So 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.
As 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.
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. 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.
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.
I am so glad I went to watch the level 2 test. What I expected was not all that close to the actual test. There was a workshop in advance of the actual test to review some of the releases. Anyone could participate in the workshop. There were several onlookers. Sometimes I wonder if they are thinking of taking on Krav Maga or have already passed on from level 1.
I do know now that when the next test date comes up, if I have enough classes in, I’m going for it. Even if I were to not make it the first time, it is a great experience.
After watching the test, I am wondering a few things. Should I start working out now without gloves to get my hands used to it? When you test, you cannot wear gloves for most of the test. Also I don’t train with a mouth piece? Is that a mistake too? I am thinking with a mouth piece it will be harder to talk or breathe. Some say that you breath better as it forces you to use your nose more than your mouth.
It is difficult to explain to people why I want to go to Krav Maga tomorrow night and will look forward to it all day. It will be 95 degrees, humid and no air conditioning. Why do we push ourselves and work harder? Most people would stay home in the air conditioning on the couch.
Tonight was the first time I was back since 2 or 3 weeks. Although I have been working out, and have taken a couple of private self defense class, I was still happy to be back in Krav Maga class. My workout partner was in class too and we were doing great on all of our warm up and drills.
At sometime during the evening, I made the mistake of asking her, “I wonder which of us will be the first to draw blood from the other.” It seemed the furthest thing from my mind and we continued to workout. It was great to be back in training and we had decided together to work a little harder and train a little more vigorously.
Tonights drill was a choke hold from behind with a push from behind (during the choke). We practiced stepping forward with one leg and raising the opposite arm straight up, turn 180 degrees and then bring down that arm of the choker and breaking the hold. The part of bringing down the arm is what we were struggling with. It seems as though if we didn’t trap their arm from the choke hold, that we would be leaving our face wide open for a jab. The class assistant showed us how to bring the arm straight down and how it not only breaks the hold on your neck but also brings their arm down with the thrust down. The next time I practiced the release, my elbow brushed the face of my partner enough to break the skin. Oh my goodness, did I feel horrible. I knew that it may happen some day but didn’t think it would be that soon. Fortunately, a bandaid stopped the bleeding and we went right back into training. She let me know later, that it was okay but required a butterfly bandaide to have it heal quicker. I know it happens and may happen again, but it is still makes you feel bad that you hurt your partner, even if it is just a small abrasion. I know if it was me that was hurt, I would not be upset and consider it a possibility in this sport.
Have you ever injured your partner during training? Did you feel horrible? Did your partner get even? (Just kidding)
This weekend I am going to watch the test for Level 2 and participate in the workshop. I think it will be several more months before I am ready to take the test but I look forward to watching and cheering on the others and capturing their day in video for them.
I only wish that there were more places to learn Krav Maga and more great instructors like we have. Women have no idea of how they can learn to increase their odds of survival. I guess the first step is for the average woman to accept the fact that they are at risk no matter where they go. It can happen anytime, anyplace to anyone, anywhere.
As you know I am hooked on Krav Maga and also travel frequently. Sometimes classes are not close enough to be able to make it. I have searched and searched and will be looking to you, my readers to provide some guidance.
Last night I went to a martial arts facility thinking I was going to an adult ming chun class and ended up getting a private self defense class from a competitive black belt MMA fighter. He was very informative and there were a few similarities between what I have learned in Krav Maga and what he taught me.
A couple of things he stated frequently are: Never, never go to the ground unless it is your last resort. If you are getting ready to strike, never pull back and then you will be “broadcasting” your punch. All jabs or strikes come from the front of your body with your weight balanced on both feet. Never stand on the balls of your feet or be leaning to one side. You have much more force when you have both feet on the ground.
We learned defensive techniques against a front choke and also to release a grab from behind. He showed me how to do jabs to the rear without turning my upper body and only my hips.
There was not a cardio portion of this training. I can get cardio in other ways, so that is not a problem.
Here is my question for you…. when I am not able to get to a Krav Maga class, what is the best way to continue training? Go to a martial arts facility and learn a new skill that may enhance my Krav Maga? If so, what would that martial art be? Should I order DVD’s to practice on my own? Should I try and find someone who also practices it, but is not an instructor? Should I read about Krav Maga so that I don’t learn bad habits and just train when I can? I’m looking for your input!