Krav Maga Class Description

Tour of Krav Maga Illinois Self Defense Class

self defense drill
Krav Maga Illinois self defense drill


If you’ve been  thinking about coming in for a Krav Maga reality self defense class, but not sure what to expect, keep reading.  Here is a brief breakdown of a typical Krav Maga self defense beginner class at Krav Maga Illinois.  No experience is necessary.  Krav Maga is simplistic and practical self defense.  Techniques, drills, exercises can be modified based on your strength level.  You do not need to be in shape first to take a class.  Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a non-athlete/couch potato, this class is for you.  Krav Maga classes at Krav Maga Illinois are held on Monday and Wednesday at 5:30pm, Thursday at 6:30pm, Saturday at 8am and Sunday at 9am.  You can choose any one of these classes as your “FREE TRIAL”

This one hour long reality self defense class consists of adults of all genders, backgrounds and professions, ages 15 to 70+.  Students are paired with someone the same size and Krav Maga experience level. (no experience is necessary to start training).  The structure of the class is as follows…


Our Warm up lasts for about 15 minutes and features different exercises such as medicine ball tosses, push ups, burpees, distancing drills etc.  In our Krav Maga self defense class we will strengthen your entire body in order to survive a violent attack.  The stronger you get, the less vulnerable and more confident you will become.


Stretching from head to toe, preparing for our training while at the same time increasing our flexibility. Stretching  is vital for improving posture, balance, muscle coordination and reducing the risk of injury.


We will do at least two fatigue drills consisting of continuous punching, kicking, etc., moving from one area to another. Your partner is holding a pad and you are punching or kicking into it.  The drills last 30 to 45 seconds long and may be repeated.  A self defense encounter will not last very long, so we must train in appropriate timing. The purpose of the fatigue drill is to get you tired, in order to start the self defense training.  We try to recreate a real situation.  In a real attack you will not be fresh, there will be an adrenaline drop, you may have tunnel vision, you may be dizzy, you may have gotten hit. We start our combatives and self defense training from here, from this point of being already tired.  We are making you work while being uncomfortable.


Students will now learn a combative, such as a punch, kick, elbow, knee etc.  The technique will be broken down dry (in the mirror). Once you have a good grasp of the technique, you will begin working drills on the pads with your partner.  For instance, your partner holding a pad and you are doing a kick followed by punches.


A spirit drill is a tool to increase your fighting spirit.  In this multiple attacker scenario, students are working in groups of 4.  3 people are holding pads, one person in the middle.  The person in the middle is attacking one pad while another person is pushing them, as soon as they feel the push they respond by attacking, until they feel another push then they attack that person. It is continuous defending.  During the drill you will get tired, but you are encouraged to keep fighting, keep pushing through.  In a real situation there is no stopping, so you must get comfortable with being uncomfortable.


Students will now learn a self defense technique.  This technique could be a choke from the front, back, with a push, on the ground etc. (anything that is within the curriculum level we are working on) The technique is broken down and done without a partner.  Once the students understand the technique they will begin to work with a partner.  We start at a slower pace and then bring up the aggressiveness and intensity going back and forth. This is aggressive training in a safe environment.


The final drill is the culmination of all you have learned for the day. Lights are out, loud music playing, your eyes are closed and your partner or another student will attack you.  You will defend as quickly and correctly as possible according to the drill as the instructor describes.  The more stressors we can put in, like spinning, doing push ups, closing eyes etc. the better prepared the student will be for a situation we hope never happens. Anyone can defend themselves when they are calm and prepared and they know it will happen. However that is not reality.  In reality you will not see it coming, it will be a struggle, it will be a fight from your life, so we must train for the fight of our lives.

Visualization is such an important tool in our self defense training.  We are not working against our partner, we are working against someone who is now desperate because we are foiling their attempt at hurting us. They are still fighting, we must be able to pull off our techniques in movement, when something goes wrong, when we are so tired we want to quit, knowing the only way to survive is to keep fighting.  We must train realistically for the fight of our lives. Krav Maga training is more that just the technique, it is awareness, reaction, response, timing, the ability to adapt, to work out of our comfort zone, to work from a disadvantage. Only when we consider all of these components can we truly start training reality self defense.



Krav Maga Illinois has been selected as Best Self Defense training by Chicago Magazine.

Founded in 2009 by Sue Garstki, a lifetime martial artist with over 40 years of martial arts and teaching experience.  Krav Maga Illinois has served thousands of students looking for realistic self defense and awareness training, confidence, empowerment, physical fitness, and mental toughness.  Our Krav Maga Training practitioners include moms, dads, students, professionals, military personnel, law enforcement, anyone interested in protecting and improving their quality of life.  Krav Maga Illinois is a proud licensee of Krav Maga Worldwide, and is on a nationwide curriculum with over 150 KMW training facilities all over the world.

Krav Maga Illinois Krav Maga Kid’s Program is for children 10 and up.  This is a program that focuses on reality self defense, anti-bullying, strength and confidence building.  It is a hands on program in a safe and supportive environment.  

All of our instructors are officially certified through Krav Maga Worldwide and USA Boxing.  They are  knowledgeable and recognized in their field of expertise. What we do is self defense, and that is clear through the level of instruction given by our talented instructors. Instructors can answer questions you may have by calling directly at 773/775-5201. You can also visit our website at

About Sue Garstki: Sue Garstki is a certified Expert Level Kravmaga Worldwide Instructor, 2nd Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Shorei Goju Karate, and official USA Boxing Coach.  She has been certified in Commando Krav Maga and the Haganah/F.I.G.H.T. system. She is also a Level 4 instructor in the Raven Method Close Quarter Defensive Tactics System, having had the honor of working with the Chicago Guardian Angels. Sue was nominated Female Reality Self Defense Instructor of the Year by the Global Network of Reality Based Self Defense Systems, and Civilian Close Quarter Combat Instructor of the Year. Sue has worked with the Chicago Police Department as well as schools and other organizations spreading awareness in Self Defense, Women’s Self Defense and Domestic Violence issues. In June 2013 Sue was inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and again in 2015, 2017 and 2020 where she was named Krav Maga Expert of the Year.  She is a certified personal trainer under NDEITA and was one of the first instructors be be certified to teach the National Association of Professional Martial Artist’s (NAPMA) Kardio Karate program.  She is the founder of the Women’s Martial Arts Alliance, member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, and the American Women’s Self-Defense Association.  Sue can be reached at any time for more information or to answer any questions by calling 773/775-5201.

The Krav Maga Illinois headquarters is at 5201 North Oketo, Chicago, Illinois 60656 773/775-5201