Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Being Bendy

Tonight at Krav we were doing high kicks. They started off as groin kicks with a side swipe forward leg defence...and the progressed to "what if the person aims for your face or chin instead."

The block for the higher kick is with the forerarm, but the person throwing the kicks has to aim for the face. My opponent was about 6' 3" and I'm about 5' 10".

One thing I've realised as I've got older is that I am not as flexible as a high kick to the chin (especially on some of the giraffe sized blokes that attend the club) would demand.

Tonight was the first time I felt relatively confident attempting these kicks, without wondering if I'd get groin strain or throw my hips out of alignment.

The reason is that 6 weeks ago I started a Yoga class.

The teacher is a mild mannered Korean lady who has an aura of peace and tranquility and told me off for asking "is my arse meant to hurt this much?" when the correct terminology is apparently "bottom."

The first 4 lessons were very difficult and I glanced at my (predominantly female) neighbours with some envy as they comfortably assumed the Lotus position when I could barely manage to cross my legs without wincing.

The joyous moment occurred last week when my body finally gave slightly to the manipulations and positions I was putting it through. I was able to lean just a little bit further than I had before.

While Krav Maga and Yoga don't seem on the surface to be good flat mates, the great thing is that I can now kick with more confidence. I.e. without that little voice in my head telling me that I'm going to rupture some internal organs.

For the Combat side of Krav, flexibility is a must. Dodging, weaving and ducking under someone else's punches and kicks is hard, doubly so when you are retaliating. Being "loose" is a necessity and the freedom of movement I've so far not had, has finally started to work its way into my stubborn joints

For Practioners who don't bend so easily I recommend Yoga to help you get freed up and also to reduce the risk of coming home aching, bruised and possibly stiff as a board next morning.

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