Rencounter KM first year anniversary
It’s now just over a year since I started Rencounter Krav Maga, and to be honest, it seemed like a crazy decision at the time. But a year in I've not regretted it.
It's been a fun year, though there's been many challenges and the learning curve has been steep, it's not been more than I've been able to figure out how to solve, with support in small and large ways from many people.
Most of the time I've really been enjoying the opportunities to learn new things, from how to teach a technique more effectively, to editing videos, to using accounting software (not so fun), to attending courses and learning about 3rd party protection and combat mindset training.
Daniel, Kim and Hamish grading in March
Krav maga for women
When I started I was the only certified female krav maga instructor in Scotland, which came as a surprise to me. Recently I’ve been joined by Susan Chalmers in Dundee who just finished the 24 day long and gruelling KMG instructor course —increasing the number of women krav maga instructors in Scotland by 100%!
In most krav maga classes I'm aware of, there are significantly more men than women. My school is one of the few in the UK as far as I'm aware where the number of men and women is about the same.
This is something I'm proud of, because it seems to me that there are a lot of women who want to learn krav maga, but don't feel comfortable when they end up being the only woman, or one of very few women in a class. That's hopefully one barrier less for women to start training in krav maga here.
Making mistakes and learning
When you're able to stop worrying about other people or worrying about making mistakes, you suddenly have a lot more energy freed up to focus on learning.
When you start something you've never done before many people are very aware of making mistakes. And if you feel like you stand out for any reason, it feels like everyone else must be noticing the mistakes you make. I know I felt like that when I started, as the only woman in the class. When I got to know the people and became more confident in my skills I started relaxing, and eventually I realised that everyone else is too busy worrying about doing things right themselves to think much about what everyone else is doing.
One of the great things that krav maga training has managed to teach me, despite my unwillingness to accept it (perfectionist), is that making mistakes is a natural part of learning, without them you can't make progress. I'm glad to see that many of my students are quicker to learn this than I was.
One of the things that I've appreciated the most in the past year is watching people learn and develop. From starting their first class, nervous and wondering why they signed up for this when they could be at home, safe within their comfort zone. Then seeing that they can do this, having fun even! To gradually becoming more confident in their skills and expanding that comfort zone, some going to their first grading —taking another step outside their comfort zone, and getting a solid measure of how much they've learned and how far they've come.
The great thing is that your comfort zone follows what you do, it's like building a path or a ladder one step at a time. Keep working on it and you just keep going.
Of course, when people come to a krav maga class it's usually because they want to learn self-defence or they want to keep fit. But to stick with something, I think you also have to have fun, and enjoy spending time with the people who are there.
And that's what I feel we have at RKM. It's a group of people that I'm happy to see, and who seem happy to meet each other and have fun punching and kicking each other, in a friendly way ;-), several times a week. And I get to teach those people, as my job!
As job satisfaction goes, it can't get much better than this! There's hard work, but I'm happy that it fills my days with interesting and meaningful things.
Our first pub brawl