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As I’m sure you’d agree, push-ups are a great way to increase your fitness level.  Problem is, it’s way too easy to cheat by flaring out your elbows or not maintaining a straight alignment during the motion.  Cheating is hardly the worst part of it as improper elbow alignment can (and usually does) cause some pretty painful damage to your shoulders.  I know this because I used to card carrying member of the Bad Posture Push-Up Cheaters Club for Men.  It wrenched my shoulders pretty bad and took several weeks to get back to normal (much of it involving lacrosse ball therapy on the sore muscles).   Read the rest of this entry »

As o4f June 1st, I have been training in Krav Maga for 4 years. In some ways it seems like it’s been an eternity, in other ways it seems like I only just started. Some techniques that seemed impossible as a White Belt are second nature and require no conscious thought to perform today. Same goes with many of our exercises. I remember so vividly when I was starting out how hard it was to simply hold a plank. It was common at the end of class for us to be instructed to hold a plank a full minute and there I’d be, trembling and shuddering under the strain to keep it together. I never did end up getting to a full minute in those first several months but, over time, that and so many other things I once thought impossible have opened up to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Since I started training in Krav Maga a few years ago, I find myself engaging in a fun and educational activity. While watching fights break out on TV or in the movies I’d be thinking about what a particular character did well or maybe what they should/could have done differently for potentially a better outcome. I am thinking in terms of avoiding the conflict, defusing the conflict, or — when it’s too late and it’s going down — what they should have done to end the fight. It’s an interesting way to spark a discussion about Krav Maga and self-defense in general. And heck, these days, violence being so prevalent in our media, there are so many opportunities to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Fuel Choices

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Class, Food
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The-WallIt doesn’t take many classes to realize that Krav Maga training is a very high-intensity activity. Without proper nutrition prior to class — and many times, boosts of energy during class –it is all too easy to “bonk”, or “hit the wall”. This is when your body is out of energy reserves (stored in the form of glycogen in your muscles and liver), resulting in dizziness, fatigue, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I like hitting up one of my special oatmeal concoctions a few hours prior to training or sparring. There are a lot of other great choices to be had as well, the best of which have a good balance of complex sugars, protein, carbs, and fiber. This is pre-training nutrition and is pretty straight-forward as you don’t have to rush to eat it, aren’t jittery from adrenaline, and don’t have to fish it hastily out of your bag between drills, etc. — unlike your nutrition during your training. It will keep you going through a 1 to maybe 2 hour class, though you will likely begin “feeling the deficiency” into that second hour. Read the rest of this entry »

A Brief Note About “The Cosby Quote”

Posted: December 28, 2014 in Book, Quotes

bill-cosby-himself-1It deeply saddens me to see the allegations coming Bill Cosby’s way about his alleged misconduct during the past several decades. If true — and it would certainly seem like at least a large part of the allegations are, given the sheer number of women coming forward to speak out against him — it is utterly appalling, unforgivable, and devastating to the many who grew up admiring the man and his humor, myself included. As a kid, I spent endless hours listening to his albums over and over and to this day still have a majority of his routines memorized word for word. I marveled at his ability to tell a story in such an engaging, humorous, and relatable way to his audience. And one of the most incredible things about it was that he was able to do it with hardly ever swearing (if memory serves, he cursed once in all the routines I ever heard), no small feat.

I bring this up on the blog because the first two editions of my book “What to Expect When Starting Krav Maga” included one of Bill Cosby’s quotes (eerily, it was the section about Fear). The quote read: “Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it“. Disregarding the source of the quote and the reasons Cosby is in hot water for the moment, I think it is a pretty good quote and appropriate to your mindset as you start, and indeed continue, your Krav Maga training. However…the source! Bill freaking Cosby! Read the rest of this entry »

Black Belt Achieved!

Posted: December 7, 2014 in Class
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Training Partners

belt2-blackWell, after 3 and a half years of hard training (including 6 intensive months of Boot Camp) I passed my third and final test yesterday for my first degree Black Belt!

And here we are on the right. Yes, that is a bit of blood near the collar of my shirt from sparring (mashed nose and no tissues in sight, you know…), those are bruised shins and I am completely soaked with sweat (along with some mud from outdoor drills and runs in the rain), and that’s one hell of a training partner standing next to me, Mr. Kurt Cederholm.

I was truly blessed with the best group of comrades and instructors who made this part of the journey so rewarding and fulfilling. It was a long trip with tons of surprises and challenges — and I wouldn’t change a damn minute of it.

All’s been quiet on the blog front as I’ve been focusing all of my attention on getting ready to do my very best on the test.  Now that it’s behind me I can rest, heal, and reflect.  Then it’ll be time to set my sights on the next big goal.

Stay tuned! Lots more to come.

