Krav Maga teaches you to face the scariest scenarios you can imagine and how to respond to them. Of course it’s all staged, and none of us students are putting anywhere near all our force into our sparring, attacks or defense, but we’re learning the movements. And while I hope I never, ever have to use anything I’m learning for real, I really like that I’m learning how to defend myself, even in scenarios where it seems like you’d be down for the count.
Last night, besides some drills that blasted our abs (lie on your back, head and upper back raised like in a semi-crunch, and cross, cross, cross, punching away at your trainer who’s crouched above you) we worked on what to do when you get kicked down, or sucker punched, and hit the ground. So I’m on the ground, and waiting for my attacker to kick me while I’m down (I think we’ve all been there, even if only figuratively.) As she cocks her leg and aims to kick my stomach, I use a ‘push/pull’ technique by slamming my closer arm into her upper shin and pulling with my other arm behind, at her calf. And voila! The bigger they are, the harder they fall. (granted, my “attacker” was another woman no bigger than me, but still. It’s like a magic trick to see how easily you can take someone off balance.)
The instant she’s down I scramble up her body, “posting,” – using the weight of my body to force her limbs down, until I’m now the attacker, able to punch and elbow in the neck and in general wreak havoc until it’s safe to get up and run.
I said this the first day I took a lesson, and I think I’m going to find it every time. It’s incredibly empowering to learn that getting knocked down isn’t the end. If you know what you’re doing you can get up again, and take down your attacker while you’re at it. As a small woman I never felt powerful until I started lifting heavy weights. Even then I was only powerful for my size. Sure it’s impressive when a hundred pound woman squats 200 pounds, but for plenty of men that’s part of their warm-up. With the techniques I’m learning now, it doesn’t matter how much bigger or stronger an opponent may be — even if they knock me down I’ll have the power to get back up.