“Exhilarating, empowering, liberating – if you’ve ever wanted to learn some self-defence, you’ve got to try Kombat Principle”
We thought we’d explain a bit about our classes for anyone who’s never tried them before – so we asked a mum from the Juniors class to experience a session, and tell us what she thought in a blog post…
I have watched my sons train with Master Karl in the children’s classes on a Sunday, and helped them to practise at home, but never in my life have I ever hit anything (or anyone) with my fist. The idea of learning how to do it from an expert, in a way that could keep me safe (or even save my life, at some awful point in the future) was very tempting indeed.
When I asked my older son for some advice for training with Master Karl, he said, “All you have to remember, Mum, is that Watching is Learning” – one of the key principles that Karl teaches the children in the Juniors class. So I went along ready to look and listen.
“Continuity of Movement”
There were six of us, plus Karl, on a warm May evening. We started with a warm up – run around the hall in a circle, throwing a mitt across the room to the person opposite. Every time a catch is missed, and the flow is interrupted, everyone stops for five squats. When we’d hit 100 squats in total, we were ready (and if you’re not used to squats, you will definitely feel that in the morning!). This builds thigh muscle – critical for some of the techniques we’d be working on later – and demonstrates the importance of co-ordination and awareness, also important for self-defence.
“Get your feet right”
Then the training began: the exciting bit. There I stood, with two gloves on, ready to punch the pad that my training partner was holding with everything I’d got…and it was so much fun! It all came surprisingly naturally to me, although remembering where to position the pads when it was my partner’s turn took a little practice (fortunately without injury to either of us) – plus the most important element of any martial arts: where to put your feet, to keep your balance centred. I learned how to put together simple combinations using a variety of punches and knees, and it was an incredible cardio and core workout at the same time (especially when you’re holding the pads for your partner).
“Get low and create a space”
After the combos, we practised escaping from an arm lock from behind. In pairs, we followed a sequence of moves that Karl showed us, which included escaping from the hold; using the muscles we’d been building in our legs to get low and create space for defending ourselves; and following the escape up with some moves to debilitate an attacker and give you time to run. Using the principles of space, balance and continuity of movement we’d been focusing on earlier, Karl showed us how to use them to our advantage.
After an intense hour of watching, learning and applying what I’d seen, I left the class feeling that I now have some brand new self-defence abilities, should I need them. It was great to learn in a group of other women who have different ages and experience levels, but who all want to learn the same things, and help each other to excel in them. And it was great to learn them all from a very patient and knowledgeable teacher.
If you have ever been tempted to try martial arts, or you’re looking for a fitness class with some real practical self-defence benefits too, then you have to try Kombat Principle.
- Wear comfortable training gear, including trainers
- Take water with you
- Prepare with some squat exercises, if you’re not used to them (I swear by Davina McCall’s Fit in 15 DVD!)
The session is £7.50. We work from a Muay Thai Kickboxing platform incorporating techniques from karate, and Filipino martial arts styles as well as working on our fitness. All our classes operate out of the Wolverton Working Men’s Club on Stratford Road, Wolverton.
Click here for class details