Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Krav Maga

Several months ago my Husband tossed around the idea of joining a gym and starting Krav Maga.......

Krav Maga from Wikipedia 
(The name in Hebrew means "hand-to-hand-combat".)
A noncompetitive eclectic self-defense system developed in Israel that involves striking techniques, wrestling and grappling. Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and extremely efficient. brutal counter-attacks.
Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing threat neutralization, simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers, and aggression. Krav Maga is used by Israeli Defense Forces, both regular and special forces, and several closely related variations have been developed and adopted by law enforcement and intelligence forces, special police and military.  
                          .......we've been talking about doing more things together  for a while.  It just so happens that his handful of hobbies don't fall into my definition of a good time (and vice versa).  
  • George wants to jump out of an air plane - I want to have my feet planted on the ground waiting for him to land.  
  • George likes to race motorcycles and cars - I like to read books.   
  • George likes to shoot assault riffles - I have mad glue gun skills. 

Are you seeing a pattern here?

After watching a few Krav Maga style fights on YouTube, the passive part of me couldn't help but think my Husband was out of his freaking mind.  Outside of "day dream" beating the hell out of my high school arch nemesis, I've never been in a physical altercation and couldn't imagine I ever would or could be.  

Since moving over 2000 miles away from friends and family (5 years ago) I've gained a very different perspective on life.  
  • From trying new foods (eating vegetables for me was always a struggle - comparable to eating some of the grotesque things you see on Fear Factor)
  • To getting my CCW (guns have always freaked me out)
  • To flying 3 - 5 times a year (my first flight was when I was 25 - always said I'd never fly).  
So, even though Krav Maga sounded absurd, I wasn't ready to completely dismiss the idea. 

Krav Maga used in the movie Enough

We continued to research the fighting style and began to "condition" ourselves a few weeks prior to our trial run.  

  • Defend Yourself in Any Situation
  • Get into Great Shape - strength, stamina, endurance, and flexibility will also increase
  • Great for Stress Reduction – many people deal with stress because they are fearful and anxious. When you learn Krav Maga, you’ll learn how to deal with that stress, how to function with it, and how you can recover. You’ll also learn how to get tough internally and externally. Also, since it is such a high energy workout, it will work as a stress reliever too.
  • Confidence in Yourself will be Built
  • Situational Awareness
  • Exciting Training that is Enjoyable - something the Husband and I can do together!
  • Fear of getting hurt
  • Fear of looking stupid
  • Laziness (as in I'm lazy and don't want to sweat)
  • Expensive

Decisions, decisions....

Day 1 (Trial Day)

The moment we stepped into the gym we had a few moments before things got real.   There was a mix of young and old.  Men and woman lined up in a straight line facing the eager instructors.  We were directed to turn around and bow to the photo of Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder of the Krav Maga self defense systems then back around to our instructors then again to one another (I'm making it sound like this took a long time - really about 3 seconds).

After  warm up exercises we were thrown into some serious cardio drills - jumping jacks, lunges, bicycle crunches, sit ups, push ups, football drills (running in place like a crazy fool), partner push ups (face to face - push up - clap your partner's hand - push up - hand clap - etc ) up, down, up, down.... repeat....

Water break / internal cursing

Find a partner - same sex.

We learned how to get out of a bear hug - from behind and/or from the side.
Combat drill  - 40 minutes or so
  • Partner holds flat punching bag
  • Instructor calls out each command
    • covers - (partner drives punching bag into your head while you attempt to block it with forearms and elbows
    • knees - (grip your partners neck with the right palm, grab their bicep with the left hand and drill your knee into their groin aka the punching bag)
    • palm strikes (constant striking with palm)
  • Third person comes behind to bear hug - going back and forth from getting out of bear hug and following through with punching bag commands
Last 10 minutes of class - cardio drills again

So - we sign up

Since then we've done a total of
  • 3 - Krav Maga classes
  • 1 - Punching Bag class

What I've learned (not that I could apply all of the moves successfully just yet)
  • How to get out of a bear hug
  • How to get out of a choke hold
  • elbow strikes
  • palm strikes
  • knee strikes
  • the meaning of "five on three"
  • front kicks
  • side kicks
  • dehydration is serious - found out the hard way
  • I hate cardio - especially army crawls and high jumps
  • I'm gaining weight and it's frustrating
  • I need to stop apologizing and caring if I look stupid while doing this
  • I may need to go back to the Dr and re check my asthma
  • This isn't for sissies ;)

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