Krav Maga Training Mind Over Body

by Sep 23, 20161 comment

Krav Maga Training Mind Over Body

What is more important with Krav Maga Training, FITNESS or DETERMINATION?

Fitness levels, often get mistaken for sheer determination and on the other hand, determination is mistaken for Fitness levels. To put it into a context that’s easy to understand, I want you to imagine that there are two people challenged to run 100 miles with 25 kg in their backpack. One of them is an Olympic athlete, very fit, healthy and finely tuned to get the most out of his or her body. The other individual is quite fit, pretty healthy but a normal everyday human being but has an immensely stubborn and tough mindset.

Both individuals finish the challenge because of very different reasons. Firstly, the Olympic athlete will use his or her fitness levels and finely tuned body to push them through the 100 mile trek and the effort will be there however previous training, prepares them for a challenge like this and therefore less effort is needed now (“Train hard, Fight easy”). The average healthy individual however will rely on sheer determination and not getting injured to push through the 100 miles. This will require all the effort he has, as there is not a solid base of previous training to help him when opposed with situations like this. A certain State of Mind will get him through. What we have to remember is that Fitness can be trained but Determination relies on the individual having it or not to begin with.

Krav Maga Training Pressure Test

So which is better for Krav Maga?

This is the question I have been juggling with throughout my whole career within the Royal Marines. I was never the naturally fit bloke, running at the front with minimum effort. I trained hard and long and used my determination to push at any challenge that has been thrown at me.  I would always hate that these really “naturally” fit blokes would stream through things that I would have to work hard at. It only came clear to me near the end of my training that this “Fitness advantage” would not always put them on the front foot. I also started to see this as my career went on.

At the end of training, we have what are known as the 4 Commando tests. Each are physically draining and demand the highest levels of fitness along with the most positive mindset. It was at this point where I started to note flaws in the really fit guys. Throughout training, they had found it easier than others and therefore never pushed as far out of the comfort zone as I did. By the time they reached the Commando tests, most things were within there ever growing comfort zone. As soon as they stepped out of there comfort zone on the tests however and joined the rest of us in what I like to call the “Must keep moving forward” phase, they seemed to struggle. They were not prepared for this feeling of hitting the limit and smashing through it and therefore were dropping out of the tests a lot quicker than the rest of us. This backs up the common known phrase that “Your body will take you as far as your mind tells it to”. I still cannot answer the question of which is better to have (Determination or Higher fitness level), however I have learnt a few things along the way.

Krav Maga Training Determination

Lessons Learnt….

So to summarize this commonly asked question. I can tell you that I have learnt that both Fitness Levels and Determination are needed in any physically demanding challenge. Depending on the challenge, It makes a significant difference to which of the two would be better. Both have their place in any situation, the biggest difference being, one can be trained (Fitness) and the other must be bred into (determination). One without the other would get you nowhere in any physically demanding challenges.

I will now boldly and probably risk being slightly biased by stating that I firmly believe that with determination you can get to any fitness level you want to be, but the best fitness level in the world will still not help you gain sheer determination. So whats best for conducting Krav Maga Training, Fitness or determination? Well to be able to fight in an aggressive and explosive manner that Krav Maga demands, you must have a certain level of fitness. To be able to sustain the demanding intensity of Krav Maga, you must have a great level of determination. You can gain fitness fast by attending Krav Maga lessons, but you must have the right mindset and determination to begin with! So to finish off ill leave you with one of my favourite quotes:

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough!”

 Ogo Mandino

Krav Maga Training Altitude mask


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