Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Doing What You Love...

...makes the bad things go away. I arrived for my teacher lesson with Big Daddy J wound up tight. I knew I needed to punch someone or something, so I hit the bag while I waited for him. I'm working on speed - playing the shoulder touch game last night with some big boys reminded me why speed is of the essence when going against someone bigger & stronger.

After reciting my list of woes to BDJ we started to work on my form - no "teaching" him technique today, an act of mercy on his part. Just worked the basics, fine tuning fighting stance, punches, movement. Learned a lot about hooks in a very short time. Constantly fine tuning the principals on which everything else in the training is based. I am absolutely convinced that until the most basic movements are mastered to the nth degree, and can be applied with speed, power, & precision, and without thought, the techniques that follow cannot be mastered completely.

After he left I threw about 1,000 hooks to the bag to sink it in, & went home happy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Night Sneak In

I usually don't train krav on Monday, but since Fit and Fearless will be closed most of the week, I snuck in. First hour was the General's level 1 class. He has been exceptionally helpful to me on teacher training & I watch him like a hawk every time I work with him. He let me hold the bag for his demonstrations & even though he was going at, what, 10-15% of his power he was still knocking me back consistently. That boy is scary strong. He also corrected me on my fighting stance - again. I get in low & strong most of the time, but still my old habits continue to haunt me in just about every area. Its a constant frustration for me, but I know of no other solution than to keep dogging along, working on it, so that's what I'm doing.

2nd hour was level 2/3 with Big Daddy J, we did a fun & unusual warmup, then worked slap kicks. FINALLY, something I don't feel like a total dork doing. That's cheating, of course, as I used to do them in karate. :) I don't care! Bwahahahaha!

Then spinning back kicks, so back to dorkdom, but not too bad. Mami K demonstrated them to a couple of us over on the side, and she can do it perfectly with a big ol' pregnant belly! She also told me I'm not getting my hips around enough, which is the reason I so often bounce off of people larger than me when I'm kicking them - especially on vertical front kicks. She was right, too - the second & drove my hips in the power came right with it. More to work on, but I feel like another piece of the puzzle fell into place. Of course, I KNOW in my brain that the hips always drive power, but when you're thinking of 80 things at once, sometimes the most basic principals get overlooked. That's why we have teachers, no? I'm in such a good mood after class! I'm already looking forward to tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday Night Fights

Started off first hour with the Gentleman & Big Daddy J making a futile attempt at teacher training. I've been lazy for about a week and a half & not studied my teaching cards, so when Big Daddy J asked me to teach him front kick, something I've gone over about a million times, I screwed it up. Lesson learned, still have a ways to go. I also found out the Gentleman is prepping for his next Phase training & will be gone for a few weeks. I get extremely attached to my favorite training partners, so I'm not happy, but he wouldn't accept my extremely generous bribe to stay, so I'll just have to put up with it.

2nd hour was level 3/4 with Relentless. I haven't solved my little situation of taking a while to warm up, so I was a big fat uncoordinated goober for most of the class. And I've been caught one too many times cheating by keeping my eyes open to little slits when we're supposed to have our eyes closed for attacks, so I actually had to be a good girl & slam my eyelids shut on command. Grrrr... Then every time the Rock or Gina Carano would grab me by the throat in attack I would squeal so loudly! It always sounds like someone stepped on a puppy when I get taken by surprise. Its a flaw I've decided not to worry about. Right now I've got bigger fish to fry. If I squeal like a little girl while I'm kicking your ass, your ass is still kicked, no? A lot of sparring tonight, too.

One thing I appreciate about Relentless is that no matter how dumb my questions or mistakes are, he never gets impatient. At least, he never shows it.

Next class was yoga with Dr. J. I am really glad they've added this class, its the breath of fresh air I didn't even know I needed.

