Archive for October, 2009

Top of the Mountain

What’s the view like from the top of the mountain? It’s surreal, but very happy.

I found out last night that I did indeed pass my Phase A test from last week! WOOHOO! Now I can party. I won’t know the full results of how good or bad I did for another week or two, but all that matters now is that I passed and I can relax a bit and maybe get some sleep. I’ve still been dreaming about Krav stuff almost every night and worrying in my sleep that I didn’t pass. Last night I dreamt that I was forced to serve in the Nazi Military during WWII. But instead of shooting at people from my home country I would discretely shoot the Nazis I was supposed to be fighting with. I also snuck around the base picking people off while they were shaving and sleeping. It was only scary near the end when I started to be found out and I was trying to hide.

I guess that’s a reprieve from the Krav dreams but I don’t know if the dream last night was really that much better.  

Anyways I passed!! WOOHOO!

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Coming back to Reality

It is a strange thing to come back to reality after completely submerging yourself elsewhere for a week. As the 3 faithful readers of my blog know I recently returned from my Phase A training in L.A. I won’t know the results for another week or so (at least that’s what we’ve been told) so that is a bit nerve wracking. I’ve been back for 2 days and I still can’t believe how tired I am. Not just ‘hey I could use a quick power nap’ tired, but more like I’m tired all the way to the core. I keep catching myself randomly staring off into the distance, I’m not deep in thought, rather my mind is blank…just staring for no reason.  I hope to catch up on sleep soon, according to my colleagues it took them a good week to recoup. I don’t doubt it now.

Perhaps the strangest thing is that even though I’m dog tired, I think that at any moment I’ll feel someone’s fingers curl and squeeze around my neck or that I will suddenly need to jump up and go kick a bag. It’s hard to come down from the week I had last week. I know I’m not the only one. Talking with other students at the end of the week I learned they were going through the same thing. Punching and kicking the air in the their sleep, waking up from Krav dreams and going out in public feeling like they were about ready to throw some knees and elbows if anyone got too close.  We can all thank the constant exercise and random drills for making us so edgey.

In some ways feeling so alert and ready isn’t a bad thing, but no one can stay at their highest alert level all of the time, eventually we all come back down and start meandering through life. I think that’s why I like Krav so much. Most of our self defenses are trained from a ‘passive’ stance, meaning a normal, unprepared stance. One of our instructors this week even made the comment that when we train we should train from other passive stances of how we’d stand in line for the theater, shopping or just walking around town. I think that’s a great idea I will pass on to my fellow students.

Something that stood out this past week and really grasped my attention was the idea of explosiveness. I’ve heard it a million times ‘speed over strength’ and I’ve seen my instructors bursting in their defenses, but I really saw good examples of it this past week. I’ve always thought that I was fairly explosive and I’ve been told I have very fast hands (not just by the ladies) but during our exercises this week I was told a few times to be more explosive. I didn’t think it was possible but as I kept pushing myself I felt like I broke through a wall and learned just how explosive I could be. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, anyone can fight like, we just all hope we’ll never have to use it.


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Krav L.A. Day - 7

I’m done! I wasn’t sure if this day would ever come, but here I am. Relaxing in my hotel room with everything completed. Feels strange. I’m happy but nervous because I have no idea how I did and I won’t know for a couple of weeks. It also feels strange to not be setting out my clothes and getting everything ready for the next early morning. Instead I’m slowly packing everything up and getting ready to go home! The hotel feels a little lonely with out all the fellow kravers around. I wish I would’ve known that I would’ve had enough time to take the test and still catch a flight out of here!

I feel like I did good, but no one knows for sure. I went hard during the physical test and was completely drenched by the end. My clothes looked like I had just stepped out of the pool. Even my shoes were wet. I heard a couple of ‘good jobs’ while I was hitting the pads but also was told to kick faster on my round kicks and have bigger movements on one of my defenses.

I thought I did pretty good for my mock teaching. We were given one technique the night before to learn and on the fly we were given another one. I know I did pretty well on the 1st one and at least ok to good on the second one. I believe I missed a teaching point on the 2nd one but I hope that doesn’t equate to a failing grade. Who knows. If I didn’t pass I will be shocked and I will question just what it takes to pass! I felt like I gave it my all, spoke clearly on the teaching and had command of the class. If I didn’t pass I will have a serious conversation with my instructor back home about the future of me being an instructor. I know there are other week long trainings after this one for advanced levels, but I can’t imagine having to come back and do this specific one all over again. Only time will tell!

