Day 1: Have fun and train MMA

Hello, world! I hope you are feeling well. As for me. I'm sore, really sore but I love it. I starting training martial arts again after taking a few months off. Yesterday I had my first full session in Muy Thai kickboxing. "The art of 8 limbs", is one of my favorite forms of martial arts

I love to use my agility in my leg kicks along with learning how to punch with power. So I walk into the gym 7:30 pm on a Monday, it was a packed gym, mostly everyone was partnered up. I found a partner she's a 55-year-old grandmother, and her name is Pam! I like mixing up my training partners because its a good way to connect with people you may never get a chance to meet. So, linking up with Pam I figured would be interesting. The class started out with circuit training for 2 minutes. 1st, Punch combos. 2nd, Kick combos. 3rd, punch and kick combinations. After that we went into stretching and an abdominal workout. Then repeated the circuit all over again. (I should mention that we used heavy bags for the punch and kick combos.)

As I was working out next to Pam, I asked myself what do I plan on getting from Muy Thai? The answer is easy. I just want to work on the fundamentals and my defense. My game plan was to be patient throwing punch combinations over and over again (left jab, right cross, left hook). What I did not expect to learn was a lesson that came from Pam. While she was working on the punching bag next to me, our coach came over and asked Pam "how ya feelin" she smiled and said "great!" Thats the attitude you want to hear for sure. Pam has an interesting style I would say 'relaxed' and 'graceful', she also looked around the room to see the more advanced fighters and would emulate their style but in her own graceful and accurate design. We moved on to very light sparring and position drills for our leg kicks. Coach asked me to hold the pad while Pam threw out her combinations. I'm pretty sure the only acceptable answer was 'yes' but of course I was game. As I was holding the pad I observed Pam's technique; again she had that peaceful, jolly style of attack.

Theoretically I was supposed to be coaching her. But through observation, I learned a lesson as well. Working with Pam made me remember how important it is to have fun and relax. I always knew I fought better when I was mentally in a good mood. I think it's easy to discredit the importance of mental health when we are in the gym training our biceps and quads. After class A young guy came up to me in the gym and asked me what type of music do I warm up to. He told me he likes Future, Eminem and Big Sean. I told him I warm up to them too. But I like to warm up to R&B nothing emotional just music that is slow because I like to gradually build my heart rate up. But then I thought to myself "you know what probably would help me even more is reading and praying." Now that's a little bit off topic but its true though. Going back to the lessons Pam taught me. "If my mind is steady the body will flow" yeah I just made that up but you get the picture: learn to enjoy whatever you do and make sure its throughout the day, no just at work or at the gym. The reason being; your muscles are working 24/7 but you have to control your thoughts when you wake up. You will perform better. Till next time grapplers. Love and Peace.

- Naturl Grappler

Photo credit: abelleee

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