The KMW Member Diaries: Back in the Saddle, Chapter 16

Part 16 in a series.

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Caught up in the spirit of whimsy or perhaps lunacy or even lack of sleep, my poetic side has led me, like any aging fighter, like Miyamoto Musashi himself, to enter the cave of contemplation and make art in ode to my pugilistic passions. And so, as I’m sure happens to all of you caught in the betwixt and between of ruminative dwelling, I made haiku. And no, perhaps not to the strictest confines of the form but hey, you find your own cave if you want to dwell on your victories on the battlefield and the sweet call of absence.

Krav Maga - Self-Defense - SparringOn Crossfit on a dew-y morn…

Oh Tina, bright sprite
Though tiny, fierce thou art, true.
Stop smiling, damn you!

On KM Bag 12:15…

Gimlet eyed vinyl
Though you fall not, still I swing
And what’s wrong with Noon?

On KM 2/3…

Doctor Bob, no joke
Billy Jack made you fight hard
Billy, I’m tapping.

On 7am sparring…

If I close my eyes
Firmly but gently like so
Jabs become pillows.

On loud exhalations while striking…

I wish I could write
the onomatopoeia
Maybe “Hizzshhtttoo?”

On partners who’re insanely huge…

Um, seriously?
Did I lose a cosmic bet?
Another Viking?

On my beloved when I’ve missed training for a couple days…

My dear, my darling
I’m only wrestling you now
Because I love you.

I would invite you, dear readers, to join in the fun. You’re welcome. I have to go neaten up my cave now. I have friends coming over.

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Brendan McNamara is a member at KMW Training Centers™.

The KMW Member Diaries: Back in the Saddle, Chapter 15

Photo by Viki Chan

Part 15 in a series.

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Don’t stop.

That is my best advice.

Don’t. Stop.

To rob one of the most hackneyed cliches (yes, that’s redundant) in writing and public speaking…

Webster’s defines “don’t” as “do not.” Or “does not.” …Wait, really? You just uncontract the contraction and call that a definition? No wonder Merriam had to step in, buddy.

MERRIAM-Webster defines “stop” as “to cause to give up or change a course of action.” There’s a whole mess more but let’s STOP there.

The course of action, in this case, being Krav Maga.

Do not stop Krav Maga’ing. KM’ing? Doing Krav Maga? Krav Magaction??

Oh goodness, I am sorely obscuring my point.

Let not your training, your practice, your routine cease.

And I think this applies in multiple ways.

1. When you’re actually training, DON’T STOP. Do not stop punching, kicking, gouging, until the obviously sad and lonely and deranged individual, either literally or represented in the avatar of your training partner, has ceased anything vaguely resembling cogent and potentially threatening movement. Or at least until you are far enough away to not see the whites of their skull bone pieces you exposed in your animalistic furry.

Do not stop pushing yourself. When you’re panting and falling to a crouch seemingly against your will, try running. Seriously. Run across the room. You will find you can make it to the opposite wall. And perhaps fall down again but you can make it. Don’t stop keeping your hands up. Protect that sweet face of yours. And if it’s an ugly face, well, you don’t want to make it worse, do you? No, I didn’t think so. Don’t stop plucking, grabbing, twisting, moving your feet. Never give up. Or, when you do, make sure you have some really cool last words that keep people laughing and/or scratching their heads for millennia.

2. And the reason I brought this up in the first place, DON’T. STOP. TRAINING! If you can help it. I’m not a professional trainer or a mathematician but I am 100% certain that every week “off” is equal to 342 years of “on.” Give or take a decade or two. As regular as you can keep it, the better. I got a week of work and thanksgiving week got it’s tryptophan meat hooks in me early. And, right now, after only 4 days of KM Bag at 12:15 pm, I am typing this by blowing into a straw at specific intervals. And although I am turning out to be an astonishingly fast blow-typer, I feel as though it is my duty to warn your booty. Keep. Going. Family in town? Give them directions to your favorite brunch spot and tell them you’ll meat them later. Make sure they recognize the genius of your “meat” pun, since your Dad NEVER fails to order bacon, and then go to class. Get sweaty. Get a little bloody, maybe. Squish into your seat with the fam afterwards. Okay, that’s just an example but, basically, if you can avoid breaking whatever habit you have set in your training routine, DO. If you can amp it up, do! And then do your best to keep that new plateau going for as long as it challenges you. No self-judgement as to where or how far or how flipping’ awesome you’re supposed to be, just don’t slack off. You won’t regret consistent effort and inconsistent results. But you will regret inconsistent results directly correlating to your own inconsistent efforts. Take it from this straw-typing guy.

3. Never stop growing, learning, teaching, seeking, finding, and so forth. Amen? Amen.

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Brendan McNamara is a member at KMW Training Centers™.

The KMW Member Diaries: Back in the Saddle, Chapter 14

Photo by Viki Chan

Part 14 in a series.

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I’ve found, though I am a total loud exhaler on strikes—and I know this may be annoying and seemingly overaggressive—that my dander gets a little raised in classes with unfriendly partners.

And I know to some folks that may sound crazy when you spend an hour punching each other in the head and stomach and kicking each other in the legs and body and maybe head if you’re feeling limber, all seemingly unfriendly activities. But, I don’t know, they’re just NOT.

One of the things I love about watching MMA is the sportsmanship, the touching gloves, the bows, the hugs and bro-pats after a brutal 3-or-5-round all-or-nothing brawl. We’re here to learn some self-defense but at some point, it’s also about learning the game, making training and throwing down as joyful and easy to switch into as playing with a child. And so when folks are downright rude, angry or especially lost in their own zone, throwing at 100% speed and power but nowhere near you, it, well, it just shakes the zen of the room. If you’re gonna get down like that, why not just go over to bag class where you don’t have to work for someone else as well as yourself. We’re all in class to give it our all but also to help whoever you’re with give their all as well. Right? Right?

Just because we’re kicking each others’ butt doesn’t mean we can’t be friendly and conscientious!

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Brendan McNamara is a member at KMW Training Centers™.

The KMW Member Diaries: Back in the Saddle, Chapter 13

Photo by Viki Chan

Part 13 in a series.

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Finally getting back into level 4 classes, I was right proper chuffed to see the instructor hauling out a pile of handguns…

[My own personal gypsy-funk-hip-hop-band (Questlove on drums, Zach Condon on trumpet, Eugene Hutz on howls and guitar, Tom Waits on trash cans and broken violin, DJ Premier on turntables) started in on a pre-dusk, pre-draw staredown accompaniment to a Middle East-inspired version of a spaghetti western]

BAD. ASS.

But we were in Room One and there was really no room so they had to go.  And I soon remembered how hard even those rubber guns are and I found myself intermittently staring at the pads of my hand trying to figure out if that was swelling. Or were the mounds where fingers met palm just getting fat? How do you diet for hand weight-loss?

And the blue guns, I have to admit, were a bit shocking. The little boy in me, who still can’t resist making “pcchww!” sounds when I’m pretending to pull the trigger as I’m being disarmed, was a little disappointed by these OBVIOUS fake guns. And while I was nigh on giddy with this class, overjoyed to be learning techniques I’d never tried (so at least if I started shoddy, I now had an excuse) and just relishing the out-and-out joy of learning, the strange blue, smurf-like sheen of these weapons pointed at my partner as I dove through third-party defense takeaways sent me on a strange blue-hued train of thought.

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