Training in a Community

Note: This post was originally written and posted on another website on January 6, 2017. I’m reposting it here to provide context to the continuing story of my fitness and especially my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Journey.

Coach Tony and Professor Pete

After enjoying my favorite cardio workout for 6 months, I recently introduced a friend to kickboxing and she loves it. However, she admitted to me at brunch this week that her biggest concern is that of being a newbie and not being good at it. She said she’s been trying to spread the “burden” of training with her around the group so nobody is stuck with her very often.

My heart goes out to her because I know the feeling well. I felt the same way when I tried jiu jitsu, and still sometimes feel the same in kickboxing. When a quick search on the internet highlights the best of the best in every endeavor under the sun, it’s sometimes hard to be an awkward adult beginner in modern society.

Fortunately, at McHugh’s BJJ Academy, adult beginners are embraced and encouraged. Our kickboxing sessions are group classes with a Coach or the Professor teaching and guiding. But we also rely on each other to learn. After doing warmup drills. we partner-train. Everyone is inevitably at a different level of experience and ability. Eventually, we all work with someone at a different level than our own, with the more experienced teammates helping the newer members. And that’s the beauty of it!

First, I told her that no one is born a master of anything. Every single person on the mat started as a beginner somewhere along the line. Second, the more time you spend on the mat (#BOM or #BeOntheMat) training, the better you’ll be. You’ll get more lessons, train with more people, and learn faster.

Third, our jiu jitsu/kickboxing school is also a community. Although we improve as individuals, the school community improves at the same time. The better each of us becomes, the better partners we become to everyone else. It’s to our advantage to help newer members get better, because we then have better partners to train with. And we all improve by training with more teammates. It’s a great uplifting cycle!

Bottom line – it’s fun to mix it up and it becomes a win-win for everyone. If you’re concerned about being a beginner, find a place that encourages newbies, show up, train hard, learn, improve, and help your teammates do the same! It may take awhile but you’ll improve, your teammates will improve, and your school/community will improve.

McHugh Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
McHugh BJJ Facebook Page
McHugh Kickboxing Facebook Page

Next – Look for the Little Wins

Kickboxing Fun

Note: This post was originally written and posted on another website on September 28, 2016. I’m reposting it here to provide context to the continuing story of my fitness and especially my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Journey.

About a year ago I tried Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and loved it. Unfortunately, my back didn’t love it as much as I did and I had to give it up. Since then, I’ve gotten busy with regular workouts with my trainer, training my own clients, and our local Rotary Club. I’m busy and loving it all. But I’ve always missed the fun and challenge of jiu jitsu and even more so, the people and the school where I was a student. McHugh Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy is a special place where I always felt welcome no matter how bad I was at the sport. (And I was so bad…) The Professor, the Coaches, and the other students are warm and welcoming, even as they try to choke you out. I can’t do Jiu Jitsu anymore, so I was excited that they started a Kickboxing class that I could attend without having to be a jiu jitsu student.

Awesome! The class runs 45 minutes and it’s a heart pounding session. The coach has us warm up by running around the mat to get our heart rates up, then ladder drills to work on fast footwork. Sometimes we do animal crawls to loosen up any muscles that remain tight. Then it’s on to the lesson. We partner up and drill with different punching and kicking combinations. Then we might do some conditioning work with the stand up bags, jump ropes, and kicking pads. Finally we cool down and stretch.

Kickboxing is a very athletic endeavor. It challenges me physically and mentally. The physical is obvious. You have to move and coordinate your upper and lower body to be in the right position to punch and kick the target. Surprisingly, I’ve found that I have to really concentrate mentally to get the combinations right and keep getting them right in succession. I’m not very good at it but I’m glad to be part of a great school again. And if I can get there 2 or even 3 times a week on occasion, maybe I’ll improve. I know I’ll have fun anyway. If you’re in the South Jersey area, check it out and join us. I guarantee you’ll get a great workout!

Next – Training in a Community