Thursday, 10 November 2016

Krav Maga Melbourne

Nomadic Kravver

Krav Maga Melbourne

9th November 2016

Lance Manley- P4

In August of 2016 I decided to sell my car, give up my flat and give my cat to the RSPCA. I’ve been to Greece to stay with my Dad and recently took a trip to Australia. I landed in Melbourne and did the tourist thing for a few days 

Treading the tarmacced roads beneath my blistered feet has proved fun yet occasionally repetitious. While there’s a lot of things to do in Melbourne, they are either located in the city or require a jaunt outside to places like St Kilda (beaches and sunrises) or Ferntree Gully (the 1000 steps walk).

I’ve been out of regular Krav training for a few months now. After I recovered from a knee operation in 2015 I slowly got back into things but the training proved sporadic and my fitness levels were way short of the nightmarish new “tests” that were being hurled at sweat drenched practitioners at the end of P2 to P5 exams internationally. 

Krav Maga Global, like Starbucks, have branches everywhere so after a quick gander on Facebook I found what I was looking for to give my week in the city a unique spin. 

Krav Maga Melbourne is a KMG affiliated club run by G5 instructor Ruairi Molloy who hails from Ireland. I spoke to him on the phone a couple of days before and he said I was welcome to join in and to come along to the advanced class on Wednesday evening. The venue is a dojo, purpose designed for the club with scenario rooms, a main training hall, and a large locker area containing equipment including sparring dummies.

I got to North Melbourne train station at about 5.30pm. Finding the address proved easy and the only sign the club was there was a laminated A4 sign on the roll gate informing visitors to use the side door. 

I met Ruairi who showed me into a rather scary scenario room that doubles as a male changing area. Perturbingly, the walls move backwards and forwards to enhance or reduce the allocated space. This reminded me in no small part of the finale of the fifth Saw movie, or (for the 1970s child within me), the garbage crushing scene of the original Star Wars.

Getting kitted up I chatted with Ruair for a while before the other students arrived. At the Melbourne club there are 4 instructors of varying levels. Ruairi himself holds KIC like I do and was trained by Nadav Shosan a few years back. While the advanced classes are small, Ruairi told me that there are more people in the regular group, that was going to happen immediately after our session.

Backpacking means that I have only my gum shield as anything remotely Kravvy (barring a T-shirt) and was surprised to find that Ruairi had spare groin guards in a box for the protectionless  practitioners like me. I got one on and we then were joined by two other students, one a male instructor and the other a female police officer doing Krav in her spare time.

A brief warm up and we got stuck into the techniques. I mainly worked with Ruairi who patiently showed me the moves and techniques for both single and double handed pistol threat disarms, covering front, sides and different heights. The stuff was from G3 and higher, but with repetition I managed to perform the grabs reasonably well, to praise from Ruairi. One thing I tend to do when twisting away (body defence) is “step” off the line when the correct form is to allow your body to ‘fall’ and then correct your stance. 

Once we’d done this for about half an hour me and the other two students then did a pressure drill on the stopwatch. I learned long ago to simply drop or throw a gun or knife away in training once I’ve taken it off a “bad guy” due to the rather unsettling urban myth of a cop trained in Krav in the USA who snatched a pistol from a guy in a car….and then handed it back to him instinctively as per his muscle memory from training. The bad guy apparently then shot him with it.

As we finished up the other students were coming in for the main class and I got a few photos with Ruairi and the guys, splashing out on a KMG Australia T-shirt for a souvenir. 

A good diversion from the normal sightseeing that I’d do while travelling and a lot of fun as well. Really great of Ruairi to accept me into the club like that and I hope to see him and his students again before I fly out of Oz next January…mainly because I left my KMG passport in the venue by mistake and flew to Sydney the next day before I could retrieve it.

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