In the ongoing annals of Keeping Fit, last Sunday was an unexpectedly tough day.

First, I set off for my walk/run in the park as part of my C25K endeavours, but failed to notice that I had completed Week 3 and so have moved on to a rather harder session; Plugged into the iPhone, with The Clash on, and the C25K app going, when The Lady in My Ear said ‘Go’ I did. I was expecting to stop after 90 seconds (as per Week 3) but we didn’t stop. Ouch. Week 4 is Run 3-Walk 1:50-Run 5:0-Walk 2:30-Run 3:00-Walk 2:30-Run 5:00. This was a bit more than I’d been expecting. Still, I made it round.

Then, from 1pm to 4pm, I went to the Krav Maga induction class up the road at the local gym. The session was with the London Krav Maga school and really was terrific. For those who don’t know what KM is, here is their intro:

Krav Maga is regarded by many to be the best self defence system around. We know Krav Maga works and it works under stress. All Krav Maga techniques are tried and tested in real-life situations: Krav Maga is the official fighting system of the Israeli Defence Force. When you learn Krav Maga you can rest assured you are learning techniques that are proven to work. Krav Maga is quick to learn and easy to retain. Krav Maga has no sporting applications, although there is a grading system for people who wish to monitor their own progress.

Defences are taught against all manner of attacks and threats from all around the body as well as sitting or lying, in well lit and dark surroundings. Releases from dangerous grabs such as chokes, strangles, headlocks and bear hugs are covered early in the syllabus, as are defences against various stick and knife attacks and knife threats. So that you can make decisive counter-attacks you will be taught how to strike effectively and powerfully using hand combinations and feet. You will also learn close combat (Krav Maga means ‘close combat’ in English) striking with elbow, knee, head butts, eye strikes etc. We will teach you how to fight at different speeds and rhythms.

Basically, it’s a kind of street self-defence which relies on the principle that if someone has been ill-advised enough to attack you (peaceful, law-abiding, minding-your-own business you), then it’s fair enough to do the maximum reasonable damage to them to stop the attack.

It relies very heavily on natural bodily reactions and is thus, as they say, relatively easy to grasp and retain.

There were about 50 people in all, and I went into the smaller group of about 20 with instructor Marcos Lall. I must have been older than almost anyone by about 10 years and in most cases by very much more (there were a lot of uni students there, I think), but my new-found semi-fitness stood me in reasonable stead as we learned to punch, kick, knee, hammer-fist and elbow strike in pairs. The physically toughest thing was the aggression-enhancing all-out attack at full speed for 1 minute. It doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, it is absolutely knackering.

I also found out later that arnica gel really does work on bruises, of which I had a fair few (and which I hadn’t noticed at the time).

After I get back from the forthcoming Bermuda trip, I think I’ll be going to regular classes.

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