, I really liked the techniques I learned in my first trial and both Haitham & Jonathan as well as all the class members made me feel welcome. I felt this was a very valuable sport to pick up and I joined immediately after my trial.

Being at Carpe Diem for 1.5 years now, I really see that I know the basics techniques against many different types of attacks. Due to career commitments, I have not had the chance to attend a grading yet, but I will hopefully do my P1 exam this coming July. Otherwise, I noticed I have become more confident, a lot stronger and less nervous.

Through the training I have become a lot stronger from all the strength and cardio conditioning we are doing in every Krav session. Other than that, I am a lot more confident and not afraid to walk home by myself anymore. Not only did the instructors at Carpe Diem teach me useful techniques against many types of attacks, they also helped me develop a mindset to be more aware of my surroundings whenever I go anywhere.

What do I love about Carpe Diem? It’s simple – the people. The instructors at Carpe Diem are amazing and really know their martial arts. All come from different backgrounds and have an amazing ways of teaching everyone while making it fun at the same time. On the other hand, the Carpe Diem members are simply awesome. Everyone is extremely supportive and encouraging which makes anyone feel welcome and at ease when joining a session.

At this current time in my journey I feel great. I absolutely love Krav Maga both as a sport but also as an effective self defence system and I am really happy to be a part of this amazing Krav community 😉