I am Sara "Icy" Ayaz. I am a Krav Maga black belt (under John Whitman, Krav Maga Alliance). MMA fighter (8 fights total), Jiujitsu 3 stripe blue belt under Professor Chip Baldine, and published author. I manage and teach at KMD Self-Defense & Fitness in Memphis, TN and Southaven, MS. Ask me anything! :)

Check out some videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66vNUqsaryw


Proof: http://imgur.com/ua2ILJP


Edit: That's a wrap! Thank you all so much for participating :) if I missed any questions, please feel free to shoot me a PM or contact me via Facebook. Thanks for having me, Reddit!

EDIT 2: I've received a ton more questions. If you would like to hear some of the answers, I will be doing a live video on my Facebook page today at 3:30pm CST. Give my page a like and you'll get a notification when I go live!

Comments: 441 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

TheLatestTrance100 karma

When did you start to learn? I have a 3yr old girl, and want her to learn to defend herself.

roninchick142 karma

I started training in Karate when I was 6.

I could spend a while talking about this, but I would recommend Karate or Taekwondo from about 4-7 for the structure, then look into Jiujitsu or Krav Maga. Some Krav Maga schools teach a kids class with a curriculum designed specifically for kids.

944tim86 karma

professional fighter/athlete, you have what will likely be a limited time in which to do your trade before pain/injuries etc take their toll. What do you have lined up after, training/consulting/something else?

roninchick100 karma

Great question. I think that recovery and maintenance is as much a part of the game as training and nutrition.

I have dealt with injuries and learned to listen to my body when it tells me I need rest.

I intend to continue training as much as possible, and teaching. Teaching is my biggest passion. Consulting too would be a good possibility.

str8sweatin77 karma

What's the hardest you've ever been hit?

roninchick145 karma

Ironically, it was in training, not in a fight. I was boxing with a teammate who had about 25lbs on me. I bobbed and weaved and burst in, walking right in to a right cross. Good times!

Chiefs198876 karma

I mean, you wanna go?

roninchick86 karma

Sure :-) My academy's doors are always open. Come play.

Chiefs198882 karma

I went 27-0 in my career on UFC for the Xbox. IJS ;) all joking aside, Congrats on your success. That's a hell of a career choice.

roninchick48 karma

Nice work ;-) Thank you so much!!

_Invictus47 karma

What's the weirdest thing that's happened during training?

roninchick157 karma

Not even sure where to start with this...

Okay. During a fitness class, I had a new member get up after doing 5-10 crunches and examine her abs in the mirror. This happened no less than 6 times during the course of the workout.

Also: witnessed an instructor candidate cry during instructor testing. Only time I've witnessed it. It was very odd.

Lastly: not sure why, but instructors are cursed with saying "chuck the tin" (tuck the chin) about 40% of the time. Not sure what this is, but it in fact happened while I was teaching earlier today.

_Invictus33 karma

Was there a good reason for the crying?

roninchick84 karma

Well... I would say something witty like 'there's no crying in Krav Maga', but I mean, hey, it happens.

Unfortunately in this case it was just a little bit of ego. The candidate hadn't adequately conditioned for the test and the stress got to them, I think.

lucifergoocifer3 karma

Im working on my green belt in Krav Maga right now. I've witnessed a couple black belt tests. To be fair, they're the most intense, emotional, and trying things one might ever endure in life. I know I wanted to cry after (and during, I guess) my first two belts. You just can't help it sometimes. Granted, those are always tears of joy and accomplishment. Your example sounds slightly different. But congrats on being being a female black belt in Krav! You're an inspiration. Kida.

roninchick3 karma

Thank you! Best wishes on your journey. It is very intense but very rewarding!

lockd0wn36 karma

Do guys ever get "touchy" or disrespectful when you're sparring?

roninchick90 karma

It has happened, especially when they thought they would just be able to kick my butt because I'm female, lol.

I've also had some talk crap purely because I'm a female.

Edited to add: Most of them were guys who were disrespectful not only to me. I've had a few sexist guys question me and challenge me when I teach, and complain that my warm ups are too hard.

AtL_eAsTwOoD33 karma

If you could fight any man alive today, who would you fight?

roninchick78 karma

Hmm. Awesome question! Probably Anthony Bourdain, just because they would be kind of awesome. His professor is phenomenal and I feel like it would be a ton of fun.

