DAY 144: Gouging eyes and kicking groins

22 Jan

I’VE only been in one street brawl, with some dude my boyfriend totally failed to hit.

I stepped in, the dude punched me back, and after a bit of a surprised pause we just took turns whaling at each other outside Camden Town station, like it was some bizarre courting dance. In the end, I won the taxi cab of contention, although I had a bit of help by that point.

Anyway, turns out I was punching all wrong, so the guy must’ve been being polite. After today’s contact combat marathon, I know how to use all parts of my hand for maximum impact, and how to use someone’s head like a bowling ball.

Krav Maga focuses on the ‘soft bits’ of an opponent’s body: chiefly groin, eyes and throat, and teaches you to steam straight through the target, so that if you’re doing it properly, when you withdraw your arm you should have eyeballs stuck to the ends of your fingers and a trachea dangling off your wrist.

Over four hours I’m hit and kicked so hard and relentlessly on the pad I’m holding by a series of damp and deadly serious male students, that it’s a bit like being attacked. I have to keep reminding myself I’m not being attacked. Although, I am. We’re told that as well as mastering these moves, we should turn anything we can into a weapon (stabbing with a biro is “completely legal,” our instructor says with some glee) and employ simple cunning – the instructor mimics begging for her life while delivering a swift kick to the nuts.

A formidable woman, she explains that she’s been stomped in many street brawls (must ask her where she lives), and has even been stomped since she became a black belt at various martial arts – because her training amounted to nothing when she failed to raise more aggression than her attackers.

To this end we’re told to find our “inner aggression”. This could have turned into an awful drama class assignment, but as it happens the couple next to me have been stroking each others backs and sharing the odd kiss throughout the morning’s kicking and punching, so by focusing on that I muster the necessary rage.

Keeper? Need a bit more wrestling time, I think. (Cracks knuckles)

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