Oh Ma-Ga! It's Krav Maga Fitness Training

Oh Ma-Ga! It’s Krav Maga Fitness Training

This SingularCity member is on her way to becoming a lethal human weapon.

Oh Ma-Ga!

Jab, hook, cross, uppercut, roundhouse, side kick, sprawl — all in a day’s work for Krav Maga Worldwide’s instructors — and their students.

Krav Maga is the official self-defense system of the Israeli military, and is taught to hundreds of law enforcement agencies and thousands of civilians across the United States. Students of this martial art are not only training to improve their self-defense skills but also taking advantage the physical conditioning that comes along for the ride.

I decided to try my hand — or fist — at Krav Maga. My plan is to attend Krav Maga classes five to six days a week for two months, alternating between all three programs; self-defense, fitness, and fighting. (I mean “combat,” not squabbling over where to go this week for happy hour.)

The self-defense classes are based on simple principles and instinctive movements. Students learn to defend against common chokes, grabs, and bear hugs, as well as against weapons such as guns, knives, and sticks.

Barbara in her before photo by David Peters.The fitness sessions are referred to as “bag” classes. They are comprised of intense cardio, endurance and strength training, including choreographed punch-kick combinations on the 5-foot sandbags suspended from the ceiling.

The fighting classes are offered in three levels for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced fighter.

I know what you are thinking … Gee, how riveting; let’s watch this skinny bitch get even skinnier. Well, I’ve had two kids and I could still use a little cinching around the waist, but my real goal is to gain muscle tone and to develop self-defense skills.

My first bag class was very empowering. I worked up a sweat very quickly from an intense warm up, and then continued to perspire from kick-punch drills for an entire hour. I felt exhilarated at the end of the session — I was so pumped-up! I literally wanted to go out and kick the shitake out of every mean teacher I had in high school.

When asked about the value of the “bag” classes in today’s fitness market, Marcus Kowal, general manager of Krav Maga WorldWide in West L.A. said, “We’ll push you to the edge every time.”

Ordinarily, I would dislike this kind of constant, high-impact regimen, but the instructors keep it so fast-paced that you don’t even have time to ponder the idea of walking out. So, by the time the class is over, you don’t even know what hit you, so to speak. I felt very accomplished and I’ve been hooked (no pun intended) ever since.

Stay tuned for the outcome of my two-month intensive training. Root for me, would ya?

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