And so it begins! Today is the first day of the last part (hopefully) of my journey towards becoming a Krav Maga instructor. I am about to begin the final part of the Civilian Instructor Course after over 10 years of training towards this.
First, a little bit about me for those of you who don’t know me. I live in New York City and I have spent many years training extensively in Gracie Jujitsu and Krav Maga in New York, California and London. I am a long standing Krav Maga practitioner and I have been working towards becoming an instructor for over 10 years. I served in an infantry unit in the US Marine Corps before retiring a few years ago and moving to New York City.
These blogs will chronicle my final steps to becoming a qualified instructor… Let’s go!
It’s 5 am when my alarm goes off, but I’m already awake and wide-eyed like a child on Christmas morning! I jump out of bed and race to get ready to leave for Tampa, Florida, where Hammerfist Krav Maga is hosting the IKMF Civilian Instructor Course (CIC). I can’t contain my excitement anymore and I head out of my apartment and walk up to get the M60 to LaGuardia. Now the story starts to get less exciting… I forgot it’s Memorial Day weekend so the airport is packed full of annoyed travelers.
I immediately jump into the security line since I already checked in and am not checking any luggage. 45 minutes later I reach the front of the snaking security line and pass through without a breeze, or so I thought. I immediately get stopped and called to the side because of all of the training gear I’m trying to carry on, including a “scary” looking rubber knife that’s stuffed away in the bottom of the bag. At this point my plane had already begun boarding, so I run back out to the counter to check my bag and continue trying to make my flight. The attendant behind the desk wasn’t very happy that I had to check my bag 30 minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave, but she particularly took pleasure in telling me that I was actually in THE WRONG TERMINAL!! I then run as fast as I can through security and all the way to my gate to make my flight and somehow I make it before the gate closes.
I move on back and get comfortable in my window seat. No sooner was I getting comfortable for the first time today when I hear the captain’s voice over the P.A, “We’ve just been notified by the tower that we will be a little later that originally anticipated” – ugh! 45 minutes later: “Hello everyone, we’re third in line for take off so it won’t be long now before we’re off to your final destination.” 15 minutes later: Finally in the air now. I can breathe deep, get some rest, and focus at the task at hand: surviving the next 10 days at CIC part 2 and Marcus “IKMF” Torgerson.
Day One at CIC
Waking up before noon is not my strong suit, but that’s why we have coffee. I sucked it up and got my gear ready for what would be a fun and intense day and hit the road with Nathan Taylor from California (an Army Ranger Vet) and Danny Nuet (originally from NY, now hailing from Barbados) and headed to Hammerfist.
We warmed up with some shadow fighting, then moved into slow fighting. “This isn’t so bad!” I thought to myself. Then came the zombie game. For those who have never played the zombie game, it’s an intense drill designed to train you to defend against multiple attackers where a group attacks and individual. Why is it called the zombie game? Because once they all start attacking from all angles, they don’t stop. Picture the movie 28 Days Later with all the extras wearing IKMF t-shirts and you get the idea.
It’s finally my turn to go so I step into the ring of zombie death and get ready. “GO!” is the only thing I hear come out of Marcus’s mouth and there are already hands flying at my face and neck trying to strangle the life out of me! But guess who likes to shake things up…this guy. So I start to line up my zombies and lead them through the other group of attacking zombies as a distraction and find myself near a kick shield. I pick up that shield and proceeded to hit all my zombie friends in the face with it until I could get away and get to a better position. Afterwards, we review techniques for the rest of the day: rolls, break falls, kicks and shirt grabs to name a few. We spent a lot of time at the end doing lots of very painful ‘Get Ups!’ What is a ‘Get Up’? I’ll have to update everyone when I get back to NYC, and trust me – you won’t like them.
Day Two at CIC
Second day of CIC. We’re starting to get into the meat and potatoes now! I led the warm-ups today for the group. I started with some running around the room with commands then transitioned to Primal Moves, oiling then finished them off with some sumo deadlift high-pulls with plucking hands for time and one-armed pull ups to touch heads. It’s great to teach a group of people who are dedicated and give 100% all the time!
Today was a lot of fun but painful. We covered knife threats and attacks from different distances and angles. We emphasized realistic attacks so there was a lot of stabbing and groaning from the rough 360 defense on the attackers arms; it won’t be long until we are all looking like leopards with some nice bruises all up and down our arms!
If you’ve never had the pleasure of training with Marcus, let me give you some advice: NEVER hand your knife over to your attacker! Needless to say there are strict consequences if you do. 500 pushups before lunch, 200 situps, 200 squats, and 100 getups later we learned our lesson. It was a brutal day! But we survived and learned more about being a team and family. When people finished their set, they stayed and motivated everyone else and never gave up on anyone.
Now it’s time to go home and lick my wounds and watch the game. Goodnight!
Day Three at CIC
Happy Birthday IMI! Because of you, many can now walk in peace and we are grateful for that.
The name of the game today is sore muscles! It’s starting to creep up on us all after the intense second day, but we’re not yet letting it get the best of us. Thankfully no one has incurred any serious injuries so far and let’s hope it stays that way! Our first warm ups today were led by Nate, and being an Army Ranger he didn’t take it easy on us. A lot of people here didn’t know what Chinese situps are so he taught us a lesson in core dynamics and made us all want to lose our breakfast. If you want to know what these are, come to class once I’m back in New York and I’ll show you.
We began training with wrist grabs to get us warmed up and then moved on to stick defense techniques. But not quite like in class. Think of the nice padded sticks we use back at home to train with… now swap the nice padded ones for hard wooden sticks that show no mercy for your arms, face and fingers. We were going full force and swinging for the stands every time. There were sticks flying everywhere!
We calm it down a little and move onto cavaliers, which are fun to do except when it’s your turn to be the meat puppet. We ended the day with a constant 20 minutes of working out, anything you wanted to do. Burpees, situps, “Marcus” pushups or anything you can think of as long as you don’t stop moving. Great end to an awesome day…