Friday, April 26, 2013

How to Progress as a Krav Maga Practitioner

“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” 
John Dryden

There are times when we become impatient with our progress – our fitness level, learning a new technique, or test results.

We all want to improve but like many things in life this is achieved through consistent and focused effort - an essential reminder in a time of crash diets, get rich quick schemes, and many avenues to instant gratification.  

Here are 6 tips to help you progress:

Fundamentals:  Punching, kicking, getting up from the ground, plucks, etc……  Not as exciting as gun disarms or knife defenses but they are essential to your progress.  Students who are only interested in armed techniques tend to quit and re-focus on video games while those who want to work on every aspect of their skill set tend to stick around and become increasingly proficient. 

Isolate and Focus:  Perhaps you perform an excellent pluck release from a side choke but your sidekick would harmlessly deflect off a flamingo’s knee.  Focus on the sidekick.  Don’t avoid your weaknesses.

Always be a student: Whatever your skill level you need to train with someone with more knowledge than you.  Otherwise you stagnate, or worse, regress.  Besides Krav Maga experts observe other self defense systems (a skilled boxer, for instance, can teach you a lot), talk with people who have been involved in real life conflicts, and chat with fitness professionals. 

Progress Before Ego:  Don’t be afraid to say “My front rolls suck!”  Once you have stated the obvious and reset your shoulder ask for help and practice.  Becoming a versatile Kravist is more important than protecting your pride. 

Consistent Practice:  It is generally more effective to train once or twice a week over the course of a year than to take weeks off then to cram in eight classes a week for a month.

Maintain/Improve Your Fitness Level:  Eat well (avoid donuts), get adequate sleep, improve your cardio, strength, speed, and flexibility.  Mental toughness is essential but will be restrained by a poorly trained body.

Consider where you want to be in 5 years, 1 year, 6 months……. and take the steps to get there. 

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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