KFBass29 karma

Odd, your answer to "who would you fight" is the same as my answer of "who would you most want to get a beer with"

I totally watch that fight by the way.

roninchick23 karma

I would hope we could get a beer afterwards ;-)

gunt_master9 karma

The food tasting guy??

roninchick33 karma

Yep! I am a total foodie but Anthony Bourdain also trains Jiujitsu. He is a blue belt :-)

NotCleverEnufToRedit28 karma

I have a son who's almost 13. He's been in martial arts for close to 3 years and could test for his black belt in the fall.

His school changed management about 6 months ago, and my son has hated going to class ever since. The manager (who also teaches most of my kid's classes) is harsh and has my kid almost in tears just about every time I pick him up.

My son is ready to quit, and he's been so miserable that I'm willing to let him. He really wanted to earn his black belt, but when he learned he wasn't eligible to test in May and would have to wait until the fall, he was crushed. He doesn't think he can stand to be around this instructor for that long. My husband thinks that he should stick it out because not everyone our son has to deal with will be someone he likes. However, I think that if he hates class so much and dreads it as much as he does, he shouldn't have to go if he doesn't care about earning his black belt. It's not like he tried it for a week and decided to quit; he's been at it for 3 years. He hates the instructor so much that he's willing to walk away.

As someone with high ranking yourself and an instructor, what would you recommend in our situation? Should we encourage or require our kiddo to keep going until he gets his black belt, or should we let him be done and move on to other things?

roninchick29 karma

Sending you a PM as it's rather wordy!

TotemPdx26 karma

Hey "Verlaine", when are you gonna get back on WoW? :) (jk i havent been on in ages either)

roninchick37 karma

Bahahaha! Hi :) maybe one day... I keep wanting to but I know hours of my life will inevitably be sucked away if I do.

Jnypop20 karma

You mentioned Christian apologetics. Who is your favorite apologist?

roninchick20 karma

Nabeel Qureshi or Michael Licona :-)

Jnypop4 karma

Check out William lane Craig and John Lennox they're awesome. Also frank turek

roninchick12 karma

I will! Thank you :-)

NetSpectre18 karma


roninchick27 karma

Yes, I do. I think it's going to be the biggest trend of 2017 with the correct exposure ;-)

himishim17 karma

What was the inspiration for you to start training and eventually making it a career for yourself?

roninchick29 karma

Initially, my dad got me into training. I was momentarily hesitant but fell in love the first class I did.

I began training in Krav Maga almost 9 years ago. It gave me peace of mind and confidence to know that I could escape if I were in an altercation. On top of that, I met some amazing people who also trained and got into fantastic shape. It was something I felt everyone could benefit from, which was what put me on the path to teaching.

I apprenticed under my instructor when he opened his own school. About a year and a half ago, we expanded and had the opportunity to add Jiujitsu and Vale Tudo to our schedule.

_Invictus14 karma

What has been your most embarrassing moment in martial arts?

roninchick65 karma

Ohhh. Many. Haha. My first fight: after weigh ins, I went to a restaurant with my coach and friends. 20 minutes in, my opponent and her entire team walk in and sit down two tables over. While walking out, I walked smack into a doorway while attempting to look confident and smooth.

My third or fourth fight, I was told the corners were marked inside of the cage. I get in and can't for the life of me find my corner until I finally hear one of my cornermen calling my name. Oops.

Also, while grading a Krav Maga test, I yelled at the group to "put their foot in their butt". (There was context, I swear).

xesexesexesex14 karma

Is sex with you terrifying?

roninchick36 karma

I would say ask my fiance, but he's also my coach, so I suggest approaching with caution ;)

CharlatanAlley27 karma

Awesome take down.

roninchick14 karma

Thank you :-)

untumulted13 karma

What's your signature move?

roninchick27 karma

As far as grappling, leg locks. MMA - outside single leg takedown/knees to the legs :-)

pandoraDprimo11 karma

What makes you pursue MMA?

roninchick20 karma

I initially fought for the experience. My instructor and affiliation both require a full contact fight, so I decided to get it out of the way early.

I figured that if I was teaching a broad variety of people how to defend themselves, it wouldn't make sense to do so without experiencing some of that first hand.

I continued fighting for experience and for enjoyment.

ImakeCuttingBoards9 karma

what's your diet like? What kind of cutting board do you cut with?

roninchick15 karma

I just started a 10 week prep for instructor training/testing so my diet is cleaning up. In between camps and prep, I am pretty lax but try to avoid eating too much crap.

Example: tonight's dinner was grilled chicken tacos with black beans, salsa, and a little bit of cheese.