After the physical test and mock teaching we had a 8 or 9 page written test. There were only a few questions that I was unsure about and it wasn’t that the test was hard it’s just really hard to sit on a workout mat after busting your ass all week and write out answers. It took me a good 2 hours to get through the written test. It didn’t hit me until I was standing in the Baja Fresh waiting for my delicious burrito when I finally felt just how tired I was. My body was finally letting go and relaxing and I knew if I closed my eyes while standing there that I would just fall asleep. I only slept about 4 hours last night, so that added to the difficulty of today. Talking with my fellow students I found out I wasn’t the only one. Too many people were too nervous to sleep as was I.

Thanks for all the encouragement. Even to those of you that didn’t feel like giving it. :)
I’m gonna pack and go to bed!

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Krav L.A. Day 6

Wow. Here it is the night before the big test. Tomorrow is where it counts! I have been so focused on the physical aspect of the entire week that I halfway forgot that tomorrow will be quite challenging as well. I suppose that’s the perfect cherry on top of this Krav Sundae.

Today wasn’t bad. As always the morning was quite physical and I was drenched like I have been everyday this week. The afternoon was full of mock teaching and I think I did fairly well. There are always a few small things the instructors correct us on, but he said I did a good job, took control of the classroom and was clear. The rundown for tomorrow is as follows. We go through a physical test of all the Level 1 techniques, each technique should be performed with perfect precision and at full speed. They expect us to continue going hard even when they aren’t directly looking at us. This portion should take approximately and hour and a half to two hours. Then we get a small break before we go into the mock teaching part of the test. We are required to teach two techniques and take control of the class as if we were an instructor. One of the techniques we were given tonight and the other one is given to us on the fly. After the mock teaching is done we have a written test which will be over….anything.

And then?

We’re done.

So tomorrow is for all the marbles. Gonna study some more tonight, but I feel like I know everything well enough. I am glad that my body seems to be holding up quite well, pray or send your good energies that it continues to hold up through tomorrow. I’m a little more nervous about the physical test then the mock teaching, which is funny because even though it’s had I know I’ll be able to get through it ok.

Thanks for all the nice emails/txts and comments! They’ve helped tremendously! Now up to the top of the mountain!

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Krav L.A. Day - 5

5 days down how many to go? What day is it? I’m not sure anymore. Today was pretty good actually. I think I had a bit of a fun. The morning was full of sweating and reviewing and working on techniques we have been working on all week. It’s been raining here (I think I brought the PDX rain down with me) and so the gym this morning was super humid. After working out in the same area for a while the floor gets so wet it looks like I peed on it. In fact I think I probably could and no one would notice. I’m sure glad I did laundry last night because I will probably use all the extra clothes I can. On a side note, yesterday it was ‘raining’ here but really it was just overcast with the slightest drizzle. The temp was about 70 degrees. Quite pleasant actually. I nearly LoL’d at all the umbrellas that were out during the lunch break! This rain was more like a mist and people were freaking out about how wet it was. Anyways, back on the krav subject.

We all got to see a different side to our instructor. He said that he is a laid back dude and he really is. He was joking around a lot more, and having a jolly good time with the other instructor that assisted today. It was fun and made us forget that we were in Phase and that they constantly make us sweat buckets. If you are a constant reader of my blog (and you should be) you’ll recall that back in January that I was told that I shouldn’t say ‘douche’ when striking bad guys. I’ve done a good job of eliminating the douching but instead I’ve adopted other noises. I can’t spell them or type them here, they only come out when I’m attacking someone. Today our instructor caught on to my little noises and I saw a wide grin spread across his face as he watched me pummel my partner. I glanced over and he was grabbing the other instructor to come over and ‘listen’ to me as I threw punches. The other instructor LOVED it too. I’m sure they were laughing AT me, but that’s ok. My instructor back home said they would eat me alive if I went down there saying ‘douche, pow, bang’, but apparently it made me stand out in a somewhat good way.

The rest of the day was full of mock teaching and a lecture and we’re all just frantically trying to take it all in. Lots of studying and reviewing to do…tomorrow night.

until next time!

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Krav L.A. Day - 4

Over the hump. Should be all downhill from here right? Who knows, especially after today. I’m pretty sure the instructors were trying to kill us this morning. I don’t know why, we’re nice people, we’ve been working out hard and sweating gallons daily even with our sore muscles, black eyes and bruises. Maybe we looked like we had too much energy? Maybe they feared we would become soft? I don’t know the reason(s) but after what started out as a decent warmup turned into a nasty heavy bag routine that pushed me to my limit.

The main problem was that I really didn’t eat anything for breakfast. My stomach seemed a little upset and just felt like it didn’t want any food on it. Not only that, I got up a little later and was rushed to even get breakfast…so there I was 45 minutes into a serious cardio exercise with no fuel. I wish I could say it ended there but instead our instructor informed us that we were going right into a mock test to see were all of our abilities were right now. This test lasted until 10am. There wasn’t any time to grab a drink even though my tall, cool water bottle sat only 4 feet away. It was non stop. By the end of the 2nd hour I couldn’t believe that it was only 10am and we still had 5 hours to go. I was fairly certain that I was going to throw up, pass out or just keel over. Fortunately after the ‘test’ I was able to catch my breath, eat and drink…it took awhile but I eventually felt human again.

