Posts Tagged ‘Testing’

Here we go, my orange belt test.

To begin with – I was incredibly nervous, I did not want to fail. Everybody was sharing their stories about how hard and horrible the test was which did not help my anxiety. I tried to train for it, Jon helped me to get my conditioning up but then I got injured, I strained a muscle in my hip. Very annoying location for that. So I rested but after a week or so I picked up training again. I tried to train more days to make up for what I missed but that wasn’t the greatest idea either. I felt really bummed out that I struggled so hard physically. Yes, I’m not in my twenties anymore but still, come on you old corpse! Well, yelling at myself also didn’t work.

I also did some trial runs in the gym to familiarize myself with the “circle of death“. Let’s face it – I sucked at it!

Editors Note: The “the circle of death” as some affectionately call it is a component of both the Orange and Green Belt tests and is common in Krav Maga testing. 

With all these things on mind, the days before the test were hard on me. I doubted myself, I didn’t want to fail and I spiralled down into the black hole that so far I was able to avoid.

Andrew (Fellow Assistant Instructor Candidate) helped me a lot during those days, we trained together, worked our way through the curriculum for white and yellow, and talked. What would be the worst case scenario?

I could fail. Working on becoming an assistant instructor failure was not an option for me. I didn’t want to lose students’ respect. I also didn’t want to disappoint people  – Jon, Andrew, Karch, myself …

Petra Success

Petra Post-test Exhausted but victorious

At the end – I made it, and I was incredibly relieved and I felt I really earned that orange belt!

 

During the last part of the test, the sparring – whenever I hit my opponent and people cheered – that was a first for me and I enjoyed it a lot. So thank you to all of you who were there that day!

For people who are going for their yellow or orange belt – make sure you know the curriculum (I know, it is mostly about pushing through and not to give up, but knowing the curriculum helped me a lot, at least one section of the test I felt confident), read the UTKM blog and work on your conditioning. For the test itself, energy control is crucial. Know yourself and your body, know your limits. But also understand that your body is telling you to give up way before your energy reserves are empty. That is the mental part – telling yourself to keep going, to not give up. It always sounds so easy when people say that but in reality, it is hard. It is a roadblock in your head and fighting your own brain is tough. And it is ok to fail – we (including myself) tend to forget that. Sometimes the way how you deal with failure says a lot more than winning. And it is ok to ask for help. If you are unsure about a technique or just want to go over it again – ask the person you feel most comfortable with.

In Judo we always say there is no shame in falling, only if you don’t get up again.

Why DO we Fall BruceEditors Note: When It comes to testing sometimes we really aren’t sure with who will struggle and who will make it look easy, often we are quite surprised as to who does what on both ends of the spectrum. Leading up to the test we can assure you Petra was having a hard time both physically and mentally and it was definitely a low point for Petra (“A fall”). But when it came test day her performance was almost flawless. It was clearly difficult for her but in true Krav Maga and warrior fashion she sucked it up for the duration of the test. Petra is an inspiration to not just women but all Krav Maga practitioners. Difficult, does not mean impossible. And falling either mentally or physically should always be a learning experience. For those who do not get up again are doomed to fail, but those who brush themselves off and keep going to learn and grow will always continue to succeed.

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What Success Looks Like

Posted: May 1, 2018 by Jonathan Fader in Krav Maga Philosophy
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What is Success?

The Merriam-Webster defines it as “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame,”

or see here a Business Insider article asking several wealthy individuals their definition of success is. You might notice that many if not most of them do not count the wealth and fame as why they consider themselves successful. Yet we would all look at them as successful because they have wealth and fame.

Or you might look at them and say they aren’t successful because they don’t have my family or the friends I have so they are really successful. If that’s how you think, perhaps theirs an air of resentment in your tone because of course, they are successful. Others might think that success is about happiness, for what is success without being happy. Well, this is also certainly true, but someone who is miserable but has changed the world with their success due to their wealth and fame is still successful. In fact, they may be the most successful of all (Keep an eye on Elon Musk, his self-isolation and sadness may single-handedly change the world for the good.)

So what is success? well, a far more accurate realistic definition may simply be achieving the goals you set out for yourself. These could be daily goals or life milestones. When you ask many self-help gurus or those seen as strong leaders they often talk about goal setting.

They are most definitely correct, because who hasn’t been ecstatically happy or relieved because they have achieved their goals. These goals don’t need to be big grandiose goals like being the next bill gates because goals like that are completely unrealistic for 99% of you no matter how hard you believe. Your goals and reaching them which will define your personal success must be realistic to your ability, skillsets and drive among other things otherwise they will simply be delusional unattainable goals.

