11 March 2013

Reflections on my first year

This post originally appeared on the ABD Norwich Krav Maga blog, 11 OCT 12

I have not lost much weight.

I know, kind of a strange way to start a blog post that details my first year of studying a martial art.  Stick with me though, it will make sense it a bit.

I needed to make a change in my physical activity.  Its not that I was not active; I was.  Just not enough.  I was stuck on the (literal) treadmill.  My working out was limited to mostly treadmills and running outside about once a week.

A change needed to be made.

Many moons ago I studied Judo.  Can't really remember why I stopped.  I do know that I wish I had not.  I had always wanted to get back into martial arts, but school, time and life kept getting in the way.  With the exception of a brief foray into a 'kickboxing' class, I was martial arts-less until October of 2011.

No reason for this.  America's Best Defense is located in downtown Norwich.  I had been living in Norwich for a couple of years, and my brother in law had been attending the school when it was still a Tang Soo Do school.

I finally made the decision.  I filled out the online information form and waited.  A few days later I got a call (if I remember correctly it was Sensei Fritz), and set up an introductory class.  I went in not knowing what to expect, and left convinced I was going to sign up.  My first official class was less than two weeks later.

And I have not looked back since.  I love everything about this school.  I love the workouts.  I love the lessons.  I especially love the Krav Maga end of it.

But more importantly, I love the people.  Never had I felt more welcome in a place of physical activity.  From senior black belts down to the white belts who started with me, I have always felt welcome.  There is never a negative word here, only words of encouragement.  This place gets into your head. 650 jumping jacks and squats?  A year ago I would have been hurting just thinking about it.  Now, I did it and spent the next day joking about it with my fellow students.  Doing leaping forward rolls over a chest high stack of shields?  Done.  Doing all sorts of crazy calisthenics?  No matter how much it hurts in the moment, or days later, I still love every moment of it.

So you see, even though I have not lost much weight, I gained a lot.  I gained confidence, I gained friends; training partners.  I gained a place where I do not feel judged every time I walked through the doors.  I gained a place where I will train for life.

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