As you progress through the study of any martial art, you can expect to hit a plateau. Life as a Krav Maga beginner is tough in many ways – no one wants to be seen starting from the bottom – but the way forward is also clearly structured for you. Coming to class, paying attention to your instructors, actively learning and trying to apply the techniques as you go. As your depth of self-defence knowledge grows, so does your self-confidence.
Whether after months or years of active martial arts training, it’s common to feel like your routine isn’t working like it used to. You might feel that you’re are not getting as much out of classes as you used to, and you can be left feeling directionless and uncertain.
Adopt a self-motivated mindset.
As a seasoned student, it can sometimes start to feel like your Krav Maga instructor is giving you less direction, leaving you feeling adrift. This can be frustrating, since you have been dependent on them for so long as your source of defensive techniques and advice. You can save yourself some trouble by accepting this and adopting the mindset that you can plan out your own training, and find ways to self-motivate to give yourself direction and focus in your lessons.
Build on your timing and awareness.
Certain traits can be hard to teach because they can be tricky to put into words, and instead need to be gained through experience. It is very different to “know” something by teaching it and “know” it through personal experience. Trial and error is often how most of us form these skills, but we can often fall into an “autopilot” mode, where we are not actively putting as much of ourselves into the learning process as we could. Whether it’s through sparring, extra practice outside of classes, or even chatting to other advanced Krav Maga students to gain their perspective – timing and awareness are key components of any arsenal.
Perfect your combinations.
The ability to use technique combinations in any form of martial art is where your natural strengths and technical knowledge meet. Practicing and perfecting your combinations is something you can start the good old-fashioned way: pick a sequence of 2-3 or more moves and drill them.
As a beginner, the fix to most problems is to learn a new technique. At the intermediate to advanced levels, you should have enough techniques to deal with common self-defence scenarios (and many of the uncommon ones) you can find yourself in. The focus moves away from collecting techniques to refining your techniques.
See it through for the long haul.
When you start from the beginning and you learn one new skill, you’ve made a step forward in a new direction. When you know one technique and you learn a second technique, you’ve just doubled your knowledge. But when you have been doing this for years, picking up another skill just adds to the pile of things you already know, and the thrill of gaining a new insight or solving a new problem can get harder to come by. This may not sound exciting, but sometimes you just have to take on the slug-it-out attitude and keep putting in the hours on the mat.
The discipline, resilience and strength required to push through barriers in training can shape and guide your own sense of purpose in your training. Whether it’s to protect your loved ones, gain a sense of momentum and focus, or just make connection in a challenging and fun new environment, never lose sight of your goals in order to succeed.
Your own Krav Maga strategy will evolve over time, and it always needs to leave room for improvisation, but having one in mind will help direct your focus.