Another thing we tend to do with defining success is focusing on the end goal, with smiling photos and happy times without remembering how hard it was sometimes through the journey to achieve the goal. Remember, some goals could be as simple as getting up on time in the morning, other goals could be oh lets see achieving a certain rank in your Krav maga school…

Recently I ran a few Orange Belt tests (and I can assure you UTKM tests are harder earlier than many other Krav Maga tests that I have seen.) and at the end of every test I saw what appeared to be beaten defeated people, yet they had all passed so I had the thought. THIS is what success looks like:

If you just saw these photos without contexts it would be reasonable to assume they are broken or failed. But this is the look of people who gave it everything they had to achieve their goal of getting Orange Belt. In these cases they all passed but could you really tell just from these photos?

The truth about success is we do focus on the end goal. Getting rich, getting the belt, getting up in the morning on a regular basis. But we always seem to forget that it’s actually the Journey to success which defines success or not as without the Journey, the learning experience there can be no success. To me, even if they don’t think so, these people are successful. For me, they have achieved something hard to achieve, something that many of my students fear, or some avoid because they know that this Journey to success or the goal, is not going to easy because I’m not going to make it easy.

So if success is the Journey + the Goal then there is a reason we must set attainable reasonable goals because the Journey is the hard part, the Goal is just a checkmark on a sheet or a gold star on a paper.

So when you look at the people who you think are successful, (assuming they didn’t just get a massive inheritance and did nothing else after) then ask yourself how hard was their Journey to achieve their goals? Whether we admire them for it or resent them for it it does not deny them their Journey.

SO what is Success? its many things, it starts with setting a goal, then having a plan put in place an then the real Journey the Hard work, sweat blood and potentially sleepless nights to get to the goal?

Whatever your definition of success is, just remember, it’s going to be a Journey one that will be full of good days and bad says, easy times and hard times. But so long as you can learn and grow in your Journey success may be closer than you think.

Up Coming Seminars & Tests – March 2018

Posted: March 1, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Seminars
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March 17st Knife SurvivalMarch 24th Rifle 01March 31st Orange Belt TestApril 01 Nanaimo Krav Maga Seminar

On February 3rd 2018, myself and three other students tested and received our yellow belts from Urban Tactics Krav Maga. Each of us was pushed to the limit of our physical conditioning. We were tested, not only on our technique but also on our perseverance and willpower to fight through the fatigue and keep going. It was a sweet victory for the four of us, one that came from many months of preparation and training. Luke Testing for his Yellow Belt.jpg

I first attended a class at UTKM about seven months ago. After my first lesson, I was hooked. The gym has a very welcoming and inspiring atmosphere. The classes are structured very well, allowing newcomers to immediately participate in fun conditioning exercises and combat practice. The fundamentals are clearly explained and demonstrated, and the class is put through a series of exercises to practice the techniques. Newer students are often paired with advanced students, who help them out with tips, and the teachers are always near-by to offer specific advice.

The Warrior classes end with light sparring matches, which gives the students the opportunity to practice against each other in a controlled and supervised setting. I found this part of the class to be very helpful for improving confidence and stamina. Sparring offers a simulated reality that allows the student to practice under stress, in a paradoxically comfortable environment.

There is a strong sense of community at UTKM. A certain essence of camaraderie is formed after hours of training together and leaving our hearts out on the mat. Students are not only encouraged to participate; they are encouraged to contribute, and that inspires us to help each other learn and excel.

I first heard about UTKM through some friends who had trained there. I decided to take Krav Maga lessons after having a close call with multiple potential attackers. The situation was luckily defused before any punches were thrown, but the unexpected hostile encounter was an eye-opening experience, one that left me realizing how vulnerable and unprepared I was to defend myself in a violent situation. It made me realize that avoidance is sometimes not an option when it comes to confrontation, and being caught unprepared to fight is tantamount to being at the mercy of your attackers.

Violence is real and everyone has a relationship with it. Most of us try to ignore its existence. Many of us fantasize about it, or live it vicariously through movies and video games. Because we think of ourselves as peaceful people, we tell ourselves that violence could never happen to us; that we are morally above it and can simply choose to opt out.

If we do however find ourselves staring face to face with a would-be attacker, it is only through exercising our own violence that we may reclaim our peace.

Violent situations force us to become either Warriors or Victims; there can be no in-between. Training in Krav Maga is the ultimate equalizer against any evil we may face. Don’t allow your attackers to have a monopoly on violence.

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Become a Lion. Become a Hero.

-Luke Olson

New Yellow Belts – Feb 03 2018

Posted: February 3, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Testing
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Congrats to Vlad, Marco, Jen and Luke.

