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ADRENALINE TRAINING IN KRAV MAGA

This last Friday myself, Kevin Hilton, David McCormick and Ian Clements ventured south to Harlow in Essex to participate in the Adrenaline Level 2 event.

This seminar was the next in the Adrenaline series, continuing on from the first seminar which was held in 2014. The Level 1 seminar which we all attended last year gave us all really valuable experience in dealing with stress, adrenaline and the real uncertainty of a verbal and physically violent confrontation.

We were told before this latest event that we should expect to experience situations where we may be restricted in some way and that any assailants may have an advantage over us. Prior to the event I supposed that these suggested disadvantages could mean that we may have restricted space in which to move and also that our attackers may be in larger numbers or even that they may have weapons. It turns out that all of these assumptions were correct!

On Saturday morning we arrived at Harlow Leisure Centre and Adrenaline 2 duly started. The physiological and psychological effects of stress and a massive adrenaline dump were explained to us. Where as in Adrenaline 1 we had a general explanation of stress and adrenaline we now delved much deeper into the reasons why we feel and act the way we do when stress, fear and adrenaline take a hold of us.

Next we started to move, time to get warm, sweat a little and release a little of the tension caused by the impending Predator confrontation. Familiar ground, hard work, physical stress most of which we’ve trained for before. This next hour was Krav, phew… Cantered around multiple attackers and being taken to the ground we worked in two’s and three’s, controlling an assailant and getting up from the floor when being taken down was really inevitable. A great session that prepared us for what was to come!

We then divided into two groups of 25-30. Each group was allocated a matted area where we would get up close with the Predators. Firstly, one at a time, the entire group was lead onto the mat where one, two, three or more guys in sunglasses got in our faces. Pushing as many buttons as they possibly could to induce stress and raise our adrenaline levels we were subjected to a very stressful confrontation that each of us had to hopefully diffuse in a non-violent way. We had to employ previously learnt techniques using body language and the use our voice so that we were in control of what was said, how we said it and also how we appeared to our aggressors.

Then the Predators came along, clad in their padded suits they really do look very intimidating. All of them big guys, inside even bigger padded suits, now my heart rate went up. My palms were a little sweaty and I really was forgetting to breath! Each predator confrontation was usually with 2, 3 or more attackers. You stand there in the middle of the mat with your eyes closed (really that is just torture) and wait…and wait. You may be pushed, pulled or even dragged to the floor. Once the physical onslaught begins you use your trained techniques to defend yourself, both Krav and the verbal and physical techniques taught as part of both Adrenaline courses. After only a minute or so and breathing like you’ve just run 10k it’s all over and hopefully you’ve made it to safety after dealing with any confrontation you found yourself part of.

So then it was time to reflect a little and ask myself a few questions. What have I learnt? And what do I need to continue to learn? Are questions that occurred to me. I learnt that fear and uncertainty can be controlled but that it is not easy and requires real effort and continued training to overcome. Adrenaline and fear can really make you feel as though you cannot function. I experienced an increased heart rate, sweaty palms, irregular breathing, that horrible taste in your mouth that panic gives you and had three deranged Predators who I was quite convinced wanted to jump all over me. All this and really I knew that I was quite safe, in the back of my mind I must of known that I was not really going to come to any real harm. I can honestly say that it did not feel like that at the time.

As part of Adrenaline Level 1 I experienced terrible tunnel vision, I was pretty much focused solely on what was happening in front of me and ignoring everything else that was happening all around me. All this and I’d spent the previous 6 years or so both passively and actively scanning dozens of time in each Krav training session! After Adrenaline 2 though I knew that tunnel vision was now a little less of a concern. I did scan a little more, was more aware and looked more for both attackers and escape opportunities. With further training I am sure that this progress would only continue.

So that was it. A group of sweaty and happy guys made our way home. I would recommend everyone attend an Adrenaline course if you can. Handle the fear and deal with the stress to see how you perform. You may just surprise yourself.

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