Thursday, March 14, 2013

A New Kind of Artist

I was born to be an artist. A martial artist. I just got back from my second ever Krav Maga class. I love it. It feels great to channel strength and energy into cool moves which I can use to protect myself in Ostrava.

Krav Maga is a martial art which focuses on adapting to city streets and any form of attack. My dad got me into it. He originally thought it would be a great class to take with my seventeen year old brother Paul-Hugh. But PH was already signed up for something, so Dad asked me instead. He called me up after the first class and said, "Guess what I did today that I have never done before, nor ever thought I would do." He told me how he just about died during the first two hour class and how he was about twenty years older than everyone else there.

The next week I came along. It was super hard. One third of the class was strength and cardio training, one third was learning and practicing basic punches and stances, and one third was defending oneself from being choked and caught from behind. I was so glad that I have been doing lots of Jillian Michaels workouts and running, so that I could basically keep up, but even so it was very challenging. Lots of gross sweat.

Although I love to play sports and be athletic I have rarely been in situations where someone was actually teaching me proper form. One of the most surprising aspects of the class are the trainers. They are BIG guys. Big muscular, martial art guru guys with tattoos and scars. As we practiced punching they would circulate around he room and offers advice. I was scared of them. But when one of the biggest, burliest guys came over to me and spoke, it was in a soft calm voice. He was kind and direct with his instructions to release the tension in my shoulders as I punched. The trainers are great teachers. Patient and direct, but tough. One of them came over to me and the gentleman who was my partner and told him not to be afraid of shoving my face because I am a girl!
I am so excited about this new sport. Ever since Patrick started Kung Fu and Jillian M. made her Kick Box workout video I have been wanting to learn a martial art. I have already looked online to see if there are any classes in the Chicago area so that I can continue when I return there for school this fall. If anyone knows of something let me know, please!