Posts Tagged ‘Boxing’

I’ve been training for almost four years now. And there’s something that has often happened to me that I didn’t recognize as a problem until recently. People are afraid to hit me or don’t want to spar with me, simply because I’m female. Well. That’s annoying. I’m not going to break, jeez. I can’t speak for all the other women who train as to what their experience has been like, but I am so tired of having to constantly reassure people. I feel like I’m telling people that “you can hit harder”, “it’s okay to hit me”, “no it isn’t too hard” almost every class. Recently, I’ve just been getting really frustrated by this. So to everyone who is afraid of hitting me, here is why you should.


Women fight professionally too you know! They can take a punch.

It hurts me and my chances of survival. The reason I come to Krav every week, sometimes transiting for several hours even when I’m exhausted, is not because I want to make friends and giggle (Which I do). It’s cool if you do want to talk and laugh with others, but I’m trying to get the skills that will allow me to protect myself and potentially others. Considering my future career plans (law enforcement), being proficient in Krav will probably save me one day. Now obviously being attacked in class is very different than being attacked on the street. You have no idea what someone might do, and unlike in class, they might actually want to murder you. Hopefully, no one in class is actually trying to kill you. If it is, then it might be time to rethink your life if that’s happening… So let’s say I’m in class sparring and my partner is going slowly and not actually hitting me. When I get attacked on the street, I’m not going to be used to be punched and might drop the first time I’m hit. So much for Krav Maga…. Oh well, if I die, I won’t be alive to worry about it. Have fun living with THAT guilt. For the training to actually be effective, I need to be able to react to anything that might happen. Refusing to hit me, or not going as hard as you would normally is going to make things worse in the long run. 

It’s also a part of the class. I wouldn’t be in Krav if I didn’t want to be hit. We all signed the waiver and know the risks. If someone doesn’t like getting hit, they probably won’t stick around, or they’ll let you know. I don’t need someone constantly asking if that was too hard, or not hitting the pad or whatever. Lemme explain how pads work to y’all, cause I feel like some people don’t get it. Pads are these cool things that absorb the hit so that by the time it reaches the person holding it, you don’t feel it as much. Isn’t that amazing? Now, pads work the same for males and females. If I pass the pad to a male student, it will not change and suddenly work better. And after all the years of holding pads, I know the super top secret way of holding them to absorb the hit the best. Trust me, I can take it. 

It’s also disrespectful. I am a green belt. Yay? It’s been almost four years of training with UTKM. And if you think I was given a green belt because I was gently tapped on the head a few times and smiled at, you are so very wrong. I had to fight for it. Not one or two, but THREE TESTS, increasing in difficulty. So I hate writing blogs, but I literally wrote an entire post about the green belt test just so I could complain about how hard it was. But I went through the same test the other green belts did. People didn’t hold back during the tests because of my gender (It was after all attempt to murder Karis day but you know, only in a metaphoric way). Trust me, I had the bruises to prove it. When people come in and don’t want to spar with a girl or keep asking if it’s too hard, it’s spitting on everything I’ve accomplished. You are telling me that despite everything I’ve been through, I still need to be protected and coddled. I’m not going to break if someone hits me. Seriously. I’m honest I do recognize that sometimes people are raised to not hit females, but I would like my rank and what I’ve done to be recognized. Please get over it so we can move on with class. For the other women at Krav, we have so many awesome different colour belts who train hard and deserve to be treated the same as the guys. 



Karis in action

This all kinda ties into another problem. If someone going too hard in class, you have to let them know. As someone who has been forced (Voluntold) into teaching classes, it’s not easy trying to make sure that

1) you are teaching the right thing,

2) everyone is doing the technique correctly

3) think about what you are teaching next OH AND THEN make sure no one is killing each other.

Come on. You guys can figure this out. Going too hard with each other in class or not speaking up will just lead to injuries. Classes can get pretty big and your instructor can’t be everywhere at once. Just a warning, if you EVER go full force in a class I’m teaching, prepare for death >:D. Also a tip, size reeeeeeeeeallly matters. If I’m hitting at five percent, I probably will hit harder then someone else who is smaller than me. When I’m the smaller one, I won’t be able to hit as hard as the other person. This should be obvious. Remember this in sparring, and adjust for who you are fighting. We do try to avoid injuries if we can. It’s a little difficult to train with a concussion. Just a little bit.


So those are the thoughts of a NOT SASSY teenager. I’m not even really a teenager JON. DROP IT. Joking aside, this is important to me. I’m getting more and more tired of this. And I’m only eighteen (Teenager). I haven’t been alive that long. This obviously isn’t my experience with everyone. I’ve had some awesome teachers and classmates over the years. So if the remainder could just stop worrying about hitting me, that would be great. However, if you just come up to me and try to punch me in the face or something, I will react and the results may be unpleasant. 

Greg F fighting Josh Hensman in Krav Maga sparing

During the past year and a half that I have been practicing Krav Maga, I’ve invested my time to learn the proper techniques and apply the principles that we learn practicing Krav Maga at UTKM. While I feel that Krav Maga is a complete system, overall I realized that there are more styles and methods to learn that could benefit my development. This idea led me to pursue training at Contenders boxing in Vancouver. Lucky for me at the time they offered a 2-week trial program, perfect for entry-level boxing. boxing-3 While boxing and Krav Maga are totally different practices in their respect, I felt the training I have done thus far with UTKM made the movements and techniques of boxing easier to understand and adjust to. By no means was it easy, training in Krav Maga allowed me to understand and follow instructions properly. That being said, I was humbled by how intensely my body was beat up after that first day! The intensity of boxing, even at this level, definitely proves just how athletic and agile boxers have to be in order to excel. Over the course of the two weeks I adjusted to the progression and each day felt like a new technique was taught. One of the key points emphasized is how important footwork and stance is in fighting. Krav Maga applies this principle in a similar way. Both styles emphasize being light on the feet, allowing a fighter to make quick movements without sacrificing balance. Having a solid stance with the ability to move around gives the fighter many options to overtake an attacker or opponent and push forward. Boxing technique focuses more on moving in on an opponent while delivering a series of combinations and resetting. This forces the fighter to be aware of their body positioning in and around the opponent. The area I observed which differentiated boxing from my Krav Maga training was the endurance factor. Drill time was highly focused on fighting endurance during many of the boxing sessions. I didn’t leave one training session without feeling like I had been pushed to the limit… At UTKM, we focus mainly on technique rather than fighting endurance. The difference here is that boxers are built to endure multiple 3-minute rounds of boxing, whereas Krav Maga is designed to maximize movements and finish the job in as little time as possible. The takeaway from my experiment was that proficiency in one fighting system does not guarantee the same level in another. It may be easier to make adjustments and refine movements, but it definitely takes more than a couple of weeks to fully understand what you are learning. For those of you interested in building a solid foundation to supplement your Krav Maga, I would highly recommend cross training with another fighting system. Being well balanced will definitely improve your abilities as a kravist. There are so many martial arts in the world that your possibilities are endless, do some research and take the next step towards developing your talents.

Written by: Greg F