Krav Maga

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

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.

Killer Instinct – Happy Halloween!

SabrewulfThe one or two people who actually read this blog will probably not know/remember the video game Killer Instinct. You can read the wiki here. ¬†So either you remember the game or you read the wiki (or you just kept reading because you don’t care and you think that the rest of this post will be just my usual blather) and maybe you even remember some of the characters. If you do remember, you can just call me Sabrewulf. When my godsister and I used to it the arcade, usually after getting our nails done, lol, Killer Instinct was usually on tap, and Sabrewulf was my character of choice. ¬†Not really the toughest of characters, Sabrewulf typically took an ass beating before going bonkers with his attack. ¬†This was then and continues to be now, a bit like me. I will put up with the most shit possible before I just snap out and tell you about yourself. ¬†See me (Sabrewulf) in action here because I can’t embed this m-f-ing video.

Yeah, that’s how I roll. And over the last few months, I’ve felt myself slipping deeper and deeper into some girly, crying at bubble gum commercials, oh my god my feelings, sort of madness. ¬†Seriously. I’ve been tearing up at COMMERCIALS! Who the hell am I and where did regular, tough me go?!?! ¬†I still don’t know where she went, but I sure as shit know where I found her.

You see, this past Saturday, I attended a women’s self-defense workshop held by the Krav Maga gym fairly close to my house. ¬†I spent a good amount of time feeling sorry for my partner(s) as I released all sorts of pent up everything into those little rectangular pads. ¬†We learned quite a bit of useful information in those two hours. ¬†Of course, I would never go purposely putting myself into danger because “I took a self-defense class”, but I do feel better about my overall ability to keep myself safe outside of the house. ¬†You know, cuz inside my house, it’s the Make My Day law.

At the end of the class, we all had the “opportunity” to be “attacked” by big blue, otherwise known as one of the instructors in a lot of padding. ¬†There were three rules:

  1. (As we all stood in a circle around the attackee and attacker) When the attack begins, scream and yell to encourage the attackee. (Look, I know that probably isn’t a word, just go with the flow, ok? ¬†No? Elbow, elbow, elbow, groin kick, 10 hammer punches to the back of your head.)
  2. Do not retaliate until actually attacked.
  3. When the attacker is on all fours on the floor, stop.
As we stood around the circle, I really did great at number 1. ¬†So well, in fact, that I was nearly without voice on Sunday. ¬†When it was my turn inside the circle, I was able to follow the second instruction. (I was going to say I did number 2, but, you know, lol.) ¬†For a moment, let’s recap what happened in step 2.
I stood in the center of the circle, eyes closed. ¬†Now, a man in a padded suit is not necessarily quiet and due to the previous 90 minutes of punching and kicking, let’s just say I was amped up higher than the top of the highest 14-er. ¬†Spring loaded might be a good term there. ¬†As Mr. Pads walked around me, saying things that probably would either scare or disgust most people, my inner Sabrewulf started prepping for the fight. ¬†Mr. Pads caressed the side of my face. ¬†He played with my hair. ¬†It’s so cliche, but seriously, the tension in that room? ¬†Palpable. ¬†Even with my eyes closed, I knew exactly where he was every second. ¬†And just when I thought that this would just go on forever, he came in for the attack.
Perhaps once or twice before, I have had this level of focus. ¬†My hair trigger didn’t even allow him to fully get me into the bear hug before Sabrewulf showed up all claws out, elbows, fists, knees, and legs in full force. ¬†Remember the first rule? ¬†Yeah, I’m sure that was happening, but from the moment I threw the first elbow, there was no sound other than me breathing and pads being pummeled. ¬†I couldn’t hear my classmates cheering me on, only the voice inside my head that said “Fight like you mean it”.
¬†All of this pent-up rage released on this poor man. ¬†Blinded by rage. ¬†I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase. ¬†I experienced it. ¬†Somewhere in my brain, I could recognize that he was on the floor on all fours, but he was also still moving which meant I was still punching. ¬†I didn’t hear them say “Time!”. ¬†Or “Ok!”. ¬†I felt someone pull me off of him. ¬†It wasn’t until that point that I came back to the room.
Such a strange sensation to be pretty much lost in yourself. ¬†I guess that’s the fight or flight response. ¬†And you know my stubborn ass will likely always pick fight. Much like a teacup pup, I don’t realize my size and think I can take on the Dobies. ¬†I’m probably crazy, but I’m ok with that. ¬†I keep that crazy bottled up and on a shelf, and every now and again, I dust off the bottle, but it stays neatly intact on the shelf. ¬†I think it might even say, “Break in case of emergency”, and in that emergency, Sabrewulf doesn’t just pick the bottle up and open it, Sabrewulf smashes it with a hammer punch and releases the beast. ¬†Funny how we work like that, isn’t it?
I’ve returned to normal. ¬†No more crying at commercials, or anything else silly for that matter. ¬†Back to my normal. ¬†Thank goodness. ¬†I don’t think I could have taken much more of the over-emotions.
Now, for the PSA. ¬†Ladies, go find yourself a self-defense class. ¬†You just never know what might happen. ¬†There are some scary statistics out there that we women are raped and/or killed on the regular. ¬†Please, learn to protect yourself. ¬†Don’t become a statistic!!