Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fighting from the Ground Up

I’m of the mindset that if I can talk my way out of a fight, then I’ve already won because no one had to worry about going home wounded. In a perfect world this is the way all fights would end for me. Remember that I said, in a perfect world, of course.
Charles Garza and I warming up with mitt work

In the real world, however, not all fights end amicably, and if you manage to get involved in one by mere happenstance, there are no rules and most don’t come with a bell that let’s each party know it’s time to go to the corner where you can take a swig of water, spit it out, all while getting your shoulders rubbed. You won’t have a trainer there barking commands for you to stick and move, and there won’t be a bell there to let you know it’s time to get back in the fight again.

 In a real street fight, your life will flash before your eyes in the span of 30 seconds, during which time you might get thrown against a concrete wall, tackled down to the floor when you’re not looking, and if you think of the worst case scenario, get knocked unconscious, or much worse.
In real life, a man this size will try to tackle a
much smaller person to the floor.
An immediate burst to buck and roll him
 will help avoid getting choked unconscious.
After completing the buck and roll,
a quick escape is the best option
with an attacker this size.
This of course, is one of my biggest concerns, that someone bigger and stronger than I will spring out of nowhere, and then what do I do? So, I took a class recently called Alpha Krav Fight from the Ground Up. I went into it with the same mindset that I needed to learn how to defend myself in a real fight. It is a real life slug fest, to say the least.
This class is a mix of students and instructors, who are placed in real life scenarios and then are made to defend against an opponent for a span of 30 seconds, before the next drill starts again.  2nd degree Black Belt Instructor, Pete Hardy, breaks every technique down and then puts it all together when the drill starts. What I love best is the level of improvisation one must do when placed in different situations.
Getting out of a guard after he tried bringing
me down to the floor again, I used the wall
to spring up and throw punches every opening
I got to make my way out. A great way to keep
someone this size on the floor as you are making
your way up is to place your fist on his
lower abdomen. As you're working your way out,
you can also dig your elbows into his inner thigh
and strike to the groin. 
I went from being told to lay on the floor, stomach towards the floor while my assailant is coming at me. I was also asked to do everything from starting a fight in a kneeling or sitting position to facing a wall with my back away from my opponent.

Winded, tired, bruised and beaten, I was asked to keep going in spite of the level of stress I was placed under. That’s the true concept of Krav Maga, learning to survive under stressful situations, and if one can keep going even after the tiredness has set in, it’s a great indicator for survival. The one thing I love about these drills is that it really puts my life into perspective. Training to handle this level of stress in a controlled situation, might save my life when placed in a real world situation, or as my instructor loves to say, "The way you train in here is how you will react out there. Bleed now, and and you won't have to bleed out there."

My first bloody nose battle scar. Thank you
Level 5 student, Charles for always pushing me
beyond what I think I can do!
~Krav Maga Mama