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 »

Thinking Outside the Box

Posted: June 3, 2014 in Class

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:

Krav Maga Institute NYC

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Boxing the bear

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 »

Red/Black Achieved

Posted: January 17, 2014 in Class

red-black-beltAt 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.

Video  —  Posted: December 6, 2013 in General
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Feet_on_scaleWeight 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 »