Tips from GMAU Students: Christopher Connelly (Solo Training)

By Joel Williams | Home Study Students

Oct 15

Would you like to hear about the experiences of a current Global Martial Arts University student? How about one who is particularly good at solo training? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post you will find a transcript of an interview I conducted with Christopher Connelly, a GMAU Krav Maga student.

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Below is the verbatim transcript of my interview with Chris Connelly, conducted on Thursday September 26, 2019. In this brief interview he provides useful (solo training) tips for current and prospective GMAU students.

Joel Williams:
Christopher Connelly, thank you for joining me. Appreciate your time and the information that you’re going to provide to other GMAU students. Let’s just start with the question. First question. Tell us a little bit about yourself and about your martial arts background.

Chris Connelly:                 
Well, I’m a 43 years old. I’ve got two beautiful kids. I’m married, gorgeous wife. My martial arts background started when I was about 12 years old. I started taking TaeKwon Do. Did that for a couple of years and my mom couldn’t afford to pay for that anymore. I came from a single parent family. Just kind of left that for a long on time. Then hit my 20s a little bit on my own and then I hit my late 30s and kind of picked it up again. Did some more TaeKwon Do, ITF TaeKwonDo, did some Shotokan Karate. I’ve got various ranks in different martial arts and then started in Krav Maga as well with a couple of different schools. Sort of a informal Krav Maga training.

Joel Williams:                   
How did you come across or discover Global Martial Arts University?

Chris Connelly:                 
Well, I had started really falling in love with Krav Maga and I realized that was the martial art that I wanted to focus on and because there was really a lack of schools here in Calgary, Alberta, there was a few, but they weren’t really what I was looking for. I thought, you know what, I want to see what’s online. I basically just did a Google search, I found several different things and then discovered the GMAU, the total Krav Maga course and was just really impressed overall.

Joel Williams:                   
How would you describe your GMAU experience?

Chris Connelly:                 
Oh my gosh, my GMAU experience has been fantastic. I can’t begin to boast about how awesome the instructors are, let alone the quality of the videos, the quality of the instruction itself. Just having instructors on the other end who sincerely care, communicate with you, and help you with issues. I had a better experience from the GMAU instructors than I’ve had from live dojos. It’s been fantastic. It really has.

Joel Williams:                   
One of the challenges that GMAU students have is, maybe not having a training partner. I wanted to ask you about your solo training. What do you do? What advice would you give? Anything that you can do to help current and future GMAU students think about how to train alone.

Chris Connelly:                 
Right. That’s a great question. One of the things I invested in was, well I have several of them now, but was the BOB. I can’t recall what the BOB stands for but I think we all know as practitioners in different martial arts, we know what the BOB is. I got myself the BOB, I got the arms on the BOB as well. That was hugely beneficial, especially for Krav Maga because getting into those clinches, being able to have an arm to grab, stuff like that.

Chris Connelly:                 
When it comes to partner training, it can sometimes be complicated, but you learn to become really good at just recruiting people in the moment. I get my wife to come down and help me. I get my son to come and help me. He was getting a little bit bigger now so sometimes he has to climb up on something to help. But you know what, you just got to get creative. You definitely want a good punching bag of some kind. A Wave Master, a BOB is the best one. Then just don’t be afraid to ask people to help you. Be gentle but don’t be afraid to ask people to help you out.

Joel Williams:                   
Was that hard to find, the BOB, with… That’s body opponent bag, I believe, is what it stands for.

Chris Connelly:                 
Yeah. That’s right.

Joel Williams:                   
Was it hard to find one with arms?

Chris Connelly:                 
I found one on Canada’s version of Craig’s list. I had to order them from Century separately. It comes in as a jacket, separate arms. It was expensive. I tell you it was worth every penny. It really made a difference.

Joel Williams:                   
Well, is there any other advice that you would give that you think is important?

Chris Connelly:                 
One of the best things I would say would probably be sort of on a psychological level when it comes to training and that is first of all, don’t be hard on yourself if you’ve set up certain days of the week that you say you’re going to train on and you miss those days and always back that up by telling yourself, you’re never going to give up. Be graceful to yourself. You understanding when life is just busy or you may be bagged or tired, but tell yourself you’re never going to give up. When I did that and I continue to do that, it really, really helped me because it just solidified that decision to continue on no matter what happened. If I missed a week, if I missed two weeks, if something was going on, family, vacation, whatever, I said, I’m never given up, I’m going to see this to the end. That’s probably one of the pieces of advice that I’d give to people out there.

Joel Williams:                   
Excellent advice. These are short interviews, so we need to wrap it up. But any last words for you? Anything else you want to talk about?

Chris Connelly:                 
I just want to say real quick, the GMAU online experience for me has been a mental game and it’s been a mental game that I feel like I’ve been really kind of winning at. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing, but most times I feel like I’m winning if I just keep going. It really is a fantastic school. The instructors are amazing. I could just keep going on and boasting, but I’ll say that it’s just been really good for my self discipline as well and my self motivation.

Joel Williams:                   
Well thank you so much Christopher for your time and it was a pleasure talking to you.

Chris Connelly:                 
Okay. Take care.

About the Author

Husband. Father. University Professor. GMAU Certified Krav Maga Instructor.

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