Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Grate Outdoors

At KMM tonight we got shunted off to a much smaller room which can best be described as a shuttlecraft to a ship. The school we train at had double booked us and Chief Instructor Bartosz decided to make the most of the situation.

We'd used the smaller room before and the confined space is a mixed blessing. We lack the lovely spaciousness of the usual badminton court but the claustrophobic surroundings are great for some close quarter work and how to deal with limited range of movement.

The warm up consisted of the usual heavy stretching with some "moving between everyone else" stuff. We had to aim for heads and crotches with palm strikes while simultaneously trying to prevent anyone landing a slap on us. There were a couple of loud "clonks" as someone caught a wallop on the groin guard. Bartosz was heard to remark at one point "I love that sound!" which raised a laugh.

After a warm up we moved to hammer blows on focus mitts. One thing I've noticed with this kind of striking is that you need to keep your fists clenched tight. A few times I yelped as my wrist buckled and pain shot up my arm. Once we got that sorted we put the moves into combinations and then headed outside.

The area at the back of that classroom is semi-enclosed, with a metal fence on one side and a brick wall and windows on the other. The tarmac road surface slopes up to an access area. Ideal for some improv. We got into pairs and went through close quarter strangle holds, i.e. when your attacker is right in your face with little or zero room to manoeuvre. I got partnered with a much bigger lad named Dan who is a lot stronger than I am. A couple of times I was expecting him to use the wall to grate my face off. We drilled this and other movements, working in a "skipping kick" when being attacked from the side and then we had the final bit of fun.

Bartosz split us into two groups with guys dotted along the path leading up beside the classrooms and around the driveway. Some had plastic training knives, others strike shields and the rest their bare hands. We moved through one at a time and had to "simply get from one end to the other....twice." Getting shoved against a brick wall by a 17 stone, 6 feet 4 inch guy holding a strike shield can be tiring. I got my elbow cut on the second attempt and one of the attackers looked slightly narked when he grabbed my arm and drew his hand back to find his fingers had my blood on them. In the middle was a lad with a knife who'd scream for money and up the top a couple who worked together with a strike shield and a knife, making it hard to get past them. I love this kind of pressure drill as there's no time to think and you have to react on instinct. After everyone had had at least two goes each, we finally wrapped things up.

Forming the line for the final kida, it was clear that someone had really got into the spirit of the thing, as one lad had a muddy footprint on his chest where he'd been booted away while trying to attack.

Great fun and educational and it's always enjoyable to do Krav outside when the nice weather kicks in.

Looking forward to Thursday's class.