I love when things just fall into your lap. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine decided she wanted to take self-defense classes and the general Facebook consensus was that you just couldn’t beat Krav Maga. It’s an Israeli self-defense system that’s boasted as being one of the most “battle-tested” and highly used in law enforcement. It looks a little something like this:
That, by the way, is Fit and Fearless, one of my new favorite places. After hearing Day talk about how awesome the workout was and how much she was learning, I took her up on her offer to join her for a free intro class. You can’t dispute free, really.
When I showed up, the teacher for the class that day pulled me aside for a few minutes just to catch me up on basic stance and technique since I would be taking a Level 1 class, one step above the Beginners class that takes you through the basics. What immediately struck me though, was that each stance and movement wasn’t just about how to do it correctly, but why it’s done that way. I’m immediately more attracted to things when there’s underlying logic and reason to each aspect.
For example: In your ready stance you hands are always up, 6-8 in. from the face, with palms open.
My instinct after 2 years of childhood karate was to make fists, which I’m still doing a week in just out of habit. But, this is not defense. The teacher explained that fists automatically incite aggression. Krav Maga is to neutralize threats, not create or advance them. Open hands are more passive, but still guard your face in case things escalate.
Even in my first class I was hitting things. No shadow boxing here (unless it’s to warm up). I learned to punch, how to move around the room, and to finish out I learned how to get out of a headlock and drop a grown man to the ground. Theoretically at least. I was actually throwing my 97 pound best friend to the ground, but I’m hoping the technique will translate.
Of course, after class as I’m sweating and riding an endorphin high, I couldn’t resist when they asked if I wanted to sign up. It’s expensive, yes, but good lord it’s a good use of the money. It’s self-defense first of all, which can easily be invaluable if you ever need to use it, but it’s also the hands-down best workout I’ve ever had in my life.
The goal was to take a class, but this is quickly looking like it could turn into more of a lifestyle. I’ve already been to my second class and a quick private lesson with one of the instructors. I’m now kicking, learning ground movement and….working on some serious abs.