Sunday, February 15, 2009

F$#$-ing Krav Maga

I chewed up my knuckles on Saturday real bad.  Red, sore, bloody.

Since its winter now, running, open water swimming, and biking, isn't really feasible.  I also really needed a change.  So I decided to sign up at a local Krav Maga school, try it out for a month, see how it goes.

The school offers both regular Krav workouts as well as supplemental workouts that do other things, like work your upper body.  The workouts are also cardio intensive.  All these workouts seem to spill back into Krav.  For example, the high intensity cardio gives you the endurance to handle sparring.  So I took a class that was a 1 hour non-stop punching & kicking workout against a heavy punching bag.

The bag class came after the intro to Krav class.  The intro Krav class is a pretty good workout by itself.  At that point I probably should have gone home.  But I wanted to get my $$ worth -- its an expensive school.  But me, being overly fixated on getting my $$ worth, I did the bag class afterwards as well.

The school requires students to get either bag gloves, regular boxing gloves, or knuckle wraps, to do the bag class.  I had used regular boxing gloves before -- very heavy, punching with them feels a little like punching with lightweight dumbbells after a while.  So I decided to get the bag gloves -- much lighter.

Throughout the bag class I was worried about over-exerting myself.  The bag class and the intro to Krav were essentially 2 hours of cardio & upper body workouts.  I hadn't done anything like this since mid-autumn during the tale end of the triathlon/cycling season.  Naturally, I got really winded.  This was more intense than my usual cardio workouts -- a lot more like an extended interval session.  

The instructor, bad ass kick boxer, was actually very understanding of my situation, and advised me to step to the side if I started feeling lightheaded.  He also noticed I was getting disoriented. I began having problems adding moves to the punch/kick combinations he was asking us to do.  So he was cool with me slowing down, even encouraging me to slow down and just work on my form. 

Around 40 minutes into the workout, the instructor told us to grab some water, take our gloves off, rest for 2 minutes.  I took my gloves off, and then noticed that;

- My hands were shaking;
- My knuckles were raw and red.  My knuckles looked like someone ran a cheese grater across them for several minutes.

Oddly enough, my knuckles didn't actually hurt.  My shoulders & lungs felt much worse than my knuckles.  I had sweat so much that my glasses were completely fogged up.

When the instructor called us back to the mat, I put my gloves back on and went back to work on my bag.  In retrospect, being really tired, I wasn't really thinking straight.

After the workout finally ended, I showed my knuckles to the instructor, and asked him if I was doing something wrong.  His shtick -- if you were punching wrong, all the blood and scraping would be at one area of your knuckles.  In my case the damage stretched across my knuckles, which meant there was an issue with my gloves.  His recommendation -- don't do his bag class, or even the Krav classses, till my knuckles fully healed.  He recommended I do something less rough on my knuckles like TRX or Crossfit.

TRX?  Crossfit?  That's Commando/SWAT team shit!

After the instructor told me to take another class for awhile, one of my more experienced classmates added, "Yeah, that way the rest of your body can feel as bad as your knuckles.  Huh, huh."

Wise ass!  
My knuckles are shot for the next few days, but I'm going back to the bag class as soon as I can.   A little bit of blood is a small price for a good workout.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Stan! you can join me at Ironworks for Crossfit on Saturday. It's really fun!