Kickin’ ass and taking names

If you really ‘know’ me, not in the Biblical sense, but in the friend sense you know that I love the martial arts. I love watching it, but most of all I love practicing it. Ever since the first Karate Kid more than anything I wanted to throw some punches and do some crane kicks. I got my chance in 5th grade when my mother so generously enrolled me in karate classes. It was awesome! I stuck with it until my junior year of H.S.

Even though it was great, the most frustrating thing was that I made it all the way to 2nd degree brown belt, which is a smidgen away from black belt. When people found out I was in karate for so many years they would inevitably ask how far I got and it was always a little disappointing to say “2nd degree brown, which is one away from black”. Friends would always tell me I should go back, but after being away for so long it was pointless and I thought ‘why bother?’.

Today all that changed.

Michelle decided she’d like to go to a self defense class and after a little prodding got me to go along. It was a free trial and I figured it could be fun. The style of the class is Krava Maga which was a self defense system used in the Israel Defense Forces. Today it is used by many law enforcement agencies to quickly disarm and disable any opponent. Quite literally it is designed to kick ass in the quickest, most effective way possible.  I had a blast and it totally kicked my ass, just like the karate days. I forgot how hard it is to punch and kick and punch over and over again. Talk about a workout! The style took some getting used to since the fighting stance is more like a boxer’s rather then a martial artist’s but I was still loving it. The best part about the class is that our instructor looks so much like John Locke from ‘Lost’! He’s soft spoken and has the all knowing twinkle in his eye and grin on his face, just like John, but when it comes time to demonstrate he explodes into an ass kicking older man! No one would ever suspect him to be like that.

After the class the John Locke look alike showed Michelle and I around the facility. It is new and very nice. Downstairs they have a small workout room with some dumbbells and a few machines. I was noticing their lack of machines when he said, “You may notice our lack of machines, that’s because we don’t believe in just isolating one muscle, but working out the body as a whole unit.” This just about sealed the deal for me since this has been my philosophy ever since I lost 30lbs a year ago. The only thing holding me back is the money, it is a bit expensive, but damn I want to do it! I haven’t felt this jazzed about martial arts since watching Ralph Macchio kick that no name actor William Zabka in the nose at the end of Karate Kid.

Check out the official Krav Maga website here.
Here is  a good blip about Krav Maga from the Discovery Channel.
So….who wants to join with me?


  1. Phil said,

    November 13, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

    Now you can be like that joker on Dr 90210

  2. mego said,

    November 14, 2007 @ 7:12 am

    go for it! you know you’d love it… and you’d stay in shape!

  3. momma said,

    November 14, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

    do it!! Karate Kid lives on forever!!

  4. Michelle - The Brit said,

    November 14, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

    I have to tell everyone that i kicked his butt ha ha. He had to hold the pad up against his stomach while i kicked it and i kicked and he jumped back 3 feet becasue of my so powerful kick - cool eh!

  5. EsoPhil said,

    November 15, 2007 @ 1:29 am

    Interestingly enough, quite a few of the Krav Maga exercises I saw on YouTube were exact mirrors of what Mr. Croeni taught us in our self-defense exercises for each belt. I think he was probably pretty thoughtful about such things, especially since he was a security guard.

    Quite honestly though, I don’t take huge interest in self-defense. It does interest me, but I don’t think I would want to brag about my skills because in real life I’m sure I’d get wasted, especially if people challenged me or something.

    Martial arts primarily interest me because of the beauty of their motion. Therefore, t’ai chi and kung fu interest me greatly. Most people argue that these forms are mostly worthless when put up against extreme fighting and more military style martial art systems. I think this is probably true. But in the end, I’d rather learn martial arts to give me inner peace… not peace that I’d be safe against attack (a farse - there is no safety against a gun or knife, only false security, potentially producing overconfidence), but rather the peace that flowing beautiful movements bring. I feel well when I’m performing a movement with some grace.

    I never really cared much for sparring or self-defense aspects. I just wanted to master techniques and forms (katas).

    There is a chinese kung fu master here in Portland who trained in the same school as Jet Li. His wife is a world-renowned T’ai Chi champion. I think if I could train anywhere, it’d be there. Money has always been my primary barrier. Otherwise I think I’d take martial arts pretty seriously.

  6. EsoPhil said,

    November 15, 2007 @ 1:33 am

    It’s funny that they put the names of everyone going for a particular belt on the Krav Maga website. It’s like saying, “I’m learning the quote-unquote best system out there. Come challenge me. Here’s my name and location.” I definitely wouldn’t want to broadcast to the world that I’m learning such things. Not that anyone would likely hunt you down, but still.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment