A kingdom for a hot bath
I’m just getting out of the bathtub. Wait a minute, I’ll correct you: I’ve just got out of the piping hot bathtub. For reasons.
So far I haven’t posted anything on the blog about “ good resolutions ”, which of course doesn’t mean that I don’t have any. And after the experiences of tonight I really have some. But first things first.
The man and I went to the Krav Maga together. This is not a new classy restaurant in Cologne, but pure self-defense. And as I had to painfully discover today: Self-defense is not a martial arts.
The term Krav Maga comes from Hebrew and can be translated as contact combat or close combat . But how did I come up with taking this course?
Let’s do sports together
As luck would have it, I read the entry on Facebook by our wedding photographer at the time, who found HER thing in Krav Maga . She loves this workout and she is a very convincing personality. Female type, gentle and at the same time very tough. She recommended the man and me a trial lesson in the course Krav Maga Regular . Men and women, beginners and advanced learners train together here.
I’ve been interested in martial arts for a long time. As a child I had judo lessons and was therefore able to assert myself against all rackets and my four cousins at school. My cousin is training karate and my niece has recently started boxing and loves it very much.
Also, most martial arts offer a wonderful combination of full body and mental training, and I like that combination. And last but not least: The husband and I want – in addition to our marriage weekends – to have more hobbies together, so let’s go to Krav Maga!
Krav Maga – self-defense is not child’s play
The goal of Krav Maga is practical and realistic self-defense with realistic everyday scenarios. For example, the units of GSG 9, the American SWAT units and Navy Seals train Krav Maga on an ongoing basis. It is also part of the training at the KSK lone fighter course of the Bundeswehr.
Far Eastern fighting techniques are linked to certain traditions, rules, philosophy or religions. There is only one goal at Krav Maga: survive disputes as unscathed as possible! When faced with a real threat, attackers do not follow any rules; they are usually unpredictable and fight unfairly. And it is precisely for these situations that Krav Maga wants to prepare. Under realistic conditions.
In order to prevent the people from whom you want to protect yourself from being trained, registration and identification with an ID card is required as early as the trial training, which is only given after the training. In order to participate in the regular Krav Maga training, a certificate of good conduct without any entries of violent crimes is required.
Reality strikes. So right!
Maybe I should have chosen a beginner’s course to get started. Or an all-women course. But as it was, I met a mixed group of beginners and experts. No pardon for newbies, reality knows no pardon either. As a precaution, you should wear a mouth or tooth protection and a jockstrap. Yes, women too! I could borrow the genital protection but not the mouthguard. I was insecure. It won’t be that tough here. Oh but. It worked!
“Run across the room trying to hit the other’s neck, head and shoulders” sounds like fun at first. So I looked all the more stupid when I caught a number of hard blows while walking past. While I was playing the others, I got myself a couple of slaps. Hardness. Because: In real life, no attacker works.
The Cologne scenario
The next exercise: pushing your way through an angry crowd – the Cologne scenario on a small scale. The first time I was able to meander relatively well, the second time I could hardly get out of the crowd. Trapped between adrenaline-charged bodies, hard bumping elbows, boxing fists and aggressive looks (yes, that’s part of the simulation too) I lost my bearings – and my self-confidence. I tried to evade, to protect myself and at the same time to get out of the surging mass, but instead became more and more insecure and got a little panic. I didn’t feel like laughing anymore.
I then did the rest in the two-man exercise, in which I was taken into a headlock by the male “attacker”. Determined. Merciless. Ruthless. I didn’t have a chance. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t break free. I was completely helpless. I realized that if a man attacked me like that, I wouldn’t have a chance. I wouldn’t be able to defend myself. I would be helpless.
When the exercise was finally over, my posture was over, too. I was panic. My heart was racing, I could hardly breathe. I hadn’t expected so much realism and rigor. Tears welled up in my eyes, I left the room. One of the female trainers followed me, comforted me and explained that it is the same for many women who come to this training session for the first time. She offered me to train with her, to continue. But I was through with the world for that day. I sat sniffling on one of the stools at the registration counter and just watched the people exercising. I could hardly stand the sight.
What went wrong?
During martial arts training I don’t sit sniffing on my hump either. And that’s exactly the point. Krav Maga is not a martial art. Krav Maga is realistic self-defense.
My need for fairness, for adhering to combative rules, was overridden here. That was the simulation of a real attack scene. Not a nicely choreographed fight scene from an action film, but pure reality. Raw. Uncouth. Brutally. And disillusioning. I didn’t expect that.
But if you fall from your horse, you have to get on again to overcome fear. And that’s exactly what I’ll do. I will attend a Krav Maga beginner course for women only. I now know what to expect. And even if this course isn’t my thing, then I’ll just test my way through the different martial arts until I’ve found mine. Because there is one thing I don’t want to be anymore: helpless.