Krav Maga has a reputation of a Hard-Core fighting system. Many people are afraid to put themselves to test.
We asked a student to write about his experience. Enjoy the reading!
I remember being nervous about my first Krav Maga test for Practitioner Level 1. All of us who tested were. You simply don’t know what to expect even though you do have an idea and have been preparing for it. Some of us took a private lesson with expert instructors and this helps a lot in giving you confidence for the test. You know it won’t be easy, but having taken a private lesson definitely, boosts your self-confidence.
Before taking the test I knew I would have to increase my cardio workouts in order to build stamina. I’ve never been a good runner, even as a child. However, there are many other exercises that strengthen your muscles and increase stamina. I did more push-ups, more sit-ups, but with less rest time in between sets. I knew we would be doing a lot of these for the test without any rest in between, so I tried doing all my exercises in this way. The idea was to keep your maximum heart rate as high as you can. Everyone is different and heart rate varies according to age as well, but at least keep it at a level to perform during the test.
I practiced my break falls and rolls as much as possible. For me personally break falls or simply falling on the mat is not a problem, as a matter of fact I love falling like a stuntman all over the mat. Rolls is harder for me so I practice that more. Everyone is different in this respect. Some are really afraid of break falls and have a hard time letting go, and others get very dizzy with rolls. I think it’s a matter of time and practice and eventually, the body adjusts, but you have to be persistent and suffer some discomfort at first.
I think the best way to prepare for any level test is simply to come to class as much as possible. You have to be very consistent, persistent and disciplined about assisting as many classes as your schedule affords during the week. The more classes one takes, the more muscle memory you build and eventually the movements, the reflexes, and your body adjusting to these movements begin to work as one. There is simply no other way around it. There are no short cuts. Taking a private lesson here and there helps, but the instructor can only go so far. In one hour he or she cannot make up for lost time. You have to come as often as possible. In my experience coming at least 4-5 times a week helps a lot. If you can do more, even better. At one point I was doing 7-8 times, but my schedule recently changed.
Taking your first test will be successful if you come to classes often, focus on what you’re doing and take extra time to practice the techniques with other partners. Don’t be shy and ask the instructors at the end of the class to help you with some difficulty you may have. In other words, don’t go away with doubts in your mind about how to do a technique, there is no reason to feel stupid because you are confused or didn’t understand something. Everyone is learning together. Ask questions!
Finally, before I take any test, I always like to meditate to help my mind focus on what I’m about to do. I focus on my breathing, in and out as I visualize my life and myself doing what I’m about to do. This helps my mind get into the right frame as I block everything else, including the people who came to see the test to support us. My mind then becomes very selective, only focusing on the test, the participants, and the instructors who are giving instructions. Nothing else. Meditating is very helpful in this respect and I recommend it to everyone including the instructors! There are many ways to meditate, you can even do so standing. It’s a state of mind that you switch on and we all have to find our personal way of turning this part of us on.