The morning started out with nearly a dozen of us on the beach for our morning run. The distance is maybe three quarters of a mile total followed by a dip in the warm Medditerranean sea. According to Drew Goodwin, my roommate and Director of IKMF California, it’s at least ten degrees warmer than Southern California. It was refreshing. Eating an a relatively traditional breakfast including a salad, toast with Nutella and jam, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta-ish cheeses, and scrambled/hard boiled eggs, the group refuels. Day two is to include more level training in the morning, women’s and children specific subject plus close quarters combat /close quarters battle in the afternoon.
We begin our warm up led by Shlomi Moyal, head of women’s and children division of the IKMF. I’ll be honest, there are no better warm ups than kid warm ups. Kids always have fun, but as adults it’s way more difficult than my child mind/adult body likes to admit. Wheel barrow races in tight quarters. The chicken game (swimming pool without the pool) where the third and final objective is to knock people over, and a dragging drill that even frustrated me (in a good way because I had a fantastic partner). Even after everyone was bent over sucking wind, there wasn’t a face that didn’t have a smile crossing it.
The level training reviewed portions of the previous day with Tamir Gilad. His smiley self is always a good time. We get past the review into new problems that I’ve never practiced or even attempted before, but I didn’t stress. At this high level, Krav Maga becomes intuitive. We see the attack, we see possible solutions, and our most confident solution is confirmed not only by trial and error, but by confidence in our decision making (and GIT 🙂 We deal with stick attack while on the ground, stick attack from low swing (golf/cricket), and stick threat from a far hand position. Think not a KM fighting stance with the stick, but that the stick is in the hand furthest away while the closest hand is pushing you backwards. It wasn’t an enlightened section of learning as much of reaffirmation of proper decision making. I brim with confidence. My training/testing partner Paula Meyers from Minnesota and I work back and forth from different angles, positions, and distances. We polish the techniques to make them as realistic and clean as possible. I was great fun.
We move on the axe/hatchet attack. If you are reading this and have made it to P4-G2 area then you know the technique. It is daunting, but you have the foundation. I will not elaborate more than this. If I did you would not come back to class 😉
Before we break for lunch, we work through a couple of drills. One versus eight, dealing with knives, hand gun/long rifle, stick and strikes. It was fabulously frustrating. Rapid fire crap shoot scenarios that show that the reaction without recognition of all factors of the situation made you kick yourself in the backside. Second drill was a gauntlet with weapon/threat/attack problems. No blood was spilt so it was a success.
After lunch we broke into two groups. Half with Shlomi Moyal and the other half with Israel Cohen. During the training with Shlomi we went over kids tournament. I know what you’re thinking: Krav Maga is not a sport. You’re right, it’s not. However, kids are kids and I believe in preserving their innocence as long as possible and making them better to make the world a better place. Maybe not forever, but at least for a short time. We went through the format and it is inspiring. I’m hoping I can get permission from Shlomi to utilize this tool for another aspect for KMTX.
And then we get to the women’s specific section. (improper grammar is on purpose.)
What I can say is this: I’ve been doing my female students a disservice that I will rectify as soon as I get back. I’m disappointed in myself for not seeing things in this perspective. I wish I had known about the distance tool. And I’m getting to the damn Stay Away course as soon as I can because after a brief reintroduction… mind=blown.
The swap out with The Honey Badger (Israel Cohen because he doesn’t care) was a fun one. Air soft M-4’s plus attacks with knives and sticks is always a good time and we got to shoot each other!
After dinner the rest of the aspiring Expert 2’s continued with our essay presentation. That’s right, essay presentation. It’s not all about fighting fockers. It’s about questioning, personal opinion to promote techniques, growth, and aspects of problems you may not even think about. Yesterday the presentations were a bit rough. Something about the Hebrish to native tongue translation joined with the concept of expectation of the presenters (if that makes sense) was lost and now found. It was mentally stimulating and thought provoking. Like in class, we were encouraged to ask questions. At this level it’s about the conversation go find the best solution based on the experiences of the most top level instructors in the world. To say I was engaged and excited would be an understatement.
After the presentations a good portion of the 47 member camp made their way down to the cabana. I’m not sure if Israelis have cabanas but that’s the closest thing that comes to mind. The conversations lingered and meshed between the large group. The Greek contingent was in near-full attendance and what a friendly group they are. We passed around pictures of our spawn for a good bit in between conversation. Eddie Gavin, Jim O’Laughlin, ‘Ze German Andreas’, and I had a philosophical dialog that continued the rest of the evening revolving around that “M” word that I really don’t like to acknowledge,… maturity. Addressing problems in an effective way to make people better. I neither confirm nor deny the fact that responsible and caring adults may be in the area.
On that note I’m signing off. As I write this it is your tomorrow. If you are friends with my much better half on social media wish her happy berfday. It just might surprise the crap out of her. Here are also a few pics from today. If you’ll notice in one of them a few of us are ahead of the latest trend of the Dadbod while the remainder of the group look like ripped fighters. Either way, we win.