Finally, MMA class with Mudslide. I've been a lurker in the shadows for quite a while, I'm much smaller than many of the guys in there & didn't want to hold anyone back because of it. Well, too bad for them, I really like what they do in there & want to learn! I was planning on partnering with the Gentleman & really looking forward to it since he's leaving, but Mudslide partnered me with a new girl. I was muttering curse words under my breath about it - to my mother's dismay, I have a mouth like a sailor - but she turned out to be an excellent partner! One of the things I liked best about her was she will tell you what she wants. We were doing a long combination that confused her & instead of just plowing through without understanding & making no progress, she asked me to keep attacking with only the first part of the combo until she'd mastered it. Sounds like common sense, but a lot of people won't do that! So good for her, I say. She mastered it, we moved on, & she had the whole combo down cold by the end. Also, she hits hard, which is a quality I like in a woman. Way to go, Goldilocks!
We also did hip throws & sparred some more. I got a fun round of sparring violence in with the Gentleman, so that was the frosting on the MMA cake!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Good Morning

Decided to try an new workout drink today, Surge Workout Fuel, & am loving it. Even after 3 hours of going hard I have energy. Its a relief, because I'm planning on drinking this stuff during my upcoming rank test. I knew a morning class with Relentless would be a good experiment - I am not a morning person, & his classes are hard! We did hammerfists & roundhouses, two favorites, & the General and Big Daddy J showed up & coached me & Miss C a little. Ended class by mounting our kick shields & just viciously pounding away at them. That always puts me in a good mood.

2nd hour was level 2/3 with the Gorgeous Bastard. Oh, we had so much fun today! Mouth of hand strike, ridge hand strike, & guillotine from the front. We had to scream at each other like maniacs both for the attack & the defense. Also, we attacked each other randomly, & each defender had his gym bag strapped to him to make it more difficult. On one pass, the Gentleman attacked me & as I was defending my foot went into one of the loops on a heavy bag laying on the ground, which took both me & the Gentleman to the ground. We were still fighting, screaming at each other & laughing, but my foot was stuck. Had it been a real attack it would not have been funny at all. You just never know what crazy thing you may have to deal with. Scary.

3rd hour was BJJ with the Professor. I partnered with Crazy L & we worked passing the guard, then passing the guard with submissions, then we rolled. I love the deep penetrating tiredness you feel after BJJ. If you ever are feeling cocky, I recommend you roll with the Professor. He'll school you and tool you and humble you like you need.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Timid Girl + GB on TV

Started out tonight in Relentless' class, level 3/4. Partnered with Miss C - I don't partner with her much anymore for level 1/2, but for 2/3/4 we do, as we'll be testing together next month. Began class with the Thai pads, working combinations, adding in 360 attacks & kicks from the bag holder. Next we worked a new (to me) bear hug from behind defense & sparred.

An issue I've experienced for some time & am really just now fully addressing is my timidity and clumsiness in the beginning of class. Even after our warmups, which are usually really challenging, I am uncoordinated & slow. Its only about halfway through my first class that everything starts to flow. I think its really important that I shorten this time period as much as I possibly can. Is it all just mental? I don't know. I'm thinking that warming up before class by hitting combinations on the heavy bag & practicing footwork might get my brain & body in sync. If anybody has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Next hour was Dr. J's yoga class. She is really a good teacher, I'm glad they've added this class. She's an adept practitioner, but her classes aren't cloaked in whispers and holiness. Just good strength, breathing, and flexibility work, a perfect counterpoint to beating each other up. Tonight we worked a lot of twisting poses & headstands. The Gentleman's first class! Yay!

Fit and Fearless is on TV! The Gorgeous Bastard is shown teaching an Austin police officer krav maga, as the police work to reduce deadly force encounters.
Check him out doing his thing at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pistol Whipped!

I was only able to stay for the first 3 hours of the seminar today, as I'm in the dog house at home and had to come home early to cook & be a good wife. It was 3 hours of torment & pain, I don't mind telling you. So how come I'm still in such a great mood? The truth is, I'd rather be exhausted, in pain, & doing everything wrong in front of someone I admire, as long as I'm at krav. Maybe my sister-in-law is right and I really am insane. My right hand (gun hand) is completely black and blue and I'm sore all over. I got punched in the throat & smacked in the cheekbone with the barrell of a (fake) gun. Do I care? I do not.

The entire class was spent on gun defense, which I will not describe, though I will admit I did it wrong most of the time. I'm not sure at exactly what point John started speaking Sanskrit, which I don't speak. I only know that I stopped understanding anything he said during the last hour & could only think of food. I had the best time! I'll retain much more from yesterday's portion of the seminar, as gun defense has always been my weakest skill, but I will get it eventually, and when I do, it will be mine forever.

Whipped by Whitman

So there's this guy named John Whitman who comes around to Fit and Fearless a couple of times a year to teach us. He's a 4th degree black belt in krav, a former president of our system, & many, many of our drills and exercises come from him. I hope I can remember what we did yesterday to tell you properly - as usual after a good training session my body is buzzing so much I can't sleep that night. I finally got up at 1 a.m. & took an ambien, and this morning my brain is a bit fuzzy.

