Category Archives: Martial Arts

Compulsions and addictions and how I overcome them

If you had to pick a name for the book of my life it would be:  Compulsions and addictions. My life has been characterized by these 2 simple words, since as long as I could remember.  The essence of both of these words has brought me a lot of grief but I can’t seem to help it when I get the urge to act. It didn’t matter if it was collecting cards for a game inspired by a famous anime or drinking, smoking and on a later date playing a MMORPG for days without stopping (which almost cost my scholarship in college).

Some time ago I got hold over my compulsions. I cut down on smoking, stopped playing games on the internet; stopped drinking as much and for a while it seemed I was getting better. In retrospect I think this period in my life was directly under the orchestration and influence of my now ex girlfriend. She was a wonder and a joy, a stabilizing influence in my otherwise chaotic and hectic life. But it didn’t last long. She was offered a better job too far away for us to keep the semblance of a normal relationship. We broke up and probably as a result 2 weeks later I was back on the wagon.

Please do not get me wrong. I admit I was a total mess, but I had a job at which I was very good. I even got promoted and I was and still am making a fairly decent living. But my personal life… or if we want to be more precise the lack of it due to my lifestyle was literally killing me.

The wakeup call came under the form of a mild heart attack. Well the doctors called it mild, in truth it scared me stiff like nothing ever has. I had to make some changes about my choice of life otherwise I wouldn’t even have that option.

So at first I cleaned my apartment from all the junk food, then bough a card for the gym. After a week I stopped smoking normal cigarettes and turned towards electronic smokeless cigarettes. No smoke in the ecig ergo no harm for me. I bought a ProVari from ProVape, probably the best brand out there. It’s a great device and I feel much better using it.

I didn’t stop there, after a month or so, on my new regime I decided that I need more discipline so I started studying martial arts. I can’t call myself a martial artist. I am but a novice but training Krav Maga gave me a firm foundation to which I can always return.

Now, my life is obviously different. And my ex-girlfriend is being promoted back here in NYC, she is still single so am I. And things are looking bright for me. I can only hope that my lucky star will continue to shine.

A Prank Too Much

Most of us have at one time or another had a roommate. It may have been a younger or an older brother. One of the several guys (or girls) you shared room with during summer camp, your college roommate or later in life a flat mate or a girlfriend. There are many possible conflict points when you live with someone. Sometimes a huge fight might erupt over something as simple as stepping on peanut on the carpet or listening to music in 2 am. Living with someone could be a real bother but also it can be fun, especially if you get along well.

So I will tell you a part of my story. I have been living with my best friend for 5 years now. First we shared room in college and after that a flat in New York City. At times it was inconvenient (especially in college when one of us would bring a girl in and the other had to go to sleep somewhere else), but in general it was fun and much better than living all alone. The only really big problem was and still is pranking. After my first big college party, thanks to my roommate, I ended up with a huge “Psychology of Men” stuck to my right cheek with superglue. Two weeks later I got back at him by painting one of his eyebrows bright red and shaving the other off. This went on and off with big periods of relative calm in between.

We were in the middle of such a period now but things changed as we started going to self defense training. After some reasoning I started going to Krav Maga classes and two weeks in the training I was joined by my best friend aka my roommate. As months passed we were progressing in our training and we started to feel more confident. One of the things that Krav Maga teaches you is how to react and how to make use of your reflexes. Yes you can kind of guess where this is going. We started “just testing” our reflexes with a large variety of practical jokes and pranks. But as things progressed they got a little bit out of hand. I had to change my haircut and then lose all the hair because of his antics, all his clothes were died in pink and he had to go to a doctor to remove a bag of chips from his back (this was actually really hilarious) and so on. One day I got a little overboard. I placed a high pressure pillow under his couch cushion that was supposed just to throw him off to the ground and startle him. Well things didn’t go exactly as planned and now Johnny has to spend the next few weeks face down because his butt is a mess. So if you ever go into a war with your roommate just try not to go overboard with the pranks, it could be really dangerous.

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Krav Maga – The Israeli Wave

We are all more or less familiar with the diverse world of the martial arts. Karate, Kung-Fu, kickboxing, Aikido, Ju-Jitsu they have all been a major part in one blockbusting movie or another. Millions of people have flocked to the movie theaters to watch Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jean-Claude Van Damme and a whole myriad of action heroes to mop the floor with the bad guys using some of the martial arts mention above. But in the last 20 or so years there has been a new wave among the different combat systems that has started gaining followers among all the corners of the world. I am talking about Krav Maga and it is here to stay. Krav Maga was developed in Israel by Imi Lichtenfeld who was the Chief Instructor for Physical Fitness and Krav Maga in the Israeli Defense Force School of Combat Fitness. Its name literally means “contact combat” in Hebrew. It is used extensively by the Israeli Army, Mossad and for a number of years now from the CIA, FBA and other law enforcement agencies in the US and several other countries. Krav Maga’s philosophy emphasizes on aggression and efficient and quick elimination of all threats. The most basic principle of this combat system is finishing the fight as quickly as possible and therefore all the attacks are aimed at the most vulnerable parts of the body. Another key feature that sets apart Krav Maga from the rest of the martial arts crowd is the use that is put in the surroundings of the practitioners. Anything can be and it is used as a weapon. Major part of the training includes training of punches, low kicks, throws and takedowns, ground fighting, many different defense techniques, gun, knife and club defenses. Because its practicality and focus on real life events Krav Maga is becoming more and more popular among bodyguards, law enforcement officers, and the general public. Krav Maga schools are appearing almost everywhere on the globe and more and more people are taking up Krav Maga training. Big part of the popularity of the martial art is due to the work of organizations like the European Federation of Krav Maga, IKMF, KMG and to its featuring in movies, TV series and video games. Another important reason for its popularity is the fact that it is used extensively by organizations that had grown to be household names like the CIA, FBI or Mossad. Whatever the reasons for its ever more rising popularity Krav Maga has joined and it is a worthy member of the family of the martial arts.

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