I’ve been at the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) training academy, better known as Depot, for two months now. My experience here so far has been amazing, and a major part of that is due to my Krav Maga training at UTKM. Krav Maga has helped me in more ways than one while I’ve been at Depot. Of course, there’s the obvious, such as doing the Police Use of Force classes, that I have an advantage because I am familiar with being in a combative environment and learning the techniques comes with ease. But the bigger role that Krav Maga has played for me is the mental strength to keep going forward. Just like when defending yourself, one of the objectives is to keep moving forward (of course with the added continuous strikes to your attacker) and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Taking on one task at a time and progressively always moving forward. Even if I’m not exactly sure what to do, doing something is better than doing nothing. For example, if you need to defend yourself against a person with a knife and your not sure what to do, its much better to do something, like a punch, kick, bite, eye gouge (even if that’s not the correct defence), than stand there doing nothing.
A moment in training that Krav Maga has been the most helpful for me was overcoming extreme physical pain. One thing at Depot that all Cadets must go through is getting OC sprayed, commonly called pepper spray. And that day came for me. I had a bit of an idea that being OD’d was gonna sting the eyes. My thought was that it was gonna feel like the burn you get when sweat runs into your eyes. Wow, was I ever wrong. As soon as the OC spray hit my face it didn’t feel too bad. I blinked once or twice and then BAM! The pain shot through the roof! My eyes completely shut and stung like acid was just poured onto them and my entire face felt like it was engulfed in flames. But of course, we are tough RCMP Cadets and must run an obstacle course that combined both physical parts and thinking parts. Immediately when I felt the pain, my Krav Maga training kicked in. I pried my eyes open using my hands and moved forward and didn’t stop until the job was done. In a way, I related this experience to one of my belt tests I had done earlier at UTKM before Depot. It was essentially the same but trade the pain for exhaustion. Even though I felt so tired during my belt test that I thought I was going to pass out, I still had to keep going.
The “mental conditioning” that Krav Maga teaches is truly something great. The ability to overcome, fight through and always be focused is very important. Not panicking in a situation where you need all your energy and focus to get through is something I’ve learned at UTKM and am truly grateful for my instructors sharing their knowledge, experience and skills with me. Krav Maga is more than self-defense, it’s your fighting spirit. ”
Editors note: This is not RCMP Training but a comparable scenario. I have been Bear Maced and had a face full of Military Grade Tear gas, it is not pleasant but can be tolerated if the need arises. However, I do not recommend you try this at home or with out proper supervision and medical personel available.