Let’s face it, some days it is hard enough just getting to the gym. Every now and then, we all hit plateaus in our training, but it is still up to us to work past them. Last year, I spent 2 months recovering from sciatica in my right knee. After I healed, I spent time slowly building my strength and flexibility back up. In Krav Maga, where it is essential to be able to twist, I suffered quite a bit of pain in my knee. Today, none of this is an issue, but during my recovery I came across a number of small things that make Krav Maga techniques make more sense. Through this injury I discovered three things that can maximize your Krav Maga training.
1. Get in the zone.
This sounds silly, but it is very easy to get sucked into the monotony of practicing a technique that you forget why you are doing Krav Maga in the first place. Don’t just do a technique over and over; take the time between repetitions to get into the proper mindset. The mind-body connection is crucial in an actual confrontation, and what better place to hone it than in the gym? Don’t lose focus.
2. Blocking in Krav Maga
In other martial arts I have practiced, blocking was only something you did if you could not dodge a blow. In Krav, blocking an opponent’s attack sets up a combination from hell that doesn’t seem to stop or leave many bones intact. In order to dish out the goods, that block is fundamental. That said, the 360-defense is great, but the front punch defense taught in many Krav Maga schools could use a little revisiting. Instead of throwing your hand out to deflect the front punch, think of it this way: No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. Don’t try and punch their hand out of the air, but don’t use the concept of trying to deflect the punch to nail the technique either. Come at it from the side like a deflection, sure, but if you do it with the mentality of, “occupy the space he needs to punch me in the face,” instead of, “I’m going to deflect this punch now,” you’ll have a ton more success.
3. Supplemental Training
Whatever your reason for joining Krav Maga, the training doesn’t stop once you leave the gym. Krav Maga forces you to decide between doing what is right and doing what is easy. The right thing to do is to continue to supplement your training with good diet and other forms of fitness. I’m not saying you have to start running marathons, but you’d be surprised what doing daily push-ups and pull-ups and throwing in a protein shake before bed can do for your Krav Maga training.
No matter your experience level, Krav Maga requires strong willpower in order to keep improving. Get in the zone, use a smart training mentality, and don’t forget to tap into your full potential by supplementing your Krav Maga efforts with proper diet and strength-training.