Testimonials

J.Cummins

IPTT Testimonial:

On July 15th and 16th, 2011, I attended the Israeli Professional Tactical Training (IPTT) basic shooting, high risk security and, handcuffing courses. These courses were taught by Garret Machine, instructor for the IPTT program and an Austin Self Defense Master Instructor. I have 8 years of total law enforcement experience, some of which was spent in the United States Army. I have been to countless courses to better myself as a current police officer and to prepare myself for any situation I may come across.

I was highly impressed with the quality, intensity and degree of training received. I found Garret Machine to be an excellent instructor, showing you step by step what you need to learn from each drill. I found myself pulling different point from these classes and where I could apply them, not only in my profession but my life. After the basic shooting course I became a better more proficient concealed carrier. After the high risk security course I learned ways to protect a principle may it be a loved one, friend, or your partner. From all three courses I was able to take skills that I could apply during an active shooter/homicide in progress situation. I highly recommend these courses to military, police, or anyone wanting to have the upper hand in future terroristic acts.

Sincerely,
J. Cummins
Police Officer, Austin, Texas, USA

Brandi Barnett

Amazing! I went, expecting to be overwhelmed and the teachers to be cocky and aggressive, and it was so far from that, it’s not even funny! They are incredibly patient, informative and nice! They teach real world situations and in a no pressure way. They were incredible, I loved it and I’ll definitely continue classes!

Rebecca Bennett

I had an awesome time at my first Krav class (Tues 7:30pm). My instructor and classmates were all so friendly and I learned so much! Specifically, we learned to get out of choke-holds and headlocks. I thoroughly enjoyed this class and definitely recommend this gym to anyone who wants to learn how to defend themselves or learn Krav specifically.

April Karli

It’s very fun. Wish I could join and go regularly. But glad for the chance to try it out.

Mike G

I started both Krav Maga and Fitness classes in January, 2005 as a fat, wheezing, middle-aged man at age 52. After the first 6 months of Dan Kiser’s encouragement and teaching, adding Haganah and religiously attending classes three to four times a week, I have taken a physical time machine trip back 25 years—and I’m still banging bags at Austin Self Defense 6 years later! I’ve recently achievedmy P5 certification in Krav Maga  and Intermediate Level in Haganah. I lost weight, learned very effective self-defense techniques and mastered an aggressive, proactive mindset–something that applies directly to both my personal and professional life. Despite being one of the oldest students, I just went through the 6 hour Krav Maga P2 test successfully and continue to step up to the bags 3-4 times a week. I’ve realized that my first victory was just getting on the mat. This is the best gift you can give yourself, regardless of your age. I’m now officially addicted! And my body’s time travel continues (my goal is 1974)–this is just the beginning!

Marcie

I am 30 years old and I have 2 children. I was having a really hard time losing weight after having my second child. Since joining ASD, I’ve finally found something that not only works but also is fun and has given me the results that I wanted. I’ve lost over 30 lbs in 5 ½ months without even changing my diet. I started out weighing 163 lbs and now I’m down to 131 lbs and I’ve gone down 3 dress sizes. I am so thankful that I found ASD because it has helped me achieve my fitness goals and most importantly given me the confidence and knowledge to defend myself if ever in that situation.

Rachel

After the birth of my second child, I was having difficulty losing the 70 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy. As a New Year’s Resolution, I attended my first ASD class in February of 2004. I was hooked! Over the next few months, I lost inches and fat, and looked noticeably better in my clothes. Attending Austin Self Defense classes three times a week has become a habit for me. As a result, I feel stronger and more equipped to defend myself in an attack. In addition, ASD is also a great outlet for me as an individual. I find that I cope with life’s daily stresses more effectively when I am exercising regularly!

Michael D.

I would highly recommend Dan Kiser for any training that you might have. During the time that I worked with Dan, he was patient, on task, dedicated, respectful, outcome driven, and he never wavered from a position of solid integrity. I would have no reservations working with Dan or any of his contacts in any capacity he chose.

