Home Forums Krav Maga Worldwide Forums Student Lounge First Time Jitters

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  • #33944

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m 41. 5’9 240lbs, at least 65lbs overweight and I haven’t been in a fight since 3rd grade.

    Because of a desk job over the last 15 years, I do some working out, hike, bike, etc, but little enough to make me physically intimidated by many things – for instance, even watching a beginner KM class where the students were WARMING UP rolling themselves somersaulting on a mat seems intimidating to me – I can already imagine my fat ass ungracefully trying to do something like this and ending up on a viral YouTube video.

    I know that regaining my physical confidence will come soon enough as I progress in KM and I drop pounds fast. But, and there is no better way to say this in my opinion, I am scared to death about joining a beginner Krav class here in Arizona (East Valley KM) and immediately and publicly looking like a pussy.

    I want to do this. I want to put the work in. I want to get in shape and start my journey of badass-dom. Soon my daughter will be dating and I want to be the in-shape, KM “don’t mess with my daughter or I’ll squish you like a bug” dad, but the entry point is intimidating, which I don’t know if most of you can related to since most of you have been training for years and are already at full badass-dom.

    So, my long winded question is:
    – KM is really all that interests me. However, if you were me, would you lose a bunch of weight first and try to regain some physical confidence before starting KM or just dive right in and fear being publicly ridiculed Gomer Pyle from Full Metal Jacket within the KM classes? Are beginner classes truly for people like me at any fitness level or do I need to get in better shape first?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    #88099
    krav-math
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    Hello Brandon:

    First of all, if your training at a place where the instructors ridicule their students a la FMJ, then you are training at the wrong place. Krav is not a bunch of mucho men and women – just check out the posts on this forum or visit a reputable school. I am sure someone from AZ on this forum can point you to a good school.

    Krav (to me) isn’t about becoming a badass. It’s about improving your level of fitness, confidence, awareness and (finally) self defense.

    Don’t worry about losing weight first. I was overweight and older when I started Krav, but I lost a lot of weight quickly . . . just work as hard as you can and the rest will take care of itself.

    Happy New Year!

    #88100
    kmyoshi
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    It’s helpful to work on some cardio before joining the Krav class(es) but it’s certainly not a requirement. The warm ups are very tiring, but that’s the point. You train from a position of disadvantage, and being tired is a disadvantage but you have to keep pushing through! You can’t grow if you don’t leave your comfort zone. To me, the fitness aspect is a byproduct of the training. I train for the self defense aspect of it, and because of it I’ve been in the best shape so far in my life.

    Just dive into the training. You’re training for yourself, so there’s no need to compare yourself to others. If your instructor laughs at you because you happen to be out of shape, I’d take my business elsewhere. There’s no need for that kind of BS. IMO, it’s the same thing as laughing at a bigger person at a gym… they’re there putting in the time and working on themselves, why laugh? Just remember to eat an easily digestible meal (oatmeal for example) at least an hour before training so you don’t get an upset stomach. Also hydrate with coconut water or Gaterade. You’ll figure out what works for you! Have fun with your training!

    #88101
    sch-thurston
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    What Krav Math and KMyoshi said. Everyone is equal in training, we are there to help each other learn. Really, you just gotta go do it, you are highly unlikely to regret it.

    One other thing: 80% of krav maga is mental, the other half is in your head.

    #88109
    kms1974
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    Krav training studios have a great culture…go fourth without fear and enjoy yourself.

    #88110
    rb240
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    If you came to KMD the first time there would not be a single person who would ridicule you. KM is not about being a bad ass as Krav Math and Yoshi said. It is about physically and mentally preparing yourself to protect yourself and the people you care about.

    Try not to get the attitude that you “need to be a bad ass”. Each day you go to the gym to come out better than you went in. That should be your only goal IMO. Do not do Krav to be intimidating, go for yourself.

    The reality is that you will get exhausted, beat up, and made to look silly quite often. But you will have people there to help you get up and keep going.

    #88111
    sch-thurston
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    “If you came to KMD the first time there would not be a single person who would ridicule you.”

    Right. I didn’t want to assume that every KM place has this attitude, but the two that I’ve trained at have been totally and utterly inclusive. Old, young, small, big, fast, slow, male, female,… Inclusiveness seems to be in the KM culture. It’s what we do!

    As for being a bad ass, I understand the sentiment but focus on gaining confidence instead. And any time you feel like you might be becoming a bad ass, go ask a senior instructor to spar with you. I had this G5 the other night pinned just where I wanted him. I was trapping his foot with my groin, allowing him to warm my ears for the cold jog home with his playful slaps, all sorts of clever moves. But seriously, it was a really great reality check. I was impressed but not intimidated because this G5 is a true “bad ass” in a technical sense, yet he never, ever stops smiling or being positive.

    Do please let us know how you get on, Brandon. Each of us probably has fond memories of our “first time,” it’s nice to be able to re-live the moment vicariously!

    #88118
    seraphs-coal
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    Hi Brandon,

    There is an interesting book you might find helpful, it is called Aikido for Life and its written by Gaku Homma. Yes I realise that its about Aikido not Krav Maga, but he actually addresses your issue in this book in terms of what happens at training and what is expected of a new student and conversley philisophically what is it that a student expects from training and the art in general? The man is a very experienced teacher in martial arts and I suspect it may be the encouragement you need to give Krav a go.

    Everyone has an opinion, mine is that a gym membership and regular gym training go hand in hand with Krav Maga. You will cope with the beginner training okay as its true that at the basic level there is something for everyone to learn from Krav Maga, yet lets be honest and realise that it is created for Israeli defence personel and designed with thier fitness and training in mind. The good thing is that when you start at the gym at 240lbs you see some very good results very quickly as the weight falls off, the curve begins to flatten out and it gets harder later on, but you will be well and truly training hard by then.

    Good luck with it all anyway my friend, I am sure you will do quite well if your heart is in it!

    #88120
    seanzie
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    I went for my first time last night. I found everyone there to be helpful. If I did somethnig wrong, they simply showed me what was wrong, and how to correct it.

    Everyone was very nice. I had a great time, and decided to start training regularly! No reason to be nervous!

    EDIT: The place where I began training has an “Intro to KM” course. Its a slow paced class that offers the same lessons as Level 1. See if maybe they offer that?

    #88121
    tzrider
    Member

    Re: First Time Jitters

    quote Brandon 85297:

    However, if you were me, would you lose a bunch of weight first and try to regain some physical confidence before starting KM or just dive right in and fear being publicly ridiculed Gomer Pyle from Full Metal Jacket within the KM classes?
    quote KMyoshi:

    Just dive into the training.

    ^^ This.

    Others have covered the culture; here is an observation from watching people dip their toe in the water: The say, “I’ll start training as soon as I’m in better shape.” We never see them again.

    Training will get you in shape.

    #89747

    Re: First Time Jitters

    Right. I didn’t want to assume that every KM place has this attitude, but the two that I’ve trained at have been totally and utterly inclusive. Old, young, small, big, fast, slow, male, female,… Inclusiveness seems to be in the KM culture. It’s what we do!

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