We started with the focus mitts, moving in with a right hook for an initial strike, eventually adding other combatives to the mix. One of the interesting things we did was after warning our attacker to move away a couple of times, we'd attack with a right hook, then assess to see if they were leaving us the hell alone, moving in for strikes, or shooting in for a takedown. John had me demonstrate the takedown during the exercise - I suspect its largely for the visual effect, as my partner was a 6'4", 230 pound wall of a man, and I'm me. The first time he went for the takedown he got me! I landed on my back with a resounding thud & flailed around like a cockroach trying to get his massive body into my guard. The next time I got the sprawl & he didn't take me down - whew! The general is so much fun to partner with, he is constantly drilling me to improve on every little thing, which helps, and he's so big I don't have to hold back, I can just strike.

Next John talked about when to be the first person to strike, about the importance of making a decision now - right now, in class - about where your line in the sand is drawn. I was hoping we'd cover this again, as I think its so important. In On Combat, Col. Grossman tells us that interpersonal conflict is the universal human phobia. Its true, and often we will resist acknowledging that a threat is real until its too late, because that thought is so scary to us. The time to make the decision when you will strike is now, not when adrenaline and fear are blasting through your body & short circuiting your brain. Taking it seriously and drawing my own line in the sand during the last Whitman lecture on this subject has saved my butt in the past. I'm grateful and I hope he always covers the subject.

Later we worked weapons, handgun & stick. I've never worked with sticks before, and was happy to discover it came naturally to me & felt really good. It didn't feel really good when I got whacked hard in the head with the stick a couple of times because my defense wasn't strong enough. That's freaking negative reinforcement of the highest order, so I fixed it pretty damn fast.

Next we did standing sweeps, which I didn't want to do because my fall breaks are weak. Of course, standing sweeps are exactly what I need to be doing! Everything went great until I allowed myself to feel tired & lost my concentration for a moment, when Miss M slammed me into the ground with the force of a tsunami. My head didn't actually slam into the ground but I had such a hard whiplash that now my neck feels like concrete. Stupid girl. Me, I mean.

I get so much out of John's visits! You know, if he looked like Brock Lesnar, or Rambo coming in here, I don't know that I would be as motivated or learn as much. John just looks and acts like a normal, friendly, polite human being. He's a normal-friendly-polite human being who can hit you so fast and hard that all your arms and legs fly off your body, that's the cool part.
Because he looks and acts like someone you can relate to, he makes you feel like you can do it, too. That's the kind of teacher I hope to be some day.

Day 2 starts in a couple of hours!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


After sitting all day in an investment seminar to learn to make my family's investments stop hemorrhaging I was about to explode. I almost knocked everyone else down getting out the door at the end muttering, "gottahitabag, gottahitabag". Turns out I'm not that good at sitting in a chair all day.

First I met the Library Lady and since Big Daddy J is away we took turns teaching each other techniques. We played pick-a-card-any-card from my stack of technique flash cards & let fate decide our...well, fate, I guess.

2nd hour! A level 1 class with The Gentleman, paired with The Goddess of War. She has come so far in the past year! From the very beginning she's had good aggression, but she's getting the technique to back it up. It felt so good after being cooped up all day to just unleash! Hammerfist! Elbows! Chokes! God, I feel so good now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Late Show

Oh, its very late. My husband is in bed asleep & I have to get up early in the morning, so I'll be brief. First hour of training was a private lesson with Miss C & the Gorgeous Bastard, who was looking particularly gorgeous today, and being more charming than bastardy. What a great hour! We did lots of footwork & looked like goobers doing it because we (I) have lead feet. Then we rolled around on the ground - forward rolls, backward rolls, running (trotting) into a roll, rolling forward & whirling around before you can stop & rolling backward & rolls that end in fall breaks. Fun!

2nd hour was level one with Mighty Mouse, who has mighty kicks. Miss C & I paired up again, first time in a long time for level one, and Crazy L worked in with us. Lots of strikes & 3 person drills. Crazy L hits the bag so hard that for a minute there I thought Miss C was going to hit her back. I held the bag for Mighty Mouse during demonstrations & have to ask myself, "how can someone so tiny deliver so much power?" Actually, I have to ask her, because I don't know. I'm "power" hungry though, so I really will ask.

