The Truth




We believe in Word of Mouth. Below, view testimonials from those that matter: Individuals from various backgrounds who have experienced Truekrav training first-hand. These individuals range from Special Forces members, law enforcement, business owners, housewives, tourists, university students, corporates, complete novices, and also those with years of various martial art experience.

This is what they have to say.

I have been practising all sorts of different martial arts since I was a kid but only after joining Truekrav I finally feel confident that I would be able to handle my self in a dangerous situation. At Truekrav I realised that a real fight is not a choreography, it is not a sporting event, there is no referee, there are no rules and things will go wrong, that’s why the Truekrav instructors will teach you how to keep going, under pressure in a stressful situation, to finish the fight, the fight for your life. A knife to your throat, a gun to your head, an attacker in your house are not situations to take lightly, there isn’t a magical move that can fix it all, at Truekrav you’ll explore every scenario carefully with proper conditioning in between and with the understanding that we fight to survive.
Sebastiano Olla

Cape Town

I joined Truekrav 2 years ago when I moved from Belgium to Cape Town. The level of crime in South Africa was a huge shock to me and it made me feel scared and insecure when walking on the streets. At that time, if someone would have attacked me, I would not have known what to do, besides screaming and panicking. Fast forward to today, I can say that I know how to defend myself and how to survive a real attack. At Truekrav we get prepared for realistic scenarios. Attacks that happen to people on a daily basis. No fancy James Bond tricks, but instead people that rob you for money, hold a gun against your head for food, or try to rape you, kidnap you, hit you with a stick … These trainings made me real strong. Physically, but also mentally. I would never want to go back to the time where I felt insecure, scared and powerless, but mostly.. ignorant. Training with Truekrav gives you a reality check, a six pack of confidence and ability to survive.

Amber Van Gool

Cape Town

Having done various martial arts, I was looking for self-defense that was practical and realistic, and that I actually felt I could use, should the need arise. Truekrav delivers on this and goes beyond in that I not only now know how to defend myself through the technique itself, but I also understand the principles behind it and how to adapt – as combat is never perfectly choreographed. On top of that, I love the no bullshit approach that ensures you understand that you also need to be mentally sharp and physically fit and able to apply the moves under duress – something Truekrav also ensures. Bottom-line, you develop a confidence, but not a naïve confidence that ends up getting you in trouble… rather a confidence because you know the reality of self-defence.
Gal Ezra

Cape Town

This is not wishy-washy, pandering, stand-on-his-toes, self-congratulatory self-defence. It’s hard, fast combat training that covers the kinds of situations you’re likely to encounter in a country with crime stats as high as South Africa’s. I’m a perfectionist, a former ballet dancer who wants to do every move ‘right’, but training at TrueKrav has taught me that real fights are messy, and there’s no ‘back to positions’ when someone has a knife to your throat. Mess up the technique? You have to adapt and keep going in order to survive, and that’s what Etienne teaches you. There’s a lot of cheap talk out there about empowering women, but TrueKrav is one of the first places I’ve actually seen – and felt – it happening. Women are trained, drilled and attacked no differently to the men in the class. We don’t get special treatment and there are no double standards. (R-E-S-P-E-C-T, I’ll tell you what it means to me.) Being a woman in South Africa means being constantly afraid, which takes its toll on your mental health. Taking the proactive step to train at TrueKrav was a game changer for my sense of security: I’d never go looking for a fight, but after training at TrueKrav I feel like I could at least survive the fight that someone brings to me.

Cape Town

The knowledgable and eager to teach with no ego trainers makes it so easy to learn at Truekrav. The techniques we get taught is precise and adaptable across a number of threats you may encounter on the streets creating self awareness at all times. I would highly recommend Truekrav to anyone looking to learn proper self defense.
Faheem Slamong

Cape Town

I began training at Truekrav in 2016 and can confidently say that it has changed the way I walk through life. The type of training is honest, tough mentally and physically, and as close to real-life situations as possible. The combination of these things with the experienced trainers at Truekrav leaves one with valuable self-defence skills based on core principles, which are emphasised in each class.