I use a bamboo cutting board.

answers_to_kv9 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this AMA! Do you think there is any age limit to learning a martial art form? FYI im a 22 year old male who started TKD recently Thanks :)

roninchick19 karma

Great question :-) It's awesome that you've started training!

I don't think there is a limit at all. I do believe that every martial art is the best at what it was designed to be. Some take longer to become skilled and proficient in, but it is your dedication and mat time that will determine your progress more than anything.

Kairatechop8 karma

Who pushed you to start training? I want to get my niece into fighting and doing shit that isn't "girly"

roninchick11 karma

My dad. He put me in Karate when I was 6. My suggestion would be to let her try a few different arts and see what she enjoys.

please_pm_me_8 karma

KM Alliance vs KM Worldwide.


roninchick11 karma

Both are legitimate Krav Maga organizations with great lineage. They both follow a fairly similar curriculum.

I've had the privilege of training with instructors of both affiliations and it was a phenomenal experience.

please_pm_me_4 karma

I've mainly been training at a KMA gym for the last 4 years, though I have trained at some KMW gyms when I travel, which is pretty frequent. I've also had great experiences both ways. I've heard some smack talking on the internet about one another though, and was wondering what your thoughts were.

Do you ever run into any conflict between your KM training and the MMA fighting? I know a lot of the stuff we do and train in my gym is very much illegal or illogical to do in a MMA fight.

roninchick8 karma

That's awesome to hear. Come train with me if you're ever in my neck of the woods :-)

Okay... so I have kicked girls in the groin, in the cage. Lol. It was instinctual. I apologized profusely to them. When I train for a fight, I spar with MMA rules and try to reel back my Krav a little bit. A lot of the techniques are very similar, it's more the mindset. Having to remember the rules.

please_pm_me_2 karma

Well, if I ever make my way up towards you, I'll certainly stop in. Next stop for me though is Cape Town, South Africa.

roninchick2 karma

Sweet :-)

RemoteViewingTrainee7 karma

are there 2 or 3 moves anyone can learn that are hard to counter?

roninchick15 karma

Every move has a counter, and every counter has a counter. My coaches have always told me to do what I know. Everyone's natural inclinations are going to be different.

For me personally, if I can take the fight to the ground, I can usually keep it there. My highest percentage subs are knee bars, straight ankle locks, and guillotine chokes.

rbevans7 karma

When not training or fighting what are some of your hobbies?

roninchick11 karma

I love cooking, reading, and Marvel. I volunteer at a local animal shelter. Perhaps cliché, but I love spending time with my family.

I love to travel when I have the opportunity. I am slightly addicted to coffee and enjoy perusing new coffee shops.

1wdvhu96 karma

do you find any translation from krav maga to bjj?

roninchick6 karma

Yes! Absolutely. Some of Krav Maga's ground curriculum is taken from BJJ. Self-defense BJJ has a similar mindset in many ways.

They supplement one another very well.

jerkwad1536 karma

Are you the same person who was in that gif the other day, beating the crap out of like 5 guys in a bar fight?

roninchick4 karma

Ha, no. Can't claim credit there.

mistah_legend6 karma

What's your favorite food to eat on your cheat days?

Also, what was the last concert you went to? How was it?

roninchick16 karma

Ooh, great questions. I love pizza. Ha. That's my go-to cheat food. And Starbucks... white mochas are so tasty but so full of sugar and awfulness.

Last concert. Hmm. It's been a while, but I think it was Breaking Benjamin/Three Days Grace/Seether. It was a lot of fun! Great performances. I love all 3 bands.

ForgottenBauss5 karma

On a scale of 1-10, how utterly fantastic would you say your sibling is?

roninchick2 karma

Definitely a 10 ;-)

EPIKGUTS244 karma

Some random dude tries to mug you, unarmed. what do you do?

roninchick31 karma

Depends on the situation. If I thought I could get away unharmed by giving him what he wanted, that would be my preference.

BelieveInRollins3 karma

if you joined the UFC, who would be your ideal opponent?

roninchick6 karma

Ooh. Not sure about "ideal", but I would love to fight Cat Zingano. She's a fireball. It would be so much fun. Stylistically, I would probably fair well against a striker. I'm more of a grappler. Who do you like watching?

wyxtt3 karma

What genre is your favorite to read?

What genre is your favorite to write?

Thanks for doing this AMA, you're awesome!

roninchick8 karma

Ooh, toughie. I love Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton and Anne Rice. So espionage/thrillers and horror, evidently!

