Monday, December 10, 2018

Thoughts on my Krav Maga Global G1 Test

Sunday I successfully passed my Graduate 1 ("G1") test within the Krav Maga Global system.

I last tested for P5 in March 2018.

I wanted to share a few thoughts on how the test went. If you review the krav maga topic link on this blog you will find many posts about my training and philosophy.

I started training in the Krav Maga Global system at First Defense Krav Maga in January 2016.

My 2016 year in review and 2017 year in review posts document my Krav Maga training journey. As we near the end of 2018, however, I can note that as of this post I trained exactly 120 class hours at First Defense (29 prior to the P5 test and 91 prior to the G1 test), plus 3 hours during the summer in a seminar with master Eyal Yanilov.

Thus far I am 6-for-6 with passing scores, having tested roughly every 6 months since starting at the school. The first exception was my P1 test, which occurred in April 2016, 4 months after I began training. The second exception was this G1 test. I had planned to test in September 2018, but I suffered a back injury at a seminar the day before the test and had to postpone it until yesterday.

I'd like to share three main thoughts from this test.

First, I'm very glad that I passed. I was ready to go in September, but I pushed myself too far. I didn't want to miss a seminar with Rory Miller the day before my originally scheduled test. However, the seminar was not what I expected. A younger, bigger, stronger training partner at the host school threw me around like a rag doll, and that was it for my lower back.

To avoid that scenario this time, I planned my activities very carefully for the two weeks prior to yesterday's test. I tested my cardio with a couple back-to-back classes, but I didn't push it other days when I felt that I could jeopardize my health. I didn't train on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday before the test, and on the Saturday prior I made sure the class was largely a review and not an intense workout. The morning of the test I skipped yoga as well.

Second, our grader and instructor, Nick Masi (far right in the above photo), did a great job administering the test. He kept us moving the whole time. He had to juggle testing P3, P4, P5, and G1 candidates, totalling 7 people. There were a few times when the P testers took an extended break while Josh and I worked specific G curriculum, like throws and a few ground escapes. Otherwise, Nick grouped techniques to make us keep progressing. For example, he would ask individual levels to demonstrate all the techniques they knew for striking, or kicking defenses, or choke defenses, so we each kept moving while he evaluated us in turn.

Third, it really helped me to focus on KMG curriculum alone in preparation for the test. Aside from a few seminars, I stopped training jiu-jitsu in April, for multiple reasons.

First, I returned to a normal W-2 job in May, which added two complications: fewer opportunities for noon training, and with a headquarters on the west coast, more duties late in the day. KMG classes tended to start later, making it easier for me to attend.

Second, I was having a difficult time balancing training for both arts. I could not keep multiple ways to escape from a headlock, for example, straight in my head. My limited jiu-jitsu training definitely helped me in ground situations in KMG, but it was too stressful to be studying two large sets of curricula.

Third, my body couldn't handle the training in both arts, at least at the pace I was trying to maintain. I got tired of feeling broken all the time, especially with my knees. I have a degenerative immune system disorder (RA) that eats my joints, and my knees and shoulders tend to manifest the condition in the most painful ways. I was able to manage my health and protect myself best in KMG, so I decided to concentrate on that.

I haven't thought out my plan for KMG going forward. I expect to continue training, but I am not particularly intent on G2 or higher. I no longer plan to be a KMG instructor, and as I understand, one cannot test for Expert 1 (E1) unless one is a certified KMG instructor. I could still continue training and testing through G5, but at this point I'm mostly interested in the fitness, camaraderie, and mental stimulation I get from training.

Finishing my third year of KMG training, I'm happy that I accomplished this goal. Thank you to my instructors and fellow students who made it all possible, and to my family, for understanding my interest in an activity that yields too many bumps and bruises to count.

Finally -- I apologize for not posting here in months! With my new job I've returned to covering cybersecurity issues at TaoSecurity Blog. I plan to say more here as well as at Martial Journal.

How are your testing experiences? Let me know here or on Twitter!

Stay informed of new blog posts by following me on Twitter @rejoiningthetao.

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