Sunday, December 16, 2018

Miscellany: Krav Maga class journal, month 1

I was getting really out of shape, so I'm taking a local beginner's Krav Maga class. I'll post updates here, mostly for myself but also to give people an idea of what you might expect if you sign up for one of these things.

Session 2

Remember how I wondered whether the warm-up exercises would be the same every class? Well, they aren't. The calisthenics in this session consisted of brutal core work: sit-up punches, leg raises, etc. In terms of technique, we drilled straight punches and straight forward kicks, and practiced some real basic 360 degree defense versus knives:

Session 3

The warm-up for today was "shoulder touch," where you and a partner try to touch each other's shoulders without getting touched back; I think it's designed to promote hand-eye coordination and dodging, rather than blocking.

As far as techniques go, we trained knees from the Muay Thai clinch, rear elbows, and then various bearhug defenses (you "base" against the attack by adopting a wide stance, dropping your weight, and bracing your arms, then strike the attacker however you can, such as with a rear elbow or a front groin hit). In the "self-defense" portion, the lights were turned off and half of us split off as roving attackers to bearhug random people.

Session 4

I arrived to class late, and the students were already shimmying sideways on their backs on the ground, crawling with their forearms, and doing a front military crawl. We workshopped jabs and crosses, drilled rear hammerfists, and practiced escaping from simple rear forearm bars and carotid chokes (not real rear naked chokes quite yet).

Session 5

After a shoulder touch warm-up, we drilled "elbows four through seven," i.e., elbows from various positions. We covered a basic sprawl defense against a takedown attempt, as well as an escape from a standing choke from the side:

In the self-defense portion of the class, we went out onto the parking lot and hid behind cars, with people taking turns as chokers and defenders.

Session 6

Shoulder touch warm-up again, and then some striking practice - one-two combos while advancing forward, downward hammerfists and elbows, and forward knees from the basic sprawl position we covered last class. Ms. Hwang demonstrated a basic guillotine choke for use against a double leg takedown defense, both in free space and against a wall.

Session 7

Yet another shoulder touch warm-up, and then a cover-up and explode drill (your partner pushes and lightly hits you with pads while you're in full defense position, and then you punch out when there's a chance). The bulk of the class is spent on the ground - we learn a ground defense stance, upward kicks from the ground, getting up safely, and bucking and rolling against a mounted attacker.

Session 8

This marked about a month of training for me. We start with the back shimmy warm-up (it's tough, you're not supposed to use your feet or elbows) and a punch-and-advance drill, then do some training with the fence/interview position and straight punches. From there, we drill an "inside defense" against straight punches:

Next is a defense against rear chokes, which involves a shoulder turn and stance change. We then combine the two, partnering up against each other for inside defenses while roaming attackers use chokes.


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