Jeremy M.

I have been attending the Austin Self Defense Mixed Martial Arts and Haganah Training programs for a year now. Before this I had various stints of combative training that utilized different disciplines. The training I have recieved through Austin Self Defense has been the best overall. My skills, stamina, and confidence has excelled far beyond what I could have ever predicited. Besides the ability to overcome and neutralize a threat, my fitness level has increased tremendously. Before I was a very traditional workout person. Now I see the benefits of a total body regimen. ASD programs incorporate drills that challenge strength, flexibility, and endurance.

The instructors are great. They are very patient and helpful in tuning a persons performance. The support the instructors give is tremendous. They have all been very respectful to each person as an individual. No one is made to feel ridiculed or less of a student. I have been working in law enforcement as a police officer for 6 years. The training I recieve is definitely applicable to the law enforcement field. My ability to utilize the physical application of force has increased greatly. I have taken what I have learned and trained others.

Not only does a member recieve training but a news letter that is very informative on topics of nutrition, injuries, and combative skills.
I have and will continue to recommend Austin Self Defense as a place to train.

Kara

We really liked the class, and we enjoyed working with CJ very much. He’s very patient and thorough, communicates clearly and respectfully, and is thoughtful in his approach with beginners. The explanations outlining the practical applications of each skill and the consequences of performing it correctly or incorrectly was exactly what I was looking for.

Also, as someone who is really out of shape and hasn’t had a regular workout regimen ever, I found the environment to be very welcoming and encouraging. I was pushing myself but able to go my own pace when necessary. This was due partially to CJ and partially the luck I had in being paired with a very kind classmate. The only thing I don’t enjoy is holding the pads and being kicked and punched, however it does provide a little relief between drills and repetitions, so I can’t really complain about it, haha! One thing I’m not looking forward to is working out outside the center. I think jogging outside was mentioned. I go to indoor facilities so I can avoid working out in the TX heat and humidity, so definitely not on my list of things to do, and I hope it’s not frequent.

Nancy

I liked that we were allowed a preview. Everyone made me feel comfortable and just wanted to promote krav maga for what it is, not the business. I really appreciated that! I got such a quick and thorough history of krav maga and the instructors were VERY nice. I loved that it started out with aerobic exercise which surprised me and made me really happy. I felt it was laid back and fun environment. I received immediate feedback on what I was doing correctly and what to correct if not. I loved that I got a great workout different from my current workout regimen.  I was sweating! In a way I enjoyed the large group because it made freeze tag fun!

Laura

I really enjoyed yesterday’s class. I expected the class to be tough and it well surpassed my expectation! Partnering with Charlie was good, he was sensitive to me being new, but not too much. The few folks I met were friendly as well. You and Andrea did a fine job of making me feel welcome and informing me of the art. Your experience shows well in your teaching.

Jim

I was extremely impressed at such a rigorous workout. With such an eclectic group of students, I expected the class to be a little less physical to cater to the older gentlemen, and some of the younger students, but I was pleased to note that the same level of physical stamina was required for all.

The lesson of the day, and the previous lesson of the day were taught perfectly. There was enough breakdown for a new student to grasp each piece, but it moved swiftly along, allowing the current students to practice. The scenario was extremely important in bringing the self defense technique into the students association (i.e. students can associate the need for it in a nightclub, bar, or even tight quarters, like an airplane). This was handled perfectly. The continuous break for exercise was key to keeping the “combat attitude”, as most warriors will tell you about the endorphin/adrenaline rush during an actual confrontation, and exercising constantly helped to simulate this.

The many bag drills were well done, and the presentation of “If you don’t have wraps or gloves, then go bare fisted to condition your hands” was appreciated. I’ve been known to use bag gloves about 10% of the time, preferring to work the bag bare-handed for the same reason.

