I signed myself up for a self-defence class. Krav Maga specifically. I’ve always wanted to try it and now that I’ll be out on my own with my work and living outside of the family home, it’s something I’ve been thinking about more.
So I turn up on Saturday afternoon, in my bright pink gear, to the specialised fighting gym filled with men knocking lumps out of each other. Needless to say, I felt a little out of my depth.
Luckily another woman did turn up which eased my nerves a little (I acknowledge that I am more comfortable around women than men initially but I get used to it eventually). Eventually the guys stopped hitting everything that moved and we warmed up.
It moved from a fairly standard stretch and warm up to having to battle our way through a huge crowd of very big men to get to the other side. Last one had to do push ups.
I hate push ups.
The class was built around defending yourself and getting your opponent away from you as soon as possible. There was a heavy focus on street fights and drunken brawls which I suppose was appropriate for the men in the class. But the techniques will be transferable.
We paired off and took turns attacking and blocking. My partner was very nice so it was a bit strange having to hit her. Especially when I realised I was probably hitting her too hard. I also got told to slow down by the instructor.
Me taking things too far too fast? Surprise surprise!
My partner got her own back when she was on the ground having to kick the pad I was holding. My partner got her own back here – man could she kick hard! She even missed the pad and gave me a good welly in the knee. I don’t think it was on purpose…
The whole group got together to simulate a street fight. Given that I have never been in a fight before, let alone having never met anyone in the room, it was a bit weird and a little intimidating. That was probably made worse by the instructior shoving me into the middle of it. Whenever instructors tell me they won’t make me do anything you’re uncomfortable with, I should know better by now. The guys (apart from the instructors) went slow for me and gave me some tips on how I could improve.
Everyone was really nice and encouraging. Best of all, no one hit me too hard! I had to leave early but I’m going to go back during the week. If nothing else, it was good fun but hopefully in a while I’ll be able to kick some ass, if not at least be able to knock someone off me and run!
But for now, I ache and my head hurts even though I don’t remember getting hit on it. Maybe that’s not such a good thing….