Krav Maga

Well hey there! It’s great to see you again. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take a self-defense class geared towards women. I had taken the class about four years ago and figured it was time for a refresher. You see, I have somewhat of a Napoleon complex going on. I tend to think that I’m tough as nails with all 5 foot 2 of my badassery. I mean, I’m not totally off my rocker. I do know when to keep my mouth shut, but I like to believe that I could hold my own in a struggle if it came down to it…even against a man.

We spent a little over two hours in there learning some techniques that are based in krav maga. Everyone grabs a partner and we take turns holding the pad for the other partner to punch/kick. But before we got to all of that fun, we determined where our “bubble” was. in other words, how close is too close for a stranger to get. The exercise included getting into two lines and walking towards your partner until she yelled out to stop. Now, notice I said yelled. Some ladies neglected to bring their big girl voices. I hope that somewhere along the line they find those voices, especially should they ever need them. Me? Former cheerleader, tomboy, tree climber, trapeze flyer, performer with no microphone. I’m loud. And if I don’t want you near me, you’re gonna know. The instructor tells everyone, “hey, watch her and be loud like her.” I have crazy expressive eyes and when I’m in this class or possibly in danger, I just have crazy eyes. I will tell you a story with these eyes and if I don’t like what you’re up to, that story is gonna start with F*&K and end with YOU.

Anywho, we got through our brief warmup and figuring out our comfort zones. On to punching! Straight punches, heel strikes, and hammer punches, oh my! No gloves. Just blasting through that pad (and pushing my poor partner over). But ladies, you don’t just have those hands fo punching. Don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to gouge eyes and scratch faces. The overarching theme was FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE. Whatever it takes. A well placed forehead to the bridge of the nose. Whatever. Oh, and hey, those stems! Groin kick! I tell ya, I P90X-ed the hell outta those kicks.

Last time, we learned escaping from a bear hug from behind – bend at the waist, elbow, elbow, elbow, elbow, elbow, elbow (is he off yet??), elbow, elbow, (oh he’s off now?), hammer punch to the base of your neck, hammer, hammer, hammer, groin, groin, kick, kick, kick, punch, punch. I’m done a la Wendy Testaburger. This time we worked on removing a choke hold from the front. The reality is that the move might not fully remove the assailant’s hands from your throat, but it’ll move them enough that you’ll still be able to breathe. And fight. For your life.It’s called a pluck and should almost always come along with a groin kick. Like they said in the Simpson’s, it ain’t Krav Maga if there’s no groin kick.

We do these drills for about 90 minutes before we’re ready to go to simulated attacks. We split into two groups and go into two rooms where our “attacker” is in a padded suit with a padded helmet. All of the ladies stand in a circle with one lady in the middle. They guy in the suit walks/stalks around you, saying some pretty ignorant sh!t, touching you, he pulled my hair (hard!), but you can’t react until he’s truly attacking you. Every word out of his mouth was pretty much the equivalent of overtuning the smallest string on the guitar and his hands on my neck was when the string popped.

There was a Timberwulf sighting at that moment. Pluck, kick, hammer, hammer, hammer, hammer, kick to the chest while you’re on the ground. I’m done. The instructor picked me to go first. Good to have it out of the way so I could just focus on cheering on the other ladies, and in some circumstances, providing hugs and words of encouragement like “in through your nose, out through your mouth!” because one girl was pretty close to hyperventilating. A LOT of tears were shed in that class. Some because, and this is just an educated guess, it was too real and too reminiscent of something that had already happened. Some because they just didn’t realize they had the power within themselves. And some just because like hip openers in yoga, this will just release some emotions right up outta you.

They have the class annually and I really shouldn’t let three years go in between taking it. But next time I go, I really have to remember to cool myself down better and to stretch better. Why? Class was Saturday; today is Tuesday and my shoulder is still crying. Icy Hot and Tylenol are my friends, but a little discomfot is better than not knowing how to protect myself and the options that come with that. I cannot recommend enough that every female get out there and find some sort of self-defense class and take it and take it seriously. It just might save your life.

8/30 – Book Love/Hate

At eight days into this challenge, I now know why I don’t write for a living. Sometimes I just don’t want to do it, like 2 days ago, when I threw out a post that probably didn’t even make it to 250 words. On on.

I’ve been a pretty voracious reader ever since I can remember. My mom said that I was kind of a weird kid and she blamed it on my love for reading Stephen King. I would literally be hiding one of his books behind some school book in high school. I read…a lot. Even today, I’ll get caught up in a book series and just go dark to the world. My poor husband, lol.

Even though I just mentioned Stephen King, it’s one of his books that lands in the most hated position. The Tommyknockers. Mind you, I first read this when I was, oh, under 18 anyway. I didn’t really love the story, but what bugged me the most was that, in one part of the book, one of the main characters got sick. Coincidentally, I got sick at the same time. This really turned me off from the book.

