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Meet Jaimie Lee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaimie Lee.

Hi Jaimie, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I currently work as a Krav Maga Instructor and Personal Trainer. I own and operate The Coalition NC, a Self-Defense and Fitness Community in Chapel Hill, NC, and I am an instructor at our sister school, Krav Maga Raleigh. I discovered Krav Maga back in 2012 after several stressful years as an Academic Counselor for Student Athletes. I am usually quite active, having a background in dance performance, basketball, and competitive rope skipping, but back in 2012, I was struggling to stay consistent. After dealing with major back pain, weight gain, and lack of outside activities, I discovered Krav Maga from Living Social, an application offering discounts and deals for various entertainment activities. After my first class, I was hooked. I have been training ever since, and by 2013, I became an instructor. I have completed many certifications throughout the country and was even certified in Israel, the birthplace of Krav Maga.

Krav Maga is an Israeli-based fighting system that teaches various self-defense techniques from martial arts like Karate, Jiu Jitsu, etc. These techniques have been modified to help everyday citizens learn how to defend themselves against common attacks. It is an aggressive fighting system but accessible to people of all backgrounds. It is based on human instincts and natural responses to punches, kicks, chokes, knife and gun attacks, etc. I am passionate about the training and how it empowers people, so I now do it full-time. What I love the most is connecting with so many different people. I love working with other instructors, visiting and training at other schools throughout the country, and most of all, my incredible clients.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Keeping this business afloat during a worldwide pandemic definitely caused struggles, but I am thankful for the support and collaboration between the two schools, The Coalition NC and Krav Maga Raleigh. Before opening my Chapel Hill studio, I was fortunate to build a client base by meeting on weekends at locations throughout the Triangle. I invited people to exercise and to train together, and after teaming up with another talented instructor, we were able to build up a solid group. Also, teaching at Krav Maga Raleigh helped me maintain skills, stay in shape, and continue to stay on the radar as a trainer and instructor. I have also found support from other gym owners such as my friends at Rogue Krav Maga (Raleigh), Carolina Self Defense (Cary), and The Original Strenth Institute (Fuquay-Varina)! Being able to stay connected with people going through similar challenges has been tremendously comforting.

My biggest challenge during COVID was also losing my business partner. I opened the Chapel Hill location with another amazing instructor who ended up moving back home to Texas to heal and to prepare for much needed surgeries; unfortunately, it was very difficult losing a very popular and talented person. It has taken some time, but I am slowly building up other instructors and a new client base which has been tough at times, but all things considered, we have an amazing community.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My work consists of teaching Krav Maga classes, personal training and fitness instruction. I work with clients everyday except most Sundays, and I also do the administrative work needed to maintain The Coalition. As an instructor, I teach people how to protect themselves and to know how to use violence when necessary. Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer, it is the ONLY answer. Unfortunately, violence is sometimes unavoidable, and I am passionate about empowering people with varying abilities to defend themselves and their loved ones. I also love how it helps us stay in amazing shape, and we train hard but classes are encouraging, motivating, and fun!

I specialize in Krav Maga, so I teach techniques specific to this fighting system. I am also a personal trainer, working with people of all ages to enhance their physical abilities and overall confidence. I am most proud of the feedback I get from clients that they feel encouraged and positive working with me. I genuinely want people to feel good during and after my classes even though I push people hard in order to get results. I am known for having a positive attitude and making class fun. I think my ability to connect with people who come from so many different backgrounds helps set me apart. For example, I train a woman who has been living with multiple sclerosis, a long-lasting disease that can affect your brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in your eyes. It can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions. She has battled with it for over 30 years, and she is now in a wheelchair most of the time. However, she is amazing and tough and trains with me a few times every week. She becomes stronger and more mobile every week and has completely astonished her physical therapists with her strength and progress. She can punch, stand, kick, do yoga, and so much more. Not all instructors would necessarily know what to do with people who have physical challenges, but I have learned a lot over the years and feel I can now help almost anyone!

What’s next?
In terms of future plans, I will continue to do more Krav Maga instructor certifications, attend and teach at Krav Maga camps, and hopefully return to Israel for training. I also strive to grow our client base at both The Coalition and Krav Maga Raleigh, and I would love to open more locations throughout the Triangle and beyond. I would also love to train more people to become instructors.

Eventually, I would also like to train other martial arts like Jiu Jitsu and get more fitness certifications like for teaching kettlebell workouts, for example. I would love to be invited to other cities more often to train groups and to also train other people who want to become instructors!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photos done by Caitlyn Nicole: https://caitlynnicole.com/

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