Archive for April, 2010

Apr 28

Benefits of Krav Maga Worldwide’s Famous KM Bag Class

KM Instructor Tamara Podemski-Training in KM Bag Class

At Krav Maga Worldwide we have a tremendous amount of classes to choose from and sometimes it’s difficult to choose which class to attend.  If you have not tried a KM Bag class you must come in for the experience.  If you are not sure what you might get out of these classes, take a look at the list of benefits below.  If you have been taking these classes, what kind of benefits or results have you had?  Post your thoughts to the comments section.

1. Developed and more refined Krav Maga combatives: Your straight punches, hook punches, front kicks, round kicks, sprawls…etc. will all be improved upon through hidden repetition within the training drills performed in this class

2. Well-trained warrior mentality: We continue to remind students of situational and environmental awareness and to keep the “I Can Do This!” attitude.

3Increased work capacity: You will be able to move larger loads (including your body weight) over greater distances, in less time.  Simply put, increased strength, endurance, and stamina. This “might” help get you though those belt tests with a lot less discomfort!

4. Enhanced athletic skills:  Drills in KM Bag include all components of athletic skill such as speed, accuracy, balance, power, coordination, and agility. This is how athletes train for their sport. Train like an athlete whos sport is Krav Maga.

5. Improved flexibility: One thing all other classes lack is time to work on increasing flexibility. KM Bag takes the time to really lengthen muscles, open tight areas, and breath deeply!

See you in Marni’s Room!

Apr 19

An Interview with KMW Training Centers™ Fitness Instructor Jazzy Green

Last week we interviewed KMW member Louise Green. This week, we interview her daughter, Jazzy Green, a fitness instructor and assisting Krav Maga instructor at KMW Training Centers™, who started taking adult Krav Maga classes at 11 years old.

Jazzy was a two-time California State Wrestling Champion, 2nd in the nation for freestyle, 3rd for folkstyle, and was given full rides to top schools in the country. She was asked as a high school junior to live and train at the Olympic Education Center in Michigan.

KMW: Before we begin, tell us about yourself.

JG: I’m a part-time student at Santa Monica College, studying Nutrition and Agriculture. I want to help people around the world with nutrition and growing food, and definitely help people get on their feet who have no life set up and need a leg up. I’m realizing that Krav Maga is going to play a big role in that, as self-defense can play a big part of basic survival.

KMW: What made you decide to become an instructor?

JG: I’ve been at Krav Maga Worldwide a long time, I have the skills to teach people, and I think it can help others. I was inspired by the really good instructors here. I wasn’t thinking about it from the beginning. I had wrestling competitions, so it wasn’t a priority. I wanted to be sure if I did this I would be all here. And one day, I just felt ready.

KMW: How long have you been training?

JG: 9 years of Krav Maga, 5 years of wrestling, 4 years of jiu-jitsu, and many years of gymnastics. I started doing gymnastics when I was 3 or 4 until I was about 10; it set me up for any athletics. I got to know my body, how it moves in space, and how my body moves with other bodies.

KMW: How often do you take classes?

JG: Well, the past couple months have been off, but I try to do 6 days a week.

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Apr 14

How to Hold a Pad in a Krav Maga Class: Pad Holding “For Dummies”

This blog is dedicated mostly to our Krav Maga gentlemen, but ladies, I hate to say it…you’re sometimes guilty too.

Since the dawn of your upbringing, you have probably been encouraged to follow instructions.  Interestingly enough, this adage does not stop at the threshold of Krav Maga Worldwide.  While taking class, you will receive a myriad of specific directions.  Our instructions are meant to ensure your safety in training, and allow all practitioners to maximize their Krav Maga experience.

Safety in training begins with pad holding!  Whether its focus mitts, tombstone pads (see Kevin Lewis on the origin of that name) or kick shields, a good pad holder can make or break the practice of his/her partner.  I issue everyone who partakes in Krav Maga training a solemn duty: Listen carefully to your instructor’s directions regarding pad holding, and mimic exactly your instructor’s correct pad holding demonstration.  [***Hint:  If you are confused or miss something, it is acceptable to ask follow-up questions.]