All in all, I was impressed by the familiarity shown by both instructors, Dan and Andrea worked well together which reflected well to the rest of the class. While most students can’t/shouldn’t use the force shown by both instructors, it was important to note how much force COULD be generated when practicing certain techniques.

Ryan

I found just what I was looking for at ASD, with Haganah. Mr. Kiser had told me since I first began attending class, that efforts were in motion to bring other courses of study to the facility. And his perseverance has paid off, as I am now able to attend Boxing, Krav Maga, and Submission Wrestling — all in one place.

Since starting class, I have dropped 75 lbs., my energy is through the roof, and I feel that “fighting shape” is just around the corner! I was an assistant Combatives Instructor for my unit, in the military, and the Haganah course has allowed me to pick up, right where I left off. The way the classes are structured and conducted ensure that my form, technique, and muscle memory are thorough… and hopefully effective. The way in which I carry myself has undoubtedly changed for the better, or so I am told.

I am now able to attend Boxing, Krav Maga, and Submission Wrestling — all in one place.
Haganah, and Austin Self Defense are definitely keeping me Army Strong! Hooah!

Jean

I’m a 48 year old wife and working mother who started the Core Combatives classes at Austin Self Defense a little over a year ago with my 16-year old daughter.

My goals were two-fold:  to get in better shape physically and to ensure that my daughter had self-defense skills before starting college. What I didn’t realize was what I would learn about my endurance and my self-esteem.  I am physically stronger, more agile, better prepared and more self-confident. In addition, I’ve watched my daughter gain strength and skills that I hope as a mother that she will never have to use. I can say that working with Dan and Jeanette has been wonderful. They are both patient and attentive and always maintain a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Rita C

I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into your facility.  Everyone did their best to put me at ease and I greatly appreciated it.  The self defense demonstration given by the trainer was impressive. After her demo, I realized that the practice of Krav Maga could be a very serious and deadly business and should not be taken lightly.  The trainer conducted the class well.  The class exercises that I participated in were both scary and exciting.

I have been searching for a class that will promote self-confidence, better posture and coordination in addition to the self-protection aspect – I hope that Krav Maga is the answer.

I’ll be back next Monday.

Christine

We all LOVED the class! We are all still talking about how much fun we had and how much we learned. Although, I think a few of the husbands and boyfriends may not be enjoying themselves so much, since they have become our new practice dummies.

The girls and I thought the techniques were extremely helpful. I think from talking with everyone, the hair grabbing techniques and attacks from behind were our favorites; people always think to grab a woman’s hair, and it’s nice to have ways to combat those types of attacks! You were also an awesome instructor! I know from experience that dealing with a group of rowdy women can be difficult, but you helped to keep things in line and stayed on course (even when we got sidetracked)! I think we all feel a bit safer and more aware after taking your class. It is scary to realize how helpless you are in some situations, but it is comforting to know that there are steps we can take to ensure our safety. Learning there maneuvers has helped to boost our confidence and has halped to give us peace of mind; we cannon thank you enough!

I do want to look into getting another class together, but I would need to check with the other Board Members, as well as check with our ladies. I really appreciate your flexibility throughout this entire process; as well as your patience as an instructor. You have given us peace of mind, and the determination to fight our way out of any attack; we cannot thank you enough!

Thank you for all your hard work!

Erin F

I’ve never felt ‘out of place’ working there because there are people of all ages and physical abilities with goals similar to mine. My workouts never fail to improve my attitude, to reduce stress and to feel stronger.

I had a great time at the class. I enjoyed meeting some of the members as well as the other visitors. The instructor – whose name escapes me at the moment – was fun. I liked that he could be laid-back yet serious about the training. The facility itself is set up nicely.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow night’s class.

Christi U

Haganah Kids – Testimonial

My children loved Bart and their first class! Emily was so excited to be back after such a long time and Aaron said that yesterday was his “most favorite day ever!” They’re hoping that the Haganah kids’ class will start again as well. Thank you so much for providing such a productive and rewarding class for them. Not only is it practical but empowering as well, which children are in dire need of in today’s world.

