I was invited at the "Crisis Preventive Day" seminar which took place in Cologne at the Krav-Maga Institute for Carsten Draheim's birthday, one of the founders of the KRAVolution federation. Here I tell how this week-end went.
At the airport I join Pierre Marques, my mentor, now a member of the world instructor team, and we fly to Francfort. We both had a tough week and would have welcome a nap before the takeoff but as always when we are together we spend our time talking ! Once arrived at Francfort airport, bad surprise for Pierre : his luggage is lost. So we take the train lighter than expected...
In Cologne Krisztina, a german instructor welcome us and take us to a tour of the city. We walk in the street surrounding the huge cathedral (1.5 time higher than "our" Notre dame de Paris !) and we don't resist to have a typical local snack.
The newt morning, Carsten brings us to a night club built under the arches of a railroad bridge where the first part of the seminar will take place. He presents us to the students and start the seminar with extractions in a crowded place exercices and being able to spot an armed assailant. He really manages to give a lot of energy and rhythm to the seinar while transmitting essential tactical behaviors to the trainees. To get to the heart of the matter Pierre presents a defense against a knife attack from the front. I then introduce the trainees with knife attacks from very close distance and out of the field of vision. Carsten who has more experience with seminars advises me to keep things simple. The movements are quite difficult in these situations, so I start with the defenses followed by an immediate run away and gradually add counterattacks. Carsten takes advantage of Pierre's presence to make some promotional photos using the bar and I play the role of the bad guy who ends up with his head in the counter. During this time, trainees make stress courses using every corner of this nightclub which has several scenes and dance floors.
After the meal we have a meeting with Carsten and Kevin (the director for Germany) on the functioning of the federation and the preparation for the future. Meanhile, the students run an urban orientation race and then first aid courses with a knife attack scenario involving many victims.
We then join the trainees in the premises of the Carsten's club the Krav-Maga Institute. The facilities are enormous compared to our French references: 1100 square meters, 3 classrooms, 1 MMA cage and an underground parking which is often used to make scenarios!
The students are separated into two groups that will successively attend two workshops. The first is held by Pierre and Carsten and deals with hostage situatios and executions. The second, led by Kevin and myself, focuses on the techniques against guns and assault rifles threats. At the same time students are sent one by one on a soft air scenario where you have to free an hostage from half a dozen terrorists. The Aim team that plays the bad guys is not trying to eliminate the trainees at all costs so that the experience remains fun. We also have fun playing the commando, feeling . But we do a second run with a team of three "good guys", and this time our opponents do not give us any more favors and eliminate us quickly.
This day allowed us to talk a lot with our German comrades about techniques and how to teach them, it was really rewarding. Around 9pm the workshop ends with a convivial meal prepared by one of the instructors of the Krav-Maga Institute and we take this opportunity to discuss with the trainees.
The next day we spent some relax time with Carsten and we flew home by plane. This weekend was truly an "always on" experience, with the discovery of a new city, new people, and teaching in English! I sincerely thank Carsten for inviting me and once again: HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARSTEN !