December 6, 2014 by Nic
So, I attended my first Krav Maga class tonight.
I’ll start with a breakdown of activities:
Class instructor: Char
5 laps around outside of building (I managed 3)
Shadow Boxing Drill: Char told us to shadow box until she said “time”. Then we were to each find a pad on the ground, mount it, and begin punching/attacking it. There were not enough pads for everyone, and if you didn’t get to one first, you had to try to take one away from someone who did get one. Anyone without a pad when she said “time” again had to do 15 sprawls/up downs.
I originally did NOT end up with a pad. I DID manage to steal one from someone, but then I had it stolen from me by this 15 year old kid. I tried like hell to hold onto the thing, but the shit got it away from me. 😦
I managed 3 of the sprawls.
Movement practice: Moving around in fighting stance (“open, close”) – practiced moving in 4 directions and rotating
- Don’t bounce up and down
- Always open your stance, then close it to avoid getting off balance.
Practice technique in front of mirror
Straight punches drill: Pair up, partner moves around, tells you a number, that’s how many times you hit the pad they are holding. Then you switch and hold the pad for them.
Practice technique in front of mirror
Hammer fist drill: Same as above, only you decide yourself how many hammer fists to do, less emphasis on movement.
Injury: I took a hammer fist on the shoulder during this drill – very painful, but probably not injured. Will likely be a decent bruise.
Escape from choke from behind (with push forward)
Technique: Step forward with left foot while shooting right hand up and forward (this stabilizes you and stops forward momentum). Spin with hand still raised (toward raised hand) to break choke hold. Drop that arm to trap aggressors arms, and move forward into side control and continue to attack.
Drill: Take turns practicing this with partner
End of Class Drills (Putting it all together)
Drill: Stand in the middle of 4 people – they are each holding a pad and will attack with it/yell “hey!” – you must respond by attacking that person until someone else attacks/yells at you. Take turns until everyone has been in the middle.
(I think there was something in the middle of these that I can’t remember)
Drill: 2 people “slap box” while 2 others attack them with pads – they must respond to the attackers and each other.
Class ended a few minutes late, no cool down
This was exhausting! I was gassed in the first few minutes, and the rest was just survival.
I DO like the emphasis on real world application. Choke holds weren’t practiced in a static way – there was the (accurate) assumption that the attacker would be moving, not just walking up behind you and politely grabbing your neck.
One thing that threw me off was the lack of control (I can’t think of a better way to put it) that occurred in the class. The last drill devolved to the point where the kid was just swinging the pad at people, whacking them with it. Me and one other person were icing minor injuries by the end. Power was encouraged before full control was developed. In some ways, this seems appropriate for a class like Krav – in a real world situation, you have to just react and you won’t have perfect technique or great control. The bumps and bruises that result from a class like this also probably have good application – I got punched the shoulder and took an elbow to the jaw (lightly, which is lucky) – and anytime you practice taking contact, I have to believe you improve your ability to take contact…
I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about the (perceived) lack of control. It has never happened in any traditional karate class I’ve been in, but then, no traditional karate class I’ve been in has been nearly as focused on preparing me to actually defend myself as this one is.
My Physical Conditioning:
I had to stop drilling multiple times to catch my breath (I was feeling pretty lightheaded and a bit nauseous). I didn’t participate at all in the last drill, which I was kinda glad for, after seeing how it “devolved.”
After class, I talked to Char for a couple minutes, and she encouraged me to come back, and said getting in shape was the tough part, but that I have “good strikes.”
It’s been about 7 hours since the class now, and I am feeling fatigued and a little headachy, but otherwise okay. My shoulder is tender to the touch and some movement hurts and my upper back/shoulder muscles are stiff. I also had a nosebleed about 4 hours after class, but it was small and brief, and possibly unrelated.
So, that was Krav Day 1. I’ll be back, but I’m not sure if I’ll go tomorrow (the thought is a bit much at the moment) or wait until Monday.