The Technique:  Straight Punches
The Pad:  Tombstone

Being rather meticulous, I always reiterate the same proclamation for straight punch pad holding:  “Take the pad by the side straps, and place it firmly against your chest.  If impact is too uncomfortable in this position, keep the pad as close to your chest as possible with your elbows in, keeping the pad as stable as possible.  I’m in a fighting stance, not a neutral stance or passive stance, and I exhale and contract my abs upon impact of the strike so I do not get the wind knocked out of me.  Questions?” [***I actually give you the ability to ask questions.]

Despite the countless instructions, I still – ALL THE TIME – see this:

Krav Maga Pad Holding (Incorrect Position)

Whatever that dude on the left is doing is a not uncommon spectacle.  Ironically, it is also diametrically opposed to all straight punch pad holding instructions.  Additionally, this is a phenomenal way to injure not only yourself, but your partner – who is striking – as well.  Training safely means being a good partner.  How can you be a good partner?  Adhere to instructions.

Following directions would translate to something like this:

Krav Maga Pad Holding (Correct Position)

The key here is that the striker can work knowing that the target will be stable and structurally sound.  On the flip side, the holder can mitigate impact with a correct fighting stance (also allowing the holder to practice his/her fighting stance) and through proper exhalation and abs contraction.  And for all you masochists out there, absorbing impact in this light will: 1) provide body conditioning, and 2) allow the holder to somewhat identify with what a straight punch to the body would likely resemble.

Accurate pad holding is not complex, but it is essential.  I cannot stress enough how imperative this is for safety.

See you in class!

Apr 9

3 Reasons to Keep Your Knees Pointed Out When You Squat

If we had to choose only one exercise to perform for the rest of our lives, the squat might be the number one choice. Not only is it one of the most therapeutic exercises for the knees, hips, and back, it’s an essential movement for living and it can enhance athletic performance tremendously when done well.

Let’s take a look at the knee and hip position in the squat so we can keep our joints happy and healthy, and maintain quality of life as we age.

One of the most common mistakes with a squat is the collapsing inward of the knees.  This causes undue stress on the knees and the hip joints that can induce a great deal of pain if repeated time and time again.

Squat with knees moving inward

Squat with knees moving inward

Squat with Knees moving away from each other

Squat with knees moving outward

As we move into the bottom position, the knees should push out to the sides, continuing to press open on the way to the standing position.

This does a few things:

  • It keeps the foot from having a collapsed arch. As the knees push outward, the bony alignment shifts toward the outside of the foot.  This helps to keep the arch of the foot lifted at the bottom of the squat position.
  • As the knees push open, it activates the stabilizing muscles of the hip. This will create a much more stable position for the knee and the hip. Ahhh relief!
  • Lastly when we push the knees out, it externally rotates the hip joint. The design of the hip joint is that when externally rotated, it allows for greater range of motion. So as the knees push out, the hip will have greater freedom of movement, which will allow the knee to flex more. Hence pain free depth in the squat!

Movement Exercise:

Start with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart and your toes slightly turned out.  Come into the bottom of your squat and hold.  Don’t forget last week’s discussion about keeping your weight back in order to keep your heels down!

Alex demonstrates knees moving out

Alex demonstrates knees moving out

Now, Take a look at your knees.  Move them away from each other and notice how that feels in your hips.  How does it feel in your knees?  What happens to your foot position?  Just observe the effects and take mental notes.

Next, carefully draw your knees toward each other.  How does that change the feeling in your hips and knees?  What happened to the arch of the foot?

Press the knees out again take a deep breath, exhale, then see if you can find a little more depth in your squat.

Come to standing and try a few reps with your attention on the knee position.  The truth is, depth in the squat is where the real business happens!  So press those knees out and go deep!

See you at the whiteboard!