And here I thought I was in shape!

There’s nothing quite like a sweaty, 250lb man lying on top of you to make you realize your cardiovascular system needs some work. You may think I’m describing a recent date I had, but I’m sorry to disappoint that it is not. I still very much enjoy women and if I had my choice of something laying on me, a large man would be one of the last things on my list right up there with a looney tunes anvil . 

Last night was somewhat of a typical night at Krav Maga where we get down and dirty and try to receive a very small taste of what a fighting for your life might feel like. Our instructor likes to run a drill called ‘The Circle of Life’. The drill consists of 5 attackers that surround you and constantly attack you with chokes, headlocks, bear hugs and often times sticks, knives and guns. The point of the exercise is to get your brain to stop thinking about ‘oh what should I do next’ and just react. If you were attacked on the street there would be no time to stop and think or assess the situation, you would just have to react. The drill also helps give you a sample of the tunnel vision and hearing that often comes when your adrenaline kicks in. When the fight is on and your fight or flight response is amped up you lose the ability of your fine motor skills. So unfortunately that means your super-secret-one-fingered death poke is out which is why Krav stresses gross motor movements like elbows, knees and headbutts.

For us advanced students going through the circle of life is still stressful but often we get into a rhythm and thus we don’t benefit from the drill as much as we should. Last night our instructor decided to mix things up and had us execute our combatives but our attackers were to keep attacking as if our strikes didn’t work. Oh man, talk about stressful. A simple choke from the front morphed into a double leg takedown which morphed into 250lbs of man pressing down on me while I struggled to get up. When I finally broke free another set of burly hands were quick to grab me from behind and pull me back to the ground. When I broke free again a headlock came on and yanked me sideways towards the ground. I gave it everything I had, but by this timemy arms were moving like cherry jello in a glass bowl.

When my round was finally over I was spent……all after only 1 minute. Yikes. My lungs were heaving and my legs were ho-ing (does that make sense?). I haven’t felt misery like that in a long time and it took several minutes to get myself back in order. Today I can feel that drill through my back, neck shoulders and legs, amazing! Nearly every day I work out and do weights, running or kickboxing but it appears I need to step it up a notch. Time to get back to the stairs or time to engage myself in more ground fighting before I test for the next level this coming November.

I heard an instructor once say if you can’t fight for your life for at least 2 minutes then forget about it. He’s right. 2 minutes may not seem like a big deal but when you’re on your back and someone bigger than you is choking you while you struggle to get free, 10 seconds feels like an eternity, let alone 2 minutes. Train train train.

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