Monday, February 24, 2014

Krav Maga

Still Paleo but what more do you need to know (eat good Meat / Fish / Veg / Fruit / Nuts)

Krav Maga

This week we added kicking to our repertoire. With a partner we worked on a front kick followed by a spinning back kick. Luckily my karate knowledge helped a lot here as I already knew how to kick properly (although I am a bit out of practice ;) ). The main point is to get your knee up before you thrust your leg out, this way your thigh can be powering out the kick as the lower leg gives you the acceleration to deliver the kick with speed. We were connecting with the heel as well so quite a lot of power is delivered. Another great part of the power comes from the hips and how they open as you thrust in. I could probably write an essay about kicks luckily my brain has held the knowledge even if my body isn't up to speed yet.

I have added a number of leg exercises to my routine to develop speed and power of these kicks. We have a machine in the gym that enables you to perform knee thrusts with a weight. I need to do more of these. Kicks are one of my favorite weapons as you have much longer reach and your heel is somewhat harder than your little old fist. Plus not so many people are good at kicking, or defending against kicks.

I have also upped my flexibility training doing something everyday. I just follow some of the great videos on YouTube such as this one: Which is great as it is what we used to do in my Karate class.

We also practiced spinning back fist / hammer fist... it had some power and I could see how it would do some damage, personally I find it a little bit flashy. Good to train it though.

Then we did some straw man training. Your partner stands with their legs apart and their arms out by their sides. We then got to practice combinations of kicks and punches delivering to the lower leg, upper leg, inside leg, groin, torso, sides etc. This was just very gentle improving technique and practicing hitting the right spots.

This was followed by sparring, this was our first time sparring so it was done with minimal contact. This allowed us to try different combinations, defense / attacks / counter attacks. I was pleased that I got to deliver a Mark Hunt (UFC) classic of using a left jab to disguise my incoming side kick. This worked really well with all of my opponents. I did have trouble dealing with the over hand right so I am studying this week some good defense / counter attacks.

Then the instructor for a bit of fun did a demonstration on disarming a knife / gun from an opponent. This was to give us a taste of some of the future lessons. Very interesting stuff, I will detail this more when we actually learn the techniques.

We then practiced the moves from the previous weeks which form part of the level 1 grading we will take sometime in the future.

Another excellent lesson and I learnt some good lessons about my fighting technique. In the coming weeks they will hopefully help me as the fighting becomes more real in our sparring.


  • More flexibility
  • Lift heavy weights on chest and back day
  • Kettle bells (always)
  • Work on forearms using dumbbells and hand grips
  • Incorporate medicine ball into core strength training
  • Clean my bike up ready for March when I start cycling again
I started out Krav with some trepidation about learning something so savage but already I am starting to see there is a lot more to this martial art than meets the eyes. I have read a lot of blogs where people say Krav is not a martial art the same way that Jujitsu or Karate is, but that is simply wrong. It is a very practical self defense system and as all of the learning is done with a partner in many ways you are better prepared for actual fighting situations. For me I just love studying Martial Arts I do not feel heavily for any one in particular. If you train, train hard, learn the intricacies and above all enjoy it while getting a great physical work out, what could be wrong there.

In time I am going to walk into that Jujitsu club near by (if I ever get home from work in time) and have a go at that too.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Paleo meal of the week and Krav Maga

A nice meal this week was a whole roast chicken, Spinach wilted in a wok with garlic and a little grated cheese, and a carrot and apple slaw (just grate them and mix up). Was delicious!

Krav Maga

This week we were practicing defending against  a hook punch. Holding your elbows either side of your face with your hands protecting the back of your head, you can protect your face and head from punches to the face and side of the head. As the hook comes in you step into it using your arm to deflect the blow and then bringing your arm over the top of your opponents arm and then round and underneath in an under hook. At this point you can step through smashing under the chin with the heel of your other hand and clawing into the eyes forcing the head back, at the same time you have stepped through and placed your foot on top of theirs, smashing the head back and taking your opponent down.

The main point was to walk through your opponent using a guard to defend yourself from the blows and then exploding into the under hook followed by a blow to the head, using your foot to complete offsetting your opponents balance.

We also practiced the previous 2 weeks techniques (see the previous 2 posts).

Adding to our punching drills we worked on maximizing the jab distance by thrusting the shoulder forward twisting from the hips, in this scenario our opponent had to step back to get away, this was done by keeping the back leg in place and sliding the front leg to thrust you backwards. We built upon this adding combinations, the attacker trying to make the distance the defender trying to get out the way. The most important lesson was not allowing your balance to be compromised when backing up. Thinking about keeping a strong base as you moved. Was exhausting.

To finish we had punching drills 2, 4, 6 8, 10, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 straights, cross punches, uppercuts, straights. I found my triceps were aching from the uppercuts so I need to work on that aspect. Next month I will hopefully buy a punch bag so I can do some work.

In addition this week I have nee working on blocking the side kick using the opposite leg. In karate I would have used a gedan barai but as I came to realize over the years blocking someones leg with your fore arm hurts quite a lot (your arm more than their leg). So I think I prefer using the leg to do the block, especially as I have big meaty legs. IT also gives you good position to kick your opponents supporting leg.

Krav is the 3rd martial art I have studied and it is very interesting seeing the different fighting systems. Kung fu taught me that grappling had been seriously watered down in the Karate I was doing, so it really helped when I went back to Karate. Krav is teaching a more practical fighting system which is probably more applicable in a street fight. As I said its not just about fighting I like the mental aspect of it and also the fitness training. 90 minutes of any martial art you have to be pretty fit.

This week I am also going to look at Sambo just seeing what kind of techniques they use, as well as working on my strength, conditioning and cardio fitness.

I will be doing punching drills every day as well as I need some fitness work in this area.

The madness continues!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chicken Chirizio and Krav Maga

Best meal this week was a chicken and chorizio dish.


1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 Chicken Breasts
Sliced mushrooms
Cherry tomatoes
Tin of plum tomatoes
Red Wine or stock if you are being strict


Soften onions and crushed garlic in oil
Add Chicken chunks and brown outside
Add sliced Mushrooms
Add chopped chorizio
Wait until the mushrooms are softened a bit
Throw in sliced courgettes
Add the tine tomatoes and chop em up in the pan
Add some stock and or red wine
Wait 20-30 minutes! Enjoy!

Krav Maga

This week we practiced:

  • Breaking out of someone holding your head from the top. You smash your palm onto the middle of tricep lifting the arm off, using your arm on the same side as your attacker so if they have their right on you you lift it with your left.
  • Non aggressive would be to step back forming the fence guard by holding your arms out
  • Aggressive would be to step into them grabbing the head in side control, this done by smashing your other arm across their chest, using the hand that has just lifted the arm pushing it in towards their head and then snaking behind their back gripping your hands together so your hands are at right angles (your strongest grip), in this way your fore arm of the arm that hit the chest is putting pressure on the side of the neck and you other hand is giving you the leverage to pull it in hard. This is very uncomfortable for your oppenent and you can then use them as a shield to make your get away.
  • We also practiced shoving someone away by making contact with the top of their pecks with your finger tips (very briefly) and then smashing downwards using the heel of your hands. Immediately making the defensive guard of the fence.
  • The fence is where you hold both arms out straight almost forming a diamond with your arms and then ducking your head between your arms. This protects your head should your attacker go to punching you and if they to come closer you are in a good posiotion to tak further action such as blocking, elbowing or kicking.
This all sounds very savage but at its heart the aim is to make your self safe and get away from the situation.

On top of Krav I have started to study all manner of techniques for defense. Martial arts for me is a great exercise for your mind and your body. It has given my fitness regime new purpose. Right now I feel like studying Krav for a while (maybe 2 years+) and then maybe looking at some other arts / clubs. All time limited by work and family life of course!

Me @210lbs thats 12lbs heavier than my lowest weight but I have put that on in muscle
Still wonky lol

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A new Era

As always I continue onward with my Paleo journey. I haven't posted foe quite a while I see! But that does not mean I have given up on following this lifestyle as that will never happen.

So as promised I have increased my fish intake and I have tried to increase the range of vegetables I eat. That is the diet side and my weight has started to move upwards now but that is because I have been working really hard at the gym and my new weight gain is down to muscle mass I am pleased to say.

My lowest weight was 14st 2lbs (about 90kg or 196lbs) and now I am about 14st 9lbs (94kg or 208lbs) so as you can see that's a really good gain and I am seriously pleased.

In terms of exercise I am currently following this routine:

Tuesday: Is my heavy day and I do this in the gym lots of chest and triceps work plus lat pull down because they have the machine. I can bench a maximum of 200lbs (which is as high as it goes) on the machine bench. I am going to move to the actual bench as I have found someone to spot for me, I suspent my maximum will be much lower on that.

