“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
If you think that spending two hours of a Saturday in a hot warehouse is fun YOU ARE RIGHT! This past Saturday as part of our CrossFit Texas Women’s program we hosted Bonnie and Rob Claudill for a little Defensive Tactics session. Both Bonnie and Rob are a part of the CF Texas family, they also have a great history of experience outside of Crossfit. They both are former Marines (no such thing as an Ex-Marine so don’t even try it !), and both Austin Police Officers and instructors for the APD Academy Defensive Tactics.
Saturday was the first session of our Self Defense classes. 14 women committed to learning something new this day. We all walked in unknowing of what was to come. The cages that were usually reserved for the barbells had heavy bags tied up with rope, stacks of black pads cushioned the areas below the pull-up bars and the WOD on the whiteboard today was definitely the UNKNOWABLE! I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be like any kick boxing class we had ever taken! I’ve personally seen how one’s body is beat up, bruised and battered after a Defensive Tactics course…. well after a Law Enforcement level class…. BUT STILL that’s all I had to go by! YIKES.
Two lines of women (and a few of our little ladies by their Mom’s side) lined up – our wrist and knuckles taped up like we were headed into the boxing ring. That in itself makes ya’ feel like a badass! The game plan of the day was layed out, now it was time to get back to the basics. Bonnie lead us through the stance, the fist position, balance & stability for quick moves. It felt like I was setting up for my WOD and “getting organized”.
You better not assume that once these two left the Corps, they forgot how to command a group! HaHa. We were given great detailed instruction and now it was time to put the Combo in action. Once I finally yelled the right thing at the right time I was up to speed with the group.
I stood in my place in line and every time we pivoted to attack again, I looked around at the amazing women that stood there. It was hot, it was their day off from work, it was time away from family…. BUT THEY WERE HERE! They were not here for the best time on the whiteboard, or to pull a PR on a Oly lift, they were here to better themselves. No one was asked “why” they wanted to be here, they just were. I can not even assume to know the answer to what brought 14 women to a self-defense class. I know for me, I wanted the experience to learn something new. I wanted a few hours with my friends, I wanted a tool to tuck away in my “bag of tricks” to know I can take care of myself and my daughter.
When you spend 2 minutes punching a strike pad held up against your friends chest and you are pulling out every bit of power you can, there is a reason why you are here. HIGH INTENSITY – that’s what we as Crossfitters do everyday. Taking these skills and using it to push through the “can I do this” moment, is another feather in your hat. On top of that, it was just FUN! Two minutes of combo punches standing – down to our knees- down to the ground. WOW that will take you outside of your box. Then it was 2 against one! I was paired up with the power houses… Lauren and Ashley H. Every 10 seconds you were either getting bumped from one or the other… you had to decide was it going to be a combo punch, a palm-heel strike or lay down the HAMMER!! Woooowhooo … crap there is more from behind. Now we are grabbing their shoulders and driving our knees into them (the pad actually)… until you get blindly bumped again. All I could think about was… well lets just say we all had our “motivation” that day.
The funny thing was as I was behind one of the pads on the receiving end, I could hear myself yelling at the girls to hit harder or grab here/there. Talk about supporting each other… haha. I think a few chins were grazed and a few wrist left swollen but it was all in good fun.
The final piece was sparring. SAY WHAT? Yeap, Bonnie and Rob -vs- us! It was one on one with one of them…. seriously they actually know how to hit and HARD. I was paired to go ’round with Rob. Ok, I thought about all the technique and moves I had been taught this morning and I had a plan to just try to keep covered and execute what I could. A few punches into it I realized he really wanted me to hit him… haha. Then I found out what it meant to not cover yourself… tap tap – yeap those are my ribs. The good thing is that Bonnie and Rob are so good that they know how to get you moving without hurting you. I’ll have to say, it got ME moving!
I can’t wait to attend the next session! Here is a little slide show of the group in action!