The CrossFit page on Facebook recently posted a free article through the CrossFit Journal on the CrossFit Defense specialty course. Hilary Achauer, an author and editor for the CrossFit Journal attended the course and gave some insight into what she learned. Hilary was an amateur boxer and is now a CrossFit athlete, and while she felt her background gave her some good weapons, she knew she still had a lot to learn about self-defense.
The course is taught by Tony Blauer who has a background in wrestling, martial arts and boxing. He has worked with law enforcement agencies and the military for years and is a very experienced instructor. He broke the course down into two aspects, the psychological side and physiological side. He explained that whether you are walking into the gym for your daily WOD, to a competition, or trapped in a dark-alley, fear needs to be controlled in order to succeed/survive. His method for managing fear is to have a game plan and having experience. One example used was managing the fear of seeing Fran on the board as the WOD for the day. It was explained that if you go into Fran with a game plan and break it down into manageable sets, say you do 3 sets of 7 for the set of 21 thrusters and pull ups because know you can handle sets of 7. Once the workout is broken down into manageable sets, you have a game plan and suddenly Fran isn’t quite as scary. The same applies to being caught in a bad situation, if you know how to defend yourself in different situations, you can react more instinctually instead of panicking.
Tony then got into the physiological side of self defense. It turns out that CrossFit gives you a lot of great tools because many movements are core-to-extremity which is how you work to defend yourself. He talked about the most ideal positions to make your movements stronger, such as a hand with fingers splayed is stronger than a fist, and if your put your arms out in front of you, they are much stronger at an angle greater than 90 degrees. Also, an elbow to many locations on the body hurts a lot. He goes on to explain different movements to escape various attack positions and has the students try them out on each other. At the end of the day, the students even do a WOD trying out the different defense maneuvers at a faster speed so you learn to do them in real time and become more comfortable with them. The more comfortable you become with them, the more instinctual they will be and if you were attacked, you might be able to react with a plan to defend yourself or escape.
If you are interested in taking the course, there are two within driving distance coming up soon. One is on February 9th in Laguna Niguel and the other is on February 16th in Bermuda Dunes. To sign up for the course, check out the specialty section on the CrossFit main site. This course requires no prior CrossFit certification, so anyone can take it. There is also a lot more information in the CrossFit Journal article, so check it out by downloading it here.
Mobility & Recovery