This Friday (9.11.2012) at 16:00, I finished the most difficult and excruciating training session I have ever done. It was a present I gave myself towards my approaching 50th birtday – I have finished a brilliant 24 hour – nonstop sparring. It was extreme, at times it was close to impossible, it was beautiful.
The AKBAN “24” starts at 16:00, continues through the night, with no sleep or rest, and concludes at next day’s sunset, at 16:00. Only few minutes are allowed every hour and these are devoted to streching and replenishing callories. After these five minutes we change partners and continue sparring (striking, kicking, throws and ground work) for another hour. AKBAN Academy members were documented for the Guiness book of records in 2003 (Hebrew link), then, because of a rare October heat wave, we were stopped by the resident M.D. required by Guiness because many were becoming dehidrated. The AKBAN fitness routine prepares us well – We have done Marathons and Ultras, but this “24” is the toughest, most difficult thing we do.
I would like to commend all those veterans who came, and for some reason, could not stand on their feet and had to stop, this time. Coming for a “24”, with the severe weather we had, is an corageous thing, and giving the sparring all you got is the goal itself. It is no secret that at the 2003 and 2004 “24” I had to stop and rest. The way you gave this session your best inspires me – thank you!
For many reasons (mainly because we had a severe weather warning) I cancelled all the TV crews and photographers that were comming to document our stragle. It was for the best. With no worries, no social scene to take care of, I was free for the first time in many years to fight this one myself, and fight I did because of the star veterans team I had with me on the mountain this year.
In a stark contrast to the 2004 freak hail storm (Hebrew link) we had, the mountain’s Kami hugged us with the most spectacular lightning storm we have ever seen. For hours, the western horizon, sometimes as close as the near Summits, was lit by the dangerous and illuminating lightning strikes. On both sides of the mountain it rained, but we felt only few drops and enjoyd the benevolence of a daytime protective cloud cover that cleared, on demand, at sunset.
I am full of gratitude and respect to AKBAN instructors who were my amazing sparring partners: Navot Tamari headmaster of Pardes Hana AKBAN dojo, Elad Nagar headmaster of Haifa dojo, Assaf Hochman headmaster of Modiin Reut dojo, Lior Katz headmaster of Rehovot dojo. Also big hugs and thanks to the black belts I fought with through the long night: Yuval, Guy, Carmel, Ran, Raam. Thank you all, my friends, may God bless you. See you next year at the AKBAN “24”.
Video of the AKBAN “24” – November 2012
Group photo of the November 2012 “24”