Sunday, August 23, 2009

Krav Maga Mind Training

By Moshe Katz

Mind Training Where is your mind when you are training? What are you thinking about? What should you be thinking about?

I will tell you exactly what you should be thinking about, so pay close attention, Fare attenzione (Italian), Venimaniye (Russian) Sim lev (Hebrew).

Your mind should be nowhere in particular. Shut it off and lose yourself in the training.

Now I am not talking about technique learning, then of course you must be focused and pay close attention. I am referring to when you are working on your drills; your kicking, punching, full contact knife defense. I am talking about when you must drive yourself physically.

If you have a teacher, that is great. Just surrender to his/her control, be a robot, do as he says. If he says kick, you kick until your legs can move no more, if he says punch, you punch until your hands bleed and can no longer move. Man, I miss those days.

So what do I do these days, I will blast something like AC/DC singing "No mercy for the bad if they need it." Or "Evil walks behind you, evil sleeps beside you, evil talks arouse you, evil walks behind you."

Maybe I will hit myself in the head with…

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Krav Maga Theory

By Moshe Katz

Got You! Mankind produces many great theories. We have theories on evolution, on the creation of the earth, on global warming and a million other topics. Some theories make men famous for the duration of their lifetime and then, years later, poof! The theory is dismissed and replaced by another theory.

Test out your theories in training, don't wait for this to happen on the street.

Most of these theories have one thing in common; you can't really prove if they are true or not. You may 'prove' it with mathematical notations that cover many pages or with abstract concepts that only the brilliant can comprehend but, in reality, in remains just that, a theory.

With Krav Maga, and other reality based systems of defense, it should not be that way. Often, however, it is.

Recently I met a Krav Maga practitioner who showed me a certain knife defense. He "explained" it to me with various theories involving the nature of the triangle, the angle of the body as compared to a body in motion, and the concept of a straight line vs. a bent line and so forth. Interesting! To me it made no sense at all so I just said, "interesting" and let it go.

By chance I bumped into the fellow again...

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tips for Randori

Judo Throw Students practicing randori, or free practice, are learning the use of letters, words and sentences of Judo to communicate in a meaningful way. The meaning of the Japanese word randori suggests there is generally no controlling form or pre-established method of practice. It is often practiced freely, with each person attacking and defending at will with full power.

In randori, one can never be sure what technique the opponent will employ next, so they must be constantly on guard. Being alert becomes second nature. One acquires poise, the self-confidence that comes from knowing that he can cope with any eventuality. The powers of attention and observation, imagination, of reasoning and judgment are naturally heightened and these are all useful attributes in daily life as well as in the dojo.

– Jigoro Kano, founder of Judo

The following are tips for randori. I believe many of these tips can be applied in Krav Maga practice as well as grappling practice.

  • There is no score or winner in randori, so banish thoughts of victory or defeat.

  • Focus on attacking freely without regard for being thrown.

  • Keep a relaxed and natural posture to retain free movement of your body and mind.

  • Keep your arms loose.

  • Keep your head up and centered over your hips.

  • Do not waste energy.

  • Follow through with each technique; do not get in the habit of going half way.

  • Follow up each technique with another.

  • Never refuse a practice partner.

  • Seek out training partners who are better than you are.

  • Try new moves to overcome problem situations.

  • Rely on skill and timing, not strength.

  • Control your breathing.

  • Keep your elbows close to your body where they are most powerful and least vulnerable.

  • Always face your opponent.

  • Do not cross your feet when moving around.

  • Learn to feel your partner’s intentions and anticipate attacks.

  • Maintain mizu no kokoro (mind like water); stay calm and undisturbed.

  • Focus on kuzushi (breaking balance) to create opportunities for attacks.

  • Employ the principle of maximum efficiency even when you could easily overpower the opponent with size or strength.

  • Help your partner to learn while you perfect your technique.

  • Act now; analyze later.

  • Do not make excuses; do not give up. Tomorrow you will be better.
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