Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Krav Maga (Grading)

Last Tuesday I finally had - it actually came around way too quickly for my liking - my first grading as part of my Krav Maga training. (Learn more about Krav Maga HERE).

The grading system for Krav Maga is split into three levels: Practitioner, Graduate & Expert. Each of which is broken into five grades: P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, G1, G2 etc. And as a newbie who was previously ungraded, for the pat few months I have been training for my P1.

Now, if you have read previous posts on my blogs and/or know me in the real world, then you'll know that things rarely run smoothly for me. Sometimes (most of the time) this is down to my apparent love of doing everything at the last minute and at other times it feels like there is an invisible force attempting to make everything a little more difficult than it needs to be.

I have been training in Krav Maga - once a week -  for the past 6 months (almost to the day). I absolutely love going, unfortunately I'm not exactly a natural but I enjoy it and I always put in a lot of effort. It's true that I could probably do more practice in between classes, but while I'm there, I always give 100%.

Even so, I have to admit I was a little nervous about the grading. Even if I have been training for 6 months, it felt like it came around very quickly and I felt a little under prepared. Also, as I said previously, nothing ever runs smoothly for me and so already feeling nervous, I didn't need the buildup to the assessment that I had.

We train at the JW3 centre which is on the Finchley Road. The JW3 centre is a Jewish Community Centre and arts venue - which makes sense as it is an Israeli martial art - and as such it acknowledges the Jewish holidays, which unfortunately for me meant a lot of disruption to our classes. Couple that with a ferocious cold that just wouldn't let go of me and I ended up missing two of the last four classes in the build up to the assessment.

On top of this I had an absolute nightmare trying to get there on the night. On Tuesdays I work at the pool - read more about my life at the pool HERE - until 6pm and my Krav Maga class starts at 7pm. It's normally a bit of a rush but I normally get there for between 7pm and 7.05pm. Which is fine for our weekly class - I never normally miss much - they are normally just starting the warm up when I arrive.

However, last week we were asked to be there by 6.45pm and of course I wanted to get there as early as possible in order to go into my examination as calm and relaxed as possible. However, of course that did not transpire. Even though I finished up work at 6pm on the dot and ran out of the building at 6.15pm - the earliest I have ever left work on a Tuesday evening - I had a complete mare trying to get there.

I have to travel options. I can go from Angel (the closest station to my work) and take two tubes to Finchley Road, or I can take a bus to Highbury and Islington and then take the overground to Finchley Road and Frognal (the closest station to the JW3 centre). I normally take option two. Both options take around the same amount of time, however option two is slightly cheaper because option one travels into zone one.

Anyway, so I decided to take option two as I normally do, only what a mistake that was! What I didn't take into account, was that last Tuesday Arsenal were playing at home in the Champions League! Which brings complete chaos to the whole of the Angel and Islington area. I therefore spent longer on a bus travelling up a road it would have been quicker walking up and then spend around 20 minutes simply trying to get into Highbury and Islington station. Therefore by the time I finally got onto a train I was already late and by the time I got to the JW3 centre it was already after 7.15pm!

So I burst into the room at around 7.20pm, sweaty and stressed out; to find everyone partnered up and the assessment already underway. Fortunately I wasn't too late, they had just started. However, it wasn't exactly the best preparation - it only added to my nerves - but I partnered up with our instructor - which was probably a blessing in disguise - and I spent the next hour putting in everything I had in an attempt to make up for being late.

And I passed! Here's my certificate (printed before I took the assessment *wink* haha):

I'm really chuffed to have passed my first grading. I think it was fairly easy to pass, it will no doubt get a little harder as we move up. However, I spoke to the examiner briefly at the end of our assessment and although there are a couple of things that I can work on, all in all I did an ok job. And so now I'm working towards my P2.

Wish me luck! :)