3rd hour was level 2/3 with Relentless. I was getting pooped by this time, but rank test is coming up in January, so I may as well get used to fighting through it now. 360's & outside defenses, numbers 1-5. I don't know if there are any numbers past 5, but that's what we did. I like them, they feel natural and effective.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Friend

So, I get to my one-on-one session with Big Daddy J & there's a surprise: there's someone else studying to go to Phase (teacher training) & its someone I really like! Studying with a partner is fun, and the Library Lady is going to be great. Today we "taught" each other plus Big Daddy J & Spike, who is always helpful. He will let you punch him, which is a quality I always look for in a man.

Relentless taught level 3/4 tonight. Lots of combos on the focus mitts. We did this one drill I always enjoy: get into groups of 3, and Jewel is holding the mitts & calling out combo numbers for me to strike, while Mighty Mouse is standing behind Jewel & extending either her left or her right hand. So, I am responding correctly (ha!) by striking with the right combination on command, while watching Mighty Mouse & shouting out "left!" or "right!" based on which hand I see extended. Of course by the end of the exercise I'm shouting out "what?!" "Auuuugh!" and "french fry!" like I'm a tourette's victim. We also did the drill where you cover up, close your eyes & get the crap beaten out of you by your partner, who is using focus mitts to pound you with. When your partner claps the mitts together, you attack them with combo #4 & cover up again to take your punishment. These are two of my favorite drills & I'm not kidding. We ended the class with constant chokes from 2 attackers. I have a whole new respect for Mighty Mouse. She is tiny. She is sweet. She will hand you your ass on a platter.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm not (!) a morning person, so I always struggle in the first saturday morning class, but I've been working out more outside of krav, & was happy to see it seems to be paying off already. I didn't wish I was dead in the first 10 minutes of class. I partnered with Crazy L, holding the bag for that girl is a workout in itself, she is SO strong, and she's game for anything, which makes her fun. Also, I got to demonstrate techniques in front of the class while Relentless taught them, and was happy to discover I wasn't nervous anymore! Maybe because I was panting so hard from the previous exercise, I was just trying too hard to remain standing & couldn't bother to be nervous. Whatever works, man.

Level 2/3 we did some great exercises - my favorite was one when I had to throw combos, say, jab/cross to Kicky Jen's focus mitts, then immediately move out of the way to avoid the same shot coming quickly at my head. Footwork has been on my mind a lot lately, as my feet stay too glued to the ground, and this was a great exercise for overcoming that. I hope we do it more often. Unfortunately, like a big goober I later hyperextended my knee by kicking too soon at an advancing target. Knee hurts now. Doofus.

Hour 3 was groundfighting. Crazy L stuck around for her first class, taught by Young R doin' a good job. It was just she & I so we introduced her to all the basics: this is guard, this is mount, etc. I am more committed than ever to lifting weights after working with her. Even with her lack of experience, her superior strength makes her a tough one to work with. Fear the muscles!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Martini Agony

If you are considering having that martini the night before you have a morning krav class, please don't do it. Don't be like me and miss your first class altogether, then bitch and burp your way through your second class because you are so nauseated you wish someone would choke you into the sweet release of death.

But by the third class I was fine. The Professor taught us a couple of arm bars and one cool technique where you are on your back and you sweep your standing opponent by flipping them over you. Beginner's luck: I nailed it perfectly the first time I did it and then never again. Then I rolled lightly with the Professor, always a pleasure, though for him I'm sure its like teaching a one week old puppy to tap dance. I've learned that my inexperience in rolling causes me to think defensively instead of offensively, which must change if I'm to progress. At the end, the Professor & I were the only ones rolling & my training buddies were all yelling different advice at once, while I'm yelling "Shut Up!" because I can't pick out one voice. Then Young R yelled out the best advice I'd had all day, "Parker, stop losing!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Warning: Long Post!

Last night started with a one-one-one with Big Daddy J. He had me do headlock on the ground with Spike as my attacker. Better every time, but still not perfect. Then I "taught" him 360 defenses, which were, meh, okay, but I need to study them & do them again, plus inside defenses as well. Plus work on voice more - much more.

2nd hour was level 2/3 with Relentless. Oh, I was mad at myself!! The first half of the class I gassed out on everything! Nobody's fault but my own - I've almost completely stopped working out outside of krav. I used to be very dedicated to lifting weights & running hill sprints, but that just kind of faded away as I increasingly became "too busy to go to the gym". Ha. Its affecting my krav performance, so vacation is over. You know in Crossfit, I'm happy to work hard (in spite of my protests), but I don't care how I do in relation to everyone else. I don't care about coming in last, I don't care where my name falls on the board - if it even makes it up there at all. That issue just does not exist for me. I want to do the exercises properly and complete the workout, but that's it.

