Keeping our bodies in shape is a vital part of modern life. And while we don’t need to be prepared for warfare, knowing how to defend ourselves when threatened can give us a huge boost of courage in our daily lives.
There are many martial arts self-defense practices out there, but for beginners looking to get a start in self-defense training, modern techniques with a basis in real-world situations can often be quicker to pick up.
A great example is Krav Maga, which was formed in the 1930s to protect Jewish areas from fascist groups in Czechoslovakia. Sourced from techniques that samurai might have employed on the battlefield, but modified to fit real-world situations, Krav Maga was later developed by the Israeli security forces and is now taught to civilians.
You, too, can get a start in self-defense by practicing some dry drills at home in front of a mirror.
At-home dry drill technique:
- Stand up straight in front of a mirror, with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight balanced equally between them. Keep your eyes forward and follow your movements in the mirror.
- Slowly turn your body back and forth on the heels of the feet, shifting your weight to the foot you are turning towards. Turn from your hips to move your body in a fluid rhythm from left to right. Bend the knees slightly so that you bounce up and down as you turn, reaching a peak when you’re facing left or right.
- As you continue turning from left to right, slowly move your shoulders back and forth in rhythm with your body. Bring your right shoulder up as you face to the left, and your left shoulder up as you face to the right.
- Slowly start to add in more arm movements, swing your elbows up along with your shoulders as you move them up and down and continue to turn your body from left to right.
- Finally, extend your forearms straight outward with an open palm along with your elbows and shoulders. As you turn from left to right, you should now be throwing a short jab with the arm opposite to the foot you are leaning into. Put your full body weight into the jab.
Try to practice the dry drill for five minutes, slowly adding in movements until you are bobbing up and down and throwing a light jab by minute four.
The above dry drill is a nice little physical exercise, but it also forms the basis for many of the advanced self-defense techniques employed in Krav Maga.
Some of the most common attacks faced on the street include an attacker coming from the front and throwing a punch or grabbing the victim; the above technique can form a base for knocking the attacker back and giving yourself space to get away.
Practicing a dry drill like the one above daily can help train your muscle memory to be able to put the technique into action when needed.
Even if you don’t have a partner or a chance to go to the gym, dry drills can be a great alternative that help underscore your self-defense technique.
For beginners, the advantage of dry drills is that there is no danger of being hurt, and no stress to get everything correct right away — you can hone your technique naturally over time.
Once you feel comfortable with your dry drill technique, it’s time to practice with a punching bag or a sparring partner. Keep in mind that the dry drill technique should still be practiced alone when possible to further master it.
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Photo: Raghu Rai/Magnum Photos/Profimedia.CZ