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.