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Member Profiles - Mara

It’s been a while since we’ve introduced any of our amazing members. Now we’re back to regularly training together (albeit outside) it’s time to set that straight! Next up is Mara, she tells us a wee bit about herself and why she keeps coming back to krav training!

"If someone would have told me a year and a half ago that I would be not just attending training sessions where kicks and punches are routinely aimed at you, where people throw themselves and others to the ground, and where knives (albeit plastic) are a regular normality, but that I would actually be enjoying all of this, I would not have believed them.

I always thought I wasn't much use at any sport. I hated school sport, not great at coordination (which side is my left again?), and most of all quite easily startled by pretty much anything: Loud noises? Check. Falling down? Check. Quick movements nearby? Check. Me in a Krav Maga self-defence class? Madness, I thought.

When I first started to train, I was a bit worried that perhaps I wouldn't fit in, that this would only be something for very fit and athletic people, that it would all be too scary and overwhelming. I could not have been more wrong. All the instructors and assistant instructors are very good at making everyone feel belong and at ease, and while yes, some things in training are challenging, there is always thorough and detailed guidance, advice and tons of support available - from instructors as well as from your fellow training partners. This, for me, is one of the best things about Rencounter, a really strong sense of respect and mutual support in the group. Pretty cool for such a diverse group of people! I also like that you can always work through things at your own pace if something seems too daunting.

Krav has definitely helped me to stay sane (more or less…) during a time when the Covid-19 pandemic, home office, lockdown, and being separated from friends and family brought on a lot of struggles and anxieties for so many people. Outdoor classes were great to continue training in creative ways, and also really helped keep up the sense of community."

What do you do outside of krav?

"I try to balance my desk–based work life for the University’s Research Office with as much outdoor time as possible, I love my garden (although hopeless at gardening, any tips welcome), and I cycle and walk a lot. One of my favourite walks is along the canal and Water of Leith through Colinton Dell, where Robert Louis Stevenson spent part of his childhood and where he was inspired to write poems from A Child's Garden of Verses. I also have a rescue cat called Panda, who I think is secretly a dog."

How long have you been training?

"I've been training for about a year and a half now I think, but it feels longer, because classes are very varied and there's always something new to learn. I've done my first grading, which I'd never thought possible even a year ago. It really shows how much you can learn in krav in a relatively short time, and how much impact it can have on your life and confidence."

Thanks so much for being part of the community and for telling us about yourself, Mara!

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