In Cherry Hill, Philadelphia 14 real estate agents from Camden and Burlington Counties attend “awareness training” instructed by Israeli Krav Maga instructor Don Melnick. Krav Maga, which in Hebrew means contact combat is used by the Israeli Defense Forces as well as by police in many countries and by FBI agents. It’s a self-defense system that was developed by Imi Lichtenstein, who taught fellow Jewish residents of Bratislava, then in Czechoslovakia, to defend themselves against fascist toughs in the 1930s.
The following is a no-holds-barred discussion of self-defense techniques. Or, as Israeli Krav Maga instructor Don Melnick puts it, “Get over the ‘ick’ factor in eye-gouging.” “This is not fluff or a demonstration of skills,” but a “real-world way to save your life,” says Melnick, who has trained in Israel four times. “Krav Maga is not a strength-on-strength [approach], but techniques.”
The real estate agents are here for Melnick’s class because they recognize that the nature of their business often brings them into harm’s way. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach agent Carol O’Connor, of Marlton, who has been studying Krav Maga with Melnick for seven years, thought local Realtors might benefit from a training demonstration. Potential sources of danger to an agent, as outlined in a 2010 article in Realtor magazine, include entering vacant or foreclosed homes, meeting with clients for the first time, showing properties for the first time, open houses, “flashy” personal marketing, and transporting strangers in their cars.
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