Mental Edge

People often observe the ease with which I am able to apply techniques and think that I an individual who was born with a natural talent. What most people do not see however are all the years of practice that have gone into developing my skills. My philosophy is one of consistent never ending improvement. What has always excited me about training is that every moment there is a fresh new opportunity to learn something new. I apply this philosophy not only to martial arts but practically everything I endeavour. Just last weekend I completed the last of my Microsoft exams to become MCITP certified in Virtualization Administration.

I successfully achieve my goals not because I am gifted but rather because I focus on the outcome that I am looking for. I did not just walk into a martial arts studio and hope that everything will click into place. I made demands on myself, I trained regularly, ran daily, stretched; went over my moves at home physically and mentally. It is important to know the outcome that one seeks; to be wealthy one must study wealth, to be healthy one must study health; if you want martial art skills you must study self defence. This may mean testing your skills, using pad work to develop striking techniques; using aggression and full contact drills and training at home. If someone calls or emails me to enquire about classes I pull no punches when explaining what is required to be competent in Krav Maga.

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Right to Defend

People used to tell me before I came over to the country that reality martial arts would never make a big impact over here; that New Zealand is safe and is cut-off from the troubles of the world. What confuses and agitates me are the statistics of crime that I see and read about daily in the news. I feel overwhelmed and my sentiments are unable to keep up with the abomination of all the things happening lately in the news. I simply no longer see the idealic picture that was portrayed to me at the Work New Zealand Expo in London 6 years ago.

The dark side ofNew Zealand society in the back of my mind gives me a sense of dread. Dread about the future of my children and leaves me with anxieties about molestation by adults and the terror of a drug-addicted and criminal future. This emotional inadequacy or impotence against a boundless sea of troubles at times makes me doubt my own humanity.

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Hard Targets

As my students as make a commitment to regularly train twice a week the onus is for me to provide training regimens that would increase their aerobic work rate and fitness. In the past a student once told me that he would rather just go over self defence moves than practice combatives and aggression drills. Not only is the combative training a good way to warm up for the self defence training but it also provides a good aerobic workout. The aggression drills foster the mindset to react correctly when attacked unexpectedly and build confidence. If I ran my classes any other way I would be detracting from the true benefits of Krav Maga.

As I write this blog I am aware of the issue in this country with obesity. As many as one in three New Zealanders is classed as clinically obese. This means that their body fat makes up at least 30% of their body mass. The last twenty years we have seen a decline of sporting pursuits in favour of video games and the overuse of cars. As a result one in four children is now also overweight. It does not help that we have a generally benign acceptance of being too large for one’s size. By providing a fun and challenging martial arts activity I am doing my part to combat this obesity epidemic.

My role as an instructor puts me in the position of a fitness trainer, a self defence expert, a motivational speaker and a life coach. It is interesting that for the first time females outnumber males in my school. At first when the female students observe the military style aggression drills often I would get asked whether they could just watch and sit out. I practically force them to take part; however once they experience the fun and gain confidence they would often ask to go again. Seeing females instinctively defend from a violent grabs and chokes makes me realize the benefit of this type of training in protecting lives.

I am a firm believer in rough military style training as opposed to practicing graceful techniques and striking the air. There is a bottleneck on how many techniques can be used in the split second of an attack and knowing too many moves can actually be a hindrance in self defence. Not many things are as satisfying to an instructor as having a student tell me that her confidence in being able to defend herself has increased tremendously after just a few sessions with me. Just the mindset alone could prevent an attack. Sun Tzu said that to fight and conquer is not supreme excellence but rather supreme excellence is in breaking the enemy’s resistance without having to fight. The point I am making is that awareness of the environment and projected confidence and vitality in the body language will probably prevent an attack. Attackers and bullies are predators, which mean they seek easy targets.

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