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Monday, April 23, 2007

Mixed bag Monday's weekend report

Holy mother of pearl! I am so unbelievably sore today. They say the 2nd day after an intense workout is always the worst if you're not used to it. Saturday I took a 3 hour women's self-defense class in Krav Maga and I'm STILL sore in places that I didn't know I had muscles. Krav Maga (Hebrew קרב מגע: "contact combat") is a self-defense and military hand-to-hand combat system developed in Israel. It came to prominence following its adoption by various Israeli Security Forces and is now used by military and law enforcement personnel, as well as civilians, around the world. Needless to say, it rocked and I am now signed up and going to be taking classes over the next 12 months (or more) in it. Highly physical, highly FUN!

To give you a brief overview of Krav Maga:

In Krav Maga, there are no hard-and-fast rules. It is not a sport, and there are no competitions. All the techniques focus on maximum efficiency in real-life conditions. Krav Maga generally assumes a "no quarter" situation; the attacks and defenses are intended to inflict the most pain possible on the opponent in the least amount of time. Groin strikes, headbutts, and other efficient and potentially brutal attacks are emphasized.

The guiding principles for those performing Krav Maga techniques are:
  • neutralize the threat
  • avoid injury
  • go from defending to attacking as quickly as possible
  • use the body's natural reflexes
  • strike at any vulnerable point
  • use any tool or object nearby

    The basic idea is to first deal with the immediate threat (being choked, for example), prevent the attacker from re-attacking, and then neutralize the attacker, proceeding through all steps in a straightforward manner, despite the rush of adrenaline that occurs in such an attack. The emphasis is put on taking the initiative from the attacker as soon as possible.


    Although Krav Maga shares many techniques with other martial arts, such as Boxing, Savate and Muay Thai (for the punches, kicks, elbows, and knees) or Jujutsu, Judo and Wrestling (for the grappling and disarming techniques), the training is often quite different. It stresses fighting under worst-case conditions or from disadvantaged positions (for example, against several opponents, when protecting someone else, with one arm unusable, when dizzy, or against armed opponents).

    Training in Krav Maga is an aerobic workout, and relies heavily on pads. Students take turns holding pads and doing combatives against the pads. This is important because it allows the student to practice the technique at full strength, and the student holding the pad learns a little of the impact they'd feel when they get hit. It can be almost as taxing to hold a pad as to practice against one. Some schools incorporate "Strike and Fight," which consists of full-contact sparring intended to familiarize the student with the stresses of a violent situation.

    Training may employ a speaker system blasting loud music, stroboscope and/or fog machine, meant to train the student to ignore peripheral distractions and focus on causing as much damage as possible. Training might also contain ways to deal with situations which could end in fights. Physical and verbal methods to avoid violence whenever possible are taught.

    A typical Krav Maga session in a civilian school is about an hour long and mixes aerobic training with self-defense teaching. As levels increase, the instructors focus a little less on aerobic training and slightly more on combatives. First, the instructor will run a very intense drill to get the class's heart rates up. Then, after stretching, the instructor will teach two or three self-defense techniques. In the beginning the techniques will either be combatives (punches, hammer-fists, elbows, knees and roundhouse kicks, for example – we actually went through the basics in all of these in class) or grappling (breaking out of chokes or wrist-grabs, getting out from under an opponent while on one's back). After that, the class usually moves to a drill that combines the techniques just taught with an aerobic technique. Finally, there is the final drill intended to burn out the students. Depending on the class - and on the instructor's mood - this drill may be at the very beginning or at the end of the class.

    I had to slip out a little early to shower and change because I had to be at a friend's BBQ that was quite a drive by 2:00. This guy is my best friend's ex. We've known him both the same time as we all used to work together. They still are very good friends and we all do stuff from time to time together. Anyway, he makes the BEST sangria so a good time was had by all with BBQ and horseshoes and music and I learned a really cool dice game – had never played it before – I won 3 out of the 4 times we played. Soundly smacked the guys too!

    After, I went home, changed and went out dancing and that is where the downside of the mixed bag happened. (Yes, Em was with her dad this weekend).