The afternoon was much easier physically and that was a welcome change, although we were put on the spot more which is a bit nerve wracking. I came home tonight and realized how tired I feel…just TIRED. I just got back from a small dinner they had for us at a yummy mexican place, I’m feeling a bit better now, but sleep is soon to come. I know the next two days will be shorter blogs because I have some serious studying to do. I realize now how important our studying is…and now I’ve got to get on top of it!

At the end of the day I didn’t feel so bad that I just about completely gassed out this morning. My partner who is a boxer/MMA guy and is in top physical condition said that he was gassed too. And in talking with everyone else, they too thought it was a bit extreme this morning. As the one guy from New Orleans said (in is long drawn out drawl). ‘Weeeeeeeel, just because it’s hump day, don’t mean that it’s gonna be easy. Ya still gotta go up the first part of that hill’. True. Tomorrow I’m getting up 30 minutes earlier to allow myself to wake up, eat and get hydrated before I have to hit it..because you never know!

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Krav L.A. Day - 3

Another day down! Woot! Today was hard, but not quite as intense as the first two days. The day started with a 2 hour lecture on warming up the class. We had a different and tiny instructor who gave the lecture. She was nice and fun and like all the instructors here had a physique that could break a log in half. It was a good change to ease us into the day. We ended up ‘warming up’ three different times but even with all that warm up it is still hard to get the punches and kicks moving.

Things are still fairly sore around my body and now I’m sure I’ll have to add legs to that list. We did a lot of kicks today….front, back, side and from the ground. By the end of the day my hamstrings were feeling a little crampy. Today was also good because they actually gave us a full hour for lunch! Amazing isn’t it? It is wonderful to actually be able to EAT and have food in my stomach for the afternoon portion of the class.

We did several intense stress and recognition drills that were tough. Two of the toughest were when we had multiple attackers. We did a kicking drill where we were surrounded by attackers that would call out your name and that was your cue to kick the pad they were holding. It quickly turns into a non stopping confusing kicking routine. The most intense drill was being surrounded by attackers (again) only this time they would choke you and as soon as you were able to eliminate the threat of being choked another person would lung in and choke you from another direction. It was constant mayhem with hands around your neck. The bodies moved around the defender like bees around a hive. I hated it at the time, but later I could see in my head that we were all able to turn off our brains and just react, which is the whole purpose of the drill.

I can’t believe it’s only been three days. It feels much longer then that. I received a text from one of my training partners and he said that I’ve gone over the ‘hump’. Not because I’m half way done with the week (far from it) but from here on out the days are more technical then they are physical. I hope he’s telling the truth, but knowing Krav they will still be fairly physical. They also have a dinner at a mexican restaurant for us tomorrow night so that will be fun.

I thought that when I come back home that I’d be able to take some time off and relax from all the working out, but I received a surprising email from my instructor last night. Just about one month from this Friday will be the Level Four test for me to take. It’s a three-day test so it looks like I will be continuing my intense workouts, it also looks like Sexy Micah will be coming sooner then I thought! Everyone can use a Sexy Micah right?

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Krav L.A. Day - 2

Day two down! My body is feeling it, but  I just spent 30 minutes in the hot tub and I don’t feel too bad right now. I turned the computer off last night and promptly went to bed. Sleep evaded me as the guy above me opened and closed drawers for at least 15 minutes. There are only 3 drawers in the hotel room so I have no idea what the hell he was doing! It was driving me nuts, I almost went up there and asked him if I could help him find what he was looking for. I finally fell asleep only to wake up a an hour later with a leg cramp. It has been so long since I have had a leg cramp I forgot what a bitch they can be. I thought my leg was going to pop off, but fortunately after getting up and walking around and putting some Arnica (stuff for sore muscles) rub on it, it immediately went away and I was good.

Even though we had a good warmup today, it was hard to get moving. My obliques and core muscles are sore from all the twisting and punching and I was seriously suffering for most of the day. We worked on many different techniques and reviewed from yesterday. Instead of our scheduled 45 minutes lunch we received a whopping 25 minutes to eat. Late in the afternoon during an extremely intense punching drill I really hit the wall. I could barely move my arms and even keep my hands up for my partner to hit the bags. It was tough.

Tomorrow will be interesting as our main instructor won’t be there for the first few hours. Our class starts with a lecture about warming up, but we were told it’s an active lecture so we will be moving. I have no idea if that means we’ll be doing warm up things like pushups, situps and planks the whole time or if it means she’ll go through a certain routine and we’ll have to mimic it. What makes tomorrow especially tough is that it starts at 8am. If I want to eat anthing I”ll have to get up at 6:45 to allow the food to settle. We’re scheduled to have an 1 lunch from here on out. Let’s hope they stick to it!

