An article by Alan Clark, instructor @ Institute Krav Maga Scotland, http://www.institute-krav-maga-scotland.co.uk
IKMS instructor Alan Clark recently took part in the annual Institute of Krav Maga Netherlands Bootcamp. Here’s Alan’s account of his experience. Sounds like an event not to miss next year!
This weekend I decided to take a trip down to Holland to take part in the annual Institute of Krav Maga Netherlands (IKMN) bootcamp and this was my experience!
6am wake up call at Heath (Expert Level 2) and Kirsten’s house, the first hour being spent by getting ready and preparing the car with food and equipment for the weekend ahead. The Bootcamp would be held on a military base with plenty of terrain for running around in as I would soon find out!
At 8:30/9am everyone had arrived by now and it was soon time to get things started with a quick safety briefing of which I have no idea what was said but i'm sure it was very important and worth hearing! After that it was time to train and it was Zeev Cohen’s (Master Level 1) time to let us know a little bit of what we were in for. It was very clear that team work and communication would be a major factor this weekend and with that it was time to pick up a gun, a knife and a log!
We took a tour of our new military terrain surrounding, running, walking, training with guns learning about how to strike with the gun, lie down shooting with a handgun or crawling on the ground with a machine gun and doing it quickly. Every so often we would change what we were carrying whether it was a log, 20/30kg ammunition boxes, pads, ropes the fitter guys trying to always help anyone who was struggling and share the workload as we trained throughout the morning. We finished the morning session with some light contact slow fighting.
In the afternoon after a break, we went to the outdoor shooting range where we started off by learning how to run and then stop in mid run with a hand gun or machine gun from there this led to an hour or so of different drills and positions to shoot from standing-kneeling-lying down which led us to some pressure testing drills. So from hitting the pads to push ups or exercises to raise the heart rate and then keep calm as you ran, stopped and positioned yourself to shoot the target in front and remain focused.
Once we had all got the hang of this it was onto Israeli military style tactics of clearing a room as you enter making sure it’s safe and dealing with threats if need be without making yourself vulnerable to attack. This was a lot of fun and a rare experience to go into this detail and definitely not your average training session!! We later did this in pairs and as our summary drill we got into pairs went through the doors into the outdoor shooting range slowly making our way through checking for any threats at every turn as we passed the pillars several instructors were hiding and launched at us with sticks once the threat was dealt with ran forward and took out our target.
After that we had a short break before going back in to train this time starting with forward rolls with a machine gun to loosen up before training in groups again this time in groups of 3 and 4. One person was the commander in command of two troops and leading his team and sweeping the area the fourth person stayed behind his/her job was to shout out “attack at 3 o’clock” of which the commander would have to navigate and lead his team through the assault until the threat was eliminated. This group of 3 or 4 became a group of 20 or 30, 15 soldiers on one side across from them another 15 in a long line on the right up front and in the middle was Zeev commander number one leading us through the battlefield beside him were two commanders so that should anything happen to zeev someone would immediately take his place. After this point it was the exact same as it would have been with 3 or 4 soldiers having more men or women didn’t change the tactics of what was being done. The commander was still in command and when someone was asked to move forward they had to work fast and control the situation quickly this would become crucial later on when working as a team!
Alan & Zeev on the shooting range
The last session of the day or what we thought was the last was a late afternoon session on knifes and ground work to neatly round up the days training before we retired for the evening.
The Night Training
In the shooting range where me and a few of the other guys were sleeping or at least I was trying to sleep but couldn’t. To be fair I was warned I might not sleep that well but at 2 am the door swung open and a lot of Dutch instructors were shouting “GET UP! UP! MOVE! MOVE! LETS GO!!” and various Dutch things along the same lines. As soon as possible we got up, lined up and got into our lines 7 by 3 there was Zeev ready to go. Naturally we had to do press ups sit ups and squats that just a given but next as a team we had to go on the same run we had done in the morning (half the distance ) but in complete darkness 20% vision tops with a wounded solider on a stretcher. As we ran through the darkness a small strobe light would randomly flash when this happened we had to move quick, line up like before get down and fire, confirm the kill then continue meanwhile 4 of our team had to carry our wounded team mate as we ran through the woods switching as they got tired with a hand signal and a tap on the back to let them know you were there and that they could go back in one of the two lines. This went on for an hour before returning back to camp and as the gates closed behind us and we moved forward an attack came from behind with a loud bang! A couple of flashbang like fireworks had been let off and this was our last attack to fight against for the night! Once then threat was eliminated it was time for bed with no surprises this time!
