My son has reached a new, charming stage of development: kicking me in the balls.
I get it. It’s hilarious. Watching some guy get their khakis caved in by their offspring? The irony is delicious. They’re your family and they’re using a well-placed kick or whiffle ball bat swing to pull off a heist on the family jewels. You want to make them understand: DON’T KICK THAT. YOU USED TO LIVE THERE.
But as a Dude Turned Dad I felt it was my responsibility to figure out how to protect my fellow Bro Dad’s gonads. We Dads can’t fight back… but we can defend ourselves.
A quick Google of “Krav Maga NYC” brought me to Krav Maga Experts, a self-defense training facility in Union Square. Soon I was there, staring down former Krav Maga trainer (and coincidently my coworker) Ben Ronne. Ben is the guy in our office who looks like a Chechnian Mob enforcer but is really the head of our product team and a secret sweetheart. He just happens to have neck tattoos and the ability to kill a man using only his hands.
Here are three of the techniques Ben shared with me that will keep your wedding tackle from being smackled.
Krav Maga is a self-defense martial art that specializes in protecting your weak spots. The eyes, throat, nose, and yes… the danglers. As Ben explained it to me, you train your muscle memory to turn natural instincts into defense techniques. So when a rugrat takes a swing at your manhood, instead of bringing your leg up to your chest in protection, you swing it across your body and use your ankle to deflect the blow. This is especially effective for deflecting kicks. Soccer parents, take note.
When attacked in the twig and berries the legs come up, and the arms come down. Instead of using your arms to catch a haymaker to the baby maker from a tot, use your forearm to clear the blow and push them off their axis. Pivoting and pushing, you’re now operating from a position of power and balance. This move sort of looks like punching down, which, after a good ball strike, is what you wish you could be doing.
Not the name of a fictional TMZ spin-off, this is a move in which you use a scooping motion and the natural momentum of an attacker to reposition them away from your weak areas. Take your arm, create a cup with your hand and turn it away from your body. It should sort of look like a swan head by your side. When a kick is incoming, use the corresponding hand (right arm for the right leg, left arm for the left leg) and “scoop” the leg out of the way, redirecting it to the outside of your body. Then, you wail on that unsuspecting infant.
Confused? I was too. The best thing to do is watch the video above and observe me struggling as Ben hammers my beanbag. Will you be able to react in the moment and protect yourself from an onslaught of toddler attacks? Only time will tell.
But I, for one, feel a lot more confident going into my underground child fight club this weekend.