Well it was a pretty intense two days at Krav Island this year. This is an event started by my friend John Miller, Director of Institute of Krav Maga Scotland, just over 5 years for about 30 of his students and instructors. This year there were over 170 participants, the majority completing two great days of training.
The format was different this year with the head honcho Eyal Yanilov teaching on both days alongside John Miller, Jon Bullock, Nick Maison and Neil Walton, an awesome instructor line up. The weather threatened us on the Saturday and blessed us on the Sunday and each brought its own challenges but the midges were largely absent. Loch Lomond was freezing, dark and foreboding for those who took the plunge, but this event is also about stepping right out of your comfort zone, literally off a pier and into the dark, cold watery depths.
Altogether there was over 15 hours training plus a fantastic BBQ and time for a few beers. The training was really good and the event drew people from Scotland, hardly surprising, a large contingent from all over England, particularly the Southampton mob from the ‘No Fear Academy’, Germany, Holland and America, and there it was great to meet up with friends old and new.
I love Krav Island, I wish there was a Ju Jitsu Island but there isn’t but it is the atmosphere, the buzz, the vibe that is infectious. A small but keen contingent from the Gracie Ju Jitsu Barra in Glasgow were clearly enjoying themselves as the training was pitched to be challenging but accessible to all. I enjoy watching quality instruction in whatever art or form it comes in, it is a craft and to deliver it well is a real skill.
Having taken over a Ju Jitsu club in Sheffield very recently has caused me to revisit how instruction should be delivered, what are the necessary underlying skills and knowledge base and how do we place the student, not the instructor, at the centre of the learning process? Well I can tell you anybody who instructs could do far worse than get along to Krav Island for a masterclass. I learn more each time I go, I like some of the techniques, not every one, and I nick bits, we all do that, but I also study the art of instructing and use what I experience to help me to perform better.
I will be writing a further, more detailed article on Krav Island 2014 on the Conflict Research Group International website shortly, get on the site and check it out. I interviewed many participants this year, satisfaction was very high, words like brilliant, fantastic, superb were used a lot, as was tough, demanding, exhausting, hard work. I think the fantastic Sgt Maison slots summed this up, take a look.
You knew Sarge was in the mood when you awoke to the call “Hands of c**s and on with your socks” in our Lochside accommodation. I decided it was best to get up sharpish and start cooking that bacon and mashing a brew.
It was a long drive up there from Sheffield on Saturday morning and a late night and early morning to follow, then the long drive back home on Sunday night. Was it worth it, you bet. Will I be there next year, you bet.
Do I hope that other martial arts groups set up their versions of Krav Island and get out there and train in our beautiful countryside, yes you bet I hope for that too. And yes, I have an outdoor training event planned for next year myself, will you?