After a long period of indecision I finally stepped up to the mat and started taking MMA (mainly grappling) lessons this week. The decision, which I haven't take lightly because it takes a certain amount of courage and commitment to do start a crazy martial art at age 40, was triggered by local fighter Rosi Sexton starting women's only MMA classes in Liverpool. So, not knowing what to expect and knowing nobody at the gym, I made the hour long train trip to Liverpool in search of Next Generation MMA
and hoped for the best.
The gym itself was initially quite unwelcoming with a group of teenage fighters just chatting amongst themselves about dieting down for theie next fights when I walked in. I was relieved when later another woman turned up and we hit it off immediately which relaxed me somewhat. Rosi didn't actually make the session due to some problems with childcare so one of the local lads took the session. It was fine. We were led to a cage and started grappling, I've had one lesson in BJJ at a veganfitness week in Australian a few years ago so this was really baptism by fire. It wasn't terribly structured but as it was unplanned I was ok with what we did. The best thing that came out of the session is that I met another woman doing it, even though she has been doing jujitsu for a decade or so. It turns out there is a really good MMA gym 5 minutes from my flat, and my new found training partner's girlfriend teaches there on Saturday's, no-GI grappling and stand-up MMA, so I decided to go along today and get a feel for the teacher, the gym and the training.
So today I headed over to Fighting Fit Martial Arts Centre
, which turned out to be an excellent gym, properly kitted out and with super friendly owners. I liked the instructor Anna Mayne
, she was humble and the structure of the class was clear and challenging, I learned a lot in a short time I think.
I stayed for 2 classes; no GI grappling and the stand-up fighting. The rolling in the warm-up was the toughest part and left me nauseous for a good chunk of time and hours after I still feel a little queasy. We did some guards and mounts and I rolled with 3 men who were bigger than me and my main partner who is my size and weight (55kg). I thought such close contact with sweaty people would be hard but I really didn't care, I just wanted to be able submit someone and managed to with one opponent which surprised me. I now understand why a rashguard is advisable. I also didn't feel that gender was an issue, though the men seemed to sweat more?!
The boxing class after grappling was tough and we did sparring, since I haven't actually done it before in earnest and I didn't have a mouthguard it wasn't too crazy but I got a taste of contact boxing and like it. Got myself a mouthguard and will get my own gloves.
So for now I'm going to try doing these 2 classes a week and try to get to the women only classes in Liverpool so I get a variety of teaching styles. My training is going to broken up a bit as I'm getting an upper back tattoo in a week or so and won't be able to do much training for a bit, it's quite a large tattoo so not sure how long the healing process will be. I'm going to start a very structured beginners no-GI grappling course in about 4 weeks but until then I'll struggle along in the Tuesday and Saturday classes which are mixed ability.
other training this week:Sunday 5/6
Body CombatMon 6/6
weight training- squats, overhead presses, some kettlebell workTues 7/6
mindfulness meditation (gym for my mind
Body PumpFriday 10/6
off - was on a Slutwalk demo and that clashed with trainingSaturday 11/6