But if I do anything poorly in krav it eats at me without mercy until I correct it. I don't want to be last, I want to be first. I don't want to just get the job done, I want to kick its ass. I know I did fine in the 2nd half of Relentless's class, but in the first half I was struggling just to keep up. This morning the first thought that popped into my head when I opened my eyes, before the images of my dreams had even completely faded away, was to create a plan to address that poor performance and demolish that weakness immediately. Krav is a cruel master, but I've become its willing slave.

3rd hour was Mudslide's MMA class. I started watching this class to learn a few things from the Gorgeous Bastard's performance in there. He's always telling me in private lessons to move more, move around, tuck your chin, blah blah blah. He never shuts up. I knew they'd be sparring in Mudslide's class so I stuck around to see if GB put his money where is mouth is, and I have to say he damn sure did. I was impressed. So watched a few more times & started to get the itch to join in but its such a testosterone fest in there, I didn't want to be an interloper. Some of those guys are so advanced, I didn't want them to be held back by working with someone as inexperienced as me, but Mudslide told me he has a plan to prevent that, so in I went. It was fun! I worked with Miss M, who terrifies me, & Miss V, who was having a first class. Miss V has a great attitude & isn't afraid to work hard, so she was fun. We worked sidemount, mount, & keylocks. I also got to roll with the Professor, who is the most generous teacher ever. He could submit me (and everyone else) with his hands tied while drunk and on Xanax and reciting Shakespeare's sonnets. But he never does that. He just rolls. I can do the techniques well when we're practicing them, but in rolling I can't seem to pull them off. I think next time I'll concentrate on a certain technique & keep trying to get that from different angles instead of letting my head swim with all the different options.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just Go Anyway

Today I was feeling sickly & would have skipped class, but I had my regular one-on-one teaching session with Big Daddy J, and there's no way I'm missing that unless I'm dragging a kidney behind me. My own, I mean. We went over a particular weakness of mine, headlock from the side on the ground, using Young R as my attacker. I think I have it now, or will have with a little more work - the important thing is, the light bulb went on in my head. We'll see how many watts it has next time I try the technique. We also discussed training people to be successful, or more specifically, never training them to fail. This is a continuation of my working with Crazy L to continue to deliver combatives until her attacker collapses, but I'm intrigued by how the concept can be applied to all aspects of our training, and am looking for opportunities to integrate it at every level.

2nd hour was level 3/4 with Relentless. Fun stuff today, & he was keeping it interesting by moving quickly through the techniques - combos 1-4, mouth of the hand strike, ridge hand strike, bobbing & weaving with and without strikes, front kick with ridge hand followup. We did a really fun drill for bobbing & weaving where my partner, Miss C, gets into a fighting stance & "glues" her feet to the ground. I try to rest the focus mitt on her head, her job is to bob & weave & move her head around so that I can't touch her with the mitt - without ever moving her feet. Its fun! Then legs only sparring. I'm working on blocking a round kick with the shin of my lead leg, then immediately kicking with that same leg. So far its working pretty well. I'm glad I came!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rolling Around On The Ground

A happy Saturday. First hour was with Relentless, partnered with Crazy L, who is SO strong. Her front kicks often lift me off the ground when I hold the bag for her. Lots of basics today, so just working on good form. I'm reading an outstanding book by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman called On Combat, & he said something I can't get out of my mind: "When in combat, you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training." So, in other words, how you have trained is exactly how you will perform under stress. This means that...say you're defending against '2 handed choke from the front' in your krav class. You perform the pluck & front kick to perfection, but then you throw a couple of crappy knees & stop, standing there to wonder if that was correct. THIS is what you will do if you are attacked this way in real life! My teachers have always mentioned this, but the way Grossman presents it in his book made a huge impression on me. I made Crazy L continue to attack me until I dropped to the ground, & I did the same to her. This book really is revolutionizing the way I address training & I recommend it.