I have a huge passion for Christian apologetics also so have been reading a lot of books in this category.

I primarily write non-fiction, but I enjoy writing action and drama the most. I am also about halfway through a book of mostly funny memoirs.

stefandraganovic2 karma

Which style do you think is best?

roninchick7 karma

There's no "best", just best for your purpose. Every martial art is the best at what it was designed to be.

aygc2712 karma

What was your record in those fights? Did you get to throw any move or hold you were particularly excited about?

roninchick5 karma

I am 2-4-1 and 1 NC.

I lost my first 4 fights and had no desire to quit after only experiencing losses. It lit a fire in me to improve in my weak areas, which were all to do with mentality and aggression.

I LOVE throwing knees in the clinch and low round kicks.

furedad2 karma

What country would kick every other countries ass based on martial art style in a one on one battle (BJJ, Krav Maga, etc)?*

*'Murica jokes not allowed becuase we know they'd win.

roninchick5 karma

Depends on the rules of the fight ;-)

friendlyfitnessguy2 karma

I live out of town, no one teaches martial arts out here and I wanto to leaen to fight. What do I do?

roninchick3 karma

I would be doing a disservice if I said there was any way to learn but to train under an instructor. I used to drive 45 minutes one way to train with my professor. If there is a place within an hour, consider whittling out a time each week you can go to begin your training.

Dustylung2 karma


roninchick3 karma

Fantastic! Unfortunately there are the good and the not so good, as with anything. I recommend going to a few different gyms and trying them out. See what works for you and who is a good fit for you.

See if there are any Krav Maga Alliance or Krav Maga Worldwide schools in your area.

[deleted]1 karma


roninchick8 karma

"Will you choke me out? That would be so hot."


Skika1 karma

I thought Krav Maga was measured in levels... Like, if I were a level 4 you would be a...?

roninchick1 karma

For many organizations, it is both. The level numbers have a corresponding belt 'color', though most schools do not display rank. (Mine doesn't either.)

Level 1 - Yellow Belt Level 2 - Orange Belt Level 3 - Green Belt Levels 4 - Blue Belt Level 5 - Brown Belt Level 6 - Black Belt

Glow_the_albino1 karma

What's your diet like as an MMA fighter?

roninchick2 karma

During a fight camp or prep for testing, it is pretty specific. High protein, high carb (I don't do well with high fat, just how my body rolls).

A typical meal might be grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, broccoli. Or tofu with brown rice. Simple, clean food.

For weight cuts, I get much more specific during the last week leading up to weigh ins. Low carb, high protein, TONS of distilled water. My objective in this week is to sweat out water weight to make weight. I have never cut more than 11lbs during a camp. Since you are typically upping training and doing tons of cardio, the first couple of pounds should ideally come off in your first few weeks of camp.

suaveitguy1 karma

Which Hilary Swank movie do you prefer, The Next Karate Kid or Million Dollar Baby?

roninchick6 karma

I hate to admit this, but I haven't watched Million Dollar Baby. My fiancé likes to joke about how few movies I've seen, and it's true. It's on my list!

Healing_touch0 karma

My boyfriend is actually down in LA right now for Phase B certification for KMWorld wide. His test is tomorrow (:

His ultimate dream is to eventually open up his own studio and do low cost training for special groups (police, assault victims ect). Do you have any major advice on leveling up past the expert phases?

What is your go to non traditional work out (i.e. Not related to krav/JJ/running) that you find gets you to that next level?

Thanks for answering!

roninchick1 karma

That's awesome! Congrats to him.

My advice is to train hard and study. Be familiar with and spend time teaching the techniques you're getting ready to test on. Condition adequately. Approach the test itself by being in the moment. The best advice I ever received was to take it one minute at a time. Don't stress out by remembering how many hours or techniques are still left. Focus only on the moment.

Teaching those groups is the most rewarding part of this job. Best of luck to him!

Rapturesjoy-2 karma

Can I pick a fight with you?

roninchick2 karma

Ha, sure.

CraigHan-3 karma

So do still use a knife to cut your man's sandwich or do you karate chop it?

roninchick3 karma

Judy chop, of course ;-)

zippythechimp88-4 karma

Anything huh.....? Can we date?

roninchick10 karma

Haha, sorry, but no. I am taken :-)

RobotSkeleton-17 karma

Where dem nudes?

roninchick7 karma

Modesty is a virtue.