This may be the reason he’s able to thwart blockers with his fast hands.
Aaron Donald is widely regarded as one of the best players in the NFL, but because he’s a 6’1”, 280-pound lineman, he isn’t known for his dazzling runs or end zone theatrics. Rather, he’s lauded for working his way to the quarterback by using agility and quick hands to stymy blockers even larger than he is.
After the Rams defensive tackle shared a video on Twitter, it’s clear how he’s developing that specific skill set. The shared clip shows Donald going head-to-head with his trainer, who appears to be brandishing a … knife? Two knives?
Yes. Donald is using the military discipline of Krav Maga to thwart his knife-wielding attacker, developing hand speed, coordination, and balance in the process. If he can square up against a man with a knife in practice, how scary could a lineman be on game day?
@AlPoodie #DavidKahnKravMaga @AaronDonald97 @iamDeShawnW @Grind4selfHess @NFL @ESPNNFL @ESPNNFL @thecheckdown… https://t.co/Bk7IAt4k2Y— 2Tenths Speed & Agility (@2Tenths Speed & Agility) 1522606745.0
Confirming everyone’s observation with a response and second clip, complete with knife-and-fork emojis coupled with eyeballs, Donald pulled back the curtain on his unorthodox approach to training.
@LeeRaymondtom @AaronDonald97 @AlPoodie @iamDeShawnW @NFL @ESPNNFL @thecheckdown @uninterrupted @Finestpreps… https://t.co/1M0rnDfQWA— 2Tenths Speed & Agility (@2Tenths Speed & Agility) 1522618325.0
The bizarre departure from weight rooms and conditioning can be easily justified provided it’s safe — it’s unclear if those knives are real — but the results of Donald’s training thus far speak for themselves.
If this training method catches on, the sidelines of NFL camps may more closely resemble martial arts films than sporting events.