Krav Maga

So, my Mom and I were driving to work the other day and she was talking about how she walks in the woods and when she mentioned that to some people at work they asked what weapons she carries (my first thought – nun chucks and a katana, of course – both of which, Walter owns. How awesome is that?)…and she mentioned pepper spray to them and they laughed at her and mentioned a gun. Then she started talking about how she’s comfortable shooting big guns like shot guns but not really hand guns.
“Why don’t you like hand guns, Mom?”
“I don’t know. It’s just a feeling.”
“A feeling?”
“Yeah, I just don’t like them.”
“But you’re comfortable with shot guns?”
“Yes. When I was a kid, my friend’s Dad would set up cans in his yard and let me shoot them with a shotgun. I have to say, I was pretty good.”
“The ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ of your day, huh?”
“I could see you walking in the woods with a shot gun strapped to your back. Like in a Zombie Apocalypse.”
“I wouldn’t like that either.”
“Well, what if you yourself was the weapon? Just learn to fight like Jason Statham!”
“The guy who takes off his clothes while he fights.”
“I don’t think anyone would want to see my 60 year old body without clothes on. They would probably all run away.”
“How effective!”

This whole conversation led up to our brief research into Krav Maga classes in our area, several emails to the owner of one martial arts studio, and a “free trial visit” to the studio the next night.

For those of you who do not know (and if you do, suck it up and read this), Krav Maga has its origins in Isreal, the former Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. The words “Krav Maga” are Hebrew for “hand-to-hand combat” and is used by many police and military forces including (but certainly not limited to) the CIA, the US Marshalls, the Belgian Army, the Isreali Defense Forces, etc. At its basic, it is a self-defense system. And it is awesome.

My parents and I carpooled to the martial arts studio and there were pretty much all men there. Maybe three women. The class is two nights a week, starting at 8:30. There are several other classes taught at the studio and the times run back to back. So, the small lobby was pretty full, you know, of burly men. I’m definitely not kidding…when we were escorted to the front of the class, I was pretty much mortified. Great…put the fat girl up front. While I was glad my parents were there, it didn’t really help that my Dad runs marathons and my Mom watches Biggest Loser so she can laugh at the contestants. In other words, I’m overweight and out of shape. And while I’m working on losing weight, being in a room full of muscled men who know exactly what they are doing….was pretty discouraging. There’s a reason you only see skinny people at the gym. Being extremely competitive in nature (and wanting to limit the humiliation), I pushed myself and felt the burn. We practiced defending ourselves against someone strangling us…and we were partnered up. So, my Dad was releasing a lot of pent up rage that has built up over the years by strangling me…although, I had my fair share of strangling as well. This sounds weird.

While slightly humiliating and quite exhausting, I survived, the class was fun and we went home. There was a problem though. Remember that burn I mentioned? Yeah, it didn’t go away. I can handle being sore (I played on my volleyball team for a few years in high school) but I can’t handle the inability to sit down without plopping into the chair. I will get half way down and then my thighs will give out and I’ll fall. I went down a slight slope and I almost did a face plant in a pile of cigarette butts because my knees locked up and I was hobbling down the hill like the Tin Man. Can you imagine trying to sit down on the toilet? If I can’t even sit down in a chair, how on earth would I be able to manage that? Let me put it this way, it was easier to use the bathroom after I had my appendectomy. I now avoid curbs because going down means I’ll inevitably loose my balance and I’ll run into something. It’s insane. I’m slightly apprehensive about the next class because I have no idea how I’m going to survive (ironic, I know). Even if I learn the self-defense moves, how am I supposed to break off an attack if I can’t even walk down a slope?

And here are some pretty pictures in celebration of Spring! Happy Spring!



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