Half a year ago, I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s a grappling martial art used heavily in the UFC that focuses on submitting your opponent on the ground, and I’ve been hooked ever since I started. I attend four classes a week, and when I can, I go to the open mat on the weekend.
It speaks volumes towards Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and martial arts as a whole that I still feel like a kid on Christmas every time I throw my Gi into my gear bag and head into town for class. I’ve even started looking into taking Judo classes to try and squeeze as much martial arts as possible into my day.
Before starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I did a lot of running to stay fit, but it gets boring quickly and sometimes I’d find myself having to drag myself out of bed in the morning to go out for a run.
Changing my route and focusing on hitting distance and speed goals got me motivated to go for my daily run, but it can be tough sometimes to get out of bed and hit the track. That, and I hurt my knees a while back, so if I run for too long, I’m limping the next day.
It’s not all a walk in the park of course. A few months in, I fractured my ribs and my girlfriend had to pull me out of bed in the morning so I could go to work, although martial arts gyms will generally do all they can to make sure you’re safe, you’re learning to fight, and accidents happen.
I remember walking out of the gym that day with a pain in my side and feeling pretty low, but I went back once I’d recovered and improved, and each day I get better. I even competed in a tournament and won a silver medal.
Martial arts have got me interested in working out at home again and in hitting nutritional goals. It’s also fun, and has been good for managing stress; I don’t know what it is but when I train regularly, I feel generally less stressed and more able to take on the obstacles that life throws at me.
Exercise is often seen as a difficult task we have to push through, but I think more people should go out and try something fun, so why not try martial arts?
I go to Shaolin MMA in the Liosban Industrial Estate, and they do MMA, kickboxing, yoga, CrossFit, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. However, there’s also PointBlank MMA, the Galway Judo Club, various Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing, Krav Maga and karate gyms around Galway.
Plus, it might just help you defend yourself someday!