Student Stories - Mike Erdely

Our students at Krav Maga Maryland come from all different walks of life. We asked them to share their stories of how Krav Maga has helped their change their lives for the better.

By: Mike Erdely

In November 2012, I realized I was drinking too much. I was almost 300 pounds, had nothing in my life outside of work and watching TV, and I was looking 40 right in the face.  I decided to make a change.  I quit drinking first.  That was hard, but after a couple of months I wanted to make more improvements to my life.  I started to count my calories.  And I started getting on an exercise bike.  At first I could only manage about 7 minutes at a time.  After a couple days, I was riding twice a day, then 15 minutes at a time.  And it gradually increased so that I could go out for a ride.

Around the time I lost about 25 pounds, I asked a friend of mine who is a black belt in Kung Fu and does Aikido what he recommended I look into.  My two priorities were fitness and discipline.  Self-defense was secondary.  So he mentioned several options but suggested I looking at Krav Maga.  I used to work on Stanford Boulevard so I had walked by the gym on my way to lunch a lot.

So I did it.  I walked into Krav Maga Maryland and spoke to Elisabeth.  I told her this would be her easiest sale of the day: sign me up now.  And I dove in head first choosing a two year contract.  I wanted to bind myself financially so that I wouldn't go to class three times and quit.

At first it was terrifying.  I remember partnering with a big guy, a little bigger than I am now, for straight punches.  He was hitting the pad so hard I (kind of) jokingly asked why he was so mad at me.  I had also never heard of a burpee before.  We were supposed to do ten and I could only do one.  But I kept coming.  And I started to get it.

Before long I was coming to class 3, 5, 7, and as many as 15 times a week.  I kept that up for a year.  I passed my Level 1 test at 6 months and my Level 2 test at about a year.  I've scaled back on the number of times I come to class (usually 4 times a week) but after four years, I still love coming to class.

I'm in better shape than ever.  In the last four years, I started playing tennis again.  I rode two 100-mile bike rides on the Eastern shore.  I ran a half-marathon.  I lost a total of about 100 pounds.  I have confidence like I've never had in my life.  I've made some great friends with both students and instructors at Krav.  It's very clear that the Krav Maga Maryland staff cares about their students, and I'm proud to be one.

Want to share your story? E-mail yours to Rachel at

Rachel Parker