Thursday, January 31, 2019

Miscellany: Krav Maga class journal, month 2

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.

The second month of class started repeating most of the techniques I learned in the first month (the beginner's Krav curriculum isn't voluminous), so I'll glide over stuff that's been covered previously.

Session 9

Class opened with a shoulder tag warmup, interspersed with partner push-ups and partner sit-ups. We then trained front kicks from various positions - a full fighting stance, an unprepared neutral stance, and then seated in a chair. We drilled hair grab escapes and wrist grab releases (which weren't a heavy focus as they're not life-threatening like a choke). The end of class drill was a mix of wrist releases, hair grabs, and more aggressive wrist grabs that justified a combative response.

Session 10

This was the last class before Christmas. A couple of prospective students came in, so we did running around the room as a warm-up. We then practiced knees from the side position, 360 degree defense, and side kicks (which aren't strictly part of the basic curriculum):

The final self-defense drill was something I dub "shopping mall horror" - we trained breaking through a busy crowd with our elbows, and then immediately executed a 360 degree defense against a surprise attacker.

Session 11

In-between Christmas and New Year's was an "open-mat night." None of my normal beginner's level classmates were there, only folks from the advanced class. I practiced some basic striking and shadowboxing on my own, and then joined some of the others for some non-stop round kick practice:

Session 12

The first class after the break was chock full of new students, probably people fresh off New Year's resolutions. We did a lot of striking - punches, forward kicks, side knees, then front choke escapes:

Session 13

We practiced jab and cross straight punches with focus mitts, rear hammerfists (tip: turn your hips - they can't be all arm), then punching and hammerfist drills.  The self-defense portion was a rear choke defense. I needed to work on stepping into the attacker.

Session 14

After working on our jab punches, we drill forward, side, and rear horizontal elbows, side knees and then takedown defense. I need to work on fluidity with my elbows. You're not supposed to chamber them in order to get more power; the idea is that you've been startled at close range and have to throw the elbow ASAP:

Session 15

We practice front kicks to a vertical target, and then upkicks from the ground. Then some groundfighting; it's the same trap and roll technique we've done previously. I find that drilling it over and over again makes me dizzy, and I have to check out of the last 10 minutes of class.

Session 16

This class is all about side knees, punching, and rear hammerfists. Then we do a "monkey in the middle" drill, where one person has to alternate fending off two attackers.

Session 17

The warmup in this class was intense. We play push-up hand tag, and then form into 2 big groups, with everyone doing the plank position shoulder to shoulder to form a human tunnel. The guy at the end crawls through the tunnel, and then everyone does a pushup before the next guy comes through. We practice a total defense posture in a cover-up drill, tagging an incoming attacker with a right cross, and inside defenses.

Session 18

Front kicks, round kicks, 360 degree defense, and then front choke defense.

Session 19

This class was all groundwork. First we learn how to strike effectively from a mounted position, as well as upkicks. Next, we practice using our feet and knees to keep a standing attacker from gaining a mounted position. Finally, we do a hug, trap, and roll drill, which again makes me dizzy enough to stop before we finish.


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