Here we are. End of my first week of group classes. Without getting gushy, I’d have to say it was everything I was hoping for. It has also made clear to me that I am in far, far worse shape than I had originally thought.
There were a few surprises for me this week, some good and some bad. Let’s start with the bad, shall we? I really struggled with the back-to-back exercises. A full hour of nearly non-stop, vigorous, full-contact exercise was something I am not accustomed to and my body wasn’t shy about letting me know that. My push-ups ended up being really sad, my crunches started well but tapered to pathetic in 10 seconds flat, and even on a “lighter aerobic” day this week I found myself getting a little light-headed at the exertion from our striking lessons (i.e., punching and kicking). I also had some brain hiccups and sometimes got hung up on my footing. I know that Krav Maga is not as strict on stances as many other styles but I still am haunted by the ghost of my training some 20-odd years ago in Uechi Ryu, where footing was treated with an utterly insane amount of attention.
On the good news front, I really learned a lot. It was a real eye-opening experience and it’s only been a week. I met some great people and by the second class began to realize that half the class was in the same boat as me: in various states of being out of shape, slightly confused, eager to please, and often panicked and overwelmed. I also was able to deliver some power in our striking exercises and picked up many of the techniques rapidly. I learned that it will be a good thing to keep my strength up for delivering brutal, incapacitating strikes. To that end I will maintain my lifting at the gym as much as I can (at least until picking up “Steroid Saturday” workouts — more on that later) and I’m excited that I can now focus my exercises on muscle groups and actions that tie back to techniques learned from class.
The instructors have all been great and very helpful, which is really the key. It’s also the one thing that is near impossible to gauge without actually taking a few classes. In my case I have been very fortunate to be working with some patient, enthusiastic, and helpful instructors. The students also open up in most cases, when given the opportunity. One person in particular was a little frosty on Day 1 (both of our first day, as it happened) but was much more receptive on Day 2, once it was more familiar and less tense.
The pain level experienced “the morning after the night before” has been pretty rough, I have to admit. It’s always present in my thighs and calves and once I felt it in the right side of my jaw due to our knee defense/clinching practice the night before. Luckily I haven’t had any trouble with my arms, back, or neck to speak of. Then again, this is only my first week…