If I had to label my past few blog posts, I guess it would be “The Krav Series.” If you read the last two posts, you would know that I have been training in Krav Maga for the past 6 months. In February, I went on my first official Team 144 mission trip to Washington, DC, and in March, I had my first belt testing in Krav Maga. Both the blog posts are great reads, so I recommend you read them here and here to catch up with this post, but you won’t be lost if you don’t.
On March 7, 2020, I had my first Krav Maga Belt Testing Exam. This was a 5 hour, non-stop, physically draining, and mentally straining exam. We started at 6:30am and stopped at 11:30am. I was discussing with a few of the other students who took the test with me, who’ve been through the police academy, basic training, and other physically demanding training. We all came to the conclusion that this was one of the hardest things we had ever done physically.
Over the past few weeks, I had time to think about why this was so different and harder than any other physical challenges I have done before. My time on the DC mission trip helped me understand The Why.
While in Washington, DC, on the mission trip with Team 144, our Head Instructor made a statement. He said, “in order to be a successful Instructor in the Krav Maga system, you have to understand the reason why we do the things we do.” While in DC, we taught a group of non-profit workers basic self-defense techniques for three days from 8:00am to 3:00pm. The purpose of the training was to give them the basic tools to defend themselves while they were serving people around the world, some in very dangerous countries.
After we trained that group, the Head Instructor gave all the Krav Maga students who traveled to DC on the mission trip a more detailed class. He explained why he taught the group those particular techniques and how he chose those specific techniques. He then asked us to explain a technique that we knew and to teach it to him. It was easy for us to explain and teach a technique we knew, but it was hard for us to explain the reason why we taught it the way we did.
The Head Instructor gave us a lesson on “The Why,” and we all had the a-ha moment. What we learned was that as an Instructor, it’s not good enough just to understand the mechanics and motions of the techniques. You also have to understand the reason why the Krav Maga system uses that technique compared to others that could be used to teach students how to defend themselves from hurt and danger.
I believe that’s a good lesson for life. It’s not good enough to know how to do something, but to thrive, you have to know “Why” certain things are done.
This made me realize the reason Why this Level One Student Exam was so much more difficult than any other physical exam I have done before. I noticed two reasons.
Reason #1 - The Instructor pushed us harder because we were on track to becoming Instructors, so he wanted to set the bar high and see if we could achieve it.
Reason #2 – With the Police Academy, Basic Training, and other physically demanding training which I have been a part of, it had a certain tempo. That tempo was based on the weakest person in the group. Most instructors I have worked with pushed the class as hard as the weakest person in the class can withstand, then they backed off from there.
With Team 144, everyone in the group was there voluntarily and was motivated by the idea that this training was for something bigger than themselves. In the future, we could be training someone who may be fighting for their life one day. Our goal was not only to pass the exam, but it was to please God and serve His people. Even if we wanted to quit during the exam, we knew we had to keep pushing.
The lesson I learned from these past 6 months is to surround yourself with great people, and when you all are pushed to your limit, don’t stop.
You Can Find Wisdom While Training with a Group of Strong Men and Women…