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!
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.
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.
by Josh Greenwood
At 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.
Today I was given the opportunity to post on the awesome blog over at Krav Maga Institute in New York City. They will have a post appearing here on Krav Maga Journey very soon. Keep your eyes open for it!
In the meantime, here’s my take on applying Krav Maga “Fight IQ” to the real world:
As humans, it is so easy to do the least amount of work necessary to get the job done. We are optimizers. When faced with a task in everyday life we immediately — whether we know if or not — try to find a way to do it simply. We don’t like over-complicating tasks and we certainly don’t want to spend more energy, strength, or time needed to do something.
This is as true in the gym and training as it is in the “real world”. Take push-ups, for example. Proper form, to avoid injury and strain on the shoulders, is to have your elbows tucked in, rather than flared out to the side. Flared elbows make the push-ups much less difficult, effectively taking strain off the relatively weaker triceps and putting onto larger, stronger muscle groups such as the shoulders and chest. We’re able to bang out a higher number of reps in a shorter amount of time. More ‘oohs and ahhs‘ from the sidelines, if you will. The downside? Pain and injury and an overall “missing of the point” of doing the exercise in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »
At the end of December, just before Christmas, I tested for my Advanced Red, also known as the Red/Black belt and passed. As with many people around that time of year, wrapping up things at work before taking some time off, holiday stuff, overspending on shopping, and spending time with my family took the majority of my time so it’s only just now that I’m caught up enough to bring this up.
This was a very momentous occasion for me. As you know, I’m a firm believer in belts as goals, and this was one that I was aiming at for quite a while. Nearly as much as the Black Belt, I imagined what it would be like to have a Red/Black tied around my waist back when I was brand new to Krav Maga. No, I didn’t obsess about it or any other belt but I aspired to it. It was a big goal of mine for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being because it is the last belt you can achieve in class. After this belt you’re off to Boot Camp to get sharpened up for the three grueling, crushing tests to achieve the rank of Black Belt. That belt at our school is awarded at a special Black Belt ceremony held outside the school at a larger venue in order to accommodate family and friends attending the event. So the Red/Black, in some ways, is a bittersweet event, the passing into a new phase of goals.
The moment was almost surreal as I look back and reflect on it now. In ways similar to graduating high school or college. You are sitting there thinking about how it somehow took forever and yet practically no time at all to get where you are at that very moment. It seemed like it would never arrive when you were training week after week but looking back it seems like you only just started. You’ve learned so much yet you feel like you’ve only begun. So it was with this introspection that I found myself sitting in a row at the front of the dojo with the rest of the graduates, anxiously awaiting my neatly folded, completely sweat-free (for the moment), colorful new belt. Read the rest of this entry »
This is basically an advertisement for KMG but it’s also an informative look at the history of Krav Maga and what made it what it is today.
Weight plays a huge role in Krav Maga (no pun intended). Who am I to say, you ask? Well, let’s just say that I speak from experience. As you may know, I started Krav Maga training about two and a half years ago pretty darn obese, maybe even ‘morbidly’ obese. I was carrying all that extra weight with me every class, for every push-up, every burpee, every lunge, every squat. And man was it exhausting!
To date, I have lost 82 of those pounds and am shooting for about 18 more before I can consider myself ‘done’ (incidentally, you can see below for an up-to-the-minute view of my progress). As the weight has come off, the change was noticeable. Now I’m not talking about appearance-noticeable, though that certainly was there, I mean noticeable from a physical performance standpoint. The push-ups and squats were getting progressively easier because I was lifting that much less weight with each rep. The running and sprints, I found the same thing. I even stopped wearing my knee brace since I was no longer pounding my knees into submission and getting frequent jumper’s knee. I found it extraordinary how much easier it was not to have to lug all that fat around with me. I was less winded and was amazed at the feeling I got exercising in this new body. Read the rest of this entry »
I realized a while back that the blog posts are okay but sometimes there are topics for which the format just doesn’t handle adequately. These are bigger topics that I feel require more than just several paragraphs to cover sufficiently. So, what to do? Do I create a series of related blog posts over the course of several weeks? I suppose that’s one way to do it. The other way, the way I chose, was to put together a Guide in Kindle format. Hence the concept of the KMJ Guide was born.
This particular Guide is 54 pages long and is the first of several I have planned over the next several months. It’s focused on what’s always been the most popular topic on kravmagajourney.com, namely “what can I expect when I start Krav Maga?” It includes a quick overview of Krav Maga and addresses areas like class structure, sparring, and the “elephant in the room” — fear. It contains tips that will prove very handy in your first 6 months of training (and beyond).
Each tip is inspired by the hundreds of search queries that are performed to land folks on my blog, email questions I get, and questions I see posted frequently on Reddit — so the tips are highly relevant to the kinds of questions new and prospective students might ask. If you are considering Krav Maga, are a new student, or know of someone who is considering giving it a try, take a look and let me know what you think.
I have been thinking a lot about feedback lately. I’m talking about in-class feedback, the kind you get in the “heat of battle”, in the midst of a drill, in the thick of things rather than post-class feedback. There are lots of ways feedback is given and it can come from all sides — from instructors as well as fellow students (more and less experienced than yourself). Some of it is useful, in fact most of it is, but some can be unwarranted, unwanted, poorly timed, and just plain annoying.
So, in my humble opinion, what constitutes good feedback? Well, first let me describe what I think is bad feedback because — despite what some people may tell you — I believe it does exist. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, this is a bit overdue. I celebrated by 2 years of training a month ago on June 1 and earned my Red Belt last week. Life tends to throw things at you that outweigh the blog. Better late than never is what I say!
So here I am. Another step closer towards the Black Belt and (I’d like to think) wiser by a year. Lots has happened this year, of course. I’ve learned some nice techniques including many knife and gun defenses, takedowns, lots of sparring, bear hugs, chokes, and ground defense. Lots of bruises, bumps, fractures, and other minor injuries but thankfully nothing debilitating. Here’s hoping that trend continues into Year Three. Read the rest of this entry »