Say Hello to our Little friend, I mean our newest Orange Belt

Posted: November 12, 2017 by urbantacticskravmaga in Testing
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Quinn Gets His Orange Belt

 

November Seminars & Testing

Posted: November 1, 2017 by urbantacticskravmaga in Seminars, Testing
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November 11th Orange Belt testingNovember 18th Group Fighting SeminarNovember 25th tactical rifle 01

Thanksgiving post – Our Latest Green, Orange and Yellow Belts

Posted: October 9, 2017 by urbantacticskravmaga in Testing
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On this Thanksgiving, we are thankful for all the students that have come to us to learn and we celebrate their achievements. Here are most of the individuals who grew with us this year and got their belts, we apologize if we are missing some as the trend of creating albums for each test started late. If we are missing you send us your photos and we will add this into this post afterwards. Nevertheless, we are thankful for our students as without them UTKM would not exist.

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Yellow Belt group 1Yellow Belt Group 2Yellow Belt Group 3IMG_20171007_132122

Orange Belt Testing – Sat, Sept 23rd

Posted: September 13, 2017 by urbantacticskravmaga in Testing
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Just a reminder that we are doing Orange Belt Tests on Saturday, September 23rd at UTKM HQ in Richmond, BC. Yellow belts are required to volunteer to participate if they expect to test for their orange belt when the time is ready. If you have not already signed up then let your instructor know if you would like to volunteer. Remember, tests are cancelled if we do not have enough volunteers.

*Test Candidates have already been notified.

What is a Belt? A belt is a milestone in progress with regards to martial arts. I couldn’t tell you why belts became common practice for ranking in martial arts I am sure someone out there could tell you. But I can tell you that Belts or more specifically the Judo Belt system was chosen early on in Krav Maga to recognize progression. Later a patch system was added in approximately 1996 when one of the first major offshoots of Krav Maga, IKMF was formed. They opted to go with the now famous patch system. Practitioner 1-5, Graduate 1-5, Expert 1-5 and Master levels.

UTKM Ranking System
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UTKM Belt Guide & Ranking Requirements

So when forming a Krav Maga school with no direct parent organization there is always 2 choices, the Belt system or the Patch system. We opted for the belt system for the following reasons:

  1. Belts are more recognizable globally in the martial arts world and are easier for people to comprehend with out detailed explanation.
  2. It was the original choice and we stuck with the lineage of Imi’s decision
  3. We felt that the patch system is gimmicky and has far too many levels which in our opinion is a cash cow scheme. It was probably created to relate more to the target market of Police and Military rather than the General populous.
  4. Belts are harder to lose and easier to pass down.
Our belts have now evolved into what you see below:
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UTKM Branded Belts

In choosing the final design we thought about Krav Maga, and how it is designed to be practical. Thus, we wanted the belts to have more purpose than simply an indication of ranking and a symbol of UTKM. Just like our students, wanted them to be something more. The following are some possible uses for the belt (Assuming you keep it with you or even wear it outside of class).

  1. A weapon of opportunity – Because of the hard metal D-rings, the belt can be easily taken off and wielded as a weapon against would be attackers.
  2. An Emergency Rescue tool – Because the belt is made of strong webbing it could be used to pull someone or hold something in an emergency situation
  3. A tourniquet – In a true emergency it can easily be used to stop bleeding assuming, of course, you are familiar with first aid practices

This is just a short list, as the only limit is the imagination, however, like Krav Maga our belts are meant to be practical and adaptable for the given situation and of course looks stylish in the process with UTKM Branding. Who knows, perhaps out belts will literally save someone’s life some day.

Lastly, something we do at UTKM is passing down our belts. This is a tradition we adopted from the IDF, where Sargents and Officers at various points in progress will pass down their Baret or Pins to the soldiers who they feel are most deserving.

Every time a person gets a belt they write their name in a perminent marker on the back, then when they achieve the next belt level they give their belt back to the school. When the test comes for the appropriate colour if we have any lineage belts we will give them to the students who we feel for whatever reason exemplified things we want to see in our students. They then write their name on the belt and it continues the cycle until the belt has 5 signatures/names. At this point, the belt is retired and hung up for all to see on the wall of belts. Something which we have yet to create but when our first belt hits 5 signatures we will build with Joy.

So assuming there is a lineage belt to give away at the conclusion of a test here are some of the things we look for when handing out these belts.

  1. Courage & Strength – There have been cases where students have had to over come whether mentally or physicaly to pass their test. Some students in the past have injured themselves but faught through to complete the test, or were injured prior to testing but as the injury was not severe enough to re-schedule they pushed through
  2. Spirit & Attitude – Through their training they have always been in class and never have exucses no matter what is going on in their life. Or they have gone out of their way to promote the school and what it represents.

So do you have what it takes to achieve a UTKM milestone and get a belt from us, or even better prove to us you have what it takes to receive a lineage belt? There’s only one way to find out.

So ask yourself, Can you be turned from a lamb into a lion?