Tonight I went to the hot tub and chatted with a bunch of fellow kravers. I think our lead instructor is great and she rarely picks on me. If she tells me to correct something I’ll redo it and she’s usually satisfied. A few of the guys were talking about how ‘nit picky’ she was and they felt that she was relentless on them…they didn’t seem to happy. I kept my mouth shut but I was thinking “maybe that’s because you’re not as good or as solid as you think you are!” Kinda funny if you ask me.

Lastly I am amazed how I can drink a gallon or more of water and electrolyte juice and not have to pee till I finally get home and even then it’s not very much.

Ok sleep time. I hope it comes quickly…thanks for all the good vibes! Not out of the woods yet.

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Krav L.A. Day - 1

Hey just a quick update since it’s already 10:15 and I did happen to workout for 6 hours straight today and my body is tired. I made it through the 1st day! IT was hard, but what made it mostly hard is that it was soooo looong. There were a few times when I felt like the clock was stuck. Most of the time I didn’t focus on it, but I remember looking up and thinking “it’s not even 4pm yet”.

The day started by us waiting around for the instructor for over 45 minutes. She was stuck in traffic and we were all nervously waiting. First we watched a video and then we jumped right in to shadowboxing (punching the air) none of us were warmed up so I was a little sad, but fter 5 minutes of that they warmed us up real good like.

I can tell there are definitely some people that haven’t been taking Krav for very long. In fact I know of a few that have been only taking it for a few months. That floors me, after a few months I still had not even taken my level 1 test, and I know my instructor would not have even allowed me to take it had it been an option! Anyways other guys (and gals) look solid and good. I wasn’t perfect on everything but I did my best.

The highlight of the day came when we all had to do our first round of mock teaching. They talked to us about energy and being concise in a short time limit. After showing us a quick demo of what they were looking for they began to call random names. We had to teach the fighting stance, hand position, throwing a left punch, throwing a right punch, throwing a 2 punch combo and finally how to make a fist and hit your target. This was all within a 45 second demo. Most people who= were pretty good got to about the 2 punch combo before the teacher would stop them and call the next name. Some people
were stopped before that point because their punching and teaching skill was so weak. The instructor finally called my name and I ran up there all excited showing them how to stand and punch. I didn’t hear her tell me to stop when I got to the 2 punch combo so I kept going. I still didn’t hear her tell me to stop when I showed them how to make a fist and she hadn’t said a peep by the time I showed them how to hit their target. It was then I realized I had made it through the entire demo and she hadn’t said a word. I looked over to my left and her eyes were big with her mouth hanging open as she muttered “wow. ok, that was good”. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wEE! A few people clapped as I ran back to my spot in the room. AWESOME. That doesn’t really mean anything except that I made a decent first impression and the 10 or 11 months of 4 hour tuesday nights standing in front of a camera mock teaching has paid off! Let’s hope it continues to pay off as we will have to mock teach everyday.

Anyways it’s late my body is exhausted from working out and eating half a chicken and pasta and salmon. I’m going to bed.

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Krav L.A. Day - 1/2

I’m up today, ready annnnnd waiting. Now is the time that the nervous twinges float through my stomach. It’s 9am here and I have about 4 hours before I go down to the Krav center and more like 5 hours before it even starts. So I’m up and trying to keep myself distracted for a few hours before I get everything ready.

The bed here is comfortable and I slept fairly good except for waking up from the guy above me at 4:00 am. I don’t know if he was coming or going but he was loud and annoying. The continental breakfast here is nice! They have the full spread for breakfast stuff. I wasn’t very hungry but I forced myself to eat and to eat more than I normally would. Seems carbs are the key which is hard for a vegetable and meat guy like myself.

Nothing too much to report, this post is really just to keep me occupied. I know that once I get through today my nerves will be better. I am just sitting here facing the unknown, knowing only what I’ve been told, that it’s ‘hard’ or ‘brutal’ or ‘no walk in the park’. But so are many of my 4 hour tuesday nights or workouts on the weekends. It is the unknown of whether or not all my working out was good enough, and if my conditioning is strong enough. I feel like it is. I know after many Tuesday nights I’m tired and ready to be done, but I have more in the tank so that’s a good thing. I feel like I’ve whooped my own ass, I’ve lost 7lbs in the past 3-4 weeks and I didn’t feel that fat to begin with! Ugh. I need to go shower and think about something else, when the time comes all I can do is my best.

And to answer Tony’s question in my comments, I am in Los Angeles California for 7 days. I’m here for a Krav Maga thing I’ve been training months for. You should come over more often and then you’d know. :)

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