After one and a half hours of intense fighting, slapping and defending ourselves, one of our instructors said: “You have just learned the basics of the best self-defense technique in the world.” For our Block Activity yesterday afternoon, Steve’s tutor group has organized some time with the best instructors for Krav Maga in Hong Kong for us. Krav Maga is an self-defense system, used by the Israeli Defense Forces, that trains those who learn it to defend themselves against both unarmed and armed aggressors, in the dark, in stress situations or any other circumstances. Krav Maga is known for being especially realistic in its self-defense mechanics and is particularly advised to women who can thereby learn how to use their (sometimes little) strength in the most effective way.
In yesterday’s Krav Maga session, us we learned the very basic defense skills of blocking hits, slaps and attacks with e.g. a knife or bat. There are six positions you can place your arms in, according to the point of your body which your attacker is aiming at. We started our training with a warm-up session, having a few runs around our sports hall and doing some exercise together. For example, we played a “grenade game”; in which we had to let a bouncing ball fall to the ground and catch it before it landed on the floor for the third time. If we didn’t catch it, we had to throw ourselves onto the floor, to shield ourselves from the fictive explosion. The one who eventually lay closest to the grenade ball, did 20 pushups.
Starting the real training, we learned how to stand properly and how to coordinate our body and hands to protect ourselves. We used the six defense positions to turn away knife and fist attacks and later went on to hitting the aggressor himself while defending ourselves. We were paired up, and I got to train with Steve, which I saw as lots of fun and a real pleasure. Steve, a Theatre and TOK teacher at LPC, does Krav Maga twice a week, is our work-out supervisor and has over 30 years of own work-out experience … and bluntly, he looks like all of this. Seeing him working-out brings associations close to a human machine to your mind. So I got to train with him, and I loved it. Being experienced, he challenged my time of reaction and could give me advise on what to do better. I learned a lot!
We ended our session by copying a possible real-life-stress-situation. Four groups of students stood in two rows, building a sort of tunnel, and some students got some of the training “pillows” into their hands. Each group had to make its members run through the tunnel, constantly attacked, hugged and pulled back by the people on the sides, and also endure the ‘pillow fight’. This was indeed very stressful and some students were scared, but in the end everybody fiercely made it through.
Before Krav Maga, I already had a lot of self-defense training in previous P.E. classes, did Judo for a few years and had some sessions of Kickboxing in LPC. Hence I could relate many of the techniques and basics of Krav Maga to my previous knowledge and skills. Still, Krav Maga was a real physical challenge yesterday and I absolutely loved it. Also, it encouraged me to a great work-out in the school gym afterwards, where we have new dumbbells since a few days – great stuff! This was definitely one of my favorite Block Activities ever!