Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Heaviest Cup of Tea I Ever Drank

A few weeks ago Memphis's local running store Breakaway hosted a special class to teach and introduce runners to Krav Maga self defense training. A wise runner knows that there are certain dangers to running through the park after dark, being on an unfamiliar route for the first time, zoning out with music blaring straight into your ears, running in all black at night, or simply being a woman in general. If you're doubting your wisdom as a runner after reading that list, please take a moment to consider how those things affect your awareness and safety.

Krav Maga is a system of self-defense moves and techniques developed in Israel to aid their national defense fighting forces. Krav Maga is not a sport, but a system based on principles and concepts. It also happens to be a very teachable set of techniques for women and men alike to gain a foundation on how to carry yourself in a confident way and defend yourself, should circumstances come to that.

I personally don't condone fighting. Call me a hippie or a pacifist, but my heart feels that being a peacemaker is a top priority. I also recognize that the world in which we live is not ideal, which is one of the ways I justify and encourage learning self-defense. 

But of course, it's also an incredible workout. Simply being in good shape and taking care of your body makes you a weapon, or at the very least makes you harder to target. Let me be honest for a minute. If I were to attack someone, I can think of a list of people I would never pick as my target: a runner, because they're too hard to catch; someone with obvious muscle tone, because I can't even win at arm wrestling; or bossy, annoying people, because once you kidnap them you're stuck with them. Obviously I haven't watched enough movies or TV to really develop a good list or reasonings, but I truly believe that you are less of a target and also more able to defend yourself when you are healthy. 

So, being a woman in today's world and always being up for something new, I am trying out two weeks of Krav Maga. Two classes in and I'm loving it. It's hard, but I really enjoy the challenge, the variety, and the skills that are available to learn. Punching and kicking people is fun, too. Like any work out I do, I was sweating and starting to feel like jello towards the end of my 1-hour fitness class. The class was hard, no doubt, but then it was over, and I was curious as to whether is was one of those "hard while you're doing it but once it's over, it's over" kind of things. As I tried to turn the steering wheel of my car to pull of of the parking lot, I quickly came to the realization of what I had just done. I made it home, fixed a pot of tea, and could barely lift the cup to my lips. Now that's a good feeling, the good kind of exhausted.

Mid-South Krav Maga offers general fitness classes, kickboxing classes, and several levels of defense training. Truly a mind and body training. I really encourage runners, Memphians, women, anyone to take a few classes, even if just for the basics.


  1. If you are a Collierville Y member, the Krav Maga instructor there is just a great motivator. (His name is Sam.) He also teaches heavy bag, and it will definitely make you feel as though you have worked out.

    1. Thanks for sharing Kim, that sounds great!