Second hour was freaking awesome, even though I generally got my butt handed to me the whole time. Krav groundfighting! Woo hoo! Escaping sidemount (oh, I cannot describe how badly I suck at this!), escaping being mounted (better!), escaping rear naked choke (pretty good! woo hoo!). And then we rolled. Rolling is fun! Young R is fun to roll with because he's pretty close to my size, but he hates to lose, so he'll go hard with me. Then he usually yells at me about whatever I did wrong, which is cute. Ah, well, eventually I will be able to pound him for it, and won't that be fun?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gunned Down By My Own Self (11/13/08)

Today I worked with Big Daddy J on teaching practice. He made me talk through headlock from the side, teaching it using no gestures of any kind. Kravvers are very particular about how techniques are explained - its not "move in like this", but "move in at a 45 degree angle". Exercises like this really help me to understand I can perform the technique better as well as how I can express myself more clearly. Next I had to defend against various attacks, performed slowly. At first it was fine, but towards the end I still seemed to get overwhelmed. (Please make a big sigh here on my behalf.) Still, I'm making progress, and this makes me a happy girl.

Next hour was level 3/4 with Relentless. Oh, he kicks hard even when he's not kicking hard! The day I can take a real round kick from Relentless remain standing I'm buying myself a red cape & a mask to wear around town, just like Supergirl. I was partnerless for the majority of the class, so I worked the assigned kicks on the heavy bag, adding additional strikes at the end. I don't want to get into the habit of striking once and then automatically stopping and resetting. Once we moved on to gun defenses though, I intentionally worked in with the pair made up of a cop & his wife. When you work work gun, do it with a cop or a soldier, they can point out everything you're not doing that you should be doing, and look scary at the same time. They are freaking anal about technique, fight to keep their weapon, and have great advice. I recommend them!
I still get "shot" a lot, but hey, I'm working on it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

All Grown Up

Clearly, I should have taken a rest day after yesterday's Crossfit workout. But, no. Today I started off taking in the first 45 minutes of Mighty Mouse's bag class. Bag class is a great workout & an excellent way to work on your form when you are completely exhausted. Bag class is also an excellent way to become completely exhausted. A beastly warm up then straight on to attacking the heavy bag with constant punches & kicks, mixed in with fatigue drills.

I scooted out a few minutes early to join in Relentless' level 2/3, where I teamed up with Baby D for the first time. Combos on the mitts with bob & weave or roundhouse, then on to side kick & spinning side kick.

One thing about being older (I just turned 43) that's good is if I want something to be a certain way, I'm quite happy to tell you how we'll be doing things. Baby D told me he is not flexible & can't get his side kicks up high, so I told him that we'd just try it & see how it goes. His 2nd kick almost nailed my knee, so I immediately said, "Yep! You'll be kicking the heavy bag tonight!" (Incidentally, while he struggled to keep his side kicks up, his spinning side kicks were quite high!)

When I was very young there's no way I would have put him on the heavy bag. I wouldn't want to have offended him so I would have risked having my knee trashed in an effort to be "nice". Of course, he was not offended in the least.

I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that its okay to ask for what you actually want! I see this same hesitation in other young girls and I'm not sure if I want to pat their arm or shake them. Of course, neither would help, but I can't help believing that krav maga training strengthens that part in them that would speak out. I know it has for me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Torture on the Track

So my buddy Hairless J tells me his Crossfit workouts have tremendously improved his recovery time & his performance in krav. Seriously. He insists its true. So I think to myself, "Self, maybe you should quit hiding & try", because the truth is, I would do pretty much anything to improve my krav performance. I would stand on my head naked and play the trumpet if I really thought it would help. But I don't really think it would, so I don't do that.

SO today I joined my friends out on the track at Austin High School and did as I was told, which was the following:

run 400 meters
50 squats
5 pull ups

run 400 meters
50 push ups
5 pull ups

run 400 meters
50 sit ups
5 pull ups

run 400 meters
50 box jumps
5 pull ups

I tell you, by the next krav class I'm going to be Bruce Lee! Actually, though I'm really tired, its a good tired, and its easy to see how this will help my krav training. There is a possibility that I judged Crossfit too harshly in the past, but I'm not telling anyone that yet.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Learned my Lesson, I Hope

So today I was so cranky I expected people to ask me at any moment when I was releasing the flying monkeys. Then my friend JF reminded me I haven't worked out since Monday - aha! No wonder I am intolerable.

Too late for krav, so off to the gym with me. New gym program, in order (pre-tweak, we'll see how it goes):

pull ups
chin ups
overhead squats
Romanian deadlifts
overhead press (do you have to say overhead? I don't know, but that's where the barbell's going)
Swiss ball mountainclimbers (120)

Everything with a barbell, except pull ups, chins, & mountainclimbers.

