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MMA training…a beginners perspective.

December 11, 2011

Many of you may be wondering why in the world I started MMA training at my age. Actually, after the first few classes, I was wondering the same thing.

MMA – Mixed Martial Arts;  Many people think it’s a brutal blood-sport. Where it may be bloody at times, in reality it is a combination of highly developed skills from a variety of Martial Arts. The two most popular are Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu . That covers the stand up fight and ground fighting with submission holds.  This combination of training,  MMA, has exploded in the last decade and it is extremely popular worldwide.

I really don’t like running or working out in bad weather

We had a stretch of bad weather and I couldn’t get out to run my ski hill for almost two weeks. Street running in the cold is not exactly a lot of fun either. So I started thinking about what I wanted to do throughout the winter.  I’m not really good in gyms – I tend to get a little crazy in there.  Then I thought about my friend Khun Suchart from Siam #1 and maybe training with him. However, our schedules clashed and he was too far away. I researched a lot of martial arts from Aikido to Shaolin Kung Fu. But again there was nothing in my area that matched my schedule. Then I discovered Revolution MMA. It is just a few blocks away, they have classes when I need them, the instructors are top notch professionals and very friendly and the price was good. Bang! I joined.

The ever elusive ‘fitness’ concept

Now for those of you that know me, you probably think I’m in fairly decent physical condition… though I often question exactly what that is. I run ski hills with weights; I toss the kettle-bell around, I run mini marathons…but still, I wasn’t prepared for the assault the MMA training put on  my body. I have a good idea of what I can handle so I thought I’d start slow with some basic combat conditioning classes. Day one was a good sweat and despite being the oldest in the class, I held my own. I felt quite good and went back the very next day. Another punishing array of squats, skipping, burpees, pushups, planks, mountain climbers, more skipping, running, shadow boxing, lunges, Thai crunches, and on and on. By the end of the class I looked like  I had just come in from a rainstorm! Still I felt good…actually I was a little proud of myself – until the next morning!

The Morning After!

Attempting to get out of bed to use the washroom was a little tougher than normal. My legs wouldn’t move right. My stomach muscles wouldn’t permit me to sit up so I had to roll out onto the floor and stand up. I ached in places I forgot I had. I hobbled out and emptied my bladder grabbed the Auum oil for a double dose of the Omegas to help with the inflammation. Then I got Thai to rub me down with some magic Thai herbal oil. I was on the floor in pain but laughing at the same time. How the heck was I going to go to work like that? I started stretching…slowly and carefully. That’s when I realized most of my pain was in the areas of old injuries, of which I have many.

I took several hot showers and a couple of cold showers. I added more Thai herbal oil and stretched throughout the day. I got through work but it wasn’t easy. Just walking was tough. Getting up from my chair was pure torture!

Decision time

I had a two week trial membership and I started to think I would finish that and pack it in. Maybe I’m too old for that type of training now. I hadn’t even started training in any of the Martial Arts yet and I was toast. They were just conditioning classes!

I made it through the two weeks and managed to take a few Muay Thai classes and a couple of Krav Maga classes. Sore or not, I really enjoyed the craziness. It was invigorating; it pushed me to the extreme; made me dig down and see what gumption I had in me. I informed the instructors of my injuries and they were col with it. I just stopped whenever I had to. I was there for conditioning and to learn, not to get hurt. Classes became fun and my decision was made…I’m in for the long run.

Always the student

I’ve now completed a month of classes. Mostly Muay Thai and Krav Maga with a only few BJJ classes. I’m holding off on more BJJ until I can work out the injury pains…maybe another month. So what have I learned? Well, first of all I learned that I know nothing about self defense. I also realized that there is always another level as well as different types of levels, to this fitness concept I keep chasing after. I struggle in the class but most of those guys can’t run 10km which isn’t too difficult for me. And they sort of didn’t believe I ran a ski hill with weights. One month in – they are starting to believe. Still they can kick, punch and grapple for an our or so where as I run out of steam long before they do. ~ Intensity~ The learning continues.

Injuries

What I struggle with most is my injuries. It’s easier for me to tell you what I have not broken, strained, dislocated, snapped, twisted, cracked or pulled, than it is to tell you what remaining joints and muscles that are still in tact. And I’ll leave that for another update.

A blood sport? Not really. The training conditions my body as well as my mind. It makes me think ahead of my actions before taking any and also before reacting…and I think that’s a good thing. It’s something I can transfer into other areas of my life.

I’ll be back again to give you a little insight into some of the classes and my progress.

Until then – stay well – stay strong and smile. Always smile…even through the pain.

Doug

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