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“Dear Diary…” Fight of Fit-West Side Academy. Week 1.

April 18, 2011

West Side Academy

West Side Academy:  Week 1.  

I like variety in my life.  And so I try to use many different activities to stay in shape.  The gym, pretty standard but not my favorite option right after the New Year.  Hiking and biking, but neither option is ideal in the winter.  Snowboarding, running, basketball, chasing after my dog when he decides to wander off (this happens all too often), and many other ways.  However, none of them have made certain muscles sore like Mixed Martial Arts.

If you walk in the door and up the stairs of 2238 Washington Blvd, you’ll find people grappling on the matted floor, kicking and punching the bags, lifting weights, and helping each other with technique.  The West Side Academy teaches Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and Muay Thai Boxing.

In the middle of doing chair dips, I caught eye with the instructor (Chris) and said “Dang! It’s burning pretty good.” He smiled and replied “You’ll get used to it.  This is just our warm up.”  We rotated nine different stations for one minute each doing various circuits of weights, punching bag, jumps, matt crawls, and so on.  After the warm up, we were paired up to practice different moves on an opponent.  This was also in circuit training format but each lasted longer than one minute.  Left hook, right hook, left uppercut, right uppercut, block low left, block low right, block high left, then high right.  “Okay.  Now switch.”  Take your opponents hooks and uppercuts with a hand pad, then punch low left, right, then punch high left, right (which were blocked by opponent).  We took turns kneeing our partner in the face (not really, our partners had pads to block their face with), kicking and blocking shins, high kicking a pad, and swimming with each other’s arms to gain a better position.

Not your average workout but a great one at that.  I walked into West Side Academy somewhat skeptical and walked out satisfied.  I wasn’t sure what to think at first and I wasn’t sure what others would think of the “new guys”.  But nobody judged anybody else and those who have trained at West Side for a while were quick to help with technique and also with making me feel at ease.

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