The plan in class this week is:
a) Eradicate the legs.
b) Review everything for the tests next week.
As the instructor, it's my job to make sure every not only knows their material, not only can do it and make it look good, but can do it under less-than-ideal conditions - because that's where real self-defense happens.
So that means reps, and then reps under stress. So that's this week. We'll be covering every technique we've learned in the last eighty-ish days and answering any last-minute classes tha
Only two weeks left until we undergo our quarterly testing. All the material has been presented, drilled, corrected, and (somewhat) stress-tested. Now all that is left is last-minute adjustment and the final press to make sure our conditioning is in place.
No one really knows what's going to happen on that final test, so we have to be ready for anything. The only things we can be sure of is that it will be full of Muay Thai basics and Krav Maga ground defense for BBT, and choke defense for basic.
Remember, "knowing" your Krav Maga defenses is much different than "owning" them. We replicate the stress and the pressure of reality as close as we can in classes while remaining safe, but the truth is that there's no guarantee that anything you've practiced without sufficient stress will happen if you are actually attacked. There is no guarantee of anything, to be exact. But I put much more faith in strategies that have been drilled into your nervous system under stressful conditions than those that haven't. And that's the heart of Krav Maga! For more info, head over to ABDCT.com.
Five newly certified ABD instructors with Nir Maman.
From Thursday - Sunday, September 6 - 9, I underwent Instructor certification in Counter-Terrorist 707 Krav Maga under Nir Maman.
Nir has many distinctions under his belt in the realm of Krav Maga and other systems, but what makes him stand out is his experience training the Israeli Special Forces. From his bio: "Nir served in one of the most elite units in the Israeli Special Forces, the Central Command Counter-Terror Unit (C.T.U.) and the Special Forces Counter-Terror and Special Operations School(C.T.S.O). During his service he held several positions including Commander of the Counter-Terror School’s International Training Section where he was responsible for developing and delivering specialized Counter-Terror, Hostage Rescue, and Krav Maga training to Special Forces Units from various countries around the world including the United States (Delta Force, Army Special Forces, Marines Special Operations Command, Rangers and Asymmetrical Warfare Group), that attend the Israeli Special Forces Counter-Terror and Special Operations School in preparation for high risk deployments such as Iraq and Afghanistan." To read the rest of his bio, go here.
To say the least, he's
Throughout the four-day course, we covered his entire system of unarmed defense. Not only was everyone in the room a seasoned martial artist, everyone there was also already a Krav Maga instructor from other organizations. Instructors from as far away as the Czech Republic made the trip to learn this system. I think this illustrates the international recognition of Nir's expertise. It was apparent that everyone in the room took something away from the training.
Having done this stuff for awhile, I was impressed by several elements of the training. First - and I think this is important - was Nir's teaching style. Though extremely versed in the subject matter, he kept things simple, concise, and easy to learn. Some instructors have a tendency to convolute their instruction, usually to appear more credible. None of this was present in Nir's teaching. I also appreciated his dedication to principles and simplicity. Self-defense tactics need to be easy to learn and recall under stress, and CT707 does not deviate from this point.
The other thing that I personally appreciated was an utter lack of ego. Martial arts, maybe more-so than other areas, tends to be rife with self-importance and, in my experience, Israeli systems are no exception. In fact, one organization I worked with was so dripping with alpha-male posturing that I left it only for that reason. It's a big turn-off.
But Nir Maman exhibited only a sincere attitude - maybe because of his real life experiences with violence or just because it's in his nature, but it was appreciated by more than just me during the training.
Though CT707 contained a lot of material that was different from the previous Krav Maga variations I've trained in, I did not find it hard to adapt to, because it made so much sense. Again, the principles underlying everything we did were logical and easily understood.
There were a lot of highlights for me, but to list a few:
1) Headhunting. If you were there, you know what I'm talking about.
2) Funneling almost everything into Reference Points.
3) The three things a defender must do to the attacker during the engagement:
- Disrupt thought process, or "reset".
- Inflict pain, or preferably, damage.
- Disrupt balance.
4) The concept of "Retzef", which I was familiar with but was explained thoroughly.
5) Impact weapon and knife defense and finally:
6) Multiple attacker strategies. This was a big one for me, because I've never seen any martial art, Krav Maga included, address this satisfactorily. And without going into detail, Nir's Two-On-One defense does not feature any actual "techniques". Because really, how are you going to unleash something as static as a "technique" in a situation as complex and multidimensional as a multiple-attacker scenario?
I could go on, but I'll conclude by saying that it was a very worthwhile four days, one that I will repeat the next chance I get!
This week starts the final month before belt testing. What does this mean?
It means the intensity goes way up. In Krav Maga, you not only need to know how to defend yourself, you have to be in shape to defend your self. So a big part of this last four weeks will be devoted to conditioning.
We'll also be doing a ton of drilling on the techniques for this cycle:
1) Front choke, static
2) Front choke with push
3) Rear choke, static
4) Rear choke with push
5) Kick off from guard
6) Ground strangle
7) Ground headlock, weight up
8) Ground headlock, weight forward
I want this stuff to be so ingrained that you would never have to think about it if attacked. So that means reps, and lots of them!
Not only that: I'll be away from Thursday - Sunday, certifying in Counter Terrorist 707 Krav Maga with Nir Maman, so I'll be coming back with some really good stuff.
Let's go! From here on in, it's a sprint!