9:00am All of us up and ready we headed out for run with Heath and Alex and a few of the other instructors. Even with miserable weather also known as Scottish weather the atmosphere was still high and everyone seemed eager for the day ahead. Roy one of the Dutch instructors went out of his way to treat us to some Burpees , press ups, sit ups and scarecrow drills in the mud. He led us the rest of the way sometimes going on detours to make us run through the deepest puddles or crawl on the ground before leading us back to training to begin the day.
Our first session with Zeev was “Heavy Hands” breaking down basic boxing combinations in order to let students practice on perfecting the power in their punches and working on their footwork. The morning was based on power and this led us to the next half. Getting someone out of the way quick whether an attacker is running towards you or moving a friend or VIP out of the way to deal with an attacker. Practising sidekicks from distance, defensive front kicks and moving a VIP quickly. From here we dealt with different scenarios based on where the attacker was the VIP was whether it was in front or behind the bodyguard. We also trained on different weapons the attacker might use stick, knives, guns and even a grenade being thrown near your VIP!
Some VIP protection training!
After a few hours we had progressed to our final summary drill protecting your VIP with a team of body guards no.1 stood to the side and behind the VIP if anything happened his/her job was to get the VIP to the car as safe and as quickly as possible. No.2 was a fighter his/her job was to stay in front and prevent anyone getting close and if they did deal with the threat accordingly. No.3 and No.4 kept a few paces behind scanning for any attacks from the side or rear and were also fighters if the VIP and no.1 needed to leave in a rush. I was teamed up with Bart as our no.1, myself as no.2 in front, Pauline was our VIP the first female president of America!! no.3 was Christopher teamed up with number 4 as the fighters covering the side and rear. As we walked out we were met by a crowd of people waiting to shake hands with our new female president, shaking hands with her fans we continued to walk with her until Youri our assassin came out of nowhere with a hand gun as I disarmed him 3 and 4 controlled the situation as 1 and our VIP ran for safety. We re-grouped only to be attacked by Roy running at us from the right hand side! Again we fought and re-grouped only to have a grenade or melon (training pad) thrown at us. What we should of done was hide behind our armoured cars but it was too late we had just thrown the first female president to the ground and lay on top of her in a doggy pile beside a grenade! haha our last drill was to get the female president to the car while Christopher and myself took out Dennis the sniper hiding on a lorry!
We were the last group to do this summary drill after that we lined up said Kida and that was bootcamp!
Afterwards we got our certificates, had time to take some photos with Zeev and proceeded to clean up our mess from bootcamp making sure there was no rubbish lying around, making sure the camp fire was cleaned up and the shooting range and camp site was how it was before we came. Last but not least a car arrived with forty pizzas for us all and we sat down for our final feast!
The Experience as a whole
I couldn’t recommend this enough, it was so much fun and the guys went out of their way to help and make it run smooth without any hitches. Heath, Kirsten, Alex, Zeev, and the whole IKMN did an awesome job with this camp and made it a memorable experience for all who attended. The language barrier didn’t make a difference, most spoke English anyway. All of the participants and instructors who attended were nice people and when we weren’t training it was a relaxed atmosphere where we could just chill before the next training session. What’s also really good to know is some people are as passionate as me about Krav Maga if not more and Holland is definitely a good place to train! Don’t miss out on this experience next year, contact the IKMN Team for details of the event and get the flights booked! I’ll certainly be there!
p.s. Just like to say a huge thank you to Heath, Kirsten & family, Alex and the whole IKMN team for making feel so welcome, can’t wait to see you all again soon!