Cape Town

Originating from a military combat system, Truekrav will give you an edge over any attacker. The training, which is well structured and broken down into steps to make it easy for everyone to understand and master, will give you a deep inner confidence that you have what it takes to get out of difficult situations and potentially save a life. A key feature of Truekrav is the focus on principles as opposed to a variety of unrelated techniques. This enables you to be prepared for any situation and to adapt quickly to a dynamic situation. Truekrav has given me a special skillset that I trust and I am 100% willing to test these skills in a true combat situation.
Christiaan Stander

Cape Town

I joined TrueKrav quite recently (about 2 or 3 months ago) due to its collaboration with FightbackSA, an NGO focused on combatting GBV. This collaboration in itself serves as a testament to the morality and conviction TrueKrav displays in demanding a better livelihood, whether that means simply training in self-defense or actually putting the training to the test. 
My personal experience of TrueKrav has been an overwhelming positive one. You enter unsure of what to expect, but are then greeted on a first name basis; included into the team without hesitation. At the end of that session you are left feeling unstoppable and adrenaline high. Additionally, TrueKrav’s instructor, Étienne, is notable in his style of teaching, instilling and cultivating a culture of community and empowerment. Joining TrueKrav is not only about partaking in a journey of physical strength, but also mentally. TrueKrav equips it’s members with the mentality to fight for oneself/ one’s life. Achieving this mentality is a difficult and sometimes cathartic task, however TrueKrav remains supportive and encouraging.
Ultimately, growth is guaranteed in this community of empowered people who are likeminded about justice and self-development.
Holley Wilson

Cape Town

As Special Task Force Members we would hereby like to take the opportunity to thank you for the Time/Effort and Input that you have granted us during our time of Training at your Institution. We found your Training Techniques are Basic/Practical/Realistic and results orientated and it has boosted our self-confidence. Knowing that there is still a lot to learn we can only gain better understanding and experience through training, as training is ongoing.

The Training provided by your Institution was inspiring and can be utilize to the highest of our ability in our daily tasks. As per section 49 we are only allowed to use fire arms as a last resort. Most of the time we work in small teams and end up alone with suspects. However, I could put to task the skills my Krav Maga techniques.

The uniqueness of Krav Maga is that you don’t need to have a specific body shape, muscular or height. Applying the Krav Maga Techniques properly makes this system very effective in life threatening situations. We found the training sessions Innovative/Resourceful/Productive/Knowledgeable and Self-Explanatory. A recommendation was given by our Commander that self defense training should be part of out of our weekly training program…

STF Member

Cape Town

I had the privilege of continuing my Krav Maga training with TrueKrav during my 2-month visit from Los Angeles. From Etienne and his phenomenal trainers, to all their wonderful students that empowered each and every class, I am eternally grateful to have been given the opportunity, and cannot wait to train with them again. TrueKrav was an incredible experience with its empowering and realistic self defence training. Every single class was exceptionally well organised and thought through – each had a lesson plan that ensured the learning curve was optimal, and the students got the best possible learning experience to result in maximized muscle memory. As a result, my Krav techniques improved exponentially! I could not have wished for a better training opportunity. To anyone considering taking serious self defence classes, after having trained in different schools (and different countries) I strongly recommend TrueKrav. You will not find a better school, or better people 🙂

Dr. Samantha Reguieg

Los Angeles, California

Recently on a trip to Capetown I had the opportunity to train with the guys and girls down at Truekrav. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my training experience under the watchful eye of Etienne the owner and head coach of Truekrav. When training in Krav Maga I have some very specific needs as I work in the armed security industry, which I’m happy to say I found what I was looking for at in Capetown. Due to the fact of the high and ever increasing number of violent crimes reported in South Africa, the guys and girls at Truekrav take what the do very seriously.

Unlike other clubs in countries where incidents of violent crime may be much lower and instructors maybe able to get away with a more martial art, choreographed style of Krav Maga, there is none of that nonsense at Truekrav Do not get me wrong; apart from my previous experience in Krav Maga I also come from and sport based martial art background, from my time in the military Boxing to the present day with Kudo and Maui Thai. Which in my opinion have a very important place in developing foot work, balance, strength, endurance and the fighting spirit which are all important factors to developing your Krav Maga. But the street and the ring have very different rules of engagement.

