Tales From the Training Center

I’ve been training, instructing, and caring for Krav Maga’s business in one way or another for the last seven years.  I have friends of all ages and ranks.  When I posed the question, Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your past self when you first walked through the door of the training center? Here are some of my favorite responses:

1) Don’t get all caught up in the belts.

“I was shocked.  No one cared about the belts!  In my first few months of training, I truly thought no one cared about the belt system.   You couldn’t tell if someone was an orange belt or a blue belt.  I came in asking how long it would take to earn my black belt.  Over time, I realized I had it wrong.  Showing off that accomplishment by wearing a belt isn’t the Krav Maga style.  If I could tell my past self something, it would be “Don’t get all caught up in the belts”  Giving your personal 100% to your training and pursuing excellence is a Krav Maga student’ss’ journey, and the belts are merely a stamp on your passport.”

2) You will lose weight and love every minute of it!

“The first time I stepped onto the training mats, I was a 41-years-old and looking to drop a few pounds.  I also desperately needed something for myself.   I tried Zumba, Kickboxing, Pilates, Swimming, and so many more things and nothing stuck.  Krav was different.  The workout I got in that hour was an unexpected calorie burner.   Taking three classes a week and some moderate nutrition adjustments, I lost 40+ lbs. in 6 months. I wish I would have started sooner.  If I could go back in time and give myself a message, I would tell myself not to hold back.  Take that extra class.  This workout is going to work.  You are going to lose weight, and you are going to love every minute of it.” 

3) You will brim with confidence!

“I found Krav Maga because the kids at school wouldn’t stop picking on me.  I didn’t want to wake up and face it all.  My family helped me find a place where I could go and learn how to protect myself.  The more classes I took, the more things changed.  The kids who used to target me just lost interest.   I came to my classes every week and joined some after school clubs.  It’s like the whole world opened up for me.  When I met with the guidance counselor, she told me I was “brimming with confidence.”   I guess  my confidence was like bully repellent.”

4) These people will feel like family.

I have been training martial arts of one kind or another for as long as I can remember.  I have been a student of Krav Maga for over 16 years and opened a training center for the first time two years ago.  There is something very different about training Krav Maga.  The partnership and trust that grows on the mats are very bonding.  Maybe it’s the struggle that is so bonding.  It could be a mutual understanding of the shared experience.  For me, it comes almost as parental when my students are testing.  When I had no idea, these people would feel like family.  

5) This will be the best addiction you’ve ever had!

It’s no secret that I have struggled with addiction.  I started Krav Maga as part of my recovery.  I needed to fill up my time.  My driver’s license was revoked for 12 months, and the training center was within walking distance of my house.  I made myself a deal to buy a membership and take classes until I could drive again.  It wasn’t long before I was at the training center, twice a day, and taking three classes in a row.  I was creating this new healthy life.  My new friends were supportive and helped me become a man I never thought I could be.   Last year I married a woman I met the day I signed my membership contract.  I would say this is the best addiction I’ve ever had.