Haganah is basically Israeli martial arts, but because of the issues faced in their country they are much more on the offence than some of the more traditional Martial Arts. It’s taught that you meet violence with better violence than your opponent – turning the situation round such that the aggressor becomes the victim instead of you.
We started out how we meant to go on – part of the warm up involved punching your partner in the ribs and thighs to make sure that each of you knew how far you could take it; making sure that you hit hard enough that your partner could feel that it was going to do some real damage in the real world 🙂
We covered quite a few moves, including head butting, elbow shots to the head and neck, roundhouse kicks to the thigh, elbow into the ribs from a clinch position, and a load of combo moves that were designed to floor your opponent so that you could finish them off.
Unlike Karate lessons where the moves are sequenced, we got to do our own combos as quickly as we could to overwhelm the opponent, floor them and with knee on chest reign a flurry of punches into them. The last combo involved the opponent having their hands around our throat – bad move for them because it brings them in nice and close. So from hands around the neck, we loosen their grip, elbow to the neck, ear smash, bring their temple down on to the top of your head, eye gouge, pull their head into your shoulder, and then freeform from there (knees, punches etc.), before stamping on their foot and whilst still on their foot knocking them to the ground. We didn’t actual do the stand on foot bit as this would have broken their foot/leg as they went down, but you get the idea. Once they are down, it’s knee on the chest time and finish them off.
The only non-contact part of all this was the final flurry of punches once they’re on the floor. As we were all taking in turns to be the attacker, I’m expecting a few bruises tomorrow.
Haganah is good old rough and tumble stuff, great fun, and a real confidence booster. I’m looking forward to the next Haganah seminar in a couple of months time when we intend to step it up a bit 😀