Miguel

A co-worker of mine and I took the Krav Maga classes offered here.  It’s fun and with Dan as your instructor you’re guaranteed a good workout.  The other instructors are very fun too.  I had imagined in my head there would be a serious Cobra Kai instructor yelling at me to sweep the knee, but these guys are cool and you can tell they really know their fighting skills.

I am in the worst shape of my life right now and was concerned I’d pass out if I went (almost did the first day) but after I stopped trying so hard to impress those around me, I focused on the technique and the exercises.  I like that I can work out and practice the moves they teach you at your own pace.  If you get too tired, just sit out 5 minutes and grab a drink – no one judges you.  I was surprised to see girls there and people of all ages – young and old.

They offer two classes for free to try it out with no credit cards and no strings attached.  You have absolutely nothing to lose and no sales push (the class sells itself).  I signed up for month-to-month and my co-worker signed up for a year.

I like how everything they teach you is about real-world scenarios.  They stress at every training, if you can run, then run, if you can’t avoid an altercation, then take them down quickly, and then run – don’t gloat and hang about because their friends or some other crazy dude may jump out and try to get you next.  This is really good advice.  They say to know all your exits when walking into a crowded room and you practice take-down moves and running.  No fancy Mr. Miyagi technique – just the basic elements you need to defend and get the heck out.

The people I’ve partnered up with there for exercises also happen to be very cool – but that’s just luck of the draw.  If you can go with someone you know then that’s best.  I like that it’s also easy to make new friends there (while you take turns attacking and fending off each other).  Even the attacks are not full on 100% attacks.  You practice in slow motion, till you’re confident, and you speed up. There are thick pads to hold for the exercises where you connect through punches and kicks.

Kate D

These dudes are LEGIT. No frills, just serious training. I was pretty nervous when I tried my first (free) class with them; I’m a relatively small woman with no martial arts or fighting experience, but Krav Maga intrigued me.  I checked out Fit and Fearless’ Krav Maga class first, but it seemed geared more towards general fitness rather than the actual training and just wasn’t a good fit for me.  I wanted a class that focused on the training aspect rather than just doing drills with myself.

Ten minutes into my first class at Austin Self Defense and I was HOOKED.  Bart, the instructor, was very patient and managed to keep a good balance between giving me pointers and not making me feel like a newbie.  Everyone in the class was very friendly and welcoming.  The class itself goes incredibly quickly – Bart changes things up frequently so it’s never boring, and takes extra time for corrections if you need them.  Dan (the owner) is QUITE friendly and exchanged a bunch of emails and phone calls with me to answer all my dumb questions.  The rates are very reasonable (around $10-$15/class depending on which package you sign up for), and despite not having a freaking water fountain (yeesh), there IS a bathroom with a sink that you can fill up your water bottle from.  They warn you every way possible to bring water.  Problem. Solved.

Check them out for a free class before you decide based on angry Internet folk.  Chances are, your experience will be similar to mine.

Elizabeth S

“ I think the class is awesome and Bart is a great instructor – I felt so exhilarated all night after the class yesterday. I think I annoyed my husband with constant kicking and punching. He really enjoyed it as well – he is very anti group fitness but really liked this class because it is more training and less a choreographed group workout. This class will be an excellent outlet for us as a married couple :) as well as an incredible learning experience. I love the no-frills, straightforward teaching of real world techniques that get you thinking about self defense – and your own abilities – in a new way…….”

James

My name is James, my wife and I have attended your classes in the past. I wanted thank you and the other instructors for the training you guys provide.Last week i had a person pull a knife on me inside a closed in area with no room to run.With the skills i learned in your classes i was able to control the situation and walk away unharmed.Any one looking for self defense classes i would highly recommend ASD. You hope you never need it, but anything can happen.

Meghan

I really enjoyed the class and look forward to attending another.  The material was exactly what I was looking for and I appreciated the practicality of the instruction.

