Bare hands combat system draws numbers

By Alisi Vucago

KRAV Maga is not for the faint hearted, but it is among the best self-defence techniques in the world and has fast gained popularity in Fiji.

The man who introduced the hand-to-hand combat system to Fiji is Russ Rasiga, a former military officer with the Israel Defence Force.

He said Krav Maga was for children and adults alike and its main focus is to teach an individual how to protect themselves with their bare hands.

“The (children’s) class focuses on anti-bullying in school and we also have a women’s class to teach them how to defend themselves from attempted assault, rape and theft,” said Rasiga, who started lessons last September.

Prominent events host Lenora Qereqeretabua, who is also Rasiga’s student, said the art has lifted her fitness level like never before.

“While it’s not for the faint hearted because there is a lot of contact involved, it’s also a lot of fun,” she said.

She encourages young women to take up Krav Maga as it is excellent for fitness and it also teaches a key value to always be prepared for the worst.

Like most growing organisations, the Krav Maga School underwent a lot of challenges to secure a proper location and gain enough recognition from the public.

The gym had started operating at a garage near Rasiga’s home however it further expanded to the Metro Fitness gym then it was temporarily relocated to the USP gym before it was officially established at the old Laucala Bay Secondary School site, now known as the Fiji Sports Council complex.

Rasiga said that initially, it was not his intention to expand the Krav Maga gym however as word got out, more people were interested in learning the self defence system therefore there was a need to develop the school.

There are two other smaller Krav Maga centres in Lautoka and Nadi however, Rasiga plans on further developing the school nationwide.

The gym is open to the public from 9am to 11pm on weekdays and from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.