Krav Ma-Gahd Will You Shut Up!

, , , , , , | Learning | November 28, 2019

I’ve started taking krav maga to get in shape, and before my fourth or fifth lesson, I go in an hour early for open mat time to practice. During this time, one of the instructors and I talk about our personal lives. It’s a Friday and his day job is as a substitute teacher, so he jokes about how he’s happy not to have to deal with any more kids for the weekend.

Almost immediately after he says this, a boy between the ages of 13 and 14 walks in, no parents in sight. I already know this isn’t going to end well, as the gym has special youth classes that he should be enrolled in instead of attending an adult class, but I try to cut him some slack since the time and class he’s in are likely his parents’ choice, not his.

At the start of class, everyone is curious as to whether or not we’ll practice disarming people with the “weapons” — weighted replicas — due to a prominent shooting the day before, and our instructor tells us we won’t. Despite this, the kid continuously asks the instructor questions about the weapons and if we’ll be using them throughout the class, and of course, the instructor tells him no each time.

In addition, he doesn’t pay attention to the instructor in favor of hitting the punching bags with random punches and kicks that don’t match anything we’ve learned. At one point, he starts complaining of his wrist hurting, which is a surprise to exactly no one. The instructor has to spend most of his time keeping an eye on this kid and his partner to make sure he doesn’t kill himself or anyone else instead of correcting form on anyone else, even when people ask him for help or what they’re doing wrong.

Eventually, I’m the unlucky one partnered with him for a type of kick I’m just learning for the first time that day, and I make sure to go slow to ensure I’m following the proper form, as our instructor told us to do. Despite this, my kicks easily make this kid, who’s holding a pad, stumble back each time. Then, the kid starts trying to give me (primarily incorrect) instructions, which is honestly testing my patience.

I don’t want to lose it and start yelling at the kid, so I focus on my breathing and stance and pretty much tune him out. However, at one point, he bends over while I’m mid-kick, resulting in me jamming my toe. Thankfully, as stated, I was going relatively slowly and without much power behind it, so it’s not too bad, but I’m officially miffed. When he tries to tell me for the millionth time to put my full power behind the kick — note that I’ve told him repeatedly that I want to focus on my form, not on power — I finally give in and do so.

The kid falls onto his back, air knocked out of him, and I hear the other students trying not to laugh. I help the kid up and we get back to practicing, but he finally stops talking and lets me work on my form without interruption.

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