Thursday: Lots of back exercise, including the dead lift plus a savage MMA style kettle bell workout, which includes Turkish getups (believe me they make you a believer). Also added farm walking where you load up your dumbells and just walk about carrying them by your sides as long as you can manage.

Saturday: Some squats, lunges, more tricep work (trying to develop my triceps to help with my bench maximum) and some shoulder work.

Sunday: Krav Maga!!!!

I have just started this, I have previously studied Shotokan Karate (to 1st dan level) and Pak Mei Kung Fu (6 months but it was full contact). Studying Krav is going to be one aspect but at home I am now starting to study a number of Martial Arts tring to learn something from all of them.

Krav Maga Lesson 1

In this lesson I learnt the following:

  • Using head control to manipulate the opponents center of balance.
  • We used inside knife edge of the hand up under the opponents nose and also a leg take down
  • We then practiced non aggressive breaking of an arm grip by twisting your wrist as you pull out of the opponents grip
  • This then developed to an aggressive maneuver where we slid our arm up the opponents arm slamming it into the chest and then bring it up under the neck to perform a rear naked choke
  • Then we took this further dealing with an opponent who is not too happy about you grabbing their neck by using an eye gouge to lift the head so you can get the lock on.
  • To finish we did some pad work punching in bunches of 2, 4 or 6 depending on what was shouted out and working through cycles doing straight punches, cross punches, hooks and upper cuts.
To say the least it was exhausting and it hurt a little bit but overall I enjoyed learning martial arts again and it has reignited my interest which in actual fact has never diminished just been dormant.

In terms of studying Martial Arts I plan to work on all aspects, Krav will be part of what I do but at home I will be studying a variety of arts. My main purpose is to put to use my new found physical abilities and also I find it very good for my mind. I love thinking about this stuff!

Some of the stuff I have been looking at and will be incorporating into my training.

Punching Power:

Medicine Ball:

Kettle bell:

Judo basics:

Front Kick:



Muay Thai

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 330

I have gained 1lb this month but this is accounted for I think by my efforts with exercise. Hard to see in the photos but my arms are definitely bigger and my chest and back are also growing. I have been working hard on my lats and finally starting to get some shape.

There have been a few days this month involving drinking sessions due to beer festivals. For the purrists thats not very Paleo but I stand by fermented drinks being part of humans for millions of years so it cannot be that bad. Anyway its just a life choice.

Due to this series of articles I have reduced my pork consumption: . I am not about to cut pork out of my diet  but I think probably bacon and ham had become too frequent. A lesson learned but then this is a journey not a destination.

I have increased my fish consumption. Nearby there is a great fish monger and they have a good variety at an excellent price point.

I am quite excited that I have managed to be Paleo for nearly a year and not once have I been tempted to go back to my old lifestyle.

In all honesty I think alcohol remains my biggest evil and I am going to work on reducing it. Right now I casually drink and I think I just need to box that up and maybe limit it to 2 days a week.

Anyway here is Day 1 vs Day 330

Day 1

Day 330

BTW I am not as pale as that photo would suggest its just the lighting in the room I was stood in. Looks like I might have to trim the chest rug or I wont have a really great before and after photo for my 1 year anniversary like you see in the back of trashy magazines lol. The one thing missing is the 6 pack but I don't actually do enough of that type of exercise to have that maybe I will add that to my future plans but I am not too bothered.

Paleo for life!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 300 weight stable for 100+ days

So its Day 300 my weight has only changed by 1lb in the entire 100 days, I have been working hard with weight training but also I have eaten a hell of a lot of meat this month. It is BBQ season, I guess our cavemen ancestors must have scoffed during the summer months and then had leaner times during the winter.

Still that is the upside to Paleo I can afford to eat plenty of what I want as my body uses it or just discards it.

Talking with my friends on I am going to mix things up a little next month. I am going to cut my fruit down a little bit and I am going to introduce some different exercises. I think I might be able to burn another 8lbs if I put the right effort into my exercise. We will see. I am not too bothered if my weight stays the same as its pretty good and it is close to my fight weight I think for my physical size.

Day 1

Day 300

Will need smaller shorts next year as you can see by the gather with my belt holding them up!

Paleo until the death of me!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 270 gained 1lb

This month I have been working hard in the gym to try and gain some muscle, I feel like I have and that should account for the 1lb gain. For the first time ever my arms are now larger than my neck. I have gained about 1.5 inches on my arms since I started.

Day 1

Day 280

Paleo is a lifestyle not just a diet, if you are considering trying it out do it!

Paleo for life!