I took my first “upper-level” (read: not Foundations) Krav Maga class today. I had to pass a test last Thursday to be able to do it, and I felt like I barely made it. At the end, when Andre (my instructor) asked how I felt, I told him I was dying. And, in the moment, I wasn’t exaggerating.
It turns out that technique isn’t that important. It isn’t unimportant, but it’s second to finishing the fight. That’s something we’re told a lot during a difficult drill: “Finish Your Fight.”
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately: running low on sleep, long days, etc. Some times you just have to keep going.
There are a lot of things from Krav Maga I’ve been thinking about lately. When we do punching drills with the tombstones (basically pads), Chris says to aim for the sticker on the back of it. “Everything else is in the way,” he says. It’s the best way to achieve your goal: remember that everything else is in the way. Punch through it.
Sometimes, like life, Krav Maga can run you ragged, and the trick is to just keep moving. Focus on the moment. Krav Maga has been teaching me to get through the moment even if it feels like it’s killing me.
But there is also a self-preservation side to Krav Maga. For instance, the first rule of choke defense is…don’t get choked. Don’t let someone get that close. Keep your “fence” up at all times so they can’t get any closer than you want them to. When in doubt, hit them a few times as hard as you can and then get the hell out of there.
Form is important, but it means nothing if you don’t keep going. I don’t know if I’m getting any better at the technique of it all, but based on conditioning alone, I’m getting better at continuously moving. I’m getting better at jogging until he says stop, even after my side hurts and I can’t breathe.
I don’t yet feel confident that I’ll be able to save myself in the event of a real fight, but I am certain I won’t go down without a fight. And as long as I keep fighting, the rest will come.
I’m pretty sure of that one.