Defeatism. An excessive readiness to accept defeat.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I talked with people who lamented that social distancing made Krav Maga training impossible or compromised to a point where training is futile. Certainly, the pandemic has restricted our options to some degree. Do I, however, agree that Krav Maga training is futile during a pandemic?
No! These sentiments stem from defeatist thinking and/or a limited understanding of Krav Maga. Krav Maga is a very comprehensive self-defense system. Essentially, it strives to give you the tools to survive an innumerable variety of attacks. This means, among other things, that even with social distancing there is a lot to explore and improve! At our Toronto school, during our outdoor and zoom classes, we have only scratched the surface of the many training opportunities.
Striking and footwork. I have never met anyone, student or instructor, who cannot improve their striking and footwork. As someone who has been practicing for 15 yrs, I find room for improvement in my techniques virtually everyday-especially when I see myself on video! Perhaps I am not rotating enough through my hooks and elbows. My rhythm and breathing can be off. Sometimes I drop a hand on an uppercut.
And so on.
My thinking? When we get to a point where we can bridge social distance and have contact, our defenses against punches, kicked, knife etc.. will greatly benefit from the time we spent on our striking and footwork. Of course, we don’t have to limit our training to striking and footwork. Some people have partners they can train with. Others can practice dry drills.
Dry Drills. Essentially, dry drills involve performing techniques (e.g. choke defenses) without a partner. The benefits include developing your muscle memory and improving your coordination. Besides, the core technique (e.g. with the front choke, plucking and kneeing) you can practice various follow-ups. You can, for instance, follow-up with palm strikes, or uppercut, elbows, headbutt – whatever the circumstance requires.
In short, you can develop your versatility.
Functional Fitness. One of the leaders of our organization Jean-Paul Jauffret has worked with others to develop Opfit – Operational Fitness. It is a fantastic program that blends Krav Maga movements with fitness. You learn effective striking combinations while under the stress of fatigue. This is vital to your development as a self-defense practitioner because under stress your motor skills are compromised and you still need to perform to survive.
Again, a great program!
Decisions. When the pandemic hit in mid-March I decided to focus on weaknesses in Krav Maga skillset. So, since March 2020 I have focused primarily on striking and footwork, along with fitness. Consequently, I have made substantial improvements and can continue to do so.
More importantly, we have seen students improve. New students, and students who resumed training in July and later, have drastically improved their techniques as well as their understanding of self-defense.
So, despite the pandemic and in the face of various restrictions many people have adapted and continued to grow as self-defense practitioners.
Deny defeatism. Embrace the challenge.