Level 2 test – yikes

11 days from now I will be taking my test to pass into level 2 training. This is been something I had been hoping for since we started this journey. I am a little worried if my endurance is up for it as well as my knuckles, since the L2 test is without wraps. Wish me luck and check back for my first hand accounting of a middle aged woman taking on krav maga!

Lets do this!

Knife attack!

knifeAhhh.. the cardio effect of a Krav Maga workout.  To push yourself to where you have to stop and catch your breath and think you can’t take give one more punch, but then you do.   You find the strength.  That is what will happen if you are ever attacked I hope we find the strength to keep up the fight until we can get away.  Make our escape.

Tonite we worked on choke hold from the side and how to defend from the hold and attack at the same time driving your attacker to the ground.   Follow this drill by a knife defense drill.  If you have two attackers after you and one has a knife, use the body of the person with a control choke hold to place them between you and the knife.  If you have a good hold and your body weight on their shoulder and neck, you will be able to steer the person to keep them between you and the knife attacker.

As if that wasn’t enough, class ended with the adrenaline drill of 2 attackers – defending one with the hammer fist on the side and the other on punches in the front.

Tonite I was paired up with a black belt that is half my weight (well maybe not quite that tiny) but at least half my age!    I like to challenge myself if my regular partner isn’t there to pick someone better, faster and smaller than I to make my work harder.

She did just that!

Krav on!

Controlled Aggression…..

controlledaggresionSounds like an oxy-moron.   Last week I started back into my Krav Maga training.  For the last two classes I have been paired up with someone that is 3 times better than I.  One girl I was paired with has multiple black belts and is a level 2 Krav. The other is a level 2 or higher Krav  They both worked me really hard.  Some of the skills we are learning I have covered in my earlier blogs.  I hope to have enough experience by summer to move into level 2.

Last weeks class was the first time I broke the skin on my knuckle. You would think I injured a major body part!    It is still red and I’m letting it heal a little longer before I break it open again.  Instead of gloves I think I will need to go back to wraps.

Back to “controlled aggression”…… As I continue in these classes, it is starting to “sink in”.   I am pretty much an easy going person by nature and Krav teaches you to “let it loose and don’t stop” until you can escape.   To be able to respond or defend with surprise and fury is the key.   A person who is wanting to do you harm has a plan on how it is supposed to go.  When we fight back with the fury of a tom cat, our chances of surviving improve.

Adopting a Krav Mindset is creating awareness of what is going on around you.  Checking your “6″ out of habit and noticing people around you.   I know I have a long way to go to become an accomplished Kravist but I can tell you that if anyone messed with me now, they would have a fight on their hands.

Controlled aggression to me is being able to go from a neutral stance to a aggressive response to a threat.  It is that split second change.  To be able to turn that on and respond quickly takes muscle and mind control.   I look forward to reducing my response time and becoming as quick as some of my training partners have been.

Until next time,,,,,,Krav ON!

Krav Mindset

femalerobbersSo glad to be back at Krav Maga class.  This week we learned some more advanced skills.

1 – Learned how to take a gun away from someone when it is pointing at you from the front.
2 – Learned how to get out of a headlock and place a well deserved groin strike while driving the offender to the ground
3 – Learned how to distract with a left jab and follow it up turning around with a hammerfist

Krav Maga not only gives you a very intense cardio workout, it really trains you to focus, look in all directions at the same time and push yourself past the point of when you are tired.  The adrenaline drills at the end of class occur just when you think you can’t take any more.

Frequently I will be out grocery shopping or something after a long 12 hour work day and what pops into my head is, “you know, as tired as you are right now, you could defend yourself and get away if someone were to attack you.”  That is a great feeling.   I truly believe that what you believe in, is what you will do.  If you think you can escape and you train for it and you know that there is that potential out there, your chances of surviving are much better.  Krav teaches you to be aware.  Being aware means not talking on your phone and looking down when you walk in public areas.

