Finish the Fight


Training for self defense has the added benefit of improved fitness levels.


For Mary Freeney, program director and instructor at Triumph Krav Maga, it wasn’t until she started practicing Krav Maga that she saw herself as being involved in the fitness industry as a career. Freeney, who was born and raised in Metairie, had her first taste of Krav Maga in the summer of 2010. “My brother had been training for a few months and started teaching me everything he knew,” she says. “We would wake up at dawn and train at a local park or in empty lots in our neighborhood. In Aug. 2010, I began training in a group class setting. I’ve always been active and had my eyes set to find some sort of combat training.”

Krav Maga turned out to be exactly what she was looking for, and doors started to open for her. After a few months of training, she was approached with the opportunity to go through instructor training. She didn’t hesitate. “Seven years later, here I am,” Freeney says. “I love the training and the culture. It has sharpened me physically and mentally in many aspects of life. When asked to become an instructor, I was honored and happy to step into a place of investing in our student’s health and safety.”

Krav Maga is beneficial not only physically, but also mentally. “Physically, we are developing personal weapons through striking and practicing defenses against common threats and attacks,” Freeney explains. “Mentally, we are overcoming obstacles as we push through fatigue, disorientation, fear and stress in order to ‘finish the fight.’ People come from all backgrounds with the incentive of gaining personal safety skills, getting in shape or a bit of both. From the early stages of my own training, I was intrigued by the dynamic drills and weapon defenses. Over the years, I’ve trained predominately for self defense purposes and fitness simply came with the territory.”

Triumph Krav Maga Metairie opened in May of 2017 with a staff of 27. Of that number, there are nearly 14 trainers on the Metairie schedule who provide students with access to 30 group fitness classes, self defense classes and youth classes on a weekly basis. “Private self defense sessions and private fitness sessions are available for those who wish to pursue personal one-on-one training,” Freeney says. “We are also proud to host Rock Steady Boxing classes, a non-contact boxing program for people with Parkinson’s Disease.”

In addition to top-notch training, the community and culture at Triumph Krav Maga sets it apart from other self defense and fitness studios. “From day one, you will experience a culture of people who genuinely want to see you develop into your personal best, regardless of your experience level,” Freeney says. “It is a platform, not only to crush your current fitness and self defense goals, but also to surpass them. I enjoy watching people experience Krav Maga training for the first time and seeing the fire in their eyes as they accomplish things they never dreamed they could do. On top of that, with all the foolishness going on in our city these days, it is a privilege to see people taking action to invest in their own safety and the safety of their families.” 2949 Veterans Blvd., Ste. A1, Metairie, (504) 302-2833, triumphkravmaga.com


“My husband and my son are my main priority,” Freeney says. “Staying consistent in my training ensures that I am healthy and best equipped to protect myself and my family. Also, I am surrounded by friends and training partners who want to see me succeed just as much as I want to see them succeed. It’s easy to fall back when you are running alone, but when you have a pack of watchdogs behind you and in front of you, it lights a fire under you to keep going.”


“My diet rotates through a variety of foods, and I love to eat,” Freeney says. “Typically, my breakfast will consist of iced coffee and milk paired with something like oatmeal with sliced banana, a grilled chicken and avocado breakfast sandwich or wrap (my husband makes the best wraps!) or a blueberry muffin. Lunch could be anything from a toasted peanut butter sandwich and piece of fruit to a Caesar salad with chicken. Dinner for me is with the family and ranges from sushi to homemade gumbo with potato salad to turkey burgers with Brussels sprouts. My fuel comes from eating well and staying hydrated. My guilty pleasure would be the 12-count nugget meal, including waffle fries and a sweet tea, from Chick-Fil-A. Oh, and don’t forget the cookies-and-cream milkshake!”


“One of my all-time favorite success stories involves a student in our youth program,” Freeney says. “He started training with us when he was 4 years old and has been training with us for the past five years. His grandmother heard about us on the radio years ago and signed him up for our KinderKrav program. I have watched this kid transform from a timid, bullied 4-year-old to a confident, bold-as-a-lion 9-year-old. I am proud of him and look forward to having him in class every week.”


“Start moving,” Freeney says. “Train hard and have fun doing it. It’s not going to be easy, especially in the early stages of your training, but keep going. You will not regret it and your family will not regret it. Surround yourself with people who will keep you accountable. I hope to see you in one of the classes at Triumph Krav Maga!”