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Community Highlights: Meet Allen & Jodi Troutt of Fortis Self-Defense

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allen & Jodi Troutt.

Hi Allen & Jodi, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
My wife, Jodi, and I began our journey in Krav Maga in June of 2013. We tried a free class at a local gym teaching Krav at the time, and we were instantly hooked. We trained as students for a while, and after my first belt test, I was asked to start training as an instructor. That’s a long process involving specialized training, and I did start down that path. We both continued training as students, then added Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to our training, while I worked my way through the Krav Maga Instructor certifications.

Through the years we both taught, myself teaching Krav Maga and Jodi helping, and then also teaching kids’ and women’s classes. Circumstances changed, and we left our previous gym. I had a few students that still wanted to train with us, although I’d had no immediate plans to open our own place. I caved to their pressure and we opened up Fortis Self-Defense in the fall of 2018.

We’ve been training in small groups at a few locations. We now operate out of Franklin Athletic Club. Jodi is still teaching our women’s classes, and I just passed my black belt instructor test in August. We’re almost at our 3 year anniversary and are having a blast!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
No! Not smooth, but not rough enough to toss us off the road either. Nothing worth achieving is ever easy!

We started Fortis with minimal capital, which of course makes things a little harder. We’ve had incredible support though from our members and we’ve always managed to stay ahead. We started small, with barely any equipment, and have been slowly adding and upgrading as we go. Part of the bumps have also included three different locations in our almost 3 years. They’ve all been upgrades, but having to move a gym is never easy.

And of course, there’s been Covid. We were forced to shut down for a few months, did some online training, and slowly opened back up in person as things improved. I appreciate all the support from our students during that time and their continuing support as we are still making adjustments. Having such a great student community really helped us get through.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Fortis Self-Defense?
We are a self-defense school specializing in Krav Maga and women’s only classes. Krav Maga is a system of self-defense developed originally and taught to the Israeli military and now is adapted to teach to civilians. Krav Maga is known for being simple to learn and effective against real-world threats.

Fortis Self-Defense is the only Krav Maga Alliance affiliate in Davidson & Williamson counties. We welcome anyone to train and offer classes for all experience levels. We currently have co-ed classes and women’s-only only class that is taught by a woman. We hope to add kid’s classes soon as well.

We truly want to teach everyone to be able to defend themselves. We love our students and they know they can come to us for Krav Maga, but also so much more.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
The Krav Maga world is a small world, but a very generous one! There are several resources through our affiliation that have helped us, including other instructors and business owners that are always happy to share tips and tricks, or just to offer encouragement.

The biggest thing is putting yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to admit you need help or don’t know everything. Humility is key to being able to grow.


  • You can try a class for free!
  • Pricing varies, but averages between $8-15 per class.

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