A Bit More of My Krav Maga Journey

My last entry was incredibly depressing, so I thought I’d repost something more motivational.

I was asked on Quora how I got started and what tips I have for others.

Short Checklist.

  1. Find a good school
  2. Find teachers who can work with you
  3. Commit fully, time, energy, diet.
  4. Start small, but consistent
  5. Keep building and pushing yourself, safely but progressively.
  6. Don’t stop

Longer Answer:

One year ago today, I was an unfit person who needed to lose weight. I was also clinically depressed, emotionally abused and had as much self-esteem as I did Vibranium shields.

But I signed up for a Groupon deal and I walked into a gym and took a class.

I couldn’t run. I wheezed through the warm up. I almost died of fear during the choke drills.

But I did one thing right. I saw it was a good school (Elke Weiss’s answer to Do people often get injured while taking a self-defense class such as Krav Maga? and Elke Weiss’s answer to What is a good indicator that a Krav Maga dojo is real/fake? to know what makes a good school) and I committed to this path, with everything I had.

I went to class on a safe but consistent basis. I didn’t train past injury, but I embraced soreness and aches as a new way of life. I did every class I could. If I couldn’t finish, I watched and took notes.

I committed to changing my life entirely. I would sacrifice to make this dream come true.

I would change my diet. Soda, ice cream, cookies, all out. More spinach, oatmeal, and chicken.

I would schedule working out into my schedule. I would make that time set in stone, (within reason) and forsake fun activities in order to make time for it. Fewer movie nights. Less writing groups. Less free time.

I would be brave. I would refuse to quit. I would do what scared me, what made me sore and painful, and I would keep moving.

I committed to my incredible teachers, Alon Dagan and Raz Chen. We’ve had ups and downs but I have never doubted that they are the best at what they do, and if I trust them, I can move mountains. Okay, at least I could move better.

They knew my limitations, they knew what I was capable of. They pushed me to my limits and then showed me I had room to keep going. They trained me safely, but they trained me hard. They looked past all my flaws and saw value in me, value I couldn’t even see. And they made it clear, I could achieve amazing things. And under their guidance, I pushed myself to try.

I started slowly, with two classes a week, Elemental movement (30 min) and Core techniques(60 min) which left me wheezing and aching and lungs burning. And those were the easy classes. I often couldn’t finish them. But I did what I could, and each week, I tried to get 1% better.

I increased it every month. I had to learn the courage and commitment to be out of breath and winded, and come back for more.

By March, I was doing three hours a week. I needed the humility to struggle harder than my peers, and to feel like I was constantly behind, but keep coming.

By May, I was doing five hours a week. I needed the drive to push myself hard and be frustrated by my lack of progress, and keep going.

By June, I was working on seven hours a week and I got my first rank. Testing required me to try, fail, and come back for more, over and over again until I was ready.

By August, I was doing seven times a week, plus back to back classes. Then the real work began.

By September, I was taking ten hours a week. There were setbacks. There were days where I fantasized about quitting. But I never did.

And here I am now.

A year ago, I could barely do 20 minutes twice a week and now, I regularly do twelve to fourteen hours a week of exercise, and I’ve even taken four classes in a row.

A year ago, I didn’t know if I could finish a single class. I’ve completed over four hundred classes.

A year ago, I started my journey. This month, I got my second rank in Krav Maga.

To Raz and Alon, thanks. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Writer, lawyer, Kravist, friend

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store