Yoga, with all of its slowing down and mindfulness of the present moment, is a practice full of relief, healing and unexpected strength. Kickboxing and Krav Maga, with all of their punching and kicking and maximum efforts, embody confidence, power and an unexpected gracefulness.
I met Alan one summer day after stumbling into the tiny door on Westwood Boulevard that led to into 360 Fight Academy. A 45-minute session wrung me of all sweat and I walked away a little more humble, much more sore and feeling slightly stronger. One night was all it took, and I stayed for the kickboxing, the camaraderie and Alan.
Alan is the best trainer I’ve ever had. Genuine knowledge and experience inform his refreshing coaching style. He educates women and men alike about the practical advantages of self-defense, as well as pushes people to find fitness and to find their strength — to know their strengths. To him, the idea that women are not strong or should not be strong is bullshit. When his words on fighting, loving and living stir you up, connect with him on facebook, instagram and the 360 website.
In his own words:
I opened 360 in 2003 in Long Beach. My mission is to impact people on and off the mat with Krav Maga and combat sports. I started martial arts at the age of 6 with karate. From there, I continued with everything I could get my hands on until I joined the Italian Army in 1994.
I was in both the Italian Army (until ’96) and the US Army (from ’96 to ’99) and in both organizations, I always pursued hand to hand training. At that point, I was focused on finding something practical that anybody could use.
The practicality and real-life relevance of Krav Maga attracted me and Krav 360 is really based on how I trained and how I feel people should train and learn.
360 should be a place where students feel like exposing their vulnerable sides in order to conquer their weaknesses.
Training and helping women is one of the things that gives me the most satisfaction. I am tough on women — I am not politically correct and can come off as harsh at times, but I am 100% committed to really training each woman that comes to 360 to face anything! No short cuts, no easy approaches, just hard work. The biggest challenge? Mindset!
Society makes women think that they are not strong and, in some cases, should not be strong. Women are targeted because of that. I do not accept this!!
On Finding the Right Gym:
In joining any gym, the most important thing is: do your research! The unfortunate truth is that anybody can teach … and there are a lot of instructors with very questionable backgrounds. Make sure you can connect with the instructor and the students.
The most important thing is … have fun! If it’s not fun, it will be impossible to stay consistent.
The biggest misconception about training gyms is price. If you are interested in self defense, learn about the program first, then decide if the price is worth it.
On Real Life Defense:
The only thing you need to remember in a self-defense situation is TRAINING!
You will not learn anything without doing it all the time.
Cops, soldiers or any person that knows that they might get in a dangerous situation train accordingly, but regular people train only occasionally and then feel like they’ve accomplished something when in reality their mindset is such that they don’t really think they will ever find themselves in a dangerous situation.
Most people who are attacked, never plan on being attacked.
I do train my daughter. She’s six, so it’s lots of play for now mixed with martial arts. Hopefully she’ll never need it, but I ant her to be ready if she ever finds herself in a bad situation.
I love everything active and especially when fitness connects with out lifestyle. Yoga, dancing, crossfit (sometimes) are all great.
Just find what makes you move and stick with it.