It would be pretty difficult for me to pick out a favorite book. I like pretty much all of the rest of Stephen King’s books. I liked both the Adept and Incarnations of Immortality series from Piers Anthony. Let’s not forget the Myth Adventures series from Robert Asprin and the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. I’ve kept up with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.

Sometimes these days I read shitty erotica. I still like crime stories. But I’m not super picky. And there you have it.

7/30 – Tatted Up

I didn’t listen to it all, but I don’t love that song. But it fit and black and yellow, you know?

It’s a tattoo post in case you somehow hadn’t calculated as much yet. The how many and they meaning was the target. I have three. These are their stories.

  1. This is my prison tattoo if I had ever been in prison. I didn’t go as far as to get a teardrop under my eye though. My first foray into getting ink was when I was 17. Yup, wasn’t even legal yet. But when your tattoo artist is a hippie dude named Horse, he’s not exactly asking for ID. I got this tattoo when I was doing a training class in Ohio for a job I had just taken. I remember sitting in my hotel room and looking up tattoo parlors and seeing which one was the closest. Yeah, that’s how I picked the place. I’m nuts.
    I really wanted to know what sort of pain I was in for, so I asked Horse to hit me with the gun one time before he started. That crazy bastard did it too. I can basically still see that point in the tattoo where he did that. It’s on my left hip, about the size of a quarter, and it’s a red heart with a sword through it. At this point, it’s almost blurry, but I won’t ever get it touched up or covered up. Memories, yo.
  2. The next time I went in for ink, I was back in PA. I remember quite clearly that I was working at Don Pablo’s. This time, I actually went to the place and talked to the artist before I sat down for ink. I knew from my first one that I could deal with the discomfort, but what I really hated was the noise of the needle. I went in with my headphones and I was ready. I don’t think I made it even past the outline before I took the headphones off. I felt like it was so rude to block out the artist. We started to talk. He laughed and said that he could tell where it hurt more (on the very edges which are sorta in towards my armpit) because I would turn up the music even louder.
    As we chatted, we laughed about the posters they had on the ceiling and life in general. I had a design that I had picked out and it had an oval in the center of the tribal band. I didn’t pay much attention to it until he was done and I saw that he took a little artistic license and created a small silhouette in the center. I remember so vividly having my arm wrapped in plastic wrap and having to put on a short-sleeved t-shirt that was still too long for my hostess shift. Even more vividly, I remember both Gerth and Pucci taking that opportunity to punch me in that arm.
    Once I was healed, a particularly gullible co-worker continually asked about the “image” in the center of my tattoo. For weeks, at least, I put him off, telling him that I didn’t want to talk about it. He kept bugging me, so he got the smartass special. I told him that when I got the ink, there was nothing in the center, BUT, I was abducted by aliens and when they brought me back, the figure was there. He ate that shit up. I don’t think I ever told him the truth.
  3. The third and last (for now) one I got when I was in Ixtapa, Mexico. Because this is what you do when you have a little free time and some spending cash when you’re a GO in Mexico. Go get tatted and/or pierced. Since people butchered my name all the time (and I was the only one who willingly worked a morning shift my first season), I picked up the moniker Sunshine. Yes, the cheese abounds and I have a sunshine tattoo. On my shoulder. I’d say a good 95% of the time, when someone saw it, they would break out in song. Sunshine. On my shoulders. Makes me happy. Yes, I got tired of hearing it. And yes, I therefore made it ignorant. They sing it and I make the statement, “Depends on which way she’s facing.” BAZINGA!

There you go, the story of my tattoos. I want one more but I have to find someone that I fully trust who is versed in written Japanese or Chinese. I have the phrase, just need a writer. And a good place to put it. Maybe on the inner forearm area.

6/30 – Different Forms

This is actually something that’s crossed my mind a few times recently. Who do I find fascinating and why? Believe it or not, it isn’t anyone famous. The people I find fascinating you can find on my friends list on Facebook. While I enjoy them all, only some fall into this category. I’m not going to name names on this one, but I think if you’re reading this and you’re one of the people I find fascinating, you’ll know.

I am fortunate enough to have friends and acquaintances who have passion. Drive. They’ve had ideas and run with them. Brought them to fruition. You guys are the ones I find fascinating. I mean, I understand that everyone isn’t gonna be at your level of awesome, but I do sometimes wonder why I’m not. You guys are parts of the awesome I wanna see in myself.

I know some of your stories and how sometimes an event happened or a person may have said to you at one point that turned your arrow due north. As crazy as my life’s been, I wonder if I had one of those moments or people but I just missed it. I mean, I’m not really good with subtleties. I’ve been hit on and never knew what the hell was going on. Probably why these days, I just say what I need to say so there’s no room for confusion.

Anywho, you guys keep doing what you do because you’re pretty damn awesome. Teach, dance, fly, create. Be you.