Vic was the perfect combination of professional and personal. He placed me with two of the more experienced students in the class which worked out really well for me. Starting out with zero knowledge of Haganah, or really any martial art, I was a bit intimidated, but the two experienced students took the time to help me out and made me feel completely comfortable.  The class ended up being all about learning new, valuable information instead of worrying about anybody’s egos or worrying about being new and the only female in the group. Placing the newbie with more experienced partners was a great decision.

I liked that during the class Vic took the time to point out modifications to certain techniques that would be  useful to the average woman in real world scenarios.  It’s nice when an instructor will take the time to make the class as relevant as possible to those individuals in it.  I also liked the way he broke each technique down into separate pieces as he taught it.  That was useful for my learning style.

Dave R

I thought the class was great, and a lot of fun. I’m sure it will get better as my fitness level improves. I could maybe have used more time to practice each exercise, but given time constraints, I can understand needing to move along.

I thought the instructor(s) was great. Everyone was very friendly and supportive, so I think you’re doing a great job with that.

Shawna

Thank you for the follow up email.  I had a great time last night, I enjoyed the class very much. The instructor explained drills well, he engaged the class, assisted individuals when needed.  The workout was great, and the information conveyed in class was useful in itself as well as a building block for future skills.  The facility is clean and conducive to workout needs, the location is convenient…

I don’t have any feedback regarding how to improve or what I think could have been different.  It was a great class and I’m looking forward to the next.

See you Wednesday!

Angie C: 

I’ve been a member of Austin Self Defense for several years now. They offered a kickboxing class that I enjoyed from the first time I tried it. The kickboxing class has been replaced by CrossFit and I’m glad that I got the opportunity to be a part of this awesome transition.

I viewed this change as a new challenge and each class I finish feels like an achievement. The workouts are NEVER the same and ALWAYS make you push yourself to your limits.

The coaches are awesome and encouraging. They make you push yourself just a little bit harder if that little voice in your head is telling you to quit.

I look forward to class each week (Monday and Wednesday evenings & Saturday mornings.) If I have to miss for any reason, I always feel like I’m going to miss something really special.

If you are looking for a fun, challenging workout, come give ASD CrossFit a try.

Julie H: 

ASD is a great place to learn Krav Maga self defense. I was looking for some self defense techniques to learn b/c I run a lot by myself on trails or in the early morning, and I hated the feeling that I didn’t feel very safe as a woman on her own. However, I was not interested in committing to a 2 year black belt program from a typical martial arts program.

Krav Maga is the perfect discipline for getting practical self defense skills you can use quickly, especially the way ASD teaches it. I just signed up by myself for a trial class, not knowing what to expect~ Yet, after a few months of attending classes just twice a week, I feel more capable of defending myself, escaping an attack, as well as be more cognizant of how to avoid one altogether.

I think the ASD difference is the people! Kicking and punching in order to get away from someone is not a typical thing people practice and learning how to do this can take people of their comfort zone. However, the instructors are so helpful and friendly it sets a positive mood in class making it much easier to move out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Moves are broken down into simple steps and practiced, practiced, practiced. The instructors are also willing to stay after class for additional questions which is very cool.

I have also found my classmates to be supportive and eager to help you improve, whether you are a 250 lb man or a 110 lb woman! I have met some great new people who are at all different levels of their training and fitness.

Furthermore I like that this is a more ‘skills’ focused class in which, if you want, you can progress through difficulty levels and learn better techniques. However, even the first level is enough for basic self defense awareness. And while this is not a ‘fitness’ based class, such as an aerobic class where the focus is to keep you heart rate up, it is still physically challenging and gives the opportunity to push it as much as you want. I have lost 5 pounds since starting and can tell my muscles are getting stronger.

Knowing I can protect myself and, if need be my three children makes it well worth arranging for the babysitter to get to class 2 nights a week!

