New page is up: Blogs & Books

I’ve just put up a new page in this blog: Blogs & Books, a page listing out the blogs and books that have been influential in my life. These are blogs that I’ve followed or am following whose ideas have changed the way I think, and books that I’ve read whose ideas have changed the way I see the world.

I’ll continue to flesh out the page as I get inspiration–I haven’t added any descriptions or links to any of the book yet.

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Impressions from Krav Maga Level 2 test

The two representatives from KMA Hoboken–me and another student–earned our spots as the first two Level 2 students at KMA Hoboken. Having now been through a KMA test, I see something of what I’ll need to grow as training progresses.

Following are observations from and thoughts about the Krav Maga Level 2 test that took place yesterday morning at the Manhattan gym.

Matan explains in brief that what he’s looking for when watching is to be convinced that you would have been able to escape from an attacker on the street using your defense or strikes.

In order to pass the test, students must demonstrate:
– Perfect technique combined with
– Aggressiveness, speed and power

Crispness of movement will come with practice and experience.

Pre-test prep:
– Choose a number from the available pieces of paper and tape it to your shirt, then write your name and number onto a testing sheet (containing the same items as on the review sheet; Matan will use this to take notes).
– Do your own warm-up while waiting for test to begin.
– Remember to relax

Part I
Fitness:
– 30 pushups: (in pairs) person not doing push-ups places fist vertically on ground underneath partner’s chest. Full push-up is chest to fist and then full extension.
– 30 sit-ups: (in pairs) person not doing sit-ups sits on partner’s feet, wrapping arms around partner’s ankles to provide stability. Full sit-up is shoulders touching ground in down position, to both elbows touching knees in up position, with hands behind the head.

Movement: forward, backwards, left, right

Striking:
– Free-form shadow boxing in place using upper body strikes
– Quarter turns left and right with follow-up strikes

Kicking:
– Pair up and get one pad per pair.
– Stomp kicks, roundhouse kicks and low kicks
– Scissor kicks and spinning back kicks
– Shuffle side kicks

Short break while Matan checks his notes to determine which students will move on to the second part of the test.

Part II
Blocking/parrying
– Defending against strikes from periphery using 360 defense
– Defending against straight strikes and counterattacking

Choke defenses:
– Remaining students form a semicircle in number order.
– Matan picks a student to stand in the semicircle–this is the defender.
– Matan chooses random students from semicircle to perform an attack, which the defender must react appropriately to.
– Each defender stays in the circle until they have done all the defenses.
– Note that when performing an attack, back away from the defender to allow them to continue their retzev.
– This part of the test ends after all students have completed their round in the circle.

Short break while Matan checks his notes to determine the final verdicts for the test.

 

My observations from the 6/30 test:
– Should’ve worn shorts (gi pants) but didn’t think they would be appropriate
– Use more rather than less tape to tape your number to your shirt
– The matted ground is not something that the Hoboken students are used to.The entire test was done on the mats, in bare feet or socks. Note that this may throw off your footing, so plan and practice accordingly.
– Similar to the above, our kicks were all done in bare feet or socks instead of in shoes as Hoboken students are used to. Plan and practice accordingly.
– When performing any retzev, remember that by definition all strikes should be aimed exclusively at soft spots.
– When throwing the shuffle side kick, Matan reminded all of us to take one measuring step with our lead (kicking) legs before the kick, the purpose of which is to gauge distance immediately before kicking.
– When throwing low kicks, Matan wanted to see the kick without a leading step (habit from Muay Thai).
– In my defense against a guillotine choke, I forgot to secure the choking hand of the attacker when defending–Matan pointed this out and allowed me to perform the defense again.
– In Schiavo’s defense against the rear naked choke, he forgot to slide his leg behind the attacker’s as part of the escape. Schiavo was given a second chance to perform the defense right before the final verdicts at the end of the test.
– Very impressed by level of aggressiveness demonstrated by Danny, one of the students from the Manhattan gym; he had failed the test before but passed this time.