So here I am in an exercise studio with Molotov. His manner is welcoming though he looks like he could break my neck in less than three seconds.
We start doing exercises, punching in the air, working on our form. Then we pair up and since there are only a few women, my partner is a man.
For the first time in my life, I have a man punching, hard, at a pad I’m holding to my chest, pretty darn close to my face. I find my breath tightening up. I’m struggling to keep my balance when he hits. Then it was my turn.
Punching feels weird. I guess some people know how to do this, but I don't. I’m hitting the pad as hard as I can which doesn't seem that hard. I’m getting corrections from Molotov. It seems I need to be putting my full body into it. My hand is starting to get red, and I’m breaking skin. It seems I’m hitting with the wrong part of my hand according to Molotov. So I adjust.
When I leave 45 minutes later, my head is spinning with new information. And as a user experience (UX) professional, I’m a sucker for new experiences and learning.
So go to another class run by a female instructor. We talk about what to do in a multiple attack situation and what adjustments to make if a knife is pulled on us. As if she was speaking about Zumba, the teacher tells us about upcoming classes: Gun Disarmament and Knife Fighting.
We spend a lot of time learning a move to get out of a choke hold. I can hardly keep the instructions straight. My mind is trying to process some kind of arm sweep then elbow blow with a simultaneous chop to the groin. Then I'm to throw a second elbow then prep for the next attacker. (I try to show this to my husband later but then have to tell him to pretend choke me from the side or I can't do it right.)
My thoughts are spinning. I'm learning new vocabulary and concepts. I suspect new brain pathways are forming. I’m having trouble even remembering all the instructions and it all feels totally unfamiliar. And that’s why I’m coming back.
(And of course I’m so curious why the other people are in the class! I’d love to sit down in a circle at the beginning and discuss why we are all here. They don’t do this in Krav Maga.)