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"So That One May Walk in Peace" with Leah Hoopes

Our tribe at LOTUS is continuously looking for opportunities to build each other up and support you. We all search for an outlet to release fear or emotions that we would like to expel to reach our most authentic self. Not all outlets have to be achieved in a quiet environment with essential oils and spa music. Sometimes we need to break through fear and lack of confidence by fighting through emotional layers.

"One can achieve a connection between mind and body when responding to a violent attack."

Fitmax Krav Maga in Media PA builds an individuals awareness by teaching situational awareness, fast aggressive responses, responding despite fear and not freezing in order to escape. Situational awareness is a common thread that LOTUS and Fitmax Krav Maga share for the community so we asked Leah Hoopes to share her Fight 4 Life.

Pictured Above: Leah Hoopes - Native of Delaware County, Pa | Proud wife and mother

The journey of my life ,it's more like a dark dramedy. I swear I'll write that book one day. I was always a tom boy, alpha female, blunt, rattled cages when fighting for what was right, had the biggest heart and loved to help others. Well not much as changed in 38 years. My 20s were when all hell broke loose, partied a lot more than went to class dropped out of college and had zero direction, was also when I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and depression..AWESOME!! Tried tons of meds, hated them. Finally I got into fitness, boxing, kickboxing eating healthy and found holistic care was most beneficial to subdue my OVERACTIVE BRAIN. At 24 I ended up in an abusive and dysfunctional relationship I got pregnant, and left became a single mother, was on Welfare and was extremely stressed out, tired and hard on myself. What an insanely challenging time in my life! But I have never backed down from a challenge, in fact adversity is why my skin is very thick and I continue to move forward. I mustered the courage to get back into college and graduated with a 3.8! Off to the Physical therapy world I went to make a life for my son and I.

Fast forward, I desperately needed an outlet and needed to feel empowered. Something that would really spark my interest. I had tried Yoga, pilates, Zumba all sorts of things it just didn't fulfill my desires. Wonderful outlets, but just wasn't what I was looking for. I had some background in boxing, kickboxing and was a bit of a scrapper growing up cause I got picked on in high school. My research led me to Krav Maga! Krav Maga was created inside the Israeli defense forces by a man named Imi Lichtenfeld he had brought his background in wrestling, Judo,gymnastics and hand to hand combat to the IDF. It was a self defense system created out of the need to defend against anti Semitic groups. Later on Krav branched out to civilians and was brought to the States in the 80s. To say I was excited and scared to try this system out was an understatement. My first class was so freaking intense but it drew me in immediately. That was all she wrote, hook ,line sinker. The more I trained the more I wanted to become an instructor. And within 2 1/2 years I became a certified Krav Maga instructor. I also cross train in jiu jitsu and Muay Boran.

Pictured above: (L) Eyal Yanilov, the highest Ranking Krav practitioner in the World (R) Leah Hoopes Fitmax Krav Maga Media, PA Fitmax Krave Maga instructor.

So what is empowering you ask? My leadership, tenacity and courage has brought me the opportunity to run the women's program at Fitmax Krav Maga in Media Pennsylvania. As they say, "empowered women empower women." I get to train women in self defense and you do not need any background, we have every fitness level and a vast range of ages KRAV IS SUPER PRACTICAL. KRAV Maga translates to contact combat in Hebrew. We focus heavily on improving situational awareness and using your environment to your advantage! Using common objects as weapons while improving mindset and confidence. In addition to teaching striking skills, improve endurance, strength and agility. All while preparing your mind and body for attacks and how to become aggressive to fight for your life!

The irony in all of this, I have fought for my life in every sense. From fighting my own demons and fighting for my son and I. The whole time fighting to be a better person, now I get to teach women how to fight for themselves. Women are some serious warriors! I have given permission to my students to show aggression and be aggressive and to unleash their beasts! If they don't know how to channel it when they walk into my classroom they sure will before they leave. We are so hard on ourselves to be super heroes and perfect human beings. We are not perfect nor do we need to be, what we can be is empowered and support each other when we feel defeated! My goal is to continue to fight for myself and to empower women to fight for their lives! - Leah Hoopes

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