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  1. CL says:

    Love all your site and dedication to Krav Maga! I stocked up on the champion oatmeal and passed my green test a few months ago – i think the oatmeal is what kept me going! I get A LOT of mat time, 3 hours a day) so advancing to Green belt in 9 months wasn’t a surprise since it was pretty much my part-time job, but I know that getting to Blue is only tougher. I looked to see if you’d written anything about getting to Blue, but didn’t find any specific articles, and was wondering if you could write something about that level and its challenges. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the positive feedback! It’s good to know that some of my blog posts resonate with others out there.

      As you know, schools differ from one to the other, not only in their ranking system (some use belts, some use patches, some don’t rank at all) but also in the way that they test. The school I go to has a belt system — from White to Black — which uses monthly stripes for incremental advancement. Each stripe is earned through a test that runs through that month’s training. The third stripe (up until Brown) signifies proficiency in that particular 3-month cycle and earns the student their next rank (belt). Once you’re at Brown in my school you have to get 6 stripes to the next belt.

      It is at the Red/Black belt where a student enters a 6 month Boot Camp to run through every technique they’ve learned (and then some!). A series of three, progressively more difficult, tests take place during this Boot Camp. Passing all three earns you the coveted Black Belt. Having been through this I can attest that it is incredibly difficult and pushes your mind and body to their absolute limits.

      So, although I can’t speak to you school’s curriculum or testing methodology, I can offer up some (probably rather obvious) advise:

      • * Train, train, train (sounds like you have this one covered!).
      • * Review your techniques, no matter how basic, with a trusted partner.
      • * Be open to critiques and don’t settle for “good enough”.
      • * Keep track of your training and test prep in a journal or notebook. I use Evernote faithfully because it’s available on my computer and smartphone.
      • * Work outside of class, not only on your techniques, but also on non-Krav exercise. You can bike, run, swim, do push-ups…whatever. The goal is simply not to get accustomed to just training on the mat and in class. Broaden your activities to increase your endurance and keep things interesting and engaging.
      • * Go through class like a Black Belt. What I mean by that is, don’t limit yourself and train below your potential. Always strive to “be your goal” and it will come to you more easily.
      • * Testing is as much a mental thing as it is physical. Get comfortable in your techniques, your preferences, and trust in your body’s abilities.

      Hope this helps you some. Best of luck!

      • CL says:

        Thanks for the reply, and excellent advice! I especially like the journaling idea – I only just recently started to write things down as I realized that many techniques keep slipping as soon as I learned ’em, so I’ll definitely start doing that! Lovin’ the bullet points as well, I’ll start incorporating endurance training outside of krav training. And most importantly of all: mental training! Thanks again!

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