It’s not always fun to read the headlines every morning. Yes, journalism is all about the outliers and shocking statements, but the truth is those events do happen. There are muggings, carjackings, and home invasions.
I am a pretty average-sized female, 5’8” and 145 lbs. Generally if someone wanted to do me harm they could. Knowing what to do in situations that could be harmful and practicing them over and over again to gain muscle memory will undoubtedly prove beneficial if, unfortunately, any such cases do arise.
Krav Maga is known to focus on real world fighting training to, as Triumph Krav Maga states, “Get Strong. Get Home Safe.” The idea is to combine threat neutralization using defensive and offensive maneuvers and then getting yourself out of the situation.
A friend invited me to a class in Lakeview the other week. I showed up only having read about Krav Maga and wishing I could really be as bad ass as I think. It was an introductory class with about a dozen other people in there. I met Vinay Chary, the owner of Triumph Krav Maga and the only black belt in Louisiana. The class started with some stretching and high intensity warm-ups. Then, we moved straight into learning the straight forward Fighting Stance and the logic behind the Krav Maga movement.
We threw straight punches while watching the mirror for form and then went straight to hitting the bags held by partners. Every step of the way Vinay was talking about how to hold the pads, how to hit and move forward, and also why. That is when a class moves beyond the level of a workout and into an actual teaching environment. Knowing the reasoning behind why a certain action is important compared to another can mean all the difference in a fight.
The class went in a sort of circadian rhythm. Vinay would teach a move, we would practice in front of the mirror, on the pad, and then move into Recognition and Aggression Drills. These are particularly fun but also engineered towards being taken off guard and instantly going into defensive/offensive moves.
Typically, an introduction class only learns the basics or Straight Punches and Front (Groin) Kicks. Fortunately for me and this article, Vinay brought along a couple of knives (only compressed foam) and we worked Fighting Stance, Movement, Straight Punches, Front Kicks (Groin Kicks), Knife Threat from the Front, Aggression Drills, Fatigue Drills, and more Recognition Drills.
New Orleans has secretive access to extreme sports and activities it seems. Triumph Krav Maga is growing though with three locations now (Algiers, Lakeview, and Uptown). Obviously the residents of New Orleans are starting to pay more and more attention to getting stronger and staying safe.
Vinay is a great instructor with positive energy when you need it and the seriousness to teach these real world fighting moves. As with most beasts of the gym he is also quite considerate.
I never felt overwhelmed or exhausted in the beginners class, but for anyone afraid they won’t get a workout have no fear. Every miniscule muscle in my shoulders, back, and thighs were on fire the next day.
Previously written for Where Y'at