First Krav Maga Class

Posted: February 11, 2016 in My workouts, training
Tags: , , , , ,

I mentioned that I did a Krav Maga class recently, but I thought maybe I should write a whole post about my first class experience. It was a while ago now, unfortunately it takes me awhile sometimes to get around to writing up blog posts.

So a few weeks back now I did my first trial Krav Maga class. I’ve been wanting to learn Krav Maga for a while but it’s expensive so I hadn’t ever gotten around to actually doing it. So the closest Krav Maga studio to me has trial classes where you can come in and do a free class to see if you want to sign up. So I signed up for a Thursday evening class.

Before the class:

I got off work about 5pm as planned, rushed home because I still needed to dry the clothes for class. Rushed around to make sure I had shoes and water, only to realize that it was still over an hour before I needed to leave even for planning to be there early. So then I just relaxed for a bit, lost track of time, and ended up leaving later than planned in workout clothes with jeans over my workout capris, separate shoes (as required by them), and a water bottle. Put the address in my GPS and headed out.

So I got to the Krav Maga place and was still early for the class. I had signed up for the trial class online so when I walked in and heard “Erin?” at first I just thought it was someone who had seen an “Erin” sign up for the class, it took me a minute to realize the person who said my name was actually Claire, who I had gone to high school with!

After that I got a tour of the building from a staff person, then chatted with Claire a bit. A Krav Maga level 2 class was wrapping up so I watched for a little bit as they did some disarming moves. Honestly from the little I saw I was surprised that was considered level 2 moves, but I only saw the tail end of the class.

Level 1 Class:

Then the level 1 class I signed up for was going to start, and I certainly felt nervous. I set down my stuff in the back of the room, quickly retied my shoes and rushed to get lined up at the start. We all formed a line in front of the instructor, he asked if it was the first time for anyone and I raised my hand. Two other people in the class were there for the second time I guess, but also doing a trial. He asked if anyone had any injuries and I considered if I should mention my issues with my foot but I didn’t want to draw much attention to myself and it’s only really a big problem if I run, so I decided not to mention it. We did some bowing thing to the front then back of the room, then he says to make a circle of the room, and it took me a few moments of seeing what others were doing to realize we were being told to run laps of the room.

Oh.

“Only a problem if I’m running” and what do we start with? Running.

I was clearly not expecting a Krav Maga class to involve running.

I started out at the back of everyone but keeping pace, after a lap or 2 though I started falling behind, I was out of breath and my foot was killing me, but I kept pushing through as much as I could. I was being lapped by several people and definitely feeling embarrassed and out of shape. Then we added various arm movements while running. Then a weird sideways shuffle around the room which felt awkward and I was out of breath and just thinking this is clearly not for me.

After all this we are instructed to find a place around the room and I think, ok, warm up done, now we do krav maga, right?

No.

The downside of writing this so long later is that I don’t remember all of what we did. But there were ab exercises on the floor, jumping to the floor and back up, and then we did some punching at the air. It felt like just another standard fitness class all through this and I’m thinking to myself, just get through this hour long class and be done with it, this is not what I was looking for. I want to learn krav maga, if I wanted just generic fitness classes I could join a random gym closer to me and for cheaper.

Then we do some punching at air, fast paced, so still very aerobic and I’m still out of breath and struggling.

The instructor then makes a comment about how this isn’t some fitness kickboxing class, this is Krav Maga, punch like you mean to hit something. And I’m thinking in my head “is this really any different than a generic fitness kickboxing class?”

Seems though that this was just the warm up, though it was a long warm up in my opinion. I’m not used to a warm-up taking up a full quarter or longer of the class/session time.

Then we were instructed to get a pad from the corner and pair up. A woman comes to me and asks if I want to pair up with her. I was thankful she came and asked me because the “find a partner” stuff always makes me feel uncomfortable. I was feeling awkward and out of place already and asking to partner with someone for fitness endeavors brings back too many memories of being the fat kid in gym class who was always picked last.

I got the feeling that she was probably also an instructor though just taking the class at that moment. We started off then with taking turns one person holding the pad and the other punching it. I finally felt like I was doing what I came there for but was still out of breath and feeling very out of shape because of it. But it was getting fun for me finally, and the woman I was partnered with was incredibly nice and helpful. She kept giving me pointers on everything, showing me how to hold the pad for her to punch, and offering encouragement. After punches we took a water break and then did some kicks. Again, the woman I was partnered with was being helpful showing me what to do and giving advice. The instructor came around and corrected my stance for the kicks.

After kicks we put away the pads and in pairs practiced breaking away from someone trying to choke us from behind. I kept having to be told to be rougher when I was the one doing the pushing/choking from behind. I struggled a bit since my only time doing things like this was a required training at work on safety and getting out of chokes, what to do if someone tries to attack us, et cetera. But being a required work training, even faking everything I was apparently the most rough person in the class. Was hard for me to adjust to a situation were people weren’t afraid of being rough and wanted to practice with more realistic force.

We ended after this lining up again and doing the bows.

After class:

I hung around after chatting with Claire and waiting because by then I had had fun and decided I was going to sign up. I sat down with the two other new folks to go over the membership options. They were a lot less sure and had more questions for me whereas by then I was just like “let’s do this!” This is when I started coughing. At the start just a bit here and there, by the end of the meeting and sign up  a lot more.

I ended up signing up for the krav only option, with a year long commitment. They also do some other classes like yoga, weight lifting, and so on, but you have to have a more expensive membership to do those. I was tempted, mainly for the weight class as it would give me a change to lift with someone in person who could check and correct my form. But it was already super expensive and already going to be a struggle to fit just krav maga classes into my schedule, so I just did that.

Of course I’ve mentioned the rest in other posts- by the time I got home my coughing was pretty severe and kept getting worse all night. By morning I was still coughing constantly and ended up calling in sick to work because I couldn’t imagine trying to talk to people when I was hacking constantly like that. Not only was I coughing though, but after a coughing spasm there would be a few seconds were I felt like I couldn’t start breathing again. Coughing kept up though it got marginally better over the weekend and so I went into the doctor and was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma and prescribed an inhaler.

Oh, and after I got home Claire posted a video on facebook:

At first I hated how I looked, but after a bit I liked it.

I just got back now from my second class. Went fairly similar to before. People are nice and helpful. Had a bit of a panic attack for fear of not being able to breath after. And despite the inhaler I am coughing again :-\

Still, it is fun.

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