Krav Maga martial arts in Redondo Beach: Practice for perfection… and then mess it all up!

Krav Maga

When you initially learn a technique in a martial art such as Krav Maga, it’s important to train slowly, step by step, taking the time to make each piece as perfect as possible.  This builds muscle memory and gets our minds and bodies used to the movements, which eventually makes them second nature.  Most people are eager to speed things up, hit hard, and end up rushing through the pieces.  But speed hides mistakes, and this is why it’s so important to take your time when you first learn a technique in martial arts…break it into a series of steps and make sure each step is correct.  Then slowly transition the pieces to a controlled flow.  If you find yourself losing pieces or feeling awkward or off-balance, slow it back down again.  This is the time to relax and not rush!  Techniques in Krav Maga or any martial art are complex and require time and repetition to learn correctly.

Now, once you have the proper pieces of a technique in a martial art or Krav Maga, you have to test it.  Add stress, movement, chaos, exhaustion, and distraction…see what happens to your technique at that point!  Although you may not want to face this reality, it’s likely that your once-perfect technique is now sloppy and perhaps ineffective (or much less effective).  This is such an important thing to experience if you ever wish to apply your skills on the street in self defense or in a ring or cage, not just performing well when hitting pads or with a compliant partner.  You have to know where you’re weak; you have to know where to focus your practice; and perhaps most importantly you have to know how to fix problems as they arise and not stop and start again under better conditions.  Real fights are never under ideal conditions and there are always unpredictable elements!  This is why the martial arts instructors at Elite are always reminding students not to stop if they mess up a technique during faster drills in Krav Maga; finish the technique as best as you can and then fix your mistakes the next time through.  This teaches you to improvise and it teaches you the mindset to push through no matter what, which is critical in self-defense.

One of the most difficult things to teach people is not to stop when they mess up.  Whether it’s a natural or learned behavior, we always seem want to say, “Wait, time out, let me start over and get it right.”  But this is one of the worst things you can do in a real life situation, not just when training a martial art.  Overcoming this instinct to stop is something that needs to be trained, and this is one of the reasons we do the chaotic drills in our Krav Maga classes, it’s why we spar lightly as we advance in Muay Thai kickboxing, and it’s why we roll during Brazilian Jiu Jitsu BJJ and Mixed Martial Arts MMA classes.  Fixing mistakes or improvising solutions while in motion and under duress is the best way to truly learn and own a technique in martial arts.  You will never have faith in something unless you have tested it, and in order to test it you must train it under pressure and truly learn for yourself how it holds up.

So when you’re training in Krav Maga or any martial arts, take advantage of the slower portions of the class by practicing techniques as perfectly as possible.  Don’t rush, and take the time to move through the pieces correctly.  If you do this diligently, you’ll notice that over time your martial art techniques will become more solid under stress, and you will also become better at fixing your mistakes quickly and smoothly.  This is key to becoming a better martial artist and a more capable fighter or protector.

~Katie Toney

Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 543-1600

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