We interviewed Paul Tarplett about his experience at our Krav Maga sessions.
What was your reason for wanting to start training Krav Maga?
I took up Krav Maga because at 63 I wanted to get a bit fitter and I’d started to travel to various parts of the world and wanted to feel I’d have a chance of defending myself if attacked
What were you excited about when coming to your first session?
I was excited about the idea of learning something practical and seeing how I’d get on with the training. I was a bit nervous that I might not be able to do what was asked of me, of not fitting in, of everyone else knowing what to do and not being able to keep up; that people might be aggressive and impatient with me.
What surprised me was how much I enjoy it, especially the boxing based work.
How did you feel after your first session?
Physically shattered! Pleased that my fears about others in the group were ill founded – people were very welcoming and very helpful, taking time to explain exercises and saying that they’d been in same place when they started. I could see that if I stayed with it I’d get a lot fitter and would have some basic tools to help me defend myself. I was also pleased that I could get some 1 2 1 training to help me catch up with what we were learning in class.
I’ve enjoyed the variety of techniques such as blocking attacks; dealing with grabs and chokes; the range of strikes we can use; grappling; responding when on the floor and the chance to learn some elements of boxing, wrestling and other martial arts especially the filipino stick fighting. I like that you highlight the important principles underpinning what we learn such as being aware of and using distance and that you make connections e.g. between the downward x with the sticks and “hammers”. At the same time it’s good to keep coming back to things you’ve done before – each time we revisit something it feels a little more natural, there’s a bit more body memory. It isn’t easy building body memory for combat when you’re starting with no prior experience and you’re not so young – so good that you’re patient!
What was your main goal and how has it changed?
My main goal was and still is to be able to defend myself. What’s changed is that I’ve become interested in some of the martial arts which influence or sit behind what we do and want to raise my skill level in these e.g. using some of the “ghost” techniques in boxing. I’m also interested in seeing how far you can push yourself as you get older – redefining what aging means.
I really like how you break things down to their parts and then build them back up and make us go back if we’re not getting them right.
What else did you consider/look at when choosing to start Krav Maga?
I considered joining a boxing class because I’d had a one hour sample on a course and enjoyed it and could see it would help me get fit but decided that the relatively simplicity and street fighting basis of KM would be more use.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining Krav Maga?
I think you’ve created a really good atmosphere, people help each other and right from the start when I felt a bit lost those I partnered with were always helpful.
You guys are knowledgeable about KM/martial arts but you are also very encouraging and patient – you push us to do the best we can and give constructive feedback without it ever feeling harsh.
You use stories and humour to illustrate points and help create a good atmosphere.
To anyone thinking of joining I’d say give it a go, no matter how old you are but accept that if you’re an unfit novice like me then you’ll need to stay with it for a few months or so before you begin to feel the benefits.
So, are you ready to take up the challenge? Contact us to give it a go.