Posted by on January 3, 2019

Krav Maga instructors strive to prepare students for real life situations.  One of the greatest challenges in self-defense is managing your stress.  Assaults, verbal and physical, can evoke various stress responses including:

  • Reduced motor skills
  • Tunnel vision
  • Nausea
  • Muddled thinking
  • Impaired hearing

Such symptoms seriously hinder your ability to defend yourself.  Many are the reports of trained martial artists freezing during a crisis or using techniques that simply are not appropriate to the situation (think spinning kicks in an elevator).

The problem is not necessarily faulty technique but that students are not trained to perform under stress. 

Here are 7 training tips to help you to manage your stress and act more effectively:

  1. Train with various partners:  Besides various heights, weights etc… people move differently, grab, punch, kick…differently.  Don’t train with the same person every class. 
  2. Close Quarters/close eyes: Real life assaults often come unexpectedly. Learn to defend the unexpected.  Surprise!
  3. Noise: Toronto is not a quiet place and your attacker(s) might not be silent. He might yell. Add some noise into the mix.
  4. Try different settings:  If you train exclusively in a studio/dojo you won’t learn how to defend yourself on different surfaces (pavement, grass, gravel…) various size spaces (open parking lots, stairs, elevators,,,)…..
  5. Surprise games:  Assaults are unpredictable.  You need to learn to quickly identify and react. Choreography is great for movies not for real life.
  6. Add Fatigue.  Use cardio exercises to tire students and encourage them to defend while tired.
  7. Light Contact Drills: You have to get used to contact because a real situation often involves grabs, strikes, shoves etc.. You don’t want to panic.  Safety is paramount but contact is necessary.

All exercises are designed to take you out of your comfort zone and require your instructor to be creative and responsible (safety first).   If your instructor is not inducing stress they are overlooking a vital aspect of preparing you for real life. 



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