    On my way to the dance place (C&W) I was stopped at a stoplight not 500 or so feet from the driveway entrance to the place and I was looking in my purse for some lipstick and my foot slipped off the brake and I just barely nudged the car in front of me. We get out and I can tell that she could be trouble. Great – just what I need.

    Before she even has looked at the vehicles she gets on the phone and is all:

    Her: "Yes, I need the police. Someone just slammed into the back of me."
    Me: "Are you SERIOUS?"
    Her: (to me, but into the phone) "Ma'am, please don't yell at me"
    Me: "Honey, if I were yelling at you, believe me, you'd know it"
    Her: (Into the phone) "Yes, I was in an accident last month and my back is still hurting…yes, please send someone."
    Me: (Rolling my eyes)

    Miscellaneous chatter between her and me and her and the phone ensues. So we pulled into the parking lot and wait and we hear all sorts of sirens. By this time she's getting a little freaked out.

    Her: (looking extremely concerned/worried now that she hears the ambulance sirens) "I didn't ask her to have the ambulance come. I'm fine, I don't know why she sent them."
    Me: (left eyebrow cocked) "Honey, I heard your conversation. You may not have specifically SAID the words 'send an ambulance' but when you're telling her that 'someone SLAMMED into the back of you' and that 'you had been in an accident the previous month and your back was still hurting' oh and to 'please send someone' what do you think she is going to do? Hmmmmm?"
    Her: "I'm fine, I'm fine"
    Me: "Well, you might want to tell the EMT's AND the firemen that b/c, well, it looks like she just sent out the cavalry"
    Her: (Soon as the EMT's get out of the ambulance) "I'm fine, I don't need anything. I don't know why she called you guys out here (meaning the dispatcher)."
    EMT: "So, you don't want to be checked out then?"
    Her: "No, I'm fine, I'm fine. You don't need to be here."
    EMT: "Then you'll have no problem signing the waiver [refused to be seen]"
    Her: "Yeah, I'll sign it"

    They ask me to sign it too. By now, they're waiving off the firetruck that showed up, and 3 cop cars are pulling up.

    Cops to EMT's: "Everything ok?"
    EMT: "Yeah, she refused to be checked out"
    Cop: "Got the paper signed"
    EMT: "Yup. We're outta here."

    So we go about doing the whole information on what happened, etc. and ALL 3 cops thought it was rather stupid. No damage on either vehicle. Her vehicle was "supposedly" a rental car, which was extremely dirty and dusty and had an expired temporary tag in the rear window. I'm chatting with the cops as they're checking out the vehicle, getting along just fine with them. She is acting rather put out by the whole thing.

    Cop: (I overheard one say this to the other two) "The dirt on her [other girl] back bumper isn't even disturbed. This is ridiculous."
    Cop: (To me) "If it were up to me, to us, we'd let it go, but it was called in and reported so I'm going to have to give you a citation for failure to maintain assured distance."
    Me: "Yeah, I understand"

    So then the gist of it is, the other girl, being kind of stand-offish to the cops, me being nice and talking with them, well, the cops pretty much said "take it to court, we won't be there". Yeah, thank you very much. I'd rather take it to court and get it dismissed than pay the 163.00 fine PLUS take a defensive driving course. First time in probably 7 years I would have had to take one if I don't go to court. UGH!

    I ended up going out and having a GRAND time. Danced a lot – it's nice to know a lot of guys who two-step instead of going out and just standing there – which has happened over the past couple of years.

    Now I just have to find a way to keep from charlie-horsing and cramping up all over the place so that I can move without looking like an old woman.

    Happy Monday – SIGH!

    Jean-Luc Picard said...

    Krav Maga is new to me, Nic. Thanks for explaining it. Sounds like you know how to do it.

    Ganns said...

    Wow, Nic. What a story! If everyone overreacted like that lady, the world would be an even more chaotic place. Oi vey.

    Jean-Luc Picard said...

    Hope you'll drop in when my Second Blogaversary comes up on Monday 30th April.

    Anonymous said...

    Your discription of the Krav maga class was excellent, especially when you mentioned that holding the pads can be a brutal experience in itself. I'm skipping class like a chump tonite cause it's just tooooo humid. Good luck with Krav -- stay safe.