The need for a sensible, no nonsense approach to the problems one might encounter on the streets, in your car or at home is paramount at Truekrav. I would say to anyone who is living in or just visiting Capetown, that training with Truekrav is a must for your own personal safety and that of your loved ones. Enjoyable, Realistic,Tried and Tested. I’m sure your experience will not be disappointing whether you’re an experienced fighter looking for a bridging system to the street or a novice who just wants to walk through life with a little more confidence than you had yesterday. Respect

J Smith


As a former NYPD Detective I spent many years assigned to various police duties. Such as uniformed patrol, plain clothes undercover details and spent my last 7 years of my career assigned to the (ESU) Swat team. During these assignments I worked in some of the toughest and most violent areas of NYC. I realized and learned very quickly that in all my years of prior self-defense training that most of the techniques I had learned were useless against violent criminals/attackers that wanted to severely hurt or kill me. I needed to find a true no nonsense combat tested system that worked when I needed it to. Truekrav is just that and I was highly impressed. There are many martial arts schools that claim there techniques/system will work when when needed against a violent attacker.

The truth is that most of these Martial Arts schools (Mcdojo’s) as we like to say here in the USA have little to no combative experience. I have found that when they train and practice with a partner they attack with little to no resistance and are very compliant. This is unrealistic and gives the practitioner of these schools a false sense of security that could possibly get them killed one day. If you want real training that you can stake your life on then this is the real deal. Thank you !

AJ Surian


When I first started training at True Krav in 2012, I was overweight, unfit and shy. I rocked up at my first class in baggy tracksuit pants and a long-sleeve gym top – my standard figure-hiding exercise uniform. That first class was the first time in my life that I came close to throwing up from physical exertion. But although it was hard (really hard!) I was amazed how quickly I picked up the moves. I’ve never been sporty and I’ve always been clumsy and uncoordinated, but the movements are so intuitive that your body quickly gets used to them. It’s not a “pretty” system in the way martial arts are graceful – it’s brutal and effective; designed to keep you alive. If you mess up, you’re encouraged to improvise – or if you’ve been training long enough, to use one of the contingencies you’ve learnt, or the contingency for the contingency. There’s always something you can do. The first few months, classes would leave me exhausted in a way I had never before experienced and my arms were so bruised it looked like I had sleeve tattoos!

But over time I hardened up and these days I hardly bruise at all. Doing Krav changed how I exercised. I no longer just wanted to be thin – I wanted to be fit enough to keep up with the guys and strong enough to floor an opponent twice my size. The knock-on benefits were huge. I’m in much better shape than I was before (no more baggy pants!) and I’m stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been. It’s also made me more confident and assertive – when you can disarm an assailant, why would doing a presentation intimidate you? One day I was in a lift and a really dodgy-looking guy got in with me. Instead of feeling afraid, I realised that I was assessing how I would take him out were he to try something. Apparently my days of feeling like a victim were over.

Wanita Nicol

Cape Town

I have been interested in Martial Arts from an early age. When I was a child I started practicing Judo. Later, I had some experiences in Wushu, Kung-Fu and Aikido. I served in the Italian Army as a Prison Officer and later on I got back into Traditional Martial Arts for a while until, by the 2000’s, as I was looking for some effective methods of self-defence, I came to know about Krav Maga. I have been practicing Krav Maga for many years now, attending a lot of seminars and checking out different methods and systems. 

Praise God in March 2014 I could join a seminar in Genova (Italy) and met Etienne Ferreira personally and had the privilege to be trained by him. It was an eye-opening experience. I realized that there is a lot of poor “commercial” Krav Maga around which does not work under pressure, and therefore decided to learn from Etienne Ferreira on a regular basis. Etienne Ferreira is a professional. He is the best Krav Maga instructor I have ever met. He truly cares about his students and gives out first-class training by understanding their needs and pushing them forward in order for them to achieve the skills they need to survive a real-life brutal attack. He is tough but humble, he is also an excellent life coach. I would trust him with my life if you know what I mean because Etienne Ferreira is a gift from God.

Gabriel Giordano


I made a intensive training of 60 hours in 10 days in Cape Town. It has been hard but interesting and satisfying, I’ve learned a lot of new techniques that here in Italy don’t teach. Training at Truekrav was very practical and effective. Etienne and his staff are very competent and kind. I really recommend this experience!

Attilio Spinelli