Owner & Head Instructor
Hey. My name is LD. It’s a childhood nickname that has followed me my whole life.
Welcome to the OA Krav Maga website and congratulations on your interest in Krav Maga. Enrolling in a Krav Maga program is one of the best decisions you will ever make and that enrollment begins with interest. I have been involved in martial arts, self-defense, personal protection, hand-to-hand combat, and survival for over 30 years. My first martial arts class came in the late 80’s – Taekwondo. I thought I was learning to become a Ninja because my Sensei played one of the Ninja Turtles in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I never quite became a ninja, but did win the U.S. Open Martial Arts Championship in 1988 at the age of 10. That started a lifelong pursuit of martial arts training.
Now, I am an expert in Krav Maga and Self-Defense with a direct lineage to the creators and pioneers of the art. I hold a Certified 2nd Degree Black Belt in authentic Israeli Krav Maga as well as a Black Belt in western Dutch Kickboxing. I am also a certified Instructor in Krav Maga and KAPAP by the Federation of Israeli Martial Arts. At the end of 2021, I was honored by being inducted into the Israeli Martial Arts Hall of Fame and OA Krav Maga was awarded “The Best Krav Maga School in Alabama” by the Federation of Israeli Martial Arts. I have also been appointed as the Director of Krav Maga for the Entire State of Alabama.
About 15 years ago, I realized I was scared to live life. I saw the news and the way our world was changing. I also knew that If I was ever attacked, I wouldn’t be able to defend myself without pulling a trigger. I never left my home without a gun, sometimes several, constantly looked over my shoulder, and wasn’t comfortable in public. Krav Maga changed all of that and its study is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I began teaching Krav Maga because I wanted to share with others everything that Krav has given me. I opened OA Krav Maga because I wanted to bring all of that back home to Alabama.
One of the best things about what I do is getting to witness and be a part of the transformation and impact Krav will make in your life. Helping you reach a goal, realize that you are no longer a potential victim, or gain the confidence to protect yourself and your family is a feeling like no other and is the reason I teach professionally.
I hope that you will contact us so that we can get to know you and learn about your goals. If Krav Maga is a good fit for you, I guarantee it will be fun, you will learn skills that one day will save your life or that of someone you love, and it will be a decision you will not regret.
As a petite woman who had previously found herself in, let’s say a precarious position, I had lost a lot of self confidence. I was welcomed in to a safe environment where immediately some of my fears were addressed regarding past situations. LD teaches from a place of understanding, knowledge, and patience. In a very short time I’m already feeling more confident. Being older I felt soft and I already feel stronger. I feel like in a real world self-defense scenario I have more tools to protect myself. Definitely a class for any skill level, so I would not let a novice status be a deterrent in trying these classes out!
LOVE training here with Mr. Thomas. As a beginner and a woman, learning about Krav Maga, kickboxing, etc. was out of my comfort zone and it was very important for me to find a place where I felt comfortable. This location is highly professional, communicative, clean, and friendly. Not only am I learning how to protect myself, but it is a great all-body workout and confidence booster. Evenings spent here are always the highlight of my week.
This place is epic. LD is extremely knowledgeable, professional, and experienced as a dual black belt in Krav Maga and Dutch kickboxing. I am a front line psychiatric nurse practitioner frequently exposed to all kinds of violent situations. I love the family I have found at OA Krav Maga and am -so- excited about this outlet to expand my defense knowledge and improve my sense of personal safety. LD will teach you how to respond to the worst imaginable situations, when lives are threatened. Thank you LD for offering your much needed gifts to our community! My life has been positively transformed by OA KM. Highly recommend this training for anyone wishing to learn how to preserve life! I will be back for years to explore everything this place has to offer.
