ALGIERS, LA (WVUE) - After a slew of high-profile violent crimes in the city, more people are looking for a way to take control of their personal safety.
"They're just getting barraged by all this negativity. People just don't feel safe anymore, so they're coming to us so that they can take things into their own hands," said Vin Chary, owner of Triumph Krav Maga, an Israeli defense technique.
Chary has seen more people signing up for his classes. Regardless of their ability, he said the practice is easy to grasp.
"It has to work despite your athletic ability, your size, your gender, any sort of background you may have. It has to work no matter what. It's designed to be picked up quickly, learned quickly, and retained with minimal review and practice," Chary said.
Students who take the classes think it's a game-changer when it comes to increasing confidence.
"I think it gives you a lot of confidence in your own self, because we do a lot of stuff where I was like, there's no way I could do that or I could knock someone down or defend myself against someone bigger than me, someone stronger than me. And Krav Maga teaches you that just a little practice, you can do that," said Tiffany Ferriss, a student at the school.
Some of the classes teach direct scenarios, like defending yourself from a home invader armed with a gun.
"I sincerely hope that I never have to use what I learned here," said student Felix Garcia. "But it's good to know that if anything ever happens, you know what to do."
Still, law enforcement experts warn that just training in Krav Maga may not be the answer to surviving an attack.
"I think these classes are good," New Orleans Police Officer Janssen Valencia said. "I believe people should learn how to defend themselves, but we always have to analyze the possibility that there's an uncertainty. We're not sure what the other person knows, therefore there's always a high risk factor."
Yet, students of the technique think it's efficient enough to give you the tools you need to protect yourself in a life or death situation.
"If you're faced with a gun threat and you took a gun threat class going from the front, gun from the back, I think you're absolutely within one class able to defend yourself," said student Bubba Freeney.
Chary is quick to tell students to evaluate their situation before using their skills, but stresses that if you have to use what you've learned through Krav Maga, it typically means you're in a life or death situation.
"This is the precursor to either being beaten, shot, stabbed, raped. This is the time when you have to fight, and your mentality is I'm going to win, not them. And always you should hear that voice in your head that no one's coming to save you and that's the truth. You're the only one who can save yourself in a violent encounter," Chary tells his students.
"Your life would have to be at a point where your life is seriously in danger. You figure this person is really going to harm you, take your life, for you to take that decision that you're going to engage," Valencia said.
Chary argues, though, that classes alone may be enough to prevent you from ever becoming a target.
"The majority of our students don't have problems because they're situationally aware. It's the way they carry themselves, their body language, they're not signaling to potential predators that they're a victim," Chary said.
Triumph Krav Maga holds daily classes and workshops for students interested in learning the technique.