SAN DIEGO, Calif., December 10, 2019 – If you’re finding yourself being bombarded with ads for expensive fitness equipment and gym memberships, New Year’s fitness resolutions can’t be far behind. Depending on which survey you cite, close to half of all New Year’s resolutions have to do with improving your health through fitness. Eighty percent of them fail by February.
You can improve your odds of success by setting specific, measurable goals, and focus on a goal benefitting you in a specific way. Learning a new skill can help you keep on track and doubling up on the reward of sticking to the program.
An option newly available in the U.S. imports an approach to fitness first established in Israel, based on traditional methods of self-defense and personal security training. After establishing four successful centers in Israel, Caliber 3 opened its first North American location in San Marcos, California, north of San Diego, in September. It’s unlike any other fitness facility or discipline.
Counter-terrorism expert and Israeli Defense Force (IDF) veteran Colonel Sharon Gat (Res.), combines decades of experience with traditional Krav Maga self-defense and combat fitness with a healthy dose of weapons and safety training, and home invasion scenario training. It’s nothing like your average gym or Crossfit “box.”
“All our training is according to the Israel Defense Forces,” said Gat. “Therefore, our training is different from Crossfit or any other extreme training.”
All U.S. instructors have served in some capacity in special forces units. Caliber 3 USA is certified by the IDF, Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israeli Police, Israel’s Department of Homeland Security, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With active shooter and terrorist incidents in the news and on the minds of many Americans, Gat does not shy away from discussing the advantages of a fitness program which can also help arm citizens in techniques they can use to protect themselves and help turn back threats in their community, such as the individuals who disarmed shooters in London, England, and at a synagogue in nearby Poway, California.
“Our training will help people against an active shooter scenario,” said Gat. “At Caliber 3 USA, you will learn how to protect yourself with or without a weapon. You will not only learn the techniques for each scenario; you will also learn the importance of the combat mindset and aggression that we teach here.”
“We, the victims, will always be surprised in the time that an attack happens. Therefore, we teach people the importance of changing their mindset from 0 to 100, like an attack dog,” explained Gat.
The first location is part of a long-term strategy, boosted by the San Diego region’s significant presence of U.S. Navy and U.S Marine Corps bases and personnel. “Our main goal is to spread out to every state in the USA,” said Gat. “We chose this location because of the closeness to the military bases nearby, the large number of people in the local Jewish community who are yearning for our training, and for the great weather that allows us to train year-round.”
“The goal we are trying to achieve is to offer everyone and friends of Israel the opportunity to come to us and learn how to defend themselves, their families, and their communities through our training,” added Gat.
There’s no requirement to be of any background, gender, or even any age.
“The ideal client is anybody who wants to grow their knowledge and their physical strength and awareness on defending themselves,” said Gat. “Each person will learn self-defense techniques in Krav Maga (Israeli self-defense), and weapons training in order to save their life in the time of a dangerous incident occurring.”
“Currently in the Krav Maga program, we have a 50-50 ratio of women and men. In addition to the Krav Maga membership, we offer women’s self-defense seminars, and we offer youth Krav Maga three times a week. This is a growing market for youth, due to parents wanting their kids to learn how to defend themselves against bullies, and also defending themselves in this unsure world in which we currently live,” said Gat.
“On the fitness point of view, the trainee will improve his (or her) strength, agility, body movement and core. In our training, we follow our members’ goals. Each member who comes to our training tells us their goal, and from there, we work hard together to help them achieve their goals,” explained Gat.
The new Caliber 3 USA facility includes a running trail around the main building, used for workout warm-ups. It features the same trail markers as the Israel National Trail (Shvil Yisra’el), with symbolic Israeli plants, including olives and date palms. Inside the gym, training areas can be set up to mimic different tactical combat scenarios, never the same twice.
While it takes both mental and physical discipline to achieve the best results, Gat says beginners and even people who may be a little fearful at the start are warmly welcomed. “No worries. We will start the entire process together, and we walk people through step-by-step. Before the first class, we will explain all the safety principles, and also the physical effort needed to do the drills. Everyone goes through the training at their own pace. We will not push people past their limits,” said Gat.
While Caliber 3 may not be in your area just yet, it’s worth watching. For those in the San Diego area and as locations open in 2020 in other cities, it beats an endless trip on a treadmill or spin on a bike going nowhere.