“REALITY and EFFECTIVENESS.. are the two words that come to mind when asked to describe Double Edge. You are given tools, based on scientific evidence..not theory, that can save your life. Having trained in other martial arts, I always felt something was lacking..something missing. After coming here, I had my AH-HA moment. You will find no katas, no belts, and no egos here. Doc’s class is safe, challenging, but totally fun! I have not found his level of expertise or enthusiasm elsewhere in Asheville. You will only be taught the things that work. And they work every time. You learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones and gain the confidence to do so. I highly recommend Double Edge Self Defense.” – David Almquist

“Doc Howell’s classes are first rate and fully personalized to every student, in small classes. I actually look forward to each class because they’re enjoyable and I learn so much about myself and acquire skills all at the same time. He teaches how self-defense is preferably about awareness, avoidance and de-escalation, but also about practicing simple techniques to end crises in a few seconds. Awareness, safety, and respect for all is ever-present. The best classes are mixed gender because the shared, varied experiences and perspectives are so useful. My self-confidence and self-knowledge has soared…and I’m the nerd type! Doc Howell is a treasure, a master teacher, and it’s clear he’s absolutely dedicated to his craft. And he has an abundance of patience!” – Edward Blomgren, PhD, Asheville

“As a trauma therapist working daily with people that have been assaulted, I can say that Doc’s way of learning the moves slowly, so that muscle memory is formed without overwhelm is in line with the latest research. It’s also a lot of fun. I highly recommend this program.” – Elli Schmeltekopf, MS, LPC, SEP.

To Put On The Pointy Edge-

“I’ve really enjoyed my experience at Double Edge Self Defense (DESD) so far. The workout sessions are vigorous, yet safe, and vary every class so you’re always working new muscle groups. The self-defense part of class has been very informative and interesting. I’ve trained in various martial arts for 15+ years and yet this is a type of training I’ve never been exposed to before. The moves and principles taught are no-nonsense, straightforward, and effective. This school is not about belts or flashy moves; it’s all about life-saving skills. If you’re interested in learning practical self-defense to protect yourself and your family then I highly recommend DESD.” – Chad Kroll

“Double Edge Self Defense has been wonderful. Since I’ve started taking classes, I feel more confident. I feel safer walking downtown as well as in the grocery store. Double Edge has given me excellent skills to defend myself whether I’ll be attacked by one person or a lot of people. Thank you to Richard Howell for giving me skills I will not only use in college but will carry on with me for the rest of my life.”  -High school senior, Erin Johnston

From a veteran:

“Over the past 14 months of study at DOUBLE EDGE SELF DEFENSE, I have developed more strength, balance and improved posture. Having realized some degree of physical decline prior to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease (18 mo. ago), Dr. Howell’s threefold approach of aerobics, functional strength training and self defense activity has given me the challenges that directly address the degenerative physical effects of P.D. The diminishment of physical power left me feeling vulnerable. With DESD training using gross motor movements with focused attention, I have more confidence in high risk life threatening situations. Dr. Howell combines the physical with academics of self defense and behavioral science. I thoroughly enjoy the classes with Dr. Howell. DESD balances learning, humor and HARD WORK.” – Mike Ward, physical therapist, Asheville, N.C.

Double Edge Self Defense