It had been before I was in middle school that I had been begging my mom to let me take martial arts classes. Learning karate looked awesome on TV, why wouldn’t a child want to learn how to fight? I grew up watching Vietnamese/Chinese movies based on martial arts. I loved Jackie Chan (the Rush Hour series? Twin Dragons?); he was the best! What did my parents expect? As a child, I wanted to learn how to be as badass as the characters I watched in the movies.
Unfortunately, the topic always got rejected when I was younger. We didn’t have the means for the cost. And, as a child who always had problems being active, my parents were scared of me getting hurt. Ultimately, the answer was always ‘no’.
In high school, a couple of my friends were black belts in either one or multiple martial arts. I remember learning how to correctly make a fist, so I wouldn’t hurt my thumb. I slowly learned how to punch and keep my wrist straight. Most days, I would stay back for half an hour after school and “spar” with one of my black belt friends (who always just humored me, and watched out for me so I wouldn’t hurt myself on the concrete). It was a lot of fun. Even though it was a merely for laughs, I enjoyed myself. I remember when he accidentally tripped me and I fell so hard straight onto my back, everyone yelled at him (laughing, of course). I remember getting Everlast wraps during my senior year, which simply collected dust in my closet. I remember having a lot of fun.
Now, in my second year of college, my interest in martial arts sticks. I went to my first taekwondo/karate class with my sister and a family friend (you could call her). The family friend is a second degree black belt and knew this dojo very well. We went to our first class for free, to see if we liked the class enough to sign up. The master was very welcoming and very friendly. I was learning how to kick correctly when he came over and put his hand in front of me so I had a target; I kept kicking too low. I eventually kicked his hand, a little too hard, too! He looked over at my family friend and jokingly yelled, “Stacy, you brought dangerous people!” Everyone laughed. Next time we went over kicks, he brought out a mat/shield (I don’t know what they’re called) that would block my kicks and punches so he wouldn’t get hurt. It was such an entertaining as well as demanding class! I was sore for two days afterwards!
Just the other day, I went to my first kickboxing class at ilovekickboxing with my sister and her boyfriend. I was very nervous for my first day on the mat. Not only did I have a tight schedule that day with class and work, and work and kickboxing overlapping a little, but I know I am terribly out of shape. I arrived right on time to the kickboxing class and went in to get paperwork filled out. One of the leaders, who lead warm ups, handed me my gloves and I borrowed some wraps from my sister. The warm up reminded me of PE in middle school, except WORSE! It was just jogging around the mat, but push ups and sit ups and burpees and lunges and squats and planks and “spiderman climbs” and everything else you could think of all mixed together. I had to take so many breaks to drink water or else I probably would have had a completely dry mouth at the end of warm ups. THEN, CAME THE FUN PART. I learned how to punch with my gloves and do roundhouse kicks. I was so excited that I could finally go all out and punch my hardest and kick my hardest without much worry of hurting anyone! I was having so much fun that I wanted to get a punching bag when I got home that night! I barely took into account how much my arms felt like jello. I can’t wait to go back! Good thing I paid for two more classes already.
I know I’ve had my difficulties with being active and “in-shape” but being able to go out there and be active has been a lot of fun. Not only has it been a stress reliever but it makes me feel a lot healthier. I really hope my schedule continues to allow me to do things like this.
If anyone has any workout tips, let me know!