The 11 Emotional Stages of Taking Your Krav Maga Practitioner’s Test

by: Alicia Lu

Anyone who’s ever taken a Krav Maga test will know that it is an experience unlike any other. Well, actually there is one thing it kind of resembles: training to be a SEAL Team Six. Or so I would imagine. For most students, the four-hour-long test will be the hardest challenge they’ll ever face, at least physically, regardless of the level you’re testing for. And that’s the point. It doesn’t just test your proficiency with the techniques but also your ability to fight in a highly stressful situation. Can you still roundhouse after running 12 laps when you’re barely able to breathe? In real life, you may need to. So yes, the test is evil — that’s not up for debate — but it could also save your life.

The test is made up of several components: warm-up, conditioning, techniques, more conditioning, drills, and even more conditioning. If you’re not physically spent by the end of it, then you either did something wrong or you’re not human. To say that the Krav Maga practitioner’s test is an emotional rollercoaster would be a severe understatement. It’s more like hanging out of an aircraft as it flies in all directions, through forests, over mountains, and in and out of the ocean. By the end of it, if you’re still alive, you’ll feel like you just survived a war, but you’ll also feel the most rewarding, satisfying sensation of your entire life — pride.

Before you get there, though, you will have many, many feelings — guys, this may very well be the first time you cry in public. Here are the 11 emotional stages of taking your Krav Maga practitioner’s test.



The morning of the test you’re so anxious, you can barely eat a bowl of oatmeal, but everyone keeps telling you to eat a good breakfast so you force it down.



When you get to the testing site and you see all your classmates looking just as nervous, you start to feel better. At least you’re not in this alone.


By the time you’ve put on all your gear and you and your partner have given each other six pep talks, you’re starting to feel more and more confident about this test. How hard could it be, right? It can’t be worse than the math section on the GREs. Soon you realize your confidence is just hubris.

Intense Fear

intense fear

Now your testing instructor is giving you a rundown of how the test is going to go, and he’s saying things like “you might pass out” and “vomiting is natural.”



You’ve started your test, but you’re already exhausted by the middle of the warm-up. This doesn’t bode well.

Slight Nausea

slight nausea

Now you’re on the first conditioning section and you’ve already run what feel like 12,000 laps. “Are they really keeping count?” You think to yourself. You feel the oatmeal rising in your throat.



You survive the first conditioning portion and now you’re pumped. You are ready to prove your technique proficiency with razor-sharp focus.

Newfound Tenacity


By the third hour and the second round of conditioning, you discover a tenacity in yourself that you didn’t even know you had. Seriously, you are amazed that you’re still standing.

Searing Pain Everywhere

searing pain

You’re now well into your third hour and every limb and appendage feels like it’s on fire or about to fall off. You think about collapsing into the punching pad that you’re supposed to be striking. And that’s when your instructors blow their whistles.

Immense Relief


It’s an unparalleled kind of relief that fills your entire body with light and music and angel’s voices.

Unprecedented Pride


In the post-test lineup, you hear your name called and step up to receive your practitioner’s patch. Right now your brain can’t even process what you just went through or what you’re feeling. All you know is that it’s the best feeling ever.

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