From: Krav Maga San Francisco []
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 1:55 PM
To: Manning Mark
Subject: Kravmaga SF December 2005 Newsletter

January 2006 Edition

From Barny's Desk
I would like to thank everyone for all of the help in making 2005 such a great year for Krav Maga in San Francisco.

The membership has increased and the quality of our students is remarkable.

Darren Levine's seminar was inspiring. He was very impressed with the student body here.

Two of our instructors now have the rank of Black Belt.

Room 3 is now much larger so no more trying to figure out which class has to take the small room.

With the continued efforts on all fronts and as the school continues to grow we can keep adding more to the schedule.

Again thanks to all for the efforts in 2005, here's to an even better 2006.


  Announcements and upcoming events:

Thanks to all of you who participated in our survey. We learned a lot from you and have already begun responding to your feedback. A large percentage of you asked for more Intro to Strike and Fight classes so we are adding another one starting Monday, February 6th at 8 pm. Due to our growing pains, we are expanding room 3 and we'll be working out in there again soon. Many of you expressed a desire to have the ability to do strength training here. Currently we're investigating equipment and we expect to have a weight room in place downstairs by this April. Focus mitts and other equipment that has been beaten into submission is being replaced. We are cancelling the 9 am Saturday KM Combo, and KM Cardio has become KM Conditioning. We are in the process of ordering more equipment for the new conditioning class, such as medicine balls, hand weights, fit balls, Yoga blocks, and other great accessories to help Kat. She has designed a class that incorporates a variety of elements into one class instead of an hour of just cardio or circuit training. Finally, starting next Thursday, January 4th, Chinese Boxing will be offered at 8 pm on a weekly basis. This class is open to all levels. The new schedule is posted on the web site, effective January 2nd, 2006.

You all had some interesting ideas for classes and seminars, asking for anything from dealing with home invasions to dog attacks. Krav Maga students also have a wealth of other martial arts experience, over 20 different systems have been studied by our members. We got a lot of great comments, some that show us where we need to improve and some that made us feel proud of what we have given all of you this far. What stood out was the feeling that we have a culture here, one that is positive, motivating, and supportive. Thank you for helping us make it so. Here are a few of the quotes we received:

"I have noticed a big change in myself since starting Krav Maga. I am more confident, happier, and at 38 years old in the best shape of my life."

"It's amazing that at a place where we're learning how to defend ourselves in a violent manner everyone is so kind and caring towards fellow students. I think it's a fantastic testament to the character of the school owners and staff. Thank you."

"There is not one instructor whose class I do not look forward to."

Holiday Schedule
We will be closed New Year's Eve, Saturday December 31st, and
New Year's Day, Sunday January 1st

Belt Test Schedule Orange Belt
Saturday, February 4th - 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Yellow Belt
Saturday, February 11th - 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  Student Focus: Mark Manning

About a month ago I bumped into one of our students, Mark Manning, who had been away for a while. I asked him where he'd been and he responded that he'd gotten into adventure racing over the summer. I thought I'd like to hear more about that, and was able to follow up with him recently.

I asked him first how he got into doing Krav Maga. He responded that he came from a professional bicycle racing background, and has raced with professional teams all over the country and out here in California with a top amateur team. After 8 years of bike racing he wanted to do something else. It is a very time consuming sport for training, athletes must spend lots of time on the bike, and it is a very focussed and individual activity. "It's one of the great things about it, but it's also one of the sad things."

He had no other martial arts experience, and it was his boss who had been going to Krav Maga for about 6 months that insisted that Mark join him at lunchtime classes. He didn't have anyone else to work with and even brought kicking shields and focus mitts to the office! Mark said he had so much fun in the first few classes working with Barny that it didn't take much to pique his interest. "So I immersed myself in it, went to 5 classes a week, and was able to progress quickly," he says. "I had never hit anybody, I never even took a swing at anybody. I took my first Strike and Fight class with my boss. Barny had us standing there and hitting each other, and you're getting to hit your boss in the head, the hardest part was to stop laughing!". It took him about 6 months to reach the point where he felt comfortable going to Strike and Fight classes. He had also taken a beginners sparring class where it was well structured and controlled.

I asked him if his bike racing background helped him with the experience of pushing through pain. He responded affirmatively, "Oh yes, it's a chess game on the bike, and it's a mental game as far as how much pain you can take, and how much pain you want to inflict on the competition." With this attitude Mark fits right in here obviously. Coming from an athletic background he knew how to train, how to prepare for a test, and how to tell the difference between discomfort and injury.

Which brings me to the reason for his hiatus. Mark had been invited to race on an adventure racing team, consisting of 3 men and 1 woman. Adventure racers spend a lot of time in the wilderness using a compass for navigation, biking, running and kayaking to find their way with no GPS. Each race has a series of about 20 checkpoints, measured in hours or days to get to all points. It could be 100's of kilometers in a multi-day race or maybe 30-40 in a day race. Most races are between 24 hours to 3-4 days, and there is no stopping and no sleep. Mark described the effects of sleep deprivation and fatigue that occur. "After about 60 hours you have to overcome what they call the sleep monsters, what I call walking dreams, you see strange people and animals. A friend of mine was riding along on his bike and took a sharp turn proclaiming he was going to get some computer paper!" I wondered if Mark had ever tried Krav Maga on his sleep monsters. Now that would look crazy.

Mark's team (Team Nomad) won the Northern California series, and being one of the top teams qualified them to go to the US nationals in Florida. The team spent 24 hours in the swamp, 12-14 hours of it spent in the water from ankle deep up to here:

"So thats the sort of terrain and environment you're in, at night all you can see is orange eyes, which are the alligators in the swamp." Sounds like fun doesn't it? He continued, "You never know until the night before where you're going, and then you're off into crazy wilderness areas." In spite of all the physical demands of the sport he says what really wins the race is good navigation. Next year Team Nomad has an entry into the biggest race of the year, Primal Quest. It originated from the reality show Eco-Challenge by Mark Burnett, creator of the Survivor series. Since then this unique activity has made the transition from reality show into a viable sport. Team Nomad is working on sponsorship for the 2006 season, and need about $24,000. Currently they have assembled about half of that. Anybody want to help sponsor an adventure racing team? This race will be televised, and it's on in June. I asked him if he would get a Krav tattoo guaranteed to show on TV but he didn't go for that. Maybe I didnt offer him enough money.

Mark grew up in London, then lived in New York for about 7 years and has travelled in Europe. He met his current boss on a flight from Amsterdam, and that is how he ended up here. I asked Mark if his Krav Maga training had changed his mental outlook in any way. He replied that it has made him more aware of his surroundings, saying, "You wander around the city and now I know I've got more chance of coming out of a situation unscathed than I did previously."  Krav Maga San Francisco

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