Motivation Monday: The Krav Maga edition

I am halfway through a “fury drill,” throwing one jab-cross combo after another at a pad while screaming at the top of my lungs, when I realize Krav Maga’s power.

Krav, the official hand-to-hand combat system for the Israeli military, is marketed as a way to get in shape and to learn self-defense techniques for practical, real-world scenarios. When I took an intro class at Krav Maga DC’s Chinatown gym, I learned that it’s also a great way to relieve stress. Who doesn’t feel a little better about her work day after beating the crap out of an inanimate object?

The Krav class is one of many cool assignments I’ve gotten to do for work recently, and I wanted to dedicate the rest of this post to lessons I’ve learned through writing those stories. Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed experiencing them!

Story:  What to expect at a Krav Maga class, Washingtonian Well+Being blog

Takeaway: Your voice is your most powerful self-defense weapon. Your attacker will want you to be as quiet as possible. My instructor for the Israeli martial arts class uttered a low, guttural noise when he threw punches—I plan to emulate that noise if I’m ever fending off an attacker. Also, sometimes, it helps to punch something with all your might while screaming at the top of your lungs.

Story: Go easy on yourself: Cutting yourself a break once in a while can help you cut weight,, March/April 2012

Takeaway: I’m pretty big on the topic of self-compassion, especially in terms of its role in working toward ambitious goals. This reminded me to make sure my self-talk is stuff I’d say to a good friend. (Things I would probably not tell a good friend—or a stranger, for that matter: “Good luck trying to keep up with that new running group after eating all those molasses cookies this weekend!”)

Story: Mind games: How honing your mental game can help your weight loss,, March/April 2012

Takeaway: You can work on your mental game all the time—even when you’re doing mundane housework, like emptying the dishwasher. If you can keep your mind clear of inner whining while you’re folding the laundry or restocking the silverware drawer, just imagine what you can do at mile 19 of a long run!

Story: Tabata: The four-minute fat-burning workout, Washingtonian Well+Being blog

Takeaway: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is everywhere right now for a reason: It makes for a really good workout! I haven’t done a full Tabata circuit since taking this class, but I have incorporated short bursts of intense activity into my regular lifting workouts, doing 30 seconds of hurdles or box jumps in between traditional strength-training.

What new activities have you tried recently, and what have you taken away from them?

1 Comment

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One response to “Motivation Monday: The Krav Maga edition

  1. I was struggling this weekend on a ride and my coach said to me, “are you talking nice to yourself?” WOW. how to change your outlook in one second. self-compassion is so important!

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