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LUKE MEHAFFEY

“Everyone that takes their first trial class has the potential to reach Graduate level and I believe it should be everyone’s mile stone to get to”

I started Krav Maga 5 years ago at the tender age of 18. I had previously trained in another Martial Art from the ages of 5 to 14, which I really enjoyed. After a few years out of training, my Dad and I (who also trains in Krav Maga) wanted to get back into doing something together that we would both enjoy. Funnily enough it was the ‘Paul O’Grady’ show where we first saw an introduction into Krav Maga which prompted us to look for a local club.

I still remember my first class like it was yesterday, learning 3 different stances and ‘360’ defence. Back then the classes where a lot smaller but equally as welcoming and friendly as they are now. From the first class I attended I immediately loved the approach of ‘do all that is necessary’ when it comes to protecting yourself or your loved ones!

Fast forward 5 years and I now find myself at Graduate Level 1 and one of the most senior members in the club, and the journey has been very enjoyable… not to say it hasn’t been hard work though!

When I think back to my first grading, you are told that someone from Israel is coming to grade you and that is a little nerve racking yet, it pushes you to be the best you can. It prepares you to turn up with the right mentality, do that best you can and go how with what you deserve, a stamp in your licence, certificate, badge and a big pat on the back from your instructors

“Everyone that takes their first trial class has the potential to reach Graduate level and I believe it should be everyone’s mile stone to get to”

From that day on it drove me to want to get to my graduate level which for me, was the next mile stone I wanted to achieve, I had set my goal!

After my first grading I increased the amount of lessons I was doing a week to improve my technical skills, fitness and stamina. I also found myself wanting to train at home, whether it was doing sit ups and press ups or even ‘shadow fighting’ around my bedroom :). Of course I would then get over excited and start a play fight with my dad, to which he would soon put me in my place! So basically I got the Krav bug! I wanted to attend as many lessons as possible and do all the lessons and special events possible!

Through all the Practitioner levels I found myself learning every lesson. It was also key for me that I didn’t train with the same person all the time because everyone trains to a different level and it was not in my best interests to get too comfortable. It is not always easy to train with someone new every lesson, especially when I was sparring I wanted to train with the highest grades in the class to the lowest grades. This allowed me learn how the more experienced Krav Maga members trained, and I could then use these skills with the people at my level.

A few grades on and I realise I am at my mile stone, ready to take my graduate level 1 grade. I had to keep focused, to remember that all the hard work and hours in training I had put in would pay off,!

I watched all the grading events before mine, (which didn’t help my nerve LOL) yet all I needed to remember was all the hard work and hours of training I had put into getting to this mile stone and as soon as I got on that mat I knew what I needed to do. Every technique I demonstrated from the practitioner levels and upwards, I wanted to do at the best level I could! The Graduate level techniques I was demonstrating I wanted to be sharp and aggressive to show my understanding.

A big weight was lifted off my shoulders when it was announced I had passed. All those hours of training and hard work had paid off and I had reached the mile stone I set myself after my first grading. Now I was also eligible to attend the Graduate classes which really push your training to that next level it needs to be.

Everyone that takes their first trial class has the potential to reach Graduate level and I believe it should be everyone’s mile stone to get to. It takes self-motivation and hard work but once you have got that ‘Krav Bug’ there will be no stopping you!

What is the next mile stone I want to achieve? To be honest I am not sure, I just want to train hard, improve my technique and be the best I can be. I owe a lot to Krav Maga, my fitness levels are the best they have ever been and I don’t think I will ever be able to lose my situational awareness which I have learn’t over the years. Keep at it and reap the rewards!

I’m a Karate Kid fan (yes I admit it!) so in the words of the Cobra Kai “Strike first, strike hard, No Mercy!”

Luke

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