Joining OA Krav Maga has been one of the best decisions I have made for myself and my family. I have learned so much already after only a couple of months. There is a community here. We are all here to learn and help each other be better and do better. LD is, hands down, one of the best instructors I have had. I have taken TCCC courses, run Wilderness Survival scenarios, and been involved in Wilderness Trauma First Aid classes, and his level of professionalism, kindness, and butt kicking encouragement matches everyone of those. I am proud to be a student here and would encourage everyone to try it!
Finally, we have a dedicated Krav Maga studio here. The instructor is great, has an extensive background in military combatants straining, law enforcement, medical delivery and training along with his extensive education, proficiency, training, and teaching in Krav Maga. Coming to the studio is like a meeting of friends and family. I highly recommend this studio and instructor to anyone interested in learning or continuing their education in Krav Maga.
Excellent workout and instruction! Highly recommend to develop defensive and offensive skills. Diverse group of students with many veterans. Several options for classes and packages for every budget.
This place is beyond amazing!! If you want to learn to protect yourself and your loved ones, this is definitely the place. Come check it out and be trained to expect the unexpected!
It was a privilege to train with Mr. Thomas in Virginia. He coached and trained me between belt levels for the better part of a year. He saw me struggle with techniques and had no problem re-teaching until I understood and could perform techniques to his standard. There were times when I said I was confident and he knew I wasn't. Trust him, trust the instruction and trust the techniques. It's worth every penny.
I had the good fortune to learn and practice Krav Maga with David Thomas during his time in Lynchburg, VA. David is very skilled in the art of Krav Maga, but also is able to teach well. He is able to break down moves into their components and then to bring it all together in an understandable way. He also brings significant real world experience into the process and that brings another dimension to the teaching. I highly recommend David and hope to drop in for a workout if I can make down to Auburn.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Thomas for several years now. Being an assistant instructor myself I’ve gotten to watch him teach and been taught by him. Mr. Thomas is without a doubt a very good instructor. He is very thorough and detailed. He goes over the technique explaining things as he goes along. He’s giving of himself. I’ve seen this many times after class has been over, he has stayed to help students that had questions, or didn’t quite grasp the technique shown. I have nothing but the upmost respect for him.
I am 74 years old and although I had a martial arts background in Shotokan karate, I did not begin Krav Maga and Kapap training until I was 66. After achieving advanced status I began receiving instruction from Mr. Thomas. No matter how well I felt I had developed a technique, Mr. Thomas was always able to find ways to improve each technique to make me faster, stronger, and more efficient. As important as these qualities are, I am most grateful for his mentorship and encouragement. He never treated me like a senior citizen but, rather, like any other advanced kravist always requiring my best effort. Due in part to his instruction and encouragement, I will be testing for E-1 (Black Belt) later this year.
Master Thomas is very supportive and complimentary to each and every one of his students. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about the art of Krav Maga and kickboxing. We have enjoyed our time training with Master Thomas and the friendship that we have created. Without reservation we would highly recommend training under Master Thomas.
Mr Thomas has a great background in real Israeli Krav Maga. He is patient with students and an absolute wealth of knowledge! If you are wanting training in real world self defense and looking to get in better shape, this is your dojo!
I highly recommend and enjoy studying at OA Krav Maga. LD's no nonsense teaching style and real world applications, with survival the ultimate goal, is second to none. A total workout with self defense/offense, confidence.
I have about 12 years of experience in martial arts, and over the most recent couple of those, have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Thomas, and he does not disappoint. His experience is of a very high caliber that you're going to have trouble matching or finding anywhere else. Anyone experienced in Martial Arts culture, or any sort of self defense culture would jump to learn from him, and from personal experience, I can guarantee you won't regret it.
Working with Mr. Thomas was a very informative experience. The way he teaches definitely helps keep you focused and locked in on the material he demonstrates. His way of teaching shows you how to look at possible scenarios from many different angles, and how to improvise when you are in a position of self defense. With his experience as a State Trooper as well as a black belt Krav Maga, you can trust his knowledge of how to use self defense in serious or life threatening situations.