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About the Coaches

Jesse Walker

Jesse Walker is a Fit to Fight® certified black belt, a fitness coach, and certified Active Killer Defense, SPARology and From the Ground Up instructor. His background also includes training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, Boxing, Kali/Arnis, and Muay Thai. Jesse brings a level of excitement and expertise to his students found nowhere else in the Louisville area.

Mindy Golde

Mindy is a certified Fit to Fight® instructor and co-owner of River City Self Defense. She has been training in Krav Maga since 2008. Mindy's fighting skill have improved immensely since giving birth to her son Elliott, who is just as stubborn as his father.

Paul Dowell

Paul has been a certified Krav Maga instructor since 2009, and recently finished his first Fit to Fight® certification . When not training, Paul is an avid mountain biker, a renowned chef, and proud husband and dad.

Ben Rodgers

Ben is a certified Fit to Fight® instructor with previous experience in various martial arts including: Shaolin Kung Fu, Ninjitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Wrestling, and Bando. Ben is accomplished weight lifter who started at age 10 and has followed classic bodybuilding programs ever since.

Jim Carter

Jim Carter is a combat decorated Marine with over 15 years service and deployments to Iraq, the Far East, and Afghanistan. He is a Combat Marksmanship Coach, Foreign Weapons Instructor, an NRA Law Enforcement Handgun & Shotgun Instructor, a Texas DPS Certified Concealed Handgun License Instructor, and a Black Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).His classical martial arts background includes Tae Kwon Do, Shaolin Do, and Wrestling.

Elliott Walker

Elliott has been an accomplished fighter since the time he was an embryo. He was recently certified as an expert level instructor in Krav Ma"gaga". You will not find an instructor that drools quite as much as Elliott.

About Fit to Fight®

We are an unconventional organization, an eccentric family, in a traditional and habitual industry. We are the neon orange Crayon, in a box of grays.

In a world where "lineage" determines good from bad, and ranking takes precedence over practicality, we place a premium on what works now and strive for better, always. Our "lineage" is a moment in time, and it changes, constantly. We eschew convention and ritual, in favor of revolution, giving credit to functionality and results.

Our roots remain grounded where many others are: in a soil of passion, discipline, control, and all other tenets that typically exemplify "martial arts." However, the majority stays close to their roots, constantly tracing their path backwards, finding comfort in the words and deeds of others...but that's not where we are going. We focus upward. We are unafraid to lose sight of the ground, because we know where it is and that we hold strong to it. We focus upward, progressing to another set of values - innovation, evolution, inspiration, and change. We focus upward and face new challenges that the others know nothing of - that they don't dare discover, in fear of breaking a branch, of failing. We recognize that growth is not possible without failure, that in order to improve, we must challenge and be challenged.

The term “we” is a significant one. Fit to Fight® isn’t about a figurehead or a website or a manual or a logo or anything else commonly considered to give gravitas to a group. Fit to Fight® is a family, a collective of individuals, coming together, working towards making the world a safer, healthier, and more responsible place.

At Fit to Fight®, we recognize that everyone is fighting something, and we want to arm everyone we touch with the tools, tactics, emotional toughness, and physical well being needed, for life’s daily struggles. We believe in being intimately engaged in the world around us; passive bystanders, we are not. Growth is in discomfort, and we plan to continue to grow.

About the Training Center

River City Self Defense is located in Suite 450 of the 300 building at Distillery Commons. Up until 1979, Distillery Commons was the home of National Distillers and Chemical Company’s Kentucky Distillery, Warehouse & Bottling Plant.Its renowned brands, Old Grand Dad, Old Taylor, Old Crow and many others were distilled, aged and bottled here since the 18th century. Today, Distillery Commons supplies creative and professional office space to many great Louisville firms and organizations.

We have found that people find us if they map to Headliners Music Hall (1386 Lexington Road, 40206).

Our Classes

FTF Defensive Options: Foundation

Monday and Wednesday: 6:00-6:30p

Out of shape? Never thrown a punch before? These are your first steps. Join us for our 30 minute foundation class where you will gain the skills and conditioning you need to take it to the next level.

FTF Defensive Options: Advanced

Monday and Wednesday: 6:30-7:30p

This class is open to all students, but we will be spending most of the time working on more advanced portions of the curriculum.

From the Ground Up™

Thursday: 7:00-8:00p

Violent encounters do sometimes make their way to the ground. From the Ground Up is a class that specializes on learning how to deal with the realities of ground-fighting while making getting back to your feet a priority.

Mitt Mania

Monday: 6-6:30p

Come spend a fast-paced 30 minutes working with a partner working your striking, footwork, head movement, etc., but with a focus on breaking a sweat and burning some calories. No experience necessary!


Saturday: 10-11a

Students learn to work with partners, starting in clinch range, using Muay Thai and wrestling, while progressing to boxing and kickboxing ranges, as skill sets are enhanced and comfort with contact is reached. This sparring class is designed for any adult looking to get in great shape while learning valuable skills in a safe and fun environment.

Active Killer Defense seminar

Sign up for our August 6th Seminar

8 hours of instruction and practical application on proven techniques and strategies designed to increase survivability in an active shooter situation. Course includes instruction on unarmed response, armed response, and post incident trauma management. If you would like to set up onsite training at your organization, please contact us at tryit@rivercityselfdefense.com

Try a free week of classes!

We know how difficult it is to determine the value of a program by looking at a website, or taking a tour, so we invite you to come and try training with us for a week. Just get in touch with us and we'll find a time that is most convenient for you.



300 Distillery Commons, Suite 450, Louisville, Kentucky 40206