No pushups because we do a bajillion of those in krav, and no burpees tonight because I was too lazy.

Sweaty. Panting. Happy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oh! Tired & sore, so its been a good night. First hour was a private lesson with Miss C, taught by the Gorgeous Bastard. Like last session, we spent the entire hour working headlock on the ground & still can't pull it off smoothly. For an interesting take on trying repeatedly to do something, & then have it all of a sudden click in & work, go to You Tube & watch Eddie Bravo: Drills Part 1. I tried to make a link to it, but it didn't work, so too bad about that! Bravo seems to be quite right, and I wonder what my number will be on this one.

2nd hour was level taught by Relentless. Was partnerless at first, so I just worked the techniques on the bag til someone showed up late & worked with him. He was fun, & wiry & strong. Also I LOVE inside defenses with the hand sweeping across instead of running your palm against the attacker's arm to redirect. Good good good! Ended with choke with a two handed pluck, my favorite defense for this attack.

3rd hour, Gorgeous Bastard again. This class was huge! As always with GB we did crazy drills I've never heard of (he seems to have an endless supply) & then worked uppercuts till the cows came home. Oh, my arms were so tired I just wanted those cows to go home so bad.
And I am now quite smelly.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Level 1 tonight, taught by the Gorgeous Bastard, whooped me. I was lucky enough to pair with The Gentleman, because I hounded him into it,& Quiet R worked in with us to make it a threesome. I hope I'm not holding The Gentleman back, because he's much more advanced than me, but I selfishly seek him out anyway & do the best I can. Its true what they say about the importance of working with people better than you - your own skills improve much quicker that way. We did loads of fun stuff, as always with GB, the kind of fun stuff that makes you want to heave. Let's see, front kicks, palm heel strikes and drill drill drill drill.

Level 2/3, again with The Gentleman, taught by Relentless, whose new favorite warmup exercise is to have you lie on your back with your partner standing over you with his feet on either side of your head. You grab the back of his feet & with straight legs raise your feet to him. He shoves your feet down & quickly bends down to give you two quick punches in the gut. By the end of it I'm squealing like its the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody loves a good punch or kick to the gut as much as Relentless, so we gave & we got tonight. We also played Monkey in the Middle with chokes, kicks, hammerfists, & knees. I love that game! By the end of it my legs are rubbery & I'm disoriented & giving pathetic little heaving noises with each strike, and I can barely breathe. It makes me so happy. Then we did gun takeaways.

By the way, the new Crossfit space is a work of art - absolutely beautiful. Beautiful enough to inspire me to endure the fiery pit of Hell that is a Crossfit workout. And let's face it, I've noticed that Crossfit girls tend to have exceptionally nice rear ends. so there's that.

Looking forward to the new schedule & MMA classes with Mudslide and the Sultan of Sneak!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday Night Sweatfest

Started yesterday on the heavy bag again, tightening up techniques. Its nice to be alone with a bag & some time, it really allows you to feel out different versions of what you're trying to achieve. New York E helped me out, pointing out that I'm moving in directly into what could be an oncoming punch & working with me on moving the other way.

Level 1 I paired with Spike, who has those former boxer straight punches that will knock you on your ass. I was just holding the focus mitts for him & thinking how I would never, never want to be hit that hard in the head in real life. Stick & move!! We also worked side hammerfists & front kicks. My hammerfists have not recovered their strength yet from having to change my form to blocking my face with my free hand instead of blocking nothing, but they're getting stronger. Bagwork is helping. Ended the class with bear hug from behind. Thank god Spike was wearing a cup, I really got to smack him.

Level 3 was the Gorgeous Bastard's class, & I paired with Teensy LL, always a goal for me because she's smart & quite good at this stuff. This class was freaking fun! We did 2 & 3 point defenses against round kick to the head. No way will I ever do a 2 point block in real life, it'll crack my little arm right in half, and then I'll have to wear a hook, which will make it hard to give myself a pedicure. 3 point is good, though, and actually fun for some reason. Then we sparred a bit, then sparred against multiple attackers. GB is always talking about how sparring can be unrealistic (as opposed to actual fighting) because it turns into a game of cat and mouse. I agree, the supremely useful thing about sparring, for me, it that is teaches you to take hard hits & keep fighting, because the things I think I'd do in a fight are too dangerous to do in sparring. So he had us do an exercise where we protect a friend. So, let's say Miss K of the Fabulous Hair is my friend & she doesn't know how to fight. We're just hanging out & Teensy LL comes along & remembers how much she hates Miss K of FH. Teensy LL attacks her! My job is to recognize the attack & block it, continuing to fight TLL as she both fights me & continues to try to get past me to MK of FH, who squeals & runs if TLL gets near her. Hell, no TLL does not get near her, because I'm on the job, though let's face it, I do get punched in the head a lot.

