I'm not one to gush over kids at all -- but it was one of the cutest things I had ever seen. The trainers were fantastic; the kids were quite attentive (as much as possible with that many 3-6 year olds in one room), and they all did a great job. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them.
That day, after my first free trial session, I paid for a month's membership and was handed a bag with my first Gi.
When I got home and opened it of course my first thought was - It's not going to fit.
Not to worry. It did fit, and I threw a few punches and kicks and was relieved when I found that it was actually quite comfortable and didn't rip in any critical areas when throwing a kick, hahaha.
There are strings to either side of the Gi which you tie together to hold the Gi in place. I had to figure out what type of t-shirt I would be wearing underneath - one that was fitted enough to not get in the way, but also loose enough to be comfortable. In general, wearing the Gi and training was going to take some getting used to.
The class is basically 1 1/2 hours. For the first 15 minute we warm up with dynamic stretches and cardio (burpees, jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, etc.) Then we focus on striking techniques - sometimes just shadow boxing type practice and sometimes with pads/bags --- this seems to be a mixture of taekwondo & kickboxing. I'm not exactly sure if it has a specific name. I should find out.
The last half hour focuses on Brazilian jiu jitsu.
Wow. Talk about trying something new that I've never done before!
Brazilian jiu jitsu - or BJJ - is basically grappling techniques. The objective is to learn how to get out of a hold by using your body leverage (not by striking).
The one thing that I had to come to terms with immediately is - You've got to be comfortable with your body. Let me tell you right now, I am not comfortable with my body. I'm getting there, but at that point in time, there was no way I thought I could just lie there on the ground with some guy right on top of me basically throwing me around.
I immediately felt tense. Would I be able to do this? Maybe I've bitten off more than I could chew. Still, I was there, so my only option really was to suck it up and get through the class.
I did. I survived. I enjoyed it!
The whole reason behind why I wanted to pursue martial arts training is because I want to get over my mental blocks, my fear, my hesitations.
I have completed 2 10-kms without any training, I've lifted heavy, heavy weights, I've been boxing and doing kickboxing for a few months now ... I know that I am physically strong and able to do a lot. With proper training, I can do even more.
The main thing that is holding me back is my self-doubt.
I think martial arts takes an enormous amount of discipline and mental focus. You've got to concentrate on your technique. You've got to learn how to keep your cool when you see a fist coming towards your face. You've got to react quickly. You've got to trust your body and yourself.
These are skills that I want/need to develop.
BJJ is perfect for that. You cannot let fear hold you back. After letting my fears hold me back for so many years, this is definitely what I need to be doing right now to move forward and really push myself.
I'm slightly apprehensive about what lies ahead, but I'm definitely very, very excited.
Last night I did passed my first test for my white belt ... let the adventures continue.