Caitlin:

I loved the class!  Thank you so much for inquiring!  I really did enjoy it!  I’ve been looking for something like this for awhile!  I thought you were extremely knowledgable and passionate about what you are teaching and that you genuinely care about the people in your class.  I think I would prefer to be in a class setting rather than an one-on-one setting unless I was trying to advance quickly, which at the moment I am not.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Joyfully, Caitlin

Connie:

My first experience in attending The Krav Maga classes at Austin Self Defense was informative, exciting and totally AWESOME; I decided to go back for another and WOW, sure enough the second class was even better!
The facility is clean and well maintained which is very nice BUT my decision to commit to the training was solely based on the instructors.
I’ve had the opportunity to learn from three different ones now and am impressed by their skill set, individual teaching styles (which keeps it interesting) and how quickly they get the information across.
Austin Self Defense is a MUST DO!

Chadwick O.

Dan, I really enjoyed the class, as did my brother who attended with me. I thought CJ was an awesome instructor and did a good job averaging the needs of the different skill levels in the class. He was very warm, welcoming, charismatic, and knowledgeable. I’m not sure that private sessions would gain me a lot at this point, but maybe when I know enough to have more questions they would be beneficial. I look forward to attending on Thursday and I’m already sure I’ll be signing up for month to month.

Jessica

I had a blast on Tuesday. Really enjoyed the class!  I liked the fact that it was a small, yet diverse group of people. I am bringing my fiancé in with me tonight. I think he will really enjoy it as well.  CJ is a great instructor and he is very thorough explaining and demonstrating the techniques. I’m sure we will have a lot of fun in tonight’s class as well. Thanks,

Ashley B

The class was amazing and kicked my butt! I’m sore all over! Lol I really enjoyed the combative tactics and the way it was taught. It felt impowering and makes me want to practice. Thank you for a wonderful class. :-)

Melissa G

I really enjoy the classes. The instructors are a perfect combination of my learning styles infused with the urging and encouragement I need. The unpretentious seasoned students offer suggestions and encouragement which as a whole fosters an atmosphere focused on everyone’s success. I have full confidence in the knowledge of everyone involved in this company. I’ve committed to myself to learn self-defense before leaving the states….

Rebecca

I really liked the way the class is set up.  Its a nice blend of a workout and defense training with a bit of fun games too.  I really liked that I feel free to ask questions and that the instructor is very patient in going over the material.  I do have difficultly in remembering the steps, and knowing how to train outside of class.  Thank you!  Im excited continue training at Austin Self Defense!

Chadwick

……. I’ve been having a lot of fun at your school! I really appreciate both CJ and Bart – both are awesome teachers and I’ve really enjoyed learning from them. I’ve tried other self defense/martial arts schools through the course of my life and have always felt like there were too many pretentious blow-hards and teachers were often times more interested in showing me that they know more about it than me than being in interested in teaching. I feel like all of the instructors at your school really have a passion for teaching. It’s a great place to be a student and I actually want to show up for class and learn each day.

Emma N.

I went to the class last night and absolutely loved it!!! I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I would even enjoy it but Sarah was amazing as was the others in attendance! I will for sure continue on with this long past groupon! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Virginia

Dear Dan,

I want to tell you how much I enjoyed my first experience at Austin Self Defense. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the class exceeded my expectations in every area. As a woman, it can be very intimidating to take martial arts in a co-ed class & not all instructors are sensitive to varying physical fitness levels. I truly appreciated C.J.’s attitude & encouragement. I hope you will take a moment to read my blog post (http://rebelonamission.blogspot.com/2014/08/travel-prep-self-defense-is-girls-best.html) about the experience, as I feel it expresses my sentiments best. Thank you for offering me another free class. I’d definitely like to come back. Unfortunately, I’m on a sabbatical at the moment, which will take me out of state for the next month. I’ll email you when I return, though, so that we can set something up & discuss class fees. Keep up the good work!

Blessings,
Virginia