So, as GB later explains, we replace our game of cat and mouse with a realistic objective & therefore forget about sparring & just fight. It was so much FUN. Then we had to do straight up sparring, but we had our gear bags strapped to us while we went at it, to add another level of difficulty & distraction. Annoying, but effective!

Monday, October 27, 2008

last saturday

Last saturday's class was really interesting. I showed up late to level 1 all flustered & ended up assisting The Rock teaching instead of training. I made a couple of mistakes while demonstrating techniques, but for the first time I didn't want to kill myself over it. I guess I'm starting to get used to talking in front of the class, because my heart wasn't about to burst out of my chest. The Rock also has a very calming influence on me, so maybe that's it, too.

Second hour was GB's level 2/3 class & it was SO much fun. At one point he sat down on his behind with his back against the wall, knees bent & arms resting on his knees. He said, "You know, I was sitting like this the other day, & I started thinking..." So he had
us work defenses from this position. I love it when my teachers put things into a context of reality & just make you work through things while guiding you along. I rarely got up off the ground because my attacker was coming in hard & not backing off, but it was good, because it forced me practice kicking - just kicking - the crap out of somebody.

Third hour was BJJ with the Sultan of Sneak (SS). I'm often confused by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, because I only practice it once a week, and its so complicated. Though I suspect its one the arts that, once you get it, its so obvious.

On being a good partner: I'm working with a woman who is much stronger & more experienced than me. She's very conscientious about being a good partner. But because she's so much stronger, she's ripping my joints out of their sockets without meaning to, & I spent the weekend icing my knee as a result. The dilemma is, if I ask her to lighten up, am I being a poor partner? I don't want to hold her back at all, I like her & respect her. And when I want to go hard, its a bummer to pair with someone who can't! The trick, I suppose, is to find the balance that works for both parties, just like any other relationship.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Soooo tired. I started a little after 5 p.m. My teacher & The Gentleman, who I usually train with at this time weren't there, so I worked on the heavy bag til 6, just tweaking, improving some basics like round kick, hammerfist to the side, & straight punch.

6 p.m. began the level 1 class with CB, our MMA coach, & young RG teaching. I rarely get to take a class with CB, and I love to train with him, because he has a totally different eye for what's going on. I partnered with Miss L, who is strong as a freaking ox, which is one reason she's in demand. We worked hammerfists, front kick, & headlock from the side. On a side note, we did the Drill Which Has No Name, where you get into groups of 3, the striker has a belt around his waist by which he is dragged backward by another person, and WHILE he is dragged backward he strikes a bag with continual hammerfists. Its exhausting & its my favorite drill. I ended up being the odd man out, so I was the striker after everyone else in the room had finished, & so had the entire room standing around like an angry mob screaming at me "GO! GO! HIT THE BAAAAAG!!" It was cool.

7 pm - level 2/3 - partnered up with The Gentleman, who never fails to beat the crap out of me. He is wonderful. First half of the class we did combinations on the focus mitts, 2nd half we worked on long gun, taking it away from the person who has it trained on you & punishing him with it. Never, never piss off The Gentleman.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today I had a private lesson with GB (this is short for Gorgeous Bastard - I won't use real names here unless I have permission, and no, he's not really a bastard, but he is an outstanding teacher) and Miss C. We did groundwork, escaping from a headlock on the ground in various ways. I know in my brain that these techniques work, but my body isn't on board yet. Still a long way to go, but groundwork is so much fun that I still left class in a great mood.

Miss C did, too. Its great to have a partner who is such a good sport. She's been my regular training partner for a year & a half, but now we're mostly splitting up to work with guys to toughen up a bit more. So it was fun to be together on the mat!

F&F's new Crossfit space is coming along nicely, as well. It looks I'll be trying out some Crossfit classes to increase my strength & conditioning for krav, which frightens & disturbs me, as the last Crossfit workout I did made me hurt in ways that seemed straight out of a twisted sci fi novel. Yep, I'm in.