Friday, September 24, 2010

Some common myths of street fighting smashed.

Myth 1 - Size matters
Size is a natural advantage since its intimidating. But the advantage of size in actual street fight is over-rated.
Natural reflex, aggression, nimbleness and hitting the vulnerable spots are the key in a emotionally intensive confrontation.
But, AVOID going on the ground grappling with a bigger guy, because he can dominate with superior mass.
Myth 2 - Technique matters 
Its highly improbable that a technique learnt inside a dojo can be applied with 100% effectiveness, in a sudden fight.  One will be under adrenalin infused stress because of the unpredictable and dynamic nature of an ugly confrontation.
Its the reflexive adaptability of the technique which will be most natural and least contrived.
Myth 3 - Cool head will prevail
3 things matter in street fight - Aggression, aggression and more aggression.
As combat tested military and police officers have observed “Combat is 90% Attitude & 10% Technique"
Myth 4 - "Everything happened SO suddenly!"
Things did NOT turn ugly suddenly. Its just that your antenna was not up and all the signals, of a situation becoming uglier, were ignored.
The concept of AOI (Ability, Opportunity, and Intent) has to be understood, especially if you are in a profession or lifestyle where exposure to violence is highly probable.
Another factor is the behaviour of the aggressor which indicates attack is imminent. Some of the common indicators are -
  • Facial expression (Knotted eyebrows, staring eyes, flared nostrils, pursed mouth)
  • Abusive language,
  • Reddish pallor if fair skinned or waxen grey if dark skinned
  • Invading your personal space
  • Unconsciously taking a stronger stance
  • Rolling up the shirt sleeve ( or macho gestures peculiar to the locality)
Thats why in KravMaga training, apart from techniques, lots of importance is given to sharpening the natural reflex, becoming aggressive, handling others' aggression and being spatially aware of the environment.
Remember the first rule of Krav-Maga?
.. since in the street there are NO rules  

Co-ordinator / Instructor
Chennai Chapter, Krav Maga (IKMF) India
Mobile: 93400 06600

"So that one may walk in peace" ... Imi Lichtenfeld, Founder of KravMaga
TWEET - @kravMagaSreeRam

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Core Exercises - The simplest way for total fitness

When it comes to total lifetime fitness, core exercises are just about the best thing you can do for yourself. The results are immediate and long-lasting. Core exercises have profound benefits for both men and women, at all levels of training and experience.
Most core exercises do not require fitness equipment to be effective.
Here are some very simple exercises that you can do any time in the privacy of your own home. In order for them to be effective, you need to exercise at least three times a week, and after awhile, you should work your way up to five times a week.

The Top 10 Benefits of Core Exercises -
1. It's good for you!
Core exercises train your deep abdominal muscles - the main one is called the transversus abdominis. You can think of your transversus abdominis as your internal weight belt. It's a very deep muscle that surrounds your entire waist, supporting all your abdominal structures including your lower back.

2. Looking good.
Of course - this is why we exercise! Well, mostly why we exercise. :-) Core training flattens your abs better and faster than any other abdominal workout.
Due to lower back strength your posture improves visibly.

3. Core training is the missing piece of most exercise programs.
Most people do abdominal exercises as part of their regular routines. These are important, and yet abdominal exercises per se focus on the superficial abdominal muscles - primarily the rectus abdominis.
What's needed are exercises that specifically target the transversus abdominis (TVA) - your body's weight belt. This muscle is your deepest muscular layer and is most effectively trained using core routines.

4. Lower back stabilization.
A strong and healthy lower back requires a strong and healthy group of core muscles - the TVA, multifidus, erector spinae, longissimus thoracis, rectus abdominis, and internal and external obliques. A strong core provides weight-bearing support to the lower back, freeing your spinal vertebras, joints, and muscles to do what they were designed to do - move your body around in space.

5. Your body gets much smarter!
Core training provides remarkable unexpected benefits, including improved balance and coordination. Core training creates more and better links between your brain - specifically your cerebellum - and your body. The cerebellum is responsible for muscular coordination, balance, and positional awareness - proprioception - your body's awareness of its positioning in three-dimensional space. So core fitness means your brain is fit, too, and your body's own intelligence goes up very quickly.

6. Improved flexibility.
Another unexpected benefit of core fitness. Improved flexibility is the natural result of improved lower back stabilization. A strong group of core muscles takes weight-bearing pressure off your lower back, removing an ongoing, daily source of lower-back muscular stress and strain. These muscles and ligaments are freed-up to go through their entire ranges of motion, providing improved natural mobility and flexibility.

7. Improved respiration and lung capacity.
The TVA is directly connected to the diaphragm. When the core muscles are well-trained and working properly, your ability to breathe in fully and breathe out fully is greatly improved. More air means more oxygen - the performance of all your body systems is upgraded as a result. Pretty remarkable.

8. Reduced occurrence of lower back pain.
Most of us have had some kind of lower back trouble here and there. Most of these lower back problems result from bearing too much or too sudden weight in the lower back. A strong set of core muscles helps prevent or minimize such damage by providing more a efficient weight-bearing mechanism. Your back muscles and ligaments are not primarily designed to bear weight. Their primary function is to move your body around in three-dimensional space. A strong core allows for more normal spinal function and lower back problems are reduced.

9. Improved physical strength.
In the old days you'd carry around a weight belt when you worked out at the gym. You'd put on the weight belt when you were doing squats, deadlifts, or shoulder presses with a barbell. The belt provided stabilization and supported your lower back, allowing you to lift heavier weights and reduce the risk of injury. In those days people didn't know about core training. With core exercises, you strengthen your own internal weight belt. The TVA and other core muscles even do a better job than the old leather weight belts. They're a natural part of your body and know what they're supposed to do. All you need to do is keep these muscles fit and well-trained.

10. More fun with martial arts and any other physical activity
Basically, any sport that requires both aerobic performance and flexibility is improved with core training. Core exercises enhance your respiratory capacity and your balance, coordination, and flexibility. The result is upgraded athletic performance - you have more stamina and your sport-specific skills improve. Core training is literally a one-stop shop for fitness.

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