When I am going thru the drills with my partner, I know that if I take my mind off of what she is doing for one split second and look away, I could be recipient of a unintentional jab.  No matter how tired I am, i have to focus on her during blocking drills and punching drills.

Someone once asked a police officer which would be more difficult to deal with,  a person trained in martial arts or a druggie gone crazy.  The answer was a druggie gone crazy.   Krav teaches us to defend ourselves with intensity, quickness and surprise.  I may not be the strongest or the biggest, but I’ll work hard to be the quickest and defend with surprise and intensity.

18 classes down……1,532 to go!

on-ground-wrapped-legsAs of now I have 18 classes of Krav Maga completed.  When I first started,  I could not understand why we would do something in week 3 that we did in week 1.   “Didn’t we just do that?”, I would think to myself?   Now I get it.  Muscle memory is so important and that is why we repeat skill drills so that over time you don’t think about what you are doing as much as responding.  Now I am glad for that and it is less a case of “memorizing” then practicing and getting it etched in memory.

One thing I still struggle with is how hard to train.  On one hand, I want to fully go thru the motions and the only way to get a full extension of a move is to do it slow and not at “full power”.   If I go fast, then I don’t follow thru so that I don’t hurt my training partner. It is a fine balance between the two.

This week we learned a new ground defense move which is awesome. I’ll try and explain. The defender is on the ground and the offender is positioned between the legs of the defender.  The offender is trying to punch  the face and head of the person on the ground.  The person on the ground (defender) wraps their legs very tightly around the waist of the offender and then lifts their hips.  The movement of the hips throws them off balance.  The defender moves their hips right and left, forward and back, they cannot get their balance enough to place a 100% power strike at you.   I was amazed at how much control I had of my partner during this exercise.

Travel will keep me from my classes the next two weeks but I will still train hard and as always…..check my six.

No More Scratches

black_youth_sports_wristband_sweatband Someday I will perfect the process of hand wrapping, I promise, I will.  In the meantime, my workout partner and I started using the pink everlast womans’ gloves.  They give you just enough cushion to your knuckles and adequate wrist support.  They are EASY to get on and off.  The bad part is that they scratch like the dickens!   Yes, If I say dickens, I must be over 50 years of age.   You are right.

My workout partner figured out that we can use wrist sweat bands for both covering up the velcro that ultimately scratches your partner as well as serving as a sweat catcher.  Its handy to have that to wipe your brow.   The wraps are easily washed and hold their shape.pink-gloves  Simply put on the gloves, and close the velcro closure on the gloves.  Move the wrist wraps down and over the velcro closure on the gloves.

Thank goodness we found something to stop the scratching.  We found both of the items at a local sporting good store.

I’m finally getting it!

It was 91 degrees tonight and there is no air conditioning in the gym.  It is crazy to say that I was looking forward all day to going!   It wasn’t that bad or maybe I have started to get in shape?  Certainly I ran out of breath a few times.  I think that is to be expected when you are over 50 years old :)  Our skill tonight was choke hold from the side on the ground.  My favorite training partner was there and boy when she choked me, I felt it!  It is great how we are stepping it up a bit.

From the ground, with the choker kneeling on the side, you reach over and pluck one hand off and the other does a throat strike.  Of course, we practice by striking off to the side.  The next part is to bring your knee up under the armpit of the choker and then use your other foot to help them off you with your foot on their face.  We weren’t getting it and I thought maybe because I am 5’8″ and she is closer to 5′.  Then the assistant showed me how I wasn’t moving my upper body with that strike.  I needed to bring that shoulder further forward with the strike.

I think that is the norm and that I need to move the torso into the moves more.  I’m going to work on that as well as perfecting the proper getting up move.  I think the method of getting up is awesome but I need to practice it a lot.  I admire the experienced people in the class that get up with style and grace the proper way from the ground.

in case you are wondering what I am talking about, here is a video link.  This video shows a defense kick prior to getting up but you can see how smooth the get up is and how you are always facing your attacker.

Looking forward to class tomorrow night.  Who knows what we we learn,  What I do know is that every day I am safer, more confident, more fit physically and mentally.


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