Krav Maga Belt Testing At Krav Pro

One of the basic underlying ideas of Krav Maga is that you defend yourself when you are the least prepared. Going through testing for the next belt level is no exception.

At Krav Pro, whenever a newbie asks a nervous question about testing, he or she is met with ambiguous answers like:

“You’ll be fine”.

Which does NOTHING to help settle the fear of the unknown. That fear can be a dark, deep hole. Will I be wrestling dragons? A tackling dummy for people training for their black belts? What gives?

But, that may, in fact, be the exact point.

While there are definitely times that you can see a violent altercation brewing on the horizon, it’s unexpected violence that can do the most damage both physically and emotionally.

Most therapists will tell you people spend years dealing with the emotions of being victimized by sudden and violent trauma. While learning Krav Maga, we often start our defenses in the neutral position which means the student is standing still, completely unprepared while the training partner attacks with whatever move we’re working on that class.

So, while you may be pretending to check your phone, your training partner suddenly tries to put you in a chokehold. You do what you know to do to create space between you and your partner and do what’s necessary to go home safely.

But, what exactly lies behind the curtain with belt testing?

Now, that I’ve been through my first testing experience, I can share some of the secrets, I think, without getting into too much trouble.

On test day, I showed up early more or less to bask in the warm waters of my own anxiety. I guess I was hoping to share some of the nerves with my peers who were also testing that day. As we were chatting and stretching, I noticed something unusual. There were a disproportionate number of brown belts who were there warming up for their testing and only a handful of yellow belts. It made me lean over and ask a friend,

“Seriously, are we the punching bags for the brown belts?”

My friend gave a nervous chuckle as the owner came in, welcomed us, and told the yellow belts to line up and the brown belts to line up behind us. This did nothing to ease my fears.

He then asked the yellow belts to do a 180 and introduce ourselves to the brown belt behind us. He said this would be our partner for the time being. In my head, I expected to turn around and be paired with Bruce Lee’s younger cousin who would surely beat me into some sort of new dimension. Instead, I was met with a super friendly smiling 5’ 4” brown belt named Lisa.

After the initial relief that it wasn’t a relative of Bruce Lee’s, I thought, “Great, you’re about to get beat up by a short little woman”. I wasn’t trying to be sexist. It was just the recognition of a simple reality.

I won’t give away more than this but suffice to say that what we did for “warm up” is more than a lot of people do in their entire workouts.

I will say though that there weren’t many surprises during this part, but the surprises that were there will stick with me for a while. Just think of the last time you were in a workout class somewhere that the instructor told you to do something and your thought was, “Really? Are we doing this now? This is really gonna happen?”

Yeah, that happened.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to respond, but I was a little surprised that the thought of passing out or dying never actually occurred to me. I simply made up my mind that I was going to push through whatever was thrown at me.

And, that is exactly the point.

This part of testing for Krav Maga isn’t really a secret. The owner and instructors will say this plainly to you both in class and during testing. They’ll say that it’s not how tired you get during your training. It’s about not giving up. If someone attacks you on the street out of the blue, giving up isn’t really an option. It’s about survival. It’s about being able to go home afterward while your attacker decides whether or not they want IV fluids or to eat through a straw.

There is no giving up in Krav Maga. Period.

That’s really what testing for your next belt level is all about. It’s about testing your character as well as your physical endurance.

So, how do you prepare for that?

Of course, it depends upon the individual. Keeping up with the physical side of training is essential, and filling the rest of your training with good nutrition, hydration and rest is the simple answer.

From the psychological side, it’s about bringing your all. It’s about deciding that you’re never going to be a victim. It’s really as simple as that.

Babe Ruth is credited with saying, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” He understood the Krav Maga mindset before it was ever even a thing.

Krav Pro is located off Peachtree Industrial in Duluth. Call us at 678-460-624 if you or your child is interested in taking a free Krav Maga class to see what the fun’s all about. We’ll teach your family some self-defense skills as well as help you all get into the best shape of your life. We have students coming from all around Atlanta such as Duluth, Johns Creek, Suwanee, Buford, Lawrenceville, and more. Get fit and fearless.