A side benefit to Krav Maga: better mood

I almost didn’t go to Krav tonight. I had a rough day at work and wanted to veg in front of the TV. Instead, I pulled my butt up off the couch and went anyway. And I am so glad I did.

We started off with the shoulder tap game, switching partners a few times.

The shoulder tap game is where you try to lightly, but firmly hit your partner’s shoulder, while blocking or dodging their attacks on you.

I almost always try to pair up with guys that are bigger and stronger than me for this exercise, because:

  1. I want to be challenged,
  2. I want to know where I stand on technique and speed, and
  3. I want the boys to know that just because they’re up against a girl, it doesn’t mean they can go easy. Tonight was a prime example why I choose to do this.

I paired up with a guy I haven’t seen before. He was pretty buff and more than a little cocky. We started circling each other. He would tap me, but instead of falling back into an active fighting stance, he would continue to tap my shoulder like a little kid trying to get my attention. He kept smirking like he was so much better than me and it was infuriating.

My aggression and speed instantly increased, but I still maintained the best fighting stance I could.

When Sir Smirks-alot would tap my shoulder with his multiple little taps, he’d drop his protecting hand, exposing most of his side. So I’d block his obnoxious tapping and throw a fast, firm slap to his shoulder. Rinse and repeat.

As far as I can tell, the major reason to do the shoulder tap game is to work on perfecting your fighting stance and movement (and get more cardio in). On more than one occasion the instructors have stopped class and had everyone freeze in their current position, so they could point out our poor fighting stances. Guess my irritating partner didn’t realize what an ass he was making of himself.

We also worked on front chokes with a push. They’re pretty different from stationary chokes, but they are a ton of fun to practice. As your assailant lunges at you, you lift your right arm up over your head, rotate your body to the left, and bring your right arm down to meet your left arm, temporarily pinning their arms. Of course, this is when you start delivering blows until they’re down and you can safely get away.

As Chris and I were practicing, W came over and made some minor tweaks to my technique. It felt good to have him only talk about small, optional corrections. I definitely feel myself improving and now that I’ve stopped putting so much pressure on myself, I feel more successful in my skill.

When we got home I also noticed a complete transformation in my mood. I’m happier, have more energy, and feel better prepared to tackle these work issues… Man, I love Krav.

9 Replies to “A side benefit to Krav Maga: better mood”

  1. Please tell me that your instructor caught “sir smirks alot” using really bad form at a time when you only need a minor tweak and that sir smirks alot got put in his place.

  2. Oh, I wish! No, it’s to his own disadvantage to misjudge me (or anyone) as an opponent. Eventually, he’ll figure it out when some little girl hands him a big ole humble pie! 😉

  3. if you liked choke from the front with a push, then you will love choke against a wall! 🙂

    lots of people dont get the whole “shoulder tag” game….I think its fun when you get the cocky dude who tried to continuously tap you and then it switches to knee tap and he has no understanding……and then I dominate. it freaks them out.

  4. Kimberly – I know, right? Then you throw in toe tagging too, so now he suddenly has to worry about shoulders, knees, AND toes… My fave!

    I love the shoulder/knee/toe tap game. Chris and I play it ALL the freakin’ time in our kitchen. It’s great, because we both go all out. Nope, I’m not even a little bit competitive!

  5. Tap game is [as I understand it], a great warm up and a good way to teach ‘bursting in and chaining’. The concept is to overwhelm your opponent, and not to drop back into a sparring or ring mode of fighting.
    As for not wanting to go to class, we had a few people like that on Monday evening. They all changed their tune once we finished warming up.
    Last night’s class was even better. Kravazon, you’re just going to have to do the 15+ hour flight one day, and come on down to Sydney to train.

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