A Vivid Imagination

Posted: November 14, 2014 in Attitude, Class, Technique

heroOne topic that gets little to no attention when talking about Krav Maga training is the role of imagination. I mean, as in imagining being attacked, being the Attacker, and so on. All of these roles involve having a good imagination and “playing along” or else the person being the Defender is not applying their training in a way that simulates reality.

Let’s take an example. Say you and your partner are working on a knife technique like an overhand (or ice pick) stab. Your Attacker drives down with the knife, you defend it by creating your 360 defense and bursting in with a counter-punch to their face. What you’re simulating here (but not fully executing) is a nice smash to the Attacker’s face, one that would “short circuit” their brain and result in them halting their downward thrust of the knife for a split second. In reality, this is what would happen. Don’t believe me? Let’s try an exercise to illustrate this point. Try picking something up off the floor and, when you just grasp it, have a partner kick you as hard as they can in the ass. Go ahead. I’ll wait… Read the rest of this entry »

My 3-Year Retrospective

Posted: August 8, 2014 in Attitude, Class, Technique

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Long Way to Go, Gratitude, Thinking/Not Thinking, and Taking it Off

The past June I passed my three-year milestone. My training is now a toddler, almost out of diapers. Boy, time flies when you’re laying in groin kicks, doesn’t it? Three years of Krav Maga have gone by performing countless clinches, punches, kicks, breakfalls, knees, elbows, and 360 defenses. Not to mention my share of bruises, fractures, sprains, pulls, cuts, and sore muscles. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve hurt my toes this past year!

Except for 3 weeks out of the year (a week vacation for me and two 1-week shutdowns annually for the school), I’ve been training faithfully an average of 3 times a week. No injuries or illness kept me away — knock on wood. So, as of this month, that’s approximately 500 one-hour classes of training. Of course there were some seminars here and there and sometimes I’ve logged 4, maybe even 5 or 6, classes per week but  this is a pretty good ballpark estimate. I’m in it for the long haul. Read the rest of this entry »

Qualities in Krav Maga

Posted: July 17, 2014 in Poll, Technique

Here is some very interesting data based on a poll I published a few years ago.
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What are your thoughts?

I am in the process of putting together another book as well as considering moving my “What to Expect When Starting Krav Maga” Guide to a printed format. At this point I am completely ignorant of what current sentiments are around Kindles. I am a die-hard printed book guy myself but do own a Kindle as well. Although few things in life compare to the smell and feel of a physical book in your hand, you can’t compete with the convenience of carrying an entire library in the palm of your hand.

Anyhow, to help me out, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind clicking below to help me make sense of which format(s) I ought to be considering. Your help, as always, is appreciated!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FZYKRCV

Setting Your Goals

Posted: July 15, 2014 in Attitude, Inpirational, Video

This is a really interesting video by Tony Robbins about setting goals (it’s a playlist of 35 minutes but very much worth it). He released it a few years ago around New Years as a motivational message to help people keep their resolutions but it’s just as relevant throughout the rest of the year. One of the more compelling messages in it for me was that, in order for you to make lasting change you have to “raise your standard”.

Whether or not you are a fan of motivational speakers, if you have the chance to do so, I challenge you to give this a chance, sit back and take it in. There is a lot of food for thought in here that I think can help us all get to the next level in our training goals.

Fear and Krav Maga

Posted: June 6, 2014 in Attitude, Class, Injury

Recently I was given the opportunity to post an article on the blog over at the Krav Maga Institute. In return, today’s post is courtesy of Josh Greenwood.

Fear

by Josh Greenwood

kniferAt some point in all of our lives we’ve experienced this dreaded feeling. It’s creeped up on us, surprised us, and even punched us right in the gut when we least expected it. Fear is something that is never going to go away. But why would we want to live without one of our bodies’ original self-preservation mechanisms!

As fighters and Kravists fear is a daily battle and something that we learn to harness every time we step onto that mat or venture out into the world around us.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should be scared of everything around us! Fear, False Evidence Appearing Real. I’ve heard that from many people I’ve met in my life and from all different walks of life. We need to realize that fear is nothing more than a tool we can harness. It is then when we can truly progress to that next level past someone who just does something to someone who embodies that something. Here are five fears that most people have when training, fighting, and defending oneself.

Fear to freeze and not speak up

AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! It’s easy enough to type out but if I asked you to go out into a crowded intersection and scream at the top of your lungs a vast majority of people couldn’t do it! That could be the difference of going home or getting drug into a side alley and assaulted. Getting others attention to a violent situation is key to the first step of prevention. We have a fight or flight response, but what people don’t talk about as much is the response that can take over when we experience immense and sudden fear, freezing. Your body shuts down and you can’t move let alone call for help. The only way to experience this is through intense stress inoculation drills. In Krav Maga we train every scenario as if our life is on the line. This is the only way to learn to harness that fear and turn it into intense focus for survival.

Read the rest of this entry »