I still haven’t gotten another chance to go firewalking, and I’ve been so damn bored around the house. Sure I have projects I could do – but cleaning mildew off the bathroom ceiling isn’t nearly as fun as goofing around online and/or/while drinking beer.
I’ve been wanting to do something physical. I can’t play team sports worth a hoot, or run far, and cycling is not of any interest to me (I’d rather look at the scenery up close than see it as a blur). Swimming means a drive and a massive dose of chlorine, or a drive and a wetsuit that won’t keep me from freezing my proverbials* off. Plus its still dark when I get home from work, ugh.
(*proverbial balls. I don’t literally have them, so I call them my proverbials.)
When one of my coworkers – who is also a FB friend – put up a notice that he would be teaching a self-defence class starting at 6:30 in the evening, I jumped on it. I could get there just 15 minutes late each class, if he didn’t mind? ‘Not a problem.’ Anything I need to buy or know in advance? ‘Not a thing.’
So I jumped online and did some research on the type of art he teaches. It is called Krav Maga. Here’s the Wiki definition:
“Krav Maga or “contact combat” is a self-defense system developed for the military in Israel that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from Boxing, Judo, Aikido, and Wrestling along with realistic fight training. Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and extremely efficient and brutal counter-attacks. It was derived from street-fighting skills developed by Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler as a means of defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in the mid-to-late 1930s. In the late 1940s, following his immigration to Israel, he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the IDF, who went on to develop the system that became known as Krav Maga. It has since been refined for civilian, police and military applications.”
Well, hell. That sounds okay to me. Not exactly what I was looking to do, but it’s something! Deciding factors: I like that it was developed to help the oppressed, I know the trainer, I can get there nearly on time, it isn’t on a awkward day of the week, and it sounds bad-ass.
Who doesn’t want to be a bad-ass?
While I can’t (at this time) see myself going for belts and whatnot, I have had two classes now and have enjoyed myself immensely. I’m pretty strong from walking 10+km per day and hefting boxes five days a week at work, and pretty much everyone knows I have excess aggression to work off. That said, I’d never worn boxing gloves or thrown an actual punch in my life until last week. Proud to say I’m not timid about it: I only go lightly until I think I have the move down and then I try to hit as hard as I can! I find if I stop focussing on the pad and look at the human behind it, I hit harder and more accurately.
I think that means I want to beat people up, not objects. Or maybe I just really get the point? I do see quite quickly the reasons why you do or do not move a certain way – how you can leave yourself open, for example. This is not polite dancing around, this is the stuff that teaches you to break fingers, arms, legs, poke out eyes, rip off testicles. I never saw the need to fight nicely, so it suits me. If someone comes at me, they should pay for it.
I’ve discovered that I don’t care for being the body that is used for examples. My wrists are flimsy and thin – wrists and fingers are some of the main points you use against an attacker – amazing how many ways your wrist can be bent that makes you fall to the floor in agony. I also bruise easily, so in addition to the numerous bumps and whatnot I magically seem to grow on a daily basis, I also have new ones from being pinched in the bingo-wing (holy crap that hurts: a good move if you don’t really want to beat the shit out of your opponent but stop them cold).
I really enjoyed the sparring, fists only, during my first lesson. I bet if anyone had taken video, I had a smile on my face the whole time.
I’m better at the kicks, for power only. My accuracy sucks. My left leg is only really good at side-kicks, so far. I think my wonky back makes it hard for me to move certain ways, too. I’ve gotten quite good at ignoring my back over the years. My right shoulder decided to give me shit after the first lesson – never had that happen before. Rotator cuff? I didn’t baby it during the second class when I did an elbow punch that let me know right away that that was what my shoulder didn’t like the week before. The Boss said I could stop but I did another, and I think I feel better this week. Screw you, shoulder!
Other than that, I’ve not been very sore at all after a class. Either The Boss is taking is easy on me, or I am ignoring the aches and pains as I’m used to doing, or I actually don’t hurt. Hard to say.
This week, I learned how to keep someone off me while flat on my back on the ground. This involves lots of spinning about on your spine while holding your head up to see. My neck got quite sore during, but what got me the next morning was my lower back. I felt bruised to the touch. So last night, I asked hubby dear to have a look at my lower back to see if there was a mark.
Him: “Yep, you have a Tijuana Licence Plate!”
Me: “Say what?”
Him: “A tramp-stamp of a bruise!”
Maybe I should get it tattooed on – I get the feeling I’m going to have a lot more.