Posted: May 28, 2013 in Food
A while back I wrote a post about what I eat before sparring. I still do that routine fairly often. Lately however, I had been looking to spruce it up a little bit and ran across the idea of refrigerator oatmeal.
Fill me up and I’ll do the same to you!
It’s a pretty basic idea really: you have a base recipe of rolled oats, milk, yogurt, honey and a dash of salt and get creative with other ingredients as you see fit. You can add pineapple and coconut for a piña colada-type concoction. Or maybe cherries and chocolate to create a bit of an indulgence. Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry Maple, Banana Cocoa. Whatever your choice is, you mix it up and toss it in a mason jar in the fridge overnight. When you wake up the next day you have breakfast ready for you. Well, fortunately for me, what I found out is that the overnight component to the recipe spoke more to the convenience of the meal rather than a necessary part of the preparation. In other words, I found that you can mix the same ingredients up and leave it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so — rather than overnight — for pretty much the same results. This is great because this is a great meal a couple hours before hitting the mats. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 18, 2013 in Attitude, Belts
“If your karate is good enough you do not need a black belt to prove it, and if it is not, then you should not wear one.
– Eiichi Miyazato
I think my driver changed. No longer am I motivated so much by belts. The strip of cloth we tie around our midsection. Sure they are a extremely helpful as goals and a visible result of our hard work and dedication that we actually can wear. What I’m finding though is that I am more driven by the prospect of an increase in skill, a better sense that I’m “gettin’ it”, and a more solid feeling that I can really use this stuff to protect myself if I ever need to.
Up until fairly recently, I have been focusing on the goal of being a Black Belt as my primary motivation. I have realized that this is all wrong, at least for me. With each new belt stripe and new belt color I get one step closer to Black Belt but I also get less and less jazzed about the belt itself and more excited about what the skills I’m obtaining. I wear mine every class despite the fact that few students at my school do not (except Black Belts). This is not done as a something that I hope triggers envy in White Belts but as a visible reminder to myself alone that I’ve made progress and should always strive to make progress. Every day, every class — without exception.
So why do we want to be Black Belts? That Final Destination. For some it’s a Bucket List item. In fact, I’ve seen a surprisingly high percentage of students bail within 6 months of getting said belt. For others a Black Belt is a personal challenge, like running a marathon. For some it’s to boast to everyone who’ll listen (the vast majority of people who do listen, by the way, will not give a rat’s ass, by the way). For others it might be a way to get recognition and respect (i.e., in a dojo) where they might not get it so easily outside in the real world. Maybe their spouse, boss, siblings, and co-workers think they’re a nicompooop but at the dojo, with a Black Belt, they are respected. Really though, who knows what drives someone else to do what they do? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 3, 2013 in Sparring, Technique
I’ve noticed that many martial art styles like to think of themselves as complete systems. For most practical purposes they probably are for the purposes they were designed for. Meaning no disrespect or trying to minimize any of the following arts I’d say that, at their core, BJJ is a complete style for sport ground fighting, WTF style Taekwondo is well constructed for point fighting, and Krav Maga is a complete system for self-defense. Or are they? Is it even possible for any style to be 100% complete?
I’ve heard and read so many times that Krav Maga lacks a good ground game and if you get taken to the ground where “all fights end up” (more on that some other time!) then you are toast. I don’t completely buy into that. My school, and many others I’m sure, focuses a good percentage of time talking about ground defense — how to get up off the ground, out of some chokes and headlocks, and how to prevent getting taken down in the first place. My school also incorporates many CT-707 ground (and other) techniques into the curriculum which helps too. But I don’t delude myself for one minute into thinking that Krav Maga teaches 100% of what I’d need if I were to be tackled by, say, a BJJ Black Belt who’s determined to jump me in a dark alley and throw me on the ground and into a triangle choke. Krav Maga is simply not a “ground fighting” or grappling style at its core just like it’s not known for its nunchaku prowess or its numerous throws and joint locks. This is not to say Krav Maga is incapable of addressing this situation at all but simply that BJJ addresses triangle chokes and ground fighting more thoroughly because of its design and goals. Styles can’t be 100% of what students need for every opponent, for every situation, against every conceivable attack. How could they? It’s impossible. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 24, 2013 in Attitude, Injury, Legal
The scariest moment is always just before you start. - Stephen King
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we are conditioned by society to try to get along, not make waves, and are pressured not to stand out in social settings. I guess this varies by the rules of your society (e.g., what country or part of that country you’re from) as well as your age, personal upbringing, social circle, and genetic makeup but in general it’s safe to say that we are not in a position to jump up on the middle of a school play or town hall meeting and make a scene, creating a focus and center of attention on ourselves. I know a bunch of people who fall outside this statement but I stand by it being pretty much dead on for the rest of us. Lots of people won’t get involved and it’s been proven that the larger the crowd the less likely people are to get involved and help someone in trouble (see the “Genovese syndrome” for more on that).
These tendencies are not our friend when it comes to defending ourselves or loved ones in trouble. It’s even worse when — in addition to these tendencies — we are also highly prone to freeze when attacked abruptly. A lot’s been written about freezing (Rory Miller’s got some great material on this and some ways you can minimize the freeze) but suffice it to say that it’s when you’re confronted by immediate danger (say, a mugging) and turn into a “deer in the headlights”, unable to snap out of it. As I’ve read it, this happens to everyone, despite their training or preparedness, and can only be lessened, not eliminated. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 12, 2013 in Food
A little while back I wrote about Gatorade and my hard realization that it wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you read that you’ll recall my lamenting that I don’t live down in a tropical climate with a lemon tree in my backyard. Because of this I was resorting to bottled juices for convenience as well as cost reasons. While this is not a horribly bad thing, it’s just not lemon. I love me some lemon!
Fast forward several months to my discovery of True Lemon. Whoa is it good. Comes in sugar packet-like….uh, packets…and when dissolved in liquid tastes JUST. LIKE. LEMON. Amazing. My first question was: does it include any nasty artificial sweeteners? That’s usually how manufacturers ruin a good thing. Del Monte No Sugar Added fruit, low calorie flavored waters — heck, even SodaStream has Splenda in its regular sodas! Imagine my happiness when I read the ingredients on True Lemon and saw that it has NO artificial sweeteners (or sugar) at all! Just pure crystallized lemons. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 5, 2013 in Attitude, Belts
A few weeks ago I earned my Brown Belt. I’ve written about belts at my school before, of course. It’s a natural thing to fixate on and, particularly to younger or newer students, is a very important aspect of training initially. I say ‘initially’ because in many cases (definitely for me) the whole concept wears off and you’re not quite as enamored with them after several months. Yes, they are great milestones and goals, don’t get me wrong. Getting a new belt is a huge achievement and something that everyone at my school earns with a lot of extremely hard work. It’s just that, as a student, the training itself becomes the obsession rather than the long strip of cloth you’ve got strapped around your midsection. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 15, 2012 in Equipment, Sparring, Technique
I love sparring. I frequent /kravmaga and other subreddits on reddit.com where the topic occasionally comes up. In a comment last month, for instance, I suggested some tips from my experience in the time I’ve been sparring that got some positive feedback. I’ve brought my tips over to this blog, modified them slightly, and expanded on them.
Now, admittedly, I have a long way to go before I’d consider myself proficient but I think I’ve been learning enough to contribute a couple of tips. Of course, the vast majority of the pointers below come from the instructors. I’ve hung onto them. They’re gold. The other few are my personal observations, usually as the result of doing the opposite and paying the price somehow or another. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 22, 2012 in Attitude, Food
Today’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. where I live. It’s not just a time to stuff ourselves silly with good food and spend time with family and friends, it’s also a time to stop and think about all the things we have to be grateful for. For me, it obviously extends to many aspects of my life: my family, my job, house, health, etc. Since this is a Krav Maga blog, however, I want to focus a few minutes on Krav Maga and one thing in particular that I am thankful for. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 28, 2012 in Attitude, Technique
Everyone has a plan until they’ve been hit.
~ Joe Lewis
I don’t know how long you have trained, how big/strong you are, how vicious a fighter you are but I can tell you this: you can get beat up. You are not invincible. Your martial art is not perfect nor have you perfected it. It has likely prepared you for defending yourself better than the average person, especially if it’s a RBSD style like Krav Maga, but you are not invulnerable. That’s right. I said it. I don’t know you but I can tell you with complete certainty that you can be beat. You can be hurt. You can lose a fight. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 14, 2012 in Attitude, Class, Older
I had to get up run in the morning for 2 hours, go to the gym and also get good opponents as sparring partners because I’m a big believer in that how you train is how you will fight; at least when it came to me that’s how it worked.
- Alexis Arguello
Photo courtesy of “Mixed Martial Arts in DC News Blog”
Few things can mess up your training than ending up with the wrong partner. A partner is not someone who just holds pads, succumbs to (or administers) the technique of the moment, or someone opposite you who’s waiting their turn. They are an integral part of your training and their importance cannot be overstated.
I’ve had bad partners, good partners, and phenomenal partners. If a partner’s no good you run the risk of being barraged with meaningless/inaccurate critiques, getting slightly (or seriously!) injured, not learning the techniques being focused on that day to the fullest, getting frustrated, or constantly having to readjust yourself (in a bad way) to accommodate your partner’s shortcomings. All of these make for a horrible training session in my book. True, there’s something you can salvage from even these sessions but, having been through a fair share of bad ones, I’d just as soon not have to be in that position if it can at all be avoided. Hey, I’m here to learn and only have 2 or 3 sessions per